Turn Around Sam

"Anyone can talk to a tree but not everyone can carry on a conversation because they will not stay still for long enough. Sometimes it takes a whole day for a tree to tell you its name." Tokien

Joanna Macy speaks of the great turning... our turning away from a world no longer working to something more fit, more thriving for all those who are part of Universe, and in particular, Gaia, our Earth planet. In my day to day life, it is difficult to see the changes happening ... the great turning in the becoming. Rather, I keep wondering when it will begin. And then I think of Turn Around Sam one of the many characters in Tom Robbins' Skinny Legs and All. In the book, Turn Around Sam is a living statute that turns around so slowly that no one can see him move, yet move he does turning in a complete circle several times a day... everyday in a New York park.

When I slow myself way down and settle in on what is really happening in our world, I can feel and see our great turning. We are turning away from one way of thinking and acting to something more fit. All over the world I can feel the pulse of change, of slow but deliberate choices being made to become part of a new awakening. It is not just here in Northern California. There are pockets in every region, every city in the world. These pockets are beginning to reach out for each other. We have the tools and we have the open source movement which has an incredible talent for seeing a gap and filling with an immediately useful tool. I was impressed during Katrina with how many "instant" systems came on line to help people locate each other. To help pets and people reunite, to get help where needed. This is where the response was useful, not what most of us were watching on our tvs... where the governments and the bureaucratic organizations floundered on all fronts. The first news I read everyday is from World Changing. This site takes me on a journey everyday around the world connecting me to people and ideas in the formation, spreading their wings, reaching out, telling stories. World Changing stories connect me to more and more amazing sites and makes me know that we are turning... new reasons for hope are there for me everyday.

Todd mentions in his Community Escapes article that design processes are beginning to proliferate and be accepted. Conferences and other great happenings are becoming more engaging, more action oriented. At a grass roots level, we are maturing our ways of disagreeing so that differences don't drive us apart, but keep us finding the elements that hold us together, making us stronger and bolder... able to escape to higher orders.

Joanna Macy is a visionary with an incredible richness to her story; Tom Robbins writes wonderful zany stories that make me laugh and laugh and get blown away by his bits of wisdom; World Changing chronicles the actions changing our hearts and minds and hopes; and, the redwood trees where I live remind each day of the incredible magic and wisdom of all living things... and of savoring the slowness of life. When I take time to enjoy life from many different perspectives I may not be able to see change, but I know it is happening. The Great Turning is well into the becoming.