I don’t think we need hope. I think we need imagination. We need to imagine a future which can’t be planned for and can’t be controlled. I find that people who talk about hope are often really talking about control. They hope desperately that they can keep control of the way things are panning out. Keep the lights on, keep the emails flowing, keep the nice bits of civilisation and lose the nasty ones; keep control of their narrative, the world they understand. Giving up hope, to me, means giving up the illusion of control and accepting that the future is going to be improvised, messy, difficult. ——Paul Kingsnorth
I was astounded to read the perspective of Paul Kingsnorth in his most recent interview with Wen Stephenson. He is an English writer, founder of The Dark Mountain Project and once an “erstwhile green activist”. He is is basically giving up on “saving the planet”.
“He’s looked into the abyss of planetary collapse, and he’s more or less fine with it: Collapse? Sure. Bring it on.” (Stephenson)
I have never heard of this more fatalistic and intriguing approach but I have been very open to facing the chaos and destruction of our current way of living. I did not say the destruction of our planet because I do believe that Nature will prevail as it always does. It is we as a species surviving that is in question.
I am fine with our way of life as we know it today not surviving. I see adults and children all around me disconnected from nature, from each other and from themselves….
I don’t participate in arguments about whether climate change exists. There is too much evidence supporting that fact and willful blindness is a curious phenomenon. I, as one human, can make choices to support a new way of life, but it feels futile sometimes. Even 400,000 people gathered in the streets of NY last weekend did not get the attention of one single major American network.
People thought I was crazy to pay so much for organic back in the day. I have been out in the streets vehemently protesting Monsanto. Family members think it would be so much easier if we had two cars. I am going to put up solar panels on my roof. My yard is a food forest and doesn’t look pristine like everyone else’s. I have divested in big oil.
Am I doing it to relieve my conscience? Am I identified with doing the right thing? In my heart, I believe as one person it is my responsibility to contribute to the whole by living consciously. I will never give up in my efforts and I am going to be ready for the change.
There are systems in place to keep us consuming and destroying. No one would disagree with me on that. The interesting point in this article; the crux of Kingsnorth’s idea lies in the quote above.
Giving up control and accepting that things will be messy reminds me of what I do on the daily. However, I refuse to accept that it will be difficult. It will be an adventure. It will mean going with the flow. It is what I have learned in greeting the day and improvising with love in my heart, trusting that all will be as it should be.
That doesn’t mean that I won’t make an effort to live in a way that is sustainable. I am in agreement with him in regards to his comments about what we all think sustainable means. Nature will force us to change.
“The end of the world as we know it is not the end of the world full stop.” (Kingsnorth)
I would be fine with darning my socks and picking my carrots.
To read Kingsnorth’s article, click here.
With Much Love,