“It’s that knife edge of uncertainty where we come alive.”

“I see such promise in the human heart and at the same time I see such tragedy. And, so, my heart breaks over and over.”

Remember the name Joanna Macy? If not, she’s the person who collaborated with Anita Barrows (“The Soul in Depression”) on translating Rilke’s Book of Hours. By the way, they recently collaborated on another book, A Year with Rilke, published this past fall by HarperOne.

I stumbled upon two videos of her for an upcoming film called The Great Turning — her concept of a period of transition for our society that she describes as “the essential adventure of our time: the shift from an industrial growth society to a life-sustaining civilization.” She speaks about ecology in human terms of reconnection and references wisdom traditions and work as a way back to sustainability.

Joanna MacyWhat’s interesting is that her efforts don’t simply focus on repairing the physical world. She emphasizes the spiral of connectivity as a way back to choosing a vibrant life rather than apathy: seeing the world and people with new eyes by coming from a place of gratitude and recognizing the pain of the world as a way of seeing anew and then engaging (“going forth”).

She’s a compelling character with a way of speaking that really draws me in — sensual with a gruffness like Vigen Guroian, a little new-agey, I guess, but more along the lines of an engaged Buddhist. She speaks somewhat softly but with a verve, with energy and intensity and a self-awareness of a teacher who has answered many questions and knows many remain unasked and unable to be answered. She speaks about being present, mindfulness, mystery, the interconnectedness of all things — ideas that engage all kinds of people on many levels.

If you want to know more about Ms. Macy and her work, her site is a great starting point. And this interview is helpful too.

(h/t Time for Awakening)


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13Reflections

Reflections

I love this woman..she speaks with great clarity, intelligence and compassion. Thank you Joanna.

I enjoyed your program this morning as I have enjoyed all of them that I have heard. I was a little uncertain about the program name change. Faith is such an important work. I wonder if it was changed due to seeming limiting to some people. Being is tremendously broad and seems to encompass more than the general direction of your programs.

In listening to your interview with Joanne this evening, I was literally brought back from the brink. I have been in great despair over a lot of things lately; the least of not, dealing with breast cancer.

I am a poet as well and have long put that part of my life on the back burner. No more.

The words she read from Rilke reminded me that a gift is not a gift unless it is shared, given away... and so I will, with whatever time I have left on this tired but beautiful earth, give away what God has given me.

Thank you for the wonderful interview and may God bless you, Joanna, and all who bring beauty into the world.

B

Hey Betts - - your gift is probably falling into more needing hands than you know! THANK YOU!

Bill, met Joanna Macy at a Great Turning event she did in Arch Street Meetinghouse in Philly a few years ago - I've never stopped reflecting upon it. Thx, Krista - et al on the show!

It's a beautiful thing, when we remember what we love.

It's a beautiful thing, when we remember what we love.

I have recently begun to read poetry and I have a basic understanding of, and fondness for, Buddhism. So to find out about Joanna Macy was serendipitous. Thank you for interviewing her. I loved the poetry!!!

Where has Joanna been all my life? She speaks and my heart hears and understands. Her words have awakened that child that was born knowing, loving, and hurting. I can barely think of what we are doing to the Earth and its creatures - it pains me so much. But, after hearing Joanna's words, I know that I must look that pain in the face...I need to think on this more...I want to hear what else she has to say.

I especially love Joanna's perceptive comment: "...the heart that breaks open can hold the whole Universe"...these videos of Joanna Macy--in addition to Krista's wonderful interview with her "A Wild Love for the World"--help to even more clearly show her wisdom and gentle compassion, yet fierce determination to reflect the truth. These are rare qualities that encompass both the perception of the causes of our world's sufferings and the balm to help heal its wounds; and the actions that are needed even when the outcome is not certain. Thank you for some of the most intelligent programs and videos on radio and the internet.

a great teacher

One of your very best, Krista!

I am deeply inspired by Joanna. We desperately need her wisdom in these times.

I am so happy to be introduced to Joanna Macy. although I feel a long established soul connection with her, her love of RIlke, nature as a path, just thank you holding up the light and edge of awareness