Sarah Ruth van Gelder, YES! magazine
Thursday, 13 May 1999
I flew out of Seattle this morning for two weeks in the Bay area. I’ve been blessed with the opportunity to spend two weeks at a writers’ retreat center north of San Francisco. It has been difficult to comprehend this gift I’ve been given. For two weeks, I’ll have nothing I need to do except write. I’ve been editing YES!, and before that In Context, for seven years now, so I’m thinking of this as a mini-sabbatical.
I plan to work to put together the outline of a book I’d like to work on over the next year. I’ll be exploring the possibilities for a new world view, new set of values, new ways of life, new relationships
, and new institutions to emerge as the modern/industrial era reaches the limits of its effectiveness and possibilities.
One of the reasons the modern industrial era is hitting a wall is because of its success. We’ve been able to harness the world’s resources to provide us with unheard-of levels of prosperity. We’ve spread ourselves throughout the globe, developed powerful technologies, and spewed the resulting wastes into air, water, and soil. Now the question is, will we develop the capacity to not only be clever but wise? It seems to me there are indications that we are in fact developing that capacity and that people are experimenting at all levels and around the world with a way of living in harmony with the planet.
Some friends south of San Francisco are launching a monthly series of Thursday evening dinners with speakers, following on a successful series of Friday lunches that Sergio Lub of Walnut Creek has been hosting. Tonight I speak at the first of these about the topics I’ll be writing on at the retreat. It promises to be a time to get some good feedback on some of these approaches. Tomorrow I will speak at a Friday lunch.