The Great Turning

To be sure, "sharing" is a part of reconnecting with the world and each other. I offer this poem, or essay presented as poem, for all who are following the "40 Days of Reconnecting" for its beauty, richness and inspiration. I found it while going through old issues of The Roundtable, a publication of the former Catholic Worker group in St. Louis. The issue, focusing on Climate Change was published in Fall 2014, a fact which, in itself, calls us to come together and 'roll up our sleeves,' with urgency!

The Great Turning is a shift from the Industrial Growth Society to a life-sustaining civilization.



By Joanna Macy, Buddhist philosopher, eco-spiritualist, poet

Come from Gratitude

To be alive in this beautiful, self-organizing universe – to

participate in the dance of Life with senses to perceive it,

lungs that breathe it, organs that draw nourishment from it

is a wonder beyond words.

Gratitude for the gift of life is the primary wellspring of all religions,

the hallmark of the mystic, the source of all true art.

Furthermore, it is a privilege to be alive in this time when we can

Choose to take part in the self-healing of our world.

Don’t be Afraid of the Dark

This is a dark time, filled with suffering and uncertainty. Like

living cells in a larger body, it is natural that we feel the trauma

of our world. So don’t be afraid of the anguish you feel, or the anger

or fear, for these responses arise from the depth of our caring

and the truth of your interconnectedness with all beings.

…to “suffer with” is the literal meaning of compassion.

Dare to Vision

Out of this darkness a new world can arise, not to be constructed by

our minds, so much as to emerge from our dreams.

Even though we cannot see clearly how it’s going to turn out,

we are still called to let the future into our imagination.

We will never be able to build what we have not first cherished

In our hearts…

Roll up your Sleeves

Many people don’t get involved in the Great Turning because

there are so many different issues, which seem to compete with

each other: Shall I save the whales or help battered children?

The truth is that all aspects of the current crisis reflect the

same mistake, setting ourselves apart & using others for our gain.

so to heal one aspect helps the others to heal as well.

Just find what you love to work on and take joy in that…

Never try to do it alone!

Act your Age

Since every particle in your body goes back to the first flaring

forth of space & time, you’re really as old as the universe!

So when you are lobbying at your congressperson’s office,

or visiting your local utility, or testifying at a hearing on

nuclear waste, or standing up to protect an old grove of

redwoods, you are doing that not out of some personal whim,

but in full authority of your 15 billion years…

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