Reflections gathered by a storm.
       
 
Dispatch from the Future
Dec 2018 / Ian MacKenzie

Community Mandala / Roberts Creek, BC


Dear <<Test First Name>>,

I've never understood why the end of the year occurs in winter - at least in the calendar I grew up with.  Perhaps that's why these last few years I have shifted to giving more emphasis to the Solstice, which marks the darkest night of the year.

This year, a massive storm blew in from the ocean, toppling many trees onto power lines and knocking out electricity for hundreds of thousands, including our collective home.  On the evening of the 21st, we found ourselves huddled around our wood stove, sharing stories and ritual by the fire light.  The darkest night of the year was true to its name.

While most had their lines restored within 48 hours, the tiny island I inhabit was more severely hit and electricity remained off for over a week. No lights, no running water, and little heat tends to put things in perspective.

What we knew as essential (electricity) was suddenly gone and we were forced invited to adapt.

We did what many of our friends did. We called upon them. We shared water, rides, stories, song, and food.  The myth of self-sufficiency was laid bare and our community grew tighter.  

Charles Eisenstein in our 2012 short film 'Sacred Economics' remarked that the dilemma for those living in the "developed world" with all our technology and privilege, is that we can choose to live in isolation. We don't really need each other to survive, materially speaking.

Here's another way to say it: comfort is the enemy of community. 

I say this without cynicism or condemnation, in full recognition that I continue to benefit immensely from all that the modern age has bestowed upon me. And yet, there seems to be a correlation - the more comfortable we are, the less we are willing to take the vulnerable, messy, unpredictable, steps toward weaving ourselves meaningfully into the lives of others.

As of today, the power has been restored to our island. Amidst the gratitude and relief, some share a note of sadness. The temporary intimacy is needed no longer.

Here's a conundrum: I stand on the edge of 2019, and I don't know what to pray for: that civilization keeps going along its current trajectory, sustaining the comfortable lives of many (it should be noted, at the expense of many more others) - or that civilization breaks down...and we're invited strongly into a new story.

What that new story becomes relies upon our willingness to develop our fierce humanity now.

Rest assured, no matter where you live, a storm is coming. May you be ready.

- IM

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