Thursday, 3 December 2009
Behind the white noise
In the lead up to the UN's Copenhagen Climate Conference this month I'm feeling a sense of awe and prayerfulness. The understanding of our planet's situation deepens and matures, with some insightful pieces of writing. Behind the white noise of Christmas advertising, some of us are starting painfully to understand the degree to which we are all complicit, as western consumers, in an unstable world, of which climate change - waves of rain, flood, heat - is only one symptom. And we're slowly, achingly, waking up to the idea that a better future is within our reach.
Last week, around 100 people of all shapes and sizes turned up at Lewes New School to discuss the future of North Street, since the developer's companies, who bought the acres of riverfront land, have gone bankrupt. In the Open Space discussion that ensued, lots and lots of fabulous ideas emerged, which will be presented to the town for discussion. Ideas for the land, healthy, sane, useful, inclusive ideas are emerging from people who live and work in Lewes, including those really essential people who work on North Street. These acres, surely, should be kept for a resilient, practical transition, rather than to feed one person's greedy neediness.
And despite all the western world's displacement activity, which includes flying here, there and everywhere for crazy reasons - holidays, spiritual retreats, sunshine, weddings, last chance to see... - some people, many people, are discovering that slow and simple are what we want anyway. Slow and simple. Breathe. Relax. The poet, Wendell Berry, says it all.