Living our Legacy
The Art of Generative Living
Summer 2016 vol 1, issue 2
Welcome to Turning Point! Our name echoes the widespread recognition that our world, and our humanity, has arrived at a pivotal turning point in evolutionary history. At the center of which lies a summoning call to each of us: to nurture a vital presence that continuously regenerates our lives and enlivens the whole of life as well.
We invite you to imagine this journal, essentially, as a forum for inspired conversation around how we might best envision and care for our world—and each article, simply a means to begin a conversation. Conversation that calls us to see beyond our own time yet act on behalf of the love that wants to live through us, now.
May we act in Beauty, act from Inspiration, act Together…
And still, after all this time,
The sun never says to the earth,
“You owe Me.”
Look what happens with
A love like that,
It lights the Whole Sky.
I’m writing now at the close of the day of this summer’s solstice, which happens to feature the simultaneous arrival of our sun’s significant other—a fully radiant and vivacious moon. Both the physical and the metaphysical shine with an unmistakable presence this day and evening. This is the time within our solar year that calls our attention to the Light that fills the sky and feeds our planet’s many bodies and souls. Read More
Legacies of the Heart
by Meg Newhouse
“At least two implications flow from our inevitable mortality.
First, because we will die, we need to pay attention to how we live.
Second, if we care about anyone, we need to think about
leaving something of ourselves behind.”
Susan Bosek, The Legacy Project
In January 2010 I visited the Olduvai Gorge in Tanzania, part of the Great Rift Valley, where the first humanoids emerged almost two million years ago. In the museum there I marveled at footprints of our earliest known homo erectus ancestors, preserved in lava and framed by an artist’s rendition of their little band running to escape the volcano that threatened their lives around 1.2 million years ago.
Most of us live relatively anonymous lives, leaving behind “footprints” that vanish within a few generations at best. I believe that we humans are hard-wired to find and make meaning of our lives, to make a positive difference, and to hope that some evidence that we existed and mattered lives on. Read More
Creating the Legacy of Your Elderhood
by Ron Pevny
“Please don’t let me die before I’ve had the opportunity to fulfill what I feel called to do.” Lying in that hospital bed, assaulted by waves of fear and bouts of irregular heartbeat, this was the prayer that most frequently arose from the depths of my being. Nothing is more likely to provide insight into what we deem most important than facing one’s mortality, and that week in May of 2007 brought me face-to-face with my mortality for the first time.
And what an emotional roller coaster of an initiatory experience it was. I remember that time as a series of poignant snapshots of the vast range of my emotional life: Ron—the runner, the health conscious dieter, the taker of the supplements that support vibrant good health, the teacher of healthy, conscious aging—laid low by terrifying bouts of atrial fibrillation; then the tumor on my lung found while my heart was being x-rayed, followed by the anxiety-filled wait for the results of the biopsy; the unforgettable deep peace and spiritual presence I felt for three weeks after the tumor was found to be non-malignant; unrelenting waves of fear, vulnerability and despair as the heart arrhythmias continued after the tumor, which the doctors thought to be the cause of the fibrillation, was removed. Read More
by Pat Hoertdoerfer
Life hangs on a narrative thread.
This thread is a braid of stories that inform us about
who we are, and where we come from,
and where we might go.
One of the threads of my life came from my Grandma Sophie who lived on a farm in northern Wisconsin. She was the elder in our family tribe and every summer we gathered at her home. She was a down-to-earth, hard-working, always humming, practical idealist. Growing up I loved being there living close to the land and experiencing the abundance of the season – vegetables from the garden, eggs from the hens, fruit from the trees, milk from the cows. But most of all, water from the well. How delicious and precious it was especially at the end of a hot day. We would haul up the bucket and pass the dipper around, each drinking deeply. Then laying back we looked up at the millions of stars. We knew somehow that this earth was home and that we were all connected – stars, water, garden, wind, plants, animals, neighbors and all the love that surrounded us. Read More
A Story Catcher’s Legacy
by Connie Goldman
Thirty-five years ago at the age of fifty, Connie Goldman was called to be a pioneer and explore the positive aspects of aging. She became aware that the United States culture seemed to be obsessed with staying young and denying the aging process. Her explorations led her into conversations with many public figures on a variety of issues related to aging, as well as collecting interviews with hundreds of what she has labeled, “extra-ordinary ordinary older persons.” Her lifelong gift has been the intuitive ability to authentically ask the deeper questions and her compassionate listening brings gems of wisdoms to her listening and reading audience. In this article Connie reflects on the many stories she has collected, shared and published. Her tapestry of tales braids the strands of her legacy wisdom story. Read More
Embodied Spirituality: The Legacy of Being
in conversation with Joseph Jastrab
Anyone who’s ever met Charles Lawrence knows that you don’t just meet him; you enter into an experience of him. I rarely encounter anyone who speaks as if each word were his last. Such was the case in my recent conversation with Charles, which precipitated a sense of immediacy, a call to attention, which remained with me for days following our talk.
His initial callings led him into the fields of psychology, theatre and business until a series of “initiatory strikes” opened a whole new course at age 40; summoning him to world travel to meet with indigenous elders and shamans from Mongolia, Siberia, Australia to the jungles, deserts and mountains of Peru, Australia, Mexico, South Africa and elsewhere. His journey eventually led him to Hotevilla where he was adopted by Hopi elders, and has remained in close contact, for over 30 years.
I caught up with Charles, by phone, at his New York City apartment in between a recent return from Utah, participating in the 26th anniversary of a specialized version of the Shoshone Ghost Dance, and an upcoming journey to Finland to help celebrate the anniversary of a community he helped birth 20 years ago. I suggested we begin our talk with an invocation, having nothing in particular in mind. Charles immediately began singing – a chant inspired by the vision of Lakota medicine man, Black Elk . . . Read More
Turning Toward Seven Generations
“The Peacemaker taught us about the Seven Generations. He said, when you sit in council for the welfare of the people, you must not think of yourself or of your family, not even of your generation. He said, make your decisions on behalf of the seven generations coming, so that they may enjoy what you have today.”
Oren Lyons (Seneca)
Faithkeeper, Onondaga Nation
“If you ask me what is the most important thing that I have learned about being a Haudenosaunee, it’s the idea that we are connected to a community, but a community that transcends time.
“We’re connected to the first Indians who walked on this earth, the very first ones, however long ago that was. But we’re also connected to those Indians who aren’t even born yet, who are going to walk this earth. And our job in the middle is to bridge that gap. You take the inheritance from the past, you add to it, your ideas and your thinking, and you bundle it up and shoot it to the future . . .”
Rick Hill Sr. (Tuscarora)