Radical Joy Revealed
October 11, 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. 

Entering the clearcut
Entering the Clearcut, Carmanah Valley, BC. Photo by Mike Beck
A crucial part of discovering radical joy in hard times is confronting a wounded place and getting reacquainted with it.
This can be a scary prospect. What if going to a place you loved that has been destroyed by human or natural acts makes you so sad you can't function in your life? How can you, just one person, possibly fix it?
But in this first step of a Radical Joy for Hard Times visit to a damaged place, or Earth Exchange, we don't have to do anything. We are just there to get to know this place anew. And we do that by gazing.
Gazing is different from staring. Staring is an act of curiosity. It is focused and intense. Gazing is an act of love. The call to gaze is typically less urgent than the urge to stare. In fact, the lack of urgency often persuades you that don't have time right now to gaze at this thing that beckons you (maybe later, when it's more convenient) or that the thing may be of interest, but probably only minor interest (or it would have tugged you harder) and hence can be passed by without regret. The gaze takes in the whole environment, welcoming whatever may appear. The stare pierces; the gaze absorbs.
Try it. Start with something simple, like a dead tree or an owl pellet. Take a few minutes simply to pause, to discover. Note the feelings that arise within you... and consider voicing them out loud. Refocus on what's before you and see if you discover something new about it, something you hadn't noticed a moment before. If the urge arises to move around, to repair, to judge, just be still and keep gazing.
Something will shift... subtly... both in the place and in you. 
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Upcoming Events from Radical Joy for Hard Times:

October 14
Raise a Glass to the Catskills
Join New Yorkers in raising a glass of pure NYC water to the people and rivers upstate who steward the reservoirs.

October 21, 2:45 PM
Bioneers Conference, San Rafael, CA
A workshop with Polly Howells and Trebbe Johnson, at the annual groundbreaking national conference, about how to ask for guidance from the natural world and absorb the answers you get.

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. 
Donate to help Radical Joy

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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