October 14, 2008

We were briefly part of a group that gathered once a month for a "visioning potluck", an evening of food and imagination. There was one evening, the one most memorable to me, when we all shared a vision of the future, as if it were the past.

The idea was that rather than saying, "I wish things were like this," or "I plan to do that," we were to think as if all that had already happened. What if we were at a potluck celebrating something that was 20 years old? What did it look like? What challenges had we overcome? The collective imagination in that room painted a picture of a nearly-self-sufficient artists collective/community, with sustainable local agriculture, all power needs met renewably, and a thriving sense of "know your neighbors".

When it was my turn, I talked about the garden I'd started, and how it was thriving now, how I was "growing my own pasta sauce." That was something I'd been talking about wanting to do - really - for a number of years, but I hadn't gotten anywhere with it. I don't know if by thinking of it as a done deal was transformative in any way, but I have a garden now. It didn't produce pasta sauce this year - our summer was too cool to make the tomatoes truly happy - but I have a couple of pints of green peas in the freezer, a couple of pints of cranberry beans in the pantry, lots of quarts of blueberries and raspberries, and upwards of 20 pounds of potatoes.

I suppose my point is that sometimes it's helpful to stop thinking about how something is going to get done and start thinking about it as if it were already done.

So, with that in mind, I'm announcing my latest co-venture:

We See America Thriving

Enough with the grousing about what's wrong with the country. Enough with waiting for someone else to fix it. Let's start talking about it as if it were better, right now. And if enough of us start seeing America as we want it to be, perhaps the road to that place will become so clear that we can't help but get there.