Radical Joy Revealed
October 25, 2017

Radical Joy Revealed is a weekly message of inspiration about finding and making beauty in wounded places. We hope you'll enjoy these doorways into places that are both familiar and surprising, and we welcome your suggestions, stories, and photos. Click here to subscribe. 

Subway workers raise a glass
Four MTA workers take a break from fixing a leak in the subway to have lunch in Central Park and raise a glass of Catskills water. Photo by Trebbe Johnson
Sometimes the radical joy is in one place and the hard times are in another place, yet the two are intricately connected every second of every day.
When the people of New York City turn on their faucets, they receive some of the purest unfiltered drinking water of any city in the world. That's the joy. This boon is the result of an engineering feat that in 1917 began channeling water 90 miles from reservoirs in the Catskill Mountains to the city.
The hard times is felt by the people from whose lands those waters come. When the reservoirs were built, 23 communities were destroyed. Families watched in tears as their homes, schools, shops, and churches were torn down. Even the dead had to be disinterred... by their loved ones.
Radical Joy for Hard Times wanted to acknowledge the 100th anniversary of this sometimes painful partnership by inviting New Yorkers to "Raise a Glass to the Catskills". We asked people to pour themselves a glass of great New York City water and toast the land it comes from and the people whose ancestors suffered to make it possible.
On October 14, team leader Polly Howells, presented a commemorative book of "Raise a Glass to the Catskills" photographs to Sheldon Boice and Florence Guiliano, descendants of two of the families who lost their homes. The presentation was followed by a premiere performance of "City That Drinks the Mountain Sky, Part 2," by Arm of the Sea Theater. This innovative presentation featured puppets, masks, music, and cleverly animated natural features to tell the story of the water of the Catskills and the city. The performance was sponsored by Catskill Watershed Corporation and the New York City Department of Environmental Protection.
Asked if gestures of retribution like the Raise a Glass campaign and the performance helped ease some of the bitterness that still lingers among Catskills families, Florence Guiliano thought a moment and then replied, "It does, yes."

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Upcoming Events from Radical Joy for Hard Times

November 17-19
Rowe Center, Rowe, MA
Trebbe Johnson's workshop on how spending time in and making beauty for wounded places can bring clarity, compassion, and healing for our own inner wounds as well. 

It's easy to make beauty anywhere! Here's how!

New from Radical Joy for Hard Times founder
Trebbe Johnson:
a book filled with ideas for creating simple, imaginative, collaborative gifts of beauty for hurt places in nature and in your community! 
To order click here.
Radical Joy for Hard Times is a global community of people dedicated to finding and making beauty in wounded places. Reconnecting with these places, sharing our stories of loss, and making acts of beauty there, we transform the land, reconnect people and the places that nourish them, and empower ourselves to make a difference in the way we live on Earth. 
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Each week Radical Joy Revealed comes to you free of charge with inspiring stories and suggestions for living with endangered places in creative, life-affirming ways. It takes thought, imagination, and a sense of timing to uncover and write the stories, choose just the right images to accompany them, and prepare them for distribution, and we could use your financial help. Please show your support of Radical Joy Revealed by making a tax-deductible donation to our non-profit organization.

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