Monday, May 21, 2012

Why Turn Toward a Breaking World?

"Why should we turn toward a breaking world or spend time with wounded and damaged places?" asks Dianne Monroe in her article, "Learning to Love a Wounded World," currently featured on the website Speaking Truth to Power. "Why open ourselves to pain, sorrow, despair and plethora of other difficult feelings? Isn’t it better – or at least more pleasant – to look at the good side of things?"

She tackles this question by interviewing me about Radical Joy for Hard Times and Jade Scherer and Annie Bloom, who created a program called "Turning Toward a Breaking World." Both have as their missions an honest and heartfelt admission of grief about the ailing and death of the natural world and the resulting font of compassion and action that results when we stop hiding from what we know all too well is lingering within. Monroe discusses the "relentlessly positive" attitude that people in our society believe they must foster and names some of the reasons that we as a culture are so loath even to acknowledge that all is not well with Planet Earth. She also describes the two Global Earth Exchanges she led at the headwaters of the San Antonio River in 2010 and 2011, the first of which took place as the southern states all along the Gulf were being slicked with oil from the BP well, which at the time had not been capped.

Exploring ways to confront what is wrong without being overwhelmed by it, Monroe concludes: "This is the first gift of our pain – of our willingness to turn toward a breaking world, learning to love and offer beauty to a wounded place – to show us our interconnectedness with the Earth."

Photo above: Cyntha Ben d'Aigle offering flowers to Lake Pontchartrain, Louisiana, after the BP oil spill