I’m writing an article about “Community” for the final volume of my company’s Encyclopedia of Sustainability. The volume is called The Future of Sustainability so I have to explain the future of community and how that relates to sustainability. I’m summing up years of reading and pondering and fretting over how these two things relate, and was remembering my brief words about community at the end of Eco Living, published in 2000, several years before I became the creator and editor of the Encyclopedia of Community (Sage 2003). Here the [...]
As Berkshire Publishing focuses more on education, on learning as well as teaching, I found myself reflecting on a passage from a book called The Company of Strangers, by Parker Palmer. I read this book in the course of my research on community, and even though Palmer's worldview is Christian and mine is not, I found that there is much to learn from him. We all need community, after all. I like the way he considers education and the public sphere: ". . . imagine what might happen if we [...]
Last month, I suggested that we schedule a staff canoe trip and picnic for this afternoon, knowing it would be Day 2 of my return from China and planning to use the occasion to nap outside. The weather cooperated perfectly. I dozed in the sun on a grassy bank by a mountain lake, with a Berkshire blue sky and huge glossy clouds to look at when I occasionally opened my eyes. I made sure to get plenty of sun on back of knees. That's an old military trick for curing [...]
I stopped at the Great Barrington Bagel Company as the first hot bagels were being tumbled into bins. Waiting for the tray of my favorite bagel - the Tornado, named for the 1995 tornado that tore up a swath of East Mountain starting just several hundred yards from the store - I listened to the women behind the counter talking about the huge number of tourists they'd waited on during Christmas week.
Time present and time past Are both perhaps present in time future, And time future contained in time past. These lines from T. S. Eliot's poem "Burnt Norton" have appeared in some of our promotional materials as I explained the importance of our work on world history, and the future. But I ought to read more thoroughly. I have to thank a friend, Dan Burstein, writing on a listserv, for bringing the following section of the poem to my attention. Dan brought this up in reference to current discussion about [...]