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The Great Turning

Editor's Note

eye_of_god_(1).jpgThe Great Turning has become a signature term that visionaries in our midst give to this defining point in human history—a phrase ushered into public awareness through the work of Joanna Macy and others who view human development as inextricably linked to planetary well-being.*

Earth is issuing her own State of Our Union address in increasingly critical terms. Of the many relational transitions underway, “climate change” has arisen as a center point of concern among a diverse spectrum of scientific, religious, political, sociological, environmental and economic agencies. Our planet has put us on notice that we, as a species, must awaken to our responsibility, our capacity, and our desire for life affirming co-creation. And we must do so now.

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To Choose Life

by Molly Brown and Joanna Macyheaven_and_earth.jpg


I call heaven and earth to record this day to your account
that I have set before you life and death,
blessing and cursing:
therefore choose life,
that both you and your seed
shall live.

Deuteronomy 30.19


As we confront the unprecedented crises in today’s world, it’s easy to feel powerless and overwhelmed. “We’re doing all we can!" Our hearts break with each new horror as we read the details of just how bad things are: climate disasters, new depths of poverty, financial conspiracies, police killings, mass incarceration, school massacres…. Why should we know all this when we can’t do anything about it? We try to avoid panic on the one side or paralysis on the other. How can we face the mess we’re in without going crazy?

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Our Grandchildren's Future

by Paul Severance

 It’s 3:23 in the morning, and I'm awake
because my great, great, grandchildren won't let me sleep.
My great, great, grandchildren ask me in dreams:
What did you do, while the planet was plundered?
What did yo
u do, when the earth was unraveling?
Surely you did something when the seasons started failing -
as the mammals, reptiles, and birds were all dying?
Did you fill the streets with protest when democracy was stolen?
What did you do

Drew Dellinger, Hieroglyphic Stairway


When I first heard this poem, it triggered a deeply disturbing vision of my great, great grandchildren facing a steadily-dying future world—because we had largely ignored the threat of global warming. They might be researching to find out what I, their great, great grandfather did, or did not do, once I knew.

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To See or Not to See, That is the Question

by Will Wilkinson

Window.jpg“The environmental crisis may be the result of a recent and collective 
perceptual disorder in our species, a unique form of myopia 
which it now forces us to correct.”
David Abram

Sometimes a ¼ inch is enough to separate two worlds.

I recently attended a weekend for men on Climate Change. I’d been attracted by the topic, the fact that it was guys in nature discussing a serious issue, and the keynote speaker, a Marine Biologist who promised to provide the scientific, non-political-bs truth about just how threatened humanity is in the 21st Century (I have friends who believe in what’s called Near Term Human Extinction… are they crazy or realistic, I’ve wondered? Here was my chance to find out).

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Dancing Between Worlds

by Kathleen Schomaker

Arch.jpgI am an ecologist, so I believe everything truly is related to everything else. The mystery and joy is to puzzle through how things are connected—by logic, intuition or synchronicity—and then how to walk and dance with what arises. Recently two readings came to my attention synchronously: 

Fate and Destiny: The Two Agreements of the Soul by Michael Meade, an engaging, well-storied Jungian discourse on the human journey, a luxurious and edifying read for contemplating human life; and Gauging Aging: Mapping the Gaps Between Expert and Public Understanding of Aging in America, from FrameWorks Institute, a timely piece of social research on ageism in contemporary America.   

Puzzling through personal connections, I see my destiny in pursuing a career in environmental advocacy nose-to-nose with my personal experience of aging and ageism in working with Gray Is Green. 

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