I left Gold Beach last Thursday, February 28th, and traveled with my wife Alia down to Elk Grove, California (just south of Sacramento). Her 30 year old son Bryan has just returned from his tour of duty with the Army to Okinawa, Japan and we went to his Homecoming Party at his Dad’s place where he is staying at the moment. We returned Monday evening and I am now looking at the impressions the trip left me with.
We rarely leave our little town of Gold Beach (2300 inhabitants) here on the Southern Oregon Coast and when we do it is just a short trip to the next larger town of Brookings (6500 inhabitants) for some basic shopping. So this was a foray out into the ‘real world’, with Walmarts, Targets, huge Walgreens, Ray’s, Starbucks everywhere as well as the usual Denny’s etc, etc. which include tremendous parking lots, divided roads and all the rules you have to play by in order to function there – all of which doesn’t exist in Gold Beach.
What always gives me a reality check on such trips is the degree of presence the people are able to retain in the midst of such an unnatural environment. Everyone is doing their best to stay in the quality of consciousness that is known as “human” and it is apparent how much of a struggle it is. I am acutely aware of the effort it would demand of me were I to live there for an extended period. I have lived in major cities most of my life, including Milano, Berlin, Duesseldorf, Cologne, Miami and others and it was by conscious choice that Alia and I decided to move here to this rather isolated area of the USA.
Upon our return yesterday evening we watched a 17 minute TEDx talk by Tim Mccartney with the title “We Need Dreamers, Poets and Doers” that was very synchronistic to my own reflections on our trip. Here is the description:
“Recounting the lessons learned from his time with the ‘metis’ Native Americans, Eco-warrior Tim McCartney tells the dramatic story of his visit to the “Land of the Living Dead” after a seven day initiation ritual. He urges the audience to reconnect with life and the Earth, to speak out for what they love, and to be the “warrior of the open heart”. In order to do so Mac says, we need to hear the voices of trees and remember the messages of our ancestors. They alone can teach us community and connectedness, to be lovers of the Earth where we truly belong.
Tim ‘Mac’ Macartney is the founder of Embercombe, a social enterprise that seeks to “inspire committed action for a truly sustainable world”. He leads Embercombe’s work with business organisations, and contributes to a number of business external advisory panels. All of Mac’s work is focused at exploring relationship, belonging, and responsibility.
For twenty years he was mentored by a group of ‘metis’ Native Americans. This prolonged and challenging training has profoundly influenced Mac’s worldview and continues to inform all aspects of his work with organisations, children, families, and youth.
Personal website — extracts from talks: www.timmacmacartney.co.uk
Embercombe website www.embercombe.co.uk “
Enjoy a very contemplative 17 minutes with Tim Mccartney: