Friday, December 6, 2013

#340 / Bridge Building

Terry Tempest Williams (pictured) is a conservationist and activist. She is a writer, as well. Recently, a friend sent me a link to an interview with Williams, published in Guernica, an online magazine of art and politics. The interview is titled "Ground Truthing," and it is worth reading. Just click the link.

Williams claims to "see everything in metaphor," a very good way to see the world, in my estimation, and she talks about making many trips from Bucksport to Belfast, Maine across an old and rickety bridge, while being able to see a new bridge, under construction, nearby. The question in her mind, on her repeated trips on that old and dangerous bridge, was whether the new bridge would be completed before the old one collapsed, taking her and her family with it.

A good metaphor, indeed, for our time. But it is we who must build the new bridge. We cannot, actually, afford the luxury to behave as if we can wait for others to do it. 

According to Williams:

I don’t think there is anything as powerful as an active heart. And the activists I know possess this powerful beating heart of change. They do not fear the wisdom of emotion, but embody it. They know how to listen. They are polite when they need to be and unyielding when necessary. They remain open, even as they push boundaries and inhabit the margins, understanding eventually, the margins will move toward the center. They are tenacious, informed, patient, and impatient, at once. They do not shy away from what is difficult. They refuse to accept the unacceptable. The most effective activists I know are in love with the world.

Such activism is what we need; what we must have. We need to look inside ourselves. Are we not called to build the bridge?

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