inside the gates of paradise: on a Kauaian paradigm

rebecca solnit

Since it's a theme wot's been on my mind for a while, let me riff off Rebecca Solnot's marvelous essay  and delightful new book, "Storming the Gates of Paradise", by updating my own sense of where we are inside the gates of our Kauaian paradise.

...and by recapitulating my deepening sense of disaffection for politics, per se.

Solnit is, first of all, writing from a place of personal integration. She's not just of the world, she's in it.

Her impulse to immerse in nature, not as an escape from society, but as a completion of it, parallels my own lifelong wanderings.

Especially in recent decades, as I've immersed myself in island life, time spent (typically alone) out in the `aina (including many months living on the land...in a tent at Kealia...or sleeping on the beach at Kalalau...not to mention hundreds of bike miles) has been a key ingredient in my newfound sense of completion in paradigm reconstruction.

Say wot? That's right: I set out at the ripe old age of 24 to mashup my own paradigm...since the one we were handed was clearly bankrupt...and I've been working on it ever since.

Only recently have I begun to feel that my world pretty much all adds up now.

Of course, this is prolly the point at which the real learning begins. Still, it's exhilirating and worth celebrating, methinks.

So, when I find another author doing the same thang, I weep for joy.

Maika`i no (outstanding), Rebecca!

Like hers, my book is an exhortation to community activists. My 2002 'what-it-is-is-up-to-us' anthem (borrowed from Howard Rheingold) featured 'lessons learned' in our community work and 'baby steps' required to move our work forward.

Of course, I went further to declare, in the "Taroist Imperative" essay that closes my book, that this community work is all we've got. The economic deck is stacked against us, and our government is inoperative; so our community groups gotta pull this puppy forward.

OK, so mebbe I waxed Pollyannish on the potential sustainability transformation we could pull off...without new laws or profits. Mebbe I'm wrong that this nascent social capital is our secret weapon in such a transformation, and that without it we would be unable to do what we now must do to prepare our island communities for the world a-comin'.

Never mind that; yet, it could still happen. Write on!

Film @ 11...

Published by Ken on December 29th, 2007 tagged Community Initiatives, Systems Thinking

Comments are closed.