Two good friends of mine, Roq Gareau who works for the Canadian Border Services Agency and Orlando Pioche who works for the Indian Health Service in Shiprock, NM. Men doing serious work who work together as deep friends.
From Wendel Berry:
Good work finds the way between pride and despair.
It graces with health.
It heals with grace.
It preserves the given so that it remains a gift.
By it, we lose loneliness:
we clasp the hands of those who go before us,
and the hands of those who come after us;
we enter the little circle of each other’s arms,
and the larger circle of lovers whose hands are joined in a dance,
and the larger circle of all creatures,
passing in and out of life,
who move also in a dance,
to a music so subtle and vast
that no ear hears it except in fragments.
Sent out to all my friends, especially Steven, Kathryn, Tenneson and Beverley, with whom I did some good work this week. And to those good friends I will be working with this coming week in Phoenix at the Good Food Gathering – Toke, Monica, Tim, Phil and Tuesday.
Working with friends is perhaps the wisest thing one can do in pursuing larcge scale change. Only with the ears and hearts of friends tuned to one another’s needs can we hear more of the wholeness of the music that only comes to us in fragments.
I’m in some big work these days, whether it is in the child and family services system here in British Columbia, or hosting a 500 person World Cafe and Open Space at the Good Food Gathering to help the good food movement find it’s way with renewed leadership and vigour. None of this is remotley possible alone. I am working with close friends.
While it may be true that one person can make a difference in the world, I believe that the difference one person makes is choosing to work with others. We have long since exited the age of heros, and I wonder if we were ever in that age.
I once sat with Tenneson Woolf on a beach on my home island and we gazed across the Strait of Georgia. We talked about how huge everything is, how small we are in relation to the vast world. And we asked this question: if we are born of this world, knowing deeply the scale in which we live in relation to everything else, why do we feel like we can make an impact? What put that impulse there? We are the only creatures that entertain the delusion that we can shift things, and yet, we persist. AND, it’s true, to the extent that we can even shift the climate of our home world. There is almost a drive to do it.
There is nothing around you right now that is not the result of a group of people working together. No structure, no machine, no community, no idea exists because one person thought of it. Everything is born in relationship, and to the extent that our relationships are filled with quality, the work we do will be filled with quality. I choose first of all to work with friends, and from there to find the work that we can do together. When we attend to this quality of relationship, everything else becomes possible. Nothing around you has ever emerged otherwise.
So thank you to my friends who make it possible for me to satisfy my personal version of the human drive to make an impact. Together, as we tune to one another and reach into possibility, we can find the holy chords of that fragmented music, and sing.