Late October 2016 - Vital Hempnewsletter
October used to be my favorite month—chiefly because of Halloween, a carnival that, especially during my decade in the Bay Area, created a kind of enchanted sociological snapshot of the zeitgeist.
When Pee Wee Herman got jailed, we saw a lot of Pee Wee’s running around the Castro, some in their own Jailhouse; when President Clinton had his affair with Monica, we saw a lot of Bills and more than a few cigars…. One year, I went as a hanging chad. This year, I imagine we’ll see more Trumps and Hillarys than we want, and every other pop culture figure, as well as the usual sexy witches and gross goblins.
I used to thrive on the chaos of Halloween; but now the chaos of the holiday seems to have infected the whole month, if not the whole year. The topsy-turvy quality of the holiday now feels like the status quo. So the challenge becomes how to deal with the increasing flux in our lives. On the macro level, we may live in denial of climate change—until a superfire darkens the skies and burns our cherished wilderness, a hurricane floods our cities, or a tsunami thousands of miles away contaminates our oceans for who knows how long?
We rationalize these events away; they’re happening somewhere else to someone else, we say. And we continue with our lives. What else can we do?
Tomorrow, I leave for the Bioneers Conference in Marin County, where Vital Hemp will participate in the Maker Faire. Founded twenty-seven years ago, Bioneers gathers “social and scientific innovators with practical and visionary solutions for the world's most pressing environmental and social challenges.”
Together, we peer “deep into the heart of living systems to understand how nature operates, and to mimic ‘nature's operating instructions,’ to serve human ends without harming the web of life. Nature's principles—kinship, cooperation, diversity, symbiosis and cycles of continuous creation absent of waste—can also serve as metaphoric guideposts for organizing an equitable, compassionate and democratic society.”
In the midst of a conflict-ridden world that often feels like the most absurd, grotesque and hurtful version of Halloween, I think the mission and practice of Bioneers serves as a vital way to ground ourselves, addressing in community the needs of life, so that we can dress up and play, knowing the next day our lives will be a better version than we have today—not a horror-filled replay, but a healthy, regenerative, beautiful version of life and the world, that is possible when we collaborate with creative approaches that transform the whole of the problems we face.
For more information on Bioneers: http://www.bioneers.org/
And for those of you who want to do some early holiday shopping, please visit our store and say, “I am vital” for 20% off your purchase, through the end of the month.
For those vital ones who live elsewhere, use code Vitalgift20 for the 20% discount.
I look forward to hearing from you, or seeing your shining eyes soon.
As ever, thanks for being vital,Ron Alcalay
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