In the moment I stop to consider it, the moment is already gone, and I have to laugh. George Carlin once noted “There is no present; there is only the immediate future and the recent past.” Trying to define any recent moment has been like trying to hold a handful of rain. I love the rain, but the flash photography of the lightning has only shown that everything is in flux, and the thunder and darkness follow.
For the past three months, just waking up has been like swimming uphill through a river of glue. Really cold glue. More problems than anyone should have to wake up to every day, and a fresh crisis in the mailbox at least twice a week. As much as I love the rain, it makes me want to just forsake all effort, and take a nap. Still, having been to four funerals in four months, I have so much I want to get done before it’s my turn. Just dreaming about it won’t make it happen.
Time moves forward. We have all these calendars and clocks that tell us time is passing. It’s the way the wheel of the year turns that has me feeling almost pleased and rather relieved that the time is going by. The other day I was sitting in the backyard of a friend, in the awesome company of a hundred year old tree, thinking about the future.
Sustainability is one of those words too clinical to really invoke passion, but it is coming to define our vision of the future. How do we sustain our civilization in the face of more problems than anyone should have to wake up to every day?
A group of more than 50 people, most from Culver City, came together on Lincoln Ave. to talk about how to make the future possible. With some gentle facilitation, ideas were brought out touching everything from community gardens to light rail transportation. People were enthused, lists got longer and morphed into other lists. By the time the cold overtook us, phone numbers and emails had been shared, and it seems another group had been formed. I left feeling as if there might really be a future. Enough of us seem to be interested in creating one.
It was a moment, walking away down the street; a clear, definable point in time. Still a lot of solutions to find, but that so many people are willing to take their time to try and meet these challenges was truly heartening.
Some days there are even blue skies, and the birds sing. While the winter continues to pour down rain and blow an unaccustomed cold wind across Culver City, I’m going to let myself imagine spring. With all this rain, this one may be greener than any spring I’ve seen in years.