Welcome to the September 2022 issue of Deep Times: A Journal of the Work That Reconnects. For this issue, we called for submissions:
…from all over the world, particularly outside the US, to show how the Work That Reconnects or other related or more ancient deep ecology ritual and practices are helping people grapple with the many crises before us all, how to stay connected or reconnect with earth and each other, and how to prepare or refresh ourselves for our role in the healing of the world.
Deep Times’s editors, mostly but not all based in the US, and all currently living in colonial and/or colonized places, recognize that while the specific Work That Reconnects methodology was primarily synthesized by white Americans, it has worldwide roots and reach, from the Council of All Beings in Australia and the Elm Dance in Ukraine and the coining of the term “deep ecology” in Norway. And deeper than that it is informed by and indebted to indigenous wisdom, in particular Haudenosaunee teachers and Tibetan Buddhists.
Beyond that, shamanic practices, earth-based and non-dual religions and practices throughout the world have much longer histories and track records bringing people back to life, or reminding people to remain in the flow of systems and relationship. Deep Times is especially interested in learning and sharing such wisdom and practices, from the voices of those living those traditions.
We received an amazing response in a wide variety of submissions; all have a common eco-philosophical perspective and commitment to the Great Turning–whether the Work is called Active Hope, Deep Ecology, or the Work That Reconnects. We always welcome international authors, poets, and artists, and we hope this issue will entice more submissions from many lands and cultures.
Many of the articles and poems appear in the native tongue of the author along with an English translation–a feature we hope to continue in future issues. The languages are noted in the title descriptions. In most cases, the audio recordings are in both languages, too.
We noticed a theme in some of the pieces in this issue: the challenge in many political situations of speaking our truth–about our pain for the world, our critique of prevalent power-over structures (economic, political, cultural), or our plans for going forth. Case in point: the poet of “Some Remember” remains anonymous for their protection from authorities in Hong Kong. Those of us working in countries with more freedom of communication and assembly are called to appreciate what a privilege it is to do the Work without fear of military or political reprisal, and to increase our sensitivity to participants with such backgrounds or foregrounds.
Some of the potential authors we approached were unable to contribute because their time and energy has been absorbed in grappling with immediate crises like the Russian invasion of Ukraine and the imperiled nuclear power plants there, or endangered democracies or corporate despoilment of ecosystems around the world. We hold them and their work in our hearts and hope to include their stories in future issues.
Following the Spiral of the Work That Reconnects, we begin with Gratitude, with poems by Margaret Huff (Canada) and Colin Cafferty (Germany). Talissa Monteiro (Brazil) and Catharina Any Sulistyowati (Indonesia) relate how the Work supports healing and transformation at their centers.
Powerful poems by Shayontoni Rhea Ghosh (India) and Abigail Brandt (USA) join the anonymous poem Some Remember (Hong Kong) in Honoring Our Pain for the World. Maki Tajima (Japan) tells about her journeys to Fukushima, Florence-Marie Jégoux (France) shares a song she uses to honor pain for the world, and Bridget Woods (South Africa) describes her work with grief and kinship.
Poets and authors help us See with New/Ancient Eyes, beginning with a poem by Leo Lazarus (Australia), and an account by Tracy L. Barnett (Mexico) and Hernan Vilchez (Argentina) of their transmedia series. Chris Omni (USA) encourages gardening and celebrates Black Joy, Leina Sato (Japan, Hawaii) shares a ceremony commemorating dolphins in Taiji, Japan, and Phil Gardener (UK) tends an Earth Shrine in his garden. Daniela Tablado’s (Spain) poem of interbeing completes this section.
We received so many inspiring submissions for Going Forth! A prose poem by Marjorie Lumet (Netherlands) opens this section, followed by a collection of responses from people attending Manon Danker’s (Netherlands) workshops. Hila Lernau and Ellen Serfaty (Israel) tell about the impact of the Work That Reconnects in their country, and two articles by Gisela Wiehe and Von Bernd Bender (both: Germany) share the effects of creating a hedge for birds at a zendo.
An interview with Abigail Sykes (Aotearoa-NZ/Sweden) and a scholarly article by Dr. Paul( Pulé (Australia) document their work to transform patriarchal social constructs to “ecological masculinities.” Felipe Landaeta Farizo (Chile) reports on research into the impact of the Work That Reconnects at an intensive led by Adrian Villaseñor-Galarza, and Zsanna Sebesteny (France) describes her Going Forth/Holding Action film project.
Our Evolving Edge section features Adrián Villaseñor-Galarza’s (Mexico) examination of oppressive dynamics between the “North” and “South” of the Americas, and Silvia Di Blasio’s (Argentina/Venezuela/Canada) observations of why some practices of the Work That Reconnects can adversely impact BIPOC folks. Finally, Tina Lygdopoulou (Greece) reports on offering the Work That Reconnects to staff in a refugee camp.
In Resources you’ll find reviews of two books, one by Looby Macnamara (England) and the other by Gay’Wu Group of Women, reviewed by Mariana (Ria) Jago (Australia), as well as an announcement of the new edition of Active Hope by Joanna Macy & Chris Johnstone (US and UK).
Last but not least, you’ll find a description of some very exciting developments and projects in the Work That Reconnects Network.
We hope you find inspiration and food for heart and mind in this issue.
~~Molly Brown, Editor, and Karina Lutz, Interim Editor (while Molly was on sabbatical)