The subersive act of Grief

It might seem counter intuitive to imagine that grief can be healing, but at our workshop on Saturday, Gathering the Bones, we took our fingers our of the dam that had been holding back some surprising and overwhelming emotions. The word “emotion”, contains the word “motion”, something that must move through us or get stuck, paralysed or calcified. Just because we don’t let it move doesn’t mean it isn’t there, a darkness that suffocates us at 3 a.m.  Someone said that grief is the other side of love, love for something we have lost or something we are losing. 
Joanna Macy, (The Work that Reconnects) declares that grief is deeply subversive. The Industrial Growth Society does not want us to grieve or feel our pain. It wants us to numb it by offering pharmaceutical remedies, retail therapy, a package holiday, all of which require that we keep on earning, suffering and consuming. It is a horribly cruel system that keeps us captive. We “came to terms” with it on Saturday, naming it and putting it firmly in our view, and thought how important it is to keep talking about it because until we become conscious of how poisonous the Industrial Growth society is, it remains a dark blur in our peripheral vision, disappearing the moment we turn our heads to look. 
We got into pairs, one of us being a person in the present, one being a person 200 years in the future. The person from the future asked us questions like this: “Ancestor, how good it is to meet you. We have stories and songs about you. We re-enact your deeds. I really want to ask you, how did you keep on going when there were so many obstacles, so much loss and discouragement. What inspired you to continue standing up for species and future generations you will never meet?” These questions brought motion to our emotions and also tears, relief and a fresh determination to continue walking towards a new humanity and a new vision of the future. We will offer the workshop again, so if this is something that you feel might be helpful to you, please come along.