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Even as February signals the coming of spring, there is a lingering gestational benefit from the dark and chill of late winter: snowstorms in New England signal the season is not over.  I am reminded to embrace fully the benefits of winter’s slower pace, to savor completely the abundance that appeared in the recent season of giving and receiving.

Among those gifts for me was Wendell Berry sharing reflections with fans of all ages from a stage in New Haven, CT. I am delighted to share some of what I gleaned from Berry’s rare appearance away from his Kentucky farm as captured in this transcript of a recent talk by Wendell Berry.  

Inspired by Berry’s farmer sensibilities, I relish the sprouts emerging in our Gray Is Green “Curriculum for Gray-Green Living and Advocacy” coming out in 2014. This project is the vision and genius of our founder, Robert E. (“Bob”) Lane.  We are working with young content developers who appreciate being part of the seedbed for the inter-generational conversations we want to have about the future.  Watch these newsletters for more on this project.  

Pete Seeger and Seamus Heaney 

Savoring lives that have ended, yet left us wealthier for having know the genius of their expressions:  Pete Seeger planted a fertile crop of songs and activism–it now falls to us to continue singing for the world we know is possible.

And these few lines from Seamus Heaney’s “The Cure at Troy” are at the heart of the work of Gray Is Green:

History says, Don’t hope
On this side of the grave.
But then, once in a lifetime
The longed-for tidal wave
Of justice can rise up,
And hope and history rhyme.

100Grannies and more

I recently spoke with new Gray Is Green subscriber, Barbara Schlachter, founder of 100Grannies, and heard the story of her inspiration for this organization.

100 Grannies engages in group projects, while also supporting an individual Granny’s call to action, for example, as Barbara reported, “One Granny will participate in a walk across the country beginning in Los Angeles March 1 and ending in Washington, DC, on November 1, 2014. As part of this walk with workshops on climate change, Miriam, our 70-year old Granny will be leading Pachamama Alliance workshops on Awakening the Dreamer, Changing the Dream. We will watch her progress on the map at the website!”

The goal of this Great March for Climate Action is “to change the heart and mind of the American people, our elected leaders, and people across the world into acting now to address the climate crisis.” 

Our lives begin to end
the day we become silent
about things that matter.

– Martin Luther King Jr.

 Upcoming with Gray Is Green

Gray Is Green will be represented at the Positive Aging Conference in Sarasota, FL, February 9-12, by Board President Rick Moody and me.

Our presentation will draw from the inspired work of Joanna Macy on “interbeing” including her recent book, Active Hope. And I close with this adapted summary of “The Story of Interbeing“ drawn from Charles Eisenstein’s book, The More Beautiful World our Hearts Know is Possible:

My being partakes of your being and that of all beings.
This is beyond interdependence—our very existence is relational.
Every person we encounter, every experience we have
mirrors something in ourselves.

What we do to another, we do to ourselves.

Each of us has a unique and necessary gift to give to the world.
The purpose of life is to express our gifts.
Humanity as a whole is meant to join fully the tribe of all life on Earth,
offering our uniquely human gifts
toward the healing and flourishing of the whole.

Every act is significant.

May you be inspired to join friends, family, neighbors, co-congregants, and others in the unfolding work at our Gray Is Green website where all can subscribe to this periodic newsletter, browse the archives and keep up-to-date on our “longed-for tidal wave of justice.”

And Facebook is a great way to keep up on timely items of interest; for example, we recently posted this news article on a scientific study of pesticides and Alzheimer’s Disease.

 

1 Comment

  • Nanette Hayakawa
    February 7, 2014 at 6:05 pm

    You are an absolutely amazing human being Kathleen Shoemaker!!!
    That Wendell Berry lecture makes me want to cry in certain parts of it.
    Soooo important for me to read that lecture for my Philosophy class that I’m taking here at CCAD.
    Thanks again you beautiful soul….I LOVE you!
    Your friend, Nanette at CCAD.
    Rock on !

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