Over the lagoon
I’m sitting looking out over the Fijian coral lagoon feeling a depth of responsibility for Australia. We so often seem to be the ‘last to the party’ people on climate politics. It is hard to reconcile especially here as I’m surrounded by crazy beauty, hurricane damage, climate coral bleaching/death and vibrant life.
Despondent? Maybe. And as my good friends Jenni, Alain, John and Terry highlight while embracing a sense of despair we’re called to a paradox of hope too:
Hope can co-exist with other feelings. Grief and hope can co-exist. Fear and hope can co-exist. Disappointment and hope can co-exist. Sadness and hope can co-exist. As Yehuda Amichai writes: “A man doesn’t have time in his life to have time for everything. He doesn’t have seasons enough to have a season for every purpose. Ecclesiastes was wrong about that. A man needs to love and to hate at the same moment, to laugh and cry with the same eyes, with the same hands to throw stones and to gather them, to make love in war and war in love.”
We reach to this from many places. One that has been challenging for me, and most likely always will be, is climate change civilisation collapse. Jem Bendell is wonderful on this inviting us to consider collapse as inevitable, catastrophe as probable and extinction as possible. He finds considering such spaces:
has not led to apathy or depression. Instead, in a supportive environment, where we have enjoyed community with each other, celebrating ancestors and enjoying nature before then looking at this information and possible framings for it, something positive happens. I have witnessed a shedding of concern for conforming to the status quo, and a new creativity about what to focus on going forward.
Professor Jem Bendell