Genesis of a vision
The vision of hope and wholeness that is The Village of Ordinary arose in 2005 from a heartsickness I experienced daily with the world as it was then–a world at war. Today, updating this page in April 2018, I feel an even heavier heartsickness, as our country endures a presidency by a man who campaigned on hate, bigotry, violence and a turning back of the clock on all social advances we as a country have made in the last two hundred years. Every one of my worst fears in that candidacy are borne. Now, aided and abetted by a Congress that seems bent on destroying our very Constitution and any semblance of democracy, that president daily spouts ever more childish, hateful rhetoric. He calls for the elimination of our free press; vaunts fascist, murderous authoritarians in other countries; daily tells outrageous, often contradictory lies; and runs a revolving door of aides and cabinet members, each of whom seems more bent on destroying the agencies they are Constitutionally sworn to administer under the laws of our nation.
That is now.
The beginning of the Village of Ordinary was then, 2005. So let’s go back to that moment, briefly, that moment when war and the ever advancing threat of climate change was uppermost on so many of our minds.
It all began on June 14. Overwhelmed with sadness and fear for the future my grandchildren–and all the world’s grandchildren–would inherit, I sought a vision of a better world, a world of plenty where human beings treat each other with kindness, where children everywhere feel safe and loved, where the air and water are clean, food is safe, locally grown, delicious and whole, and no human being works in servitude to another.
The Ordinary world would be one in which the work and play of each woman, man and child serves that individual, her family, her community and the land that nourishes them all.
Rising Phoenix-like from my despair-filled heart, the story began with Wake, the first journal entry of Rose, the story teller. From there it took flight to show me, and all of us, what we might become, should we set our minds–and our hearts–to the task.
That was then.
That was then, this is is now
With the rise of authoritarian fascists in our own country, men and some women in Congress and the White House who call for the overthrow of our Constitution, who decry the human rights victories we have worked so hard to achieve, knowing the task barely begun, I struggle each day with despair. Each year our country pours more and more weapons into the world, actively encouraging wars and uprisings on every continent, including our own. These wars serve one purpose: To enrich the already fabulously wealthy oligarchs whose loyalties seem to know no boundaries to country or to humankind. But that’s not all. Each day, the current president and his cronies lob one grenade after another, blowing up our advances, however inadequate, toward environmental health; blowing up nearly every postive step we’ve taken, again however inadequate, toward civil rights for people of color; blowing up the right of women to choose how, when and where our bodies are used and by whom, as well as our rights to education, careers and equal pay; blowing up our national monuments and sacred lands; blowing up any hope of a safe food and water supply anywhere on the planet; blowing up the concept of freedom to worship the god of our choice or no god, freedom to love whom we love, freedom to speak truth, freedom to investigate and publish the truth.
How dare I, in this morass, dream of a world where people live in harmony with each other and with respect for the Earth that gives us food, water, fresh air and life? How dare I?
Yet I do.
If we dream it, we can build it
Gradually, taking baby steps, I return to this story, to the Village of Ordinary. For if we are to live in a good world, such a world as that in which Rose and her family and friends live, we must first visualize it. We cannot build what we have not dreamed.
I ask you to help me visualize this world. Help me to grow the vision. Share your thoughts. Engage in discussions about what such a world would be like and how we might get there from here.
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