Monday, February 26, 2007

"The Great Turning"

There are times when the old dictionary seems too small, times when one has a kind of vocabularic growth spurt. For example, a new job often requires new jargon. Illnesses have their own language--I remember the months when "metastisized" first worked its way into my conversations. Sometimes it's a new interest--with biofuels, I'm learning about B100, B20, E85, SVO and WVO. Who knew?

Right now, climate change seems to be triggering a crop of hybridized terms and ideas. Ideas like food miles, sustainability, voluntary simplicity, and green are entering our conversations in new ways. One of my favorite new terms, used as the title of a book by David Korten, is The Great Turning. I haven't started the book yet (being belly-deep in The Omnivore's Dilemna) but I find the title evocative.

So often it feels like instead of life being a road or a path, it's more like one of those giant carnival slides. It's as if we're rocketing toward our destination, with too much momentum to change.

The fact is, no matter where we are, how far we've wandered down a path, we can reassess our direction. We can make adjustments, we can take few exploratory steps, we can even undertake a great turning. Maybe we can't go back, but there's always more than one way to reach a destination. "The point of no return" is a convenient myth, one that gets us off the hook when we're tired of our options. It may feel like your butt's on the burlap and some clown is getting ready to push you down that slippery slope, but the fact is, you can stop. Take a breath. And choose. Stop. Take a breath. And choose.

1 comment:

George said...

We have to ask, as Americans, do we support this surge in language?