The floors creaked as we moved our weight over them. The room we were in was mostly oak, the dark oak that intones time, generational time that does not simply abide in space but imbues itself over and over again in partnership with those that fully inhabit the grounds. The grounds were sloped down towards the river. The pine and spruce surrounded us, drew the boundaries of our collective concern yet who could count the quality of care that grew outward connecting ourselves to the world. Like fireworks that “shhhsshhss” channels of connection opened outward to the world. Entering the room we could feel our temperatures affecting the air. There was no rush, we knew this would be significant and that it would take time.
She spoke from the far side of the room, framed symmetrically by the wall and the windows. Her palms were pressed together, fingers hovered just slightly in front of her lips as she searched inside for the truest way to speak from herself to us. The ecology of thought was sensitive to authenticity and we felt the weight of that consciousness pressing like gravity on our shoulders. In equal measure the ground pressed up supporting us and the eyes of a community held with gentle hands, the effort of meaning making from the collection of past and self.
Where do we find this? Where can we see collective meaning making in a school day separated into 6 equal pieces? Why is this a threat? Where do I look in my everyday life for the activity of life, of making meaning from each other and our experiences? The oak room and it’s gravity is almost a dream and we float around daily, reaching and straining against our connective tissue for the ground. I look around for proof that it was not a dream but I do not see the circles of people who are committed to making meaning in their lives. When I ask “why” in my everyday community I arrive at a game. Who can play the game of floating meaning best? A game that produces billions of losers. A competitive, divisive game of scarcity.
So, my act of participatory democracy is as simple and as radical as it gets. I’m anxious it will degenerate into meaninglessness but I have to risk the attempt. I will take a step toward the reality in the dream and invite study circles in my own community. Anyone have any advice about how to best go about this?