UPDATE: THANK YOU TO THE 14 DONORS WHO RAISED $449 TO MAKE THIS TRAVEL POSSIBLE!
I ask for your support in birthing the Earth Grief project this summer. From June 22-25, I will be attending Charles Eisenstein's Space Between Stories retreat at Garrison Institute, where I hope to share my vision for the Earth Grief project with other participants and begin weaving a national tour for the project. Directly after the retreat, I will be traveling to the first touring location of Earth Grief in Media, PA, where I will share the three offerings of the project to seed a conversation about creating "relational ecosystems" for collective grief tending. This support will go towards the funding of my travel expenses for the project.
WHY THIS MATTERS
The Earth Grief project is envisioned as way to seed conversations about collective grief tending within groups working towards cultural and ecological transformation. The project was inspired this year by my participation in two newly forming groups coming out of the Transition Town Movement: the Inner Resilience Network and the Transition US Learning Cohort on disaster resilience. In both groups, I heard seasoned activists and healers speaking of the absence of spaces to tend their "Earth Grief," and how this absence was leading to burnout and, as Aldo Leopold so aptly puts it, the feeling of "living alone in a world of wounds."
Over the past year, I have been apprenticing in the tending of grief through intensive research, participation in Francis Weller's grief ritual workshop, and a training in the facilitation of Grief Composting Circles with Azul-Valérie Thomé. My calling to this work is born out of the intuition that the unmetabolized grief of life in the dominant monoculture, as well as an accumulation of ancestral trauma, is narrowing the capacity of our imaginations to create a transition into a more beautiful world. To expand the capacity of our imaginations, we must journey through the initiatory threshold of grief.
However, I honor the fact that for many people, the idea of experiencing grief is immensely entangled in shame and trauma. The dominant monoculture does not offer us safe spaces to tend our collective grief and so the grief often stays stuck inside our bodies, unwitnessed. As the grief builds up, the thought of releasing it can become so overwhelming that to protect ourselves, it feels safer avoid feeling it. This is a completely appropriate response in a culture without community or ritual support for the tending of grief. Solitary grief is traumatizing, especially when the grief is seen as something shameful that must be hidden from others. There is healing that needs to be done around our fear of expressing the tender vulnerability of our emotions within the container of community.
The need for gentle way to begin the conversation about Earth Grief without triggering people's shame or trauma was the inspiration to create a project that offered multiple approaches to this work. My hope is this gradual journey will ultimately help people resource themselves to feel safe in the embodied expression of their grief and participate in collective practices for tending Earth Grief within their communities.