A Time for Vision

It’s Sunday morning and our hearts and prayers are with those impacted by last night’s terrorist attacks in London. We are reminded that for many people such events are a daily occurrence, and we hold their lives close.

The sun has come out and a cool breeze provides a bit of relief from the relentless mosquitoes. The rain has let up for the moment so perhaps we will be able to get into the garden for a spell this afternoon. Before that is our annual church picnic and music at Jazz Fest.

It was a hard week in many places. One of the blessings, and curses, of the Internet is one learns much too much about events locally and in far off places. We are also exposed to a vast array of hatred and misinformation, as well as encountering the hopes and fears of others, some of which we may share. I am again reminded, with Freud and T.S. Eliot, that “man cannot bear very much reality”, a sentiment that seems more than apt at this moment.

One of the persistent themes online this week has been the fear of immunization; this is not a fear I share, having survived Polio I rather favor most immunizations. Another fear is climate change. The rapid heating of the biosphere is a profoundly troubling problem. Living as we do in Vermont, we are witness to the quickening pace of change, and to the many stresses warming places on our local and regional ecosystems. Still, I am less concerned the world will become uninhabitable than that we will find ourselves alone here, living in a kind of Hell. Given the ever rising extinction rates of other species, resource depletion, growing food shortages, and the likely appearance of new resource wars and pandemics, the future looks difficult for all of us. There  is little reason to believe that wealth will provide much of a barrier for those who have it.

In response to some of this week’s madness we joined about a hundred other folks Friday evening to jointly insist our various levels of government address climate change. In the crowd were children of various ages, many openly expressing deep concern about their future and their beloved world. After a brief walk around downtown, several speakers addressed the group, their voices frequently drowned out by joyfully live jazz emanating from a pub across the street, reminding us that Jazz Fest was underway and creativity is loose in the world.

In spite of this week’s events we hold hope close to our hearts, call forth a vision of a peaceful, thriving planet, and do what we are able to support life affirming change. We join with others to search for a way forward, and offer support to those who need it. As the spirits and elders have taught, we share our guarded optimism and invite others to feel and nurture hope, for if we fail to articulate our dreams and visions of a better world, the demagogues will shape our collective dreaming and grow our suffering.

Are not these the task of each generation? Will you share with us  your dreams, hopes, and aspirations for your life and the world?  What is your vision of the way forward?

13 thoughts on “A Time for Vision

  1. I find myself looking at story as a guide, and what types of climate shifts destroyed worlds. It seems we are not guaranteed anything, Michael. Vision is what we especially need in this time.

    • Lara, I am often surprised by the power of story to guide and heal. I’ve been revisiting my clinical roots in Ericksonian hypnosis, and the magic that happens when the right story falls into one’s lap. So often, inexplicably, a story generates the formation of healing, and even great vision.

  2. Your question leaves me a bit stumped. A high school friend of my husband’s died two months ago after a lengthy battle with cancer and I witnessed how everything came to a standstill, to honor this man. Soon after, a beloved family member got very sick and, again, everything else came to a standstill. I could barely tolerate the sickening news of this week (but couldn’t avoid it either). What now? I am committed to being a good steward to the land I’ve been given and to open it up so others can enjoy Nature and learn from her. I decided to commit to formally study herbalism, motivated by the kick-ass herbalist who is helping my family member (Western medicine has no cure to offer). And to tend my garden. Somehow it all ties together but my brain hasn’t quite created the words that pull it all together…

    • I, too, find words slippery. This seems odd given how much I write, yet also perfect. Jennie and I found ourselves pulling out the herb books this week, seeking to identify a mystery plant in our garden, and thinking about the generosity of the landscape. It used to be that healers would dream of the right plant to use with each person, rather than one medicine being used for everyone. May your studies go well!
      I would love to visit your land!

  3. Having just spent time in National Parks out West that exhibit our natural history in the fossil record of dinosaurs and petrified redwoods and the geological record of caves and sedimentary layers, I see climate change as less than a cataclysmic event. Yes, it is happening. Yes, its consequences will mean dramatic change for many species. And yes, Earth has endured many violent changes in the past and has continued to sponsor Life in some fashion afterward. Humankind is only a chapter in the story, and that doesn’t bother me. It does bother me that we have an opportunity, TODAY, to be more respectful, wiser, better and more truthful storytellers, and kinder and more dignified in our activities than we have been, and too many of us are ignoring that path. We may not save ourselves from destruction, but we should AT LEAST strive more diligently to DO NO HARM. Just my opinion….

  4. I have so many things I could say, but I think I will focus on the positive and the future. I see the speed of social media as a positive in this instance. Nothing seems to be hidden. It hits us in the face so we cannot ignore it. I think it will push change and that is a good thing. Xx

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