Written by: John Foran
September 21, 2021
Dedicated to my mother, Ramona, kind, loving, beloved teacher and friend
The world is in pieces. We all know this. The only question is how do we pick them up and hold them, since no Humpty Dumpty rewrite awaits us.
As a scholar-activist (a dreary term, we need another, maybe trickster insurgent?), I hold the belief, cultivated from long experience, that there are two best ways of confronting the climate crisis. One is to find and join the global climate justice movement network wherever you find yourself, and the other is to participate whole-heartedly in the building of any of the pluriverse of systemic alternatives that can be imagined or are already underway (The free book Pluriverse: A Post-Development Dictionary is an excellent place to start).
The upcoming (September 24-October 10) Regenerative Communities Summit will be a precious opportunity to be inspired, to meet like-minded earth citizens, and to form new networks and projects, and I can highly recommend you go to the website now and register now. It’s a “pay as you go” bargain and “our youth and BIPOC visionaries can register for free using the promo code ‘TUSguest’.”
This is going to be so much more than another worthy Zoom conference of talking heads with big names. Rather, it has been created to make the conversations that we need to have possible, through a wonderful, unique, powerful tool for building community during the Summit, called Mighty Networks. If you want to be in conversations about dozens of topics – or start a conversation yourself – this is the tool to become comfortable with – it’s a little challenging at first, but quickly mastered, and after that, worlds begin to open up as we dream of new possibilities for making the changes we want to see!
The Summit runs over 16 days, and that means conversations can go deep and new an unexpected networks will be born if we bring the imagination, creativity, and love to make it happen!
As for myself, “regeneration” is one of those key words that I now carry around in my pocket, together with “radical imagination,” “love for all living beings” (including our more-than human friends and the forests, oceans, mountains, and Gaia herself), along with “crazy collaborative co-creations” or just plain “diy fun.”
As a note on Pleasure Activism: The Politics of Feeling Good, a book co-written by one of my guiding lights, adrienne maree brown, puts it so well:
- How do we make social justice the most pleasurable human experience?
- How can we awaken within ourselves desires that make it impossible to settle for anything less than a fulfilling life?
Author and editor adrienne maree brown finds the answer in something she calls “pleasure activism,” a politics of healing and happiness that explodes the dour myth that changing the world is just another form of work.
Drawing on the Black feminist tradition, she challenges us to rethink the ground rules of activism.
This resonate with an eight-word theory of change I stumbled upon on a vision quest involving mycelial roots and a galaxy of colorful stars:
Connect the dots
Learn to love
Terry Patten writes at the end of a beautiful essay (actually chapter 2, “Translating Heartbreak into Action” of his 2018 book, The New Republic of the Heart: An Ethos for Revolutionaries) :
If we do things, we are saying a resounding “Yes!” to life. And that “Yes!” makes all the difference.
Seen from another angle, this great “Yes!” is also a great “No!”
When we see an approaching slow-motion train wreck, we yell out a warning. A scream issues forth that refuses to stand idly by and allow the destruction to take place. We can feel a great “No!” shouting forth from our own hearts. It is deeper than our feelings and even our understanding. Something much bigger than us is finding its way into life through us. And it expresses as much urgency, right now, as the most pressing deadline ever could….
That is what has been surfacing and circulating. This impulse toward activism is the sound of love when it roars–when it demands to be heard. The universal is deeply personal.
So, if what we’ve been doing so far hasn’t turned the tide, then I feel we are called now to try something new. The moment is demanding this of us.
And we want to do it together. I’d love to meet you in this space!