Wednesday, February 8, 2017

I keep putting forth that I want you all to think of yourselves as leaders and to take heart and courage to volunteer to lead wherever you can.  Not the rump kind of leadership - we have had too much of that in our history, leadership as a grab of power.  We need true leaders, leadership as service to people, which has to include listening to people, being open to new ideas, keeping a dialogue, working together with other people towards common interests.  Now I put out a need - I sent to a number of leaders in Europe my need for them to work together and plan the tour this yer for Ellika and me.  And I got a response I did not expect.  Our assistant for the past several years, Simon, emailed me back he is willing to take on the leadership responsibility of planning the tour.  Since he will again be driving us, he says, it makes sense for him to be the one to coordinate and plan it.  In the years since he volunteered to assist us he has taken on much more than just driving and doing our heavy lifting. He enters in to every circle, leads clans, counsels, plays with the children, and sees that everything goes well.  At the end of the tour he contrives to make circles wherever he is, he reads and translates some of our written material and keeps on learning more about what The Circle Way is and how to make it function best.

So folks - here now is a fine example of what we need from each other.  We all have a goal to make the world better.  But we cannot do very much alone.  We need each other.  We need people who are aware enough to see what is needed, brave enough to step up and volunteer to make it happen and make it work well, and open minds and imaginations that can innovate and encourage and inspire others.  I am grateful to the many of you that are doing just that.  For others who have not found places to volunteer and lead, please ask yourself what is in your way.  Is it a lack of confidence in yourself?  Have a session with a supportive listener and explore this question, sort out your confusion,  give yourself a pep talk and go into action.

Thursday, February 2, 2017

There's a break now and then in this blog, as I am busy with so many projects.  On my main one, the next book, I have completed a prologue and the first chapter, and made an outline of the remaining chapters.  I have also completed the organizing of a new book of my poetry to be called Come Home and it is in the process leading to publication now.  I have re-organized my work day to include some time on other projects - my novel and an autobiography, for the more distant future.  Here is the intro to the poetry book:

                                                INTRODUCTION           

My first book of verse, Grandfather Speaks, gathered poem I had written out of my experience as a Wampanoag relating to my own and other native cultures of North America.  My second, Birch Cottage and 36 Views of Mt Monadnock, issued out of the experience of living many decades in the woods of southern New Hampshire.  Now for this book I have gathered other poem still unpublished and have found they could comfortably fit into eight sections.  Eight departments of my mind.


It seems to me that people write poetry much as birds sing.  They sing to themselves, they sing to the world around them, they sting to stake their territory there, they sing to let others know they are there – and so do I.  It may have no purpose, but it is in our nature so sing we must whether or not anyone hears or cares.  The song may be sweet, gritty or harsh still in their way beautiful.  Whoever you may be I am grateful you are here and listening, and I invite you to delve further in my other writings on my website www.circleway.org.

Saturday, January 28, 2017

HELP ME - I AM NEW AT THIS!
I have posted several blogs now and there have as yet been no comments from anyone - perhaps no one is reading them.  If you are reading this please take a moment to comment and tell me.  The nice thing is that this stays on our site so you can look back and catch up on older blogs.  Now that I know how to do this I hope we can expand the readership and exchange.

I am thinking a virtual community of folks sharing their thoughts and feelings here.  I have a lot to share and I'm working on 3 books at once hoping to get  some of that in print while I am still functioning and at my age (87) I don't know how long that will be.  I have in mind now a wonderful story to tell about the hill I live on in NH, but I will wait until I know there are folks listening to this.....

Friday, January 27, 2017

ALL IS NOT WELL - BUT
The daily news with the activities of the new president of the US discourages the faint hopes that we may conjure.  Whatever he may say, his actions are in support only of the top income people - the owners and managers who are already rich and seek only to get richer.  This began with Reagan and his 'trickle down' theory - only nothing trickled down.  the rising number of the poor do not benefit, nor do the workers or the middle class.  The 'but' is that it will not help for us to become despondent because of this president.  It is only optimism, not pessimism, that can keep us clear thinking and creative, maintain our health and stamina and the persistence and resilience we need.

 NO matter how hopeless it seems we must not get hopeless.  Seek out and hold up the positive.  What is positive about the Trump ascendence?  It has made the differences very clear that were not so before.  He wants to spend a lot of money while his party wants to reduce spending.  His foreign policy seems to be to bully the rest of the world.  He wants to build walls and a police state that will enhance his power.  The women's gatherings last week show that the country and the world have been stirred to oppose him - perhaps the world needed Trump to get clear together.

So work on your optimism, stay positive, get together, listen supportively and think together.

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

WE SURVIVED - BUT NOT FOR LONG
I am an optimist, and I cling to the hope that we will get off the deadly course the world is on, that humankind will save itself and the planet with all its life intact from the depredations in has inflicted and continues still to inflict.  And you and I and our families have survived 2016, but the greatest threat to our personal existence hangs still above all our heads.  In 2014 Thom Hartmann, a writer and thinker I heartily endorse in all his observations, published a book called The Crash of 2016 - The Plot to Destroy America - and What We CanDo to Stop It.  Even though the crash to destroy us did not occur in that year, the situation has not changed and it remains immanent.  It can happen at any time.  We want to turn from that idea, cling to our status quo.  Please don't.  It is still true that:

"The United States is more vulnerable today than ever before-including during the Great Depression and the Civil War-because the pillars of democracy that once supported a booming middle class have been corrupted, and without them, America teeters on the verge of the next Great Crash."

