Wide sweep or long view? One of the features of Transition work is its capacity to embrace so many different aspects to our lives. A quick glance at the range of groups in any Transition initiative anywhere in the world - re-skilling, food, transport, 'heart and soul' and the arts - reveals this range and depth.
But what are we all in it for? Are we driven by external forces, or by our collective desire to create something together? Do we think we are going to rock Norwich into quickly becoming the beacon resilient community? Or are we working diligently and quietly in our own group, walking the talk and supporting each other?
If we are driven by external forces - and there are plenty of those clamouring for our attention right now ( think: a bankrupt Irish state, a U.S. economy officially in deflation, U.K. spending cuts, rising unemployment, lowering wages, house price deflation, species extinction rates, peak oil already passed) - we risk not only being reactive, but getting depressed in the process.
If, on the other hand, we immerse ourselves exclusively in the minutiae of a particular project or theme, without a corresponding context, we risk losing the vision of what it is all supposed to be about.
Whenever I have participated in any of the 'visioning exercises' that have become a hallmark of transition work, I am struck by how consistently I and others see so many positives in a low-carbon community - it's not the sackcloth and ashes stuff that comes up - it's the quieter greener neighbourhoods, people having more time, needing less money, talking to each other more (whatever next?!), being happier and calmer and fitter ( remember the Radiohead song), being less driven, you know the rest................
When I really feel the external factors rather than read about them or look at them - I realise I am actually part of something we call 'external', and I also simultaneously sense the real power of what we are doing in transition. That wherever in transition we are working and acting, if we are doing it authentically - with heart and intention - we are ushering in the new. By innovating, we are not suddenly going to change the face of Norwich - although I admit to a fantasy here....that one day the 'Welcome to Norwich' sign in the rail station, currently advertising jewellery, will have a strapline underneath, ' A Transition City'. What we are doing is creating a local infrastructure which people can freely join and opt into, when the fragile bigger structures continue in their process of decay or disintegrate - a process which seems to me inevitable.
There is a huge suppressed demand for what we are doing - many many people no longer trust the big old structures - but do not necessarily know where else to go, or what else to buy into.
Spike Milligan was once asked 'Did he believe in reincarnation?' . His answer was that he didn't know because he hadn't tried it yet. The more we mutually reflect, question old beliefs and received wisdom, have open and candid conversations, create projects which have practical purpose and meaning, the more we will be de-mystifying our work and message, and the more people will want to 'try it' and us.
Welcome to the "official"blog of Transition Norwich, part of the world-wide Transition movement, a community-led response to peak oil , climate change and the economic recession.
Our TN blog is designed to showcase the Transition experience, from those who are living it - its highs and lows, challenges and treasures. We began this community enterprise in October 2009, inspired by the work of the Transition Circles, and have been charting our low-carbon lives almost daily since then. In June 2012 the group of contributors began to post more occasionally (about once or twice a week). We also cross-post work from other Transition initiatives.
You can find the full range of subjects we cover in our Labels list (see below). Do feel free to join in the conversation in the comments box. We'd love to hear from you!