“And day to day, life’s a hard job, you get tired, you lose the pattern. You need distance, interval. The way to see how beautiful the earth is, is to see it as the moon.” – (The Dispossessed, p. 190) Hello all! I’ve just returned from my six-week trip to Nepal. To be quite honest, I had no idea what we were getting ourselves into, but it turned out to be a fantastic trip, full of opportunities to explore varied landscapes, immerse in local cultures, and be exposed to very different worldviews. Nepal gave me a chance to break away from the routine, to see things from another vantage point, and to build appreciation and understanding not only for others, but for myself. At the expense of sounding clichéd, I suppose that can be attributed to the transformative power of travel: One can’t help but see the world a little differently afterwards, to come away slightly changed. What those changes are and how they will affect me I can’t say. What I do know is …
“Here, I’ll prove to you that there are no tiny moments, no dull moments, no little things, only a general failure on our parts to see the wild and amazing slather of miracles that come unbidden and will for each of us, too soon end..” (The Slather) Published in the September/October 2012 issue of Orion Magazine, Brian Doyle’s incredible short story revolves around the small wonders that occur all around us, if only we can pause long enough to appreciate them.
Many deeply affective and moving narratives have their roots in tragedy; there can be no light without the dark. Stories that revel in beauty without exploring the shadow dimension of grief, death, and despair can occasionally come across feeling artificial, shallow, and incomplete. In contrast, those that accept and embrace tragedy can take on dimensions of substance, becoming deeper, rounder, and whole. They linger in our memories, and stay with us for a long time, profoundly shaping our identity and our understanding of the world. This week’s Reconnect explores three poignant and bittersweet Ekostories.
In a world worn down by cynicism, humour is an excellent non-confrontational tool for overcoming resistance to new ideas. Funny stories can defuse hostile attitudes, loosen entrenched mindsets, and shake up worldviews so that minds become more permeable to change and new ways of thinking. This week’s Reconnect explores Ekostories that utilize humour not just for entertainment purposes, but also as social commentary and criticism that strike at the root of the ecological crisis.
This week’s Reconnect focuses on Ekostories with protagonists who demonstrate courage in non-traditional ways. By expanding their thinking, standing by their principles, and doing things their own way, each of them became emotionally healthier and mentally stronger. By working on becoming internally sustainable and resilient, they became natural leaders and role models who are capable of igniting the fires of change in the world they live in.