It will start small as all great crashes do..  You will be told by your ATM that you are not able to withdraw the money you want.  You go to your bank and it is closed.  Your credit crd is denied when you go to the supermarket for food.  With unbelievable speed the whole economy shuts down.  Unless you live on your own land free and clear and have the capability of growing all the food your family needs you must take down your shotgun and enter a woods filled with hunters desperate to bring down anything that moves.

Those of you who know me realize I am not given to hyperbole or wild exaggerations, that I want to issue hope and a vision of a more beautiful world.  But I am constrained by my caring for you, by what I have read in Hartmann's book and in works from the other side of the political sphere by Bill Bonner of the Agora information service, to be honest with you and urge you to check out  these writers for yourself.  Think about what you learn from them, talk about it with your friends, your circle, and get back to me with what you think.  If you can talk yourself out of the disaster they predict, talk me out of it too.  In any case let us work together to make a more rational, human and hopeful world  and a Beloved Community.

Sunday, January 22, 2017

My next book

Here is the beginning of the new book I am working on now:                           

A PERMACULTURE OF THE HEART
                                    Cultivating, Nurturing, growing our Best Selves,
        Our Societies, Cultures, and the World

PROLOGUE

Listen, there is hope for us, for the human race and for our beautiful living Earth.  That is what this book is about.  But I want to remind us here of the heavy assault of negatives we commonly encounter everywhere everyday, that we must be cognizant of and name in order to convert them and realize what Charles Eisenstein calls in his  eponymous book “The More Beautiful World our Hearts Know Is Possible.”
Every time we turn on the news of the day we are confronted by sheer horrors, human beings murdering, maiming and torturing each other – in the Middle East, in Africa, in Asia, in our own country, our own city, town or countryside.  What is wrong with human beings?  Are we fundamentally flawed?  Are the perpetrators a different breed from ourselves?
As of the moment I write these words I have lived over eighty seven years in this same world, studying our humankind, anthropology, our histories, philosophies, religions, politics, economics, our cultures, folklore, literature, music, fine arts, and for the past forty year I have been a counselor, trying to understand and help people understand and deal constructively with their personal problems.   I have also been a teacher at various time of children of all ages from elementary school through college and beyond, and I have been a child care provider far children from birth to school age.
I have found that, with all our differences we human beings all share certain fundamental qualities that are apparent from birth or from very early in the first years of life.  I realize some babies who have experienced trauma in uteri or in the birth process carry special challenges, but that does not negate the truth I propose here that all human beings are, from conception, basically good.  The difficulties, the challenges we carry, all arose from events that occurred after conception, and for most people after birth.
Here is who we are, fundamentally, based on my observation.  We are curious, we want to know the world around us, and we set out to discover it as soon as we are able.  E are joyful, full of fun and love to play and to laugh.  We are aware of sensations and feelings and seek to express them immediately.  Unless we have been restricted and limited by fear, we let the world know just what we are feeling.  We are also caring.  This feeling develops gradually, first as we become aware of our mothers and of our reliance on them, for food, touch, warmth, and attention.  A child raised with no mother or mother substitute, institutionally, will not be robust, will languish in health and growth, and if they survive it will take time and special attention and caring for them to form the attachments that all human beings need, to learn to love themselves through the love of another.

Human beings need closeness with other human beings.  We need each other.  Our essential being fives and takes from others we are close to, and through them we change and heal each other.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

The Beloved Community

MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR & THE BELOVED COMMUNTY

Today to celebrate Martin Luther King, Jr. on his holiday, I reflect on his legacy to the world.  We focus, as we should, on his leadership in the struggle for equality for all human beings.  We also recall the controversy he raised when, in his commitment to non-violence, he urged a cessation and peaceful settlement of the war in Vietnam. 
Today I would like to uncover a glowing vision that burned in him behind his struggles.  The terms civil rights, non-violence, tolerance, and even equality are all very limited.  His vision was broader and deeper, and we glimpse it only briefly when he refers to what he calls “the beloved community.”

The beloved community, as a vision, has its roots in the palpable love found in small church communities – especially in African-American ones.  The rapture of divine universal love exploding in song and sermon there is an expression of the day by day connections, the compassion and helpfulness of ordinary poor people who share to survive.  It is not perfect of course.  We are still limited and confused by the rampant oppressions of our cultures.

But we can catch a glimpse, feel it quicken our hearts in moments of gratitude, compassion, and forgiveness among us.  We may understand that well enough to ask, as King asked, as John Lewis asked and still asks, “what would it be like for us to live in the beloved community?”

Please ponder that question today and often in all your hearts and share in your circles.


What would it be like to live in a beloved community?”