Today I’m working on plans for a small Houston focused conference and it’s a pleasure. Truly. Houston folks are so inclined toward action that calls are efficient as people quickly identify what they can do and commit. I now have more help than is needed.
But I find as I work now, I do so with a knot in my stomach. A ball of fear and anxiety for where we’re headed as a country. (As a species – because it is not just the US) I once bragged (repeatedly and I’m sure, irritatingly) about our ability in this region to work around, across, over and under all kinds of barriers and divisions. Our ability to come together when necessary and move apart with some measure of grace when we could not agree.
Are the places where we can do that shrinking? Will the poison infecting so much of the world reach down to the ground where I love to work? Will we eventually poison the soil so badly that it will take a generation before anything constructive can grow again?
I see people making an extra effort to be gentle and tender towards one another. As if we are trying to hold on to our humanity in the small exchanges, holding all the ground we can.
I’ve learned over the years – from all the Shipwrecked people. From those who’ve been tossed up by storms on unfamiliar shores – that there is no “getting past” the unimaginable. There is only “through” and no one who goes alone makes it.
We have a shared hunger – as a species – to earn, learn and belong. We are going through a painful period of both recognizing and rejecting our interdependence – connections to one another being renegotiated and redefined. Here we are, every day, being reminded by nature about our shared predicament, our shared journey. Meanwhile, we have lots of folks stomping their feet like two year olds, red faced and screaming “Mine. Mine. Mine.”
I’m afraid growing up is going to be really hard on a lot of us. As we are forced to “Ours. Ours. Ours.”