Monday, November 26, 2012


In birth, transition is the hardest part. It's when the body switches gears, from opening up to pushing out new life. It's the most painful, the most intense, the part where you wonder if this difficult craziness is ever going to end. It's the part when you're most likely to lose your mind, completely let go, and surrender to the unknown of what comes next.

If you've never given birth, transition can be intimidating. It's an adventure through virgin territory.

We find ourselves in 2012. It's another political year, so blah blah blah say the media with reminders of the constant expectation that we participate. Honestly, I don't know a lot of people who are excited about the prospect of voting this year, no matter their political beliefs. It seems election years are times when zealots become most vocal, which seemingly forces numbers of people into voting when they otherwise wouldn't, legitimizing the political system that is merely symbolic of choice.

So, vote or not. Whatever. Whether you do or not, some rich guy representing corporate interests is going to be elected. There will be lots of drama for several more years resulting in a government operation that is largely languid, except that it will shift money from you to corporations and slowly erode yet more rights you may have taken for granted as yours, merely for the sole reason that you are an autonomous human being. Oh, and it will kill lots of people residing in countries that contain resources we need. So, yeah, vote or not. Whatever.

In the meantime, let's converse. What in our wildest dreams would a society that reflects our values look like; how would it function? Is there anything we can do, yes, today and tomorrow and next week, to make some small part of that fantasy a reality? How do your vision and my vision overlap? What projects can we endeavor to undertake together, making more of our alternate realities visible for those also looking for a way out?

How do people withdraw their actions from a culture of death (work)? How do we begin to heal the damage to life on this planet, including ourselves?

Our imaginations are powerful things and can lead us down paths we never imagined. During transition, we take a minute to reach down and find something more powerful than ourselves, in ourselves, that gives us the strength to push over the precipice of what feels impossible. We let go of the limitations we formerly claimed. We find ways of coping and thriving.

How do we design a society with human desires as the foundation? How do we as a human society reward creativity and altruism? How do we begin to practice democracy on a personal level? What does being civilized mean to us, and how important is it that we live up to our ideals? Can we exist without hypocrisy?

What does it mean to be present and fully engaged in what we do with our daily lives? How do we occupy ourselves and our communities? What kind of care can we give each other? Can we build up alternative paradigms that value human contribution while the old withers from disuse? Can we give each other what we need? How? What other questions do we ask ourselves?

At the point new life begins to emerge, a burning sensation is felt. This is the body opening up and stretching more than ever before, more than is thought possible. The urge to push forth something new is unmistakable and irresistible. With relief, we relinquish what we have nurtured within ourselves for so long. We give birth to new life, and in turn, are ourselves reborn. We will never again be the same. We learn, we adapt, we cry, we love. We appreciate with such intensity it hurts. We have made it through transition, and we are on the other side of what comes next.

1 comment:

  1. My favorite questions:
    "How do people withdraw their actions from a culture of death (work)? How do we begin to heal the damage to life on this planet, including ourselves?"


    "Can we exist without hypocrisy?"

    Healing can take many forms, but for us to heal (and thus, grow) as a society, we also need to a personal inventory of where we ourselves are in need of healing. As for hypocrisy, I believe we are all works in progress. So, while we may fall or stumble in our journey towards our ideals (hence, being a "hypocrite" at times), I don't think that should be an end-all, be-all statement. I don't know that *anybody* can always live up to their ideals. Rather than punishing or beating ourselves, I think those times invite gentle inquiry and searching of how to begin again and do better the next time. Thanks for such a thoughtful post!