Over the past five months, I’ve been immersed in climate science and conversations about our future that have sent me into various states of panic, overwhelm and despair. One minute I’m hit with a terrifying vision of what life could look like for my young nieces and nephew, the next I’m reaching for the phone mindlessly opening apps and scrolling. It’s like I’ve been existing in extremes: adrenaline-fuelled one moment, withdrawn the next.
At Dumbo Feather, we felt compelled to speak to this moment and what we were understanding about the climate tragedy. There’s too much at stake to ignore or make small of what researchers and wisdom keepers are telling us. What became apparent as we were working through the content is that we can be, and need to be, part of a restorative narrative in this moment. Amidst talk of impending economic collapse, water and food shortages and mass species extinction, people were shining a light on the fact that we are still creative beings in an emerging future, and that this time can be an opportunity for us—yes, to make some pretty dramatic changes, but make changes that could actually enrich our experience of being human.
A major catalyst for this issue, particularly the essays in our upfront section, has been Jem Bendell’s “Deep Adaptation” paper, which provides a scientific case for the near-term collapse of our current paradigms. It’s hugely challenging, but as many people in this issue point to, it’s also an invitation—to think differently, to live differently, to create new systems and come together in new ways. It’s an invitation to let go of behaviours that have kept our lives convenient and small.
This framing has been a powerful shift for me personally. Rather than tuning out of conversations about our changing planet, I’m thinking about what I might have to offer at this time, how I can deepen my connections with those around me and give back to the earth. There’s less responding from fear (and feeling like I need to prepare for the apocalypse), and more responding from spaciousness and a sense of what’s possible. I’m also realising how powerful it can be to take pleasure in what’s essential.
Our hope is that you feel accompanied as you process these ideas and navigate the realities of what we’re facing in this moment. Now, more than ever, we need to be walking together, imagining new possibilities with one another, resourcing from wholeness and love. If you want to chat, please reach out > firstname.lastname@example.org
Take good care.