The Week After Labor Day
The expansive time and space of the long Labor Day weekend has faded, almost as if it never happened. Where does the past actually go other than taking up some space somewhere in my mind? I’m 36,000 feet up in the sky generating CO2 emissions that I’ll have to offset. The expansiveness has now moved from my mind to the picture outside my window. The sun just dipped down below the horizon. We aren’t heading West fast enough to keep it in sight as I fly in the late afternoon from Washington DC to Seattle, where I will head out to Cortes Island, off the Vancouver coast, to give a talk at the Hollyhock Institute.
In a few short days I have marched 10 miles in a Global Warming action, met with the head of labor’s largest union, spent 2 ½ days in a Greenpeace Board meeting, and tried to exercise and meditate enough to keep my head in a place that allows me to keep contributing to the creation of a future that my three children will want to live in.
Beth Orton sings as the clouds go by, and I try and empty the e-mails out of my inbox. It’s hard to always be the Inspired Protagonist. Sometimes you just want to sit back and watch the world unfolding in front of your eyes.
Saturday, September 9, 2006,
the Hollyhock Institute, Cortes Island, British Columbia
Set back from the ocean, above the high tide water mark is a huge jumble of driftwood. Logs four to five feet thick surrounded by thousands of smaller pieces softened by years of tumbling over the stones that lie underneath. Closer to the water’s edge is a bounty of jagged oysters larger than my hands. And in the last remnants of the high tide are gigantic deep purple starfish. I am drawn to the salt water the way a flower seeks and then bends to the sun. It feels as if it were at the center of my being and essential for my very survival. I would travel for more than a day just to feel the remains of sand in between my toes and salt from the sea in my hair.
Set tightly between Vancouver Island and the coast of British Columbia in the Strait of Georgia, some 900 people live on this island. I came by seaplane from Seattle. Two hours of travel over the hundreds of islands that run from the Puget Sound north by way of the San Juan Islands. This is land that still feels wild, where humanity’s touch still remains subservient to nature. It leaves me still and quiet. I feel in it’s presence.
I came here to speak about “True Confessions” to those assembled at this Social Venture Institute. What secrets do I have left to share? What secrets have yet to be revealed? I am uncertain, but certain enough. But perhaps a confession is not a secret. Or at least a particular kind of secret revealed. I speak to offer something of myself to others. I’ll let you know how it goes!