Tuesday, November 12, 2013

A New Adventure and a New Blog on Sustainability and Faith

Apologies to anyone who was trying to get to the blog in the last week. I was moving domain hosting and there was a snag, but it's all fixed now. 

A picture of Boulders to make us all feel good about adventures.
I wanted to send you over to Darren's blog, Momentary Delight, where he shares about a new blogging adventure that Eug and I are excited to be part of. 

Darren shares the goals of the blog:
  • To explore how living more sustainably can be shaped by our faith in Jesus.
  • Make the conversation around sustainability accessible to people from diverse backgrounds.
  • Encourage experimentation, risk taking and small steps.
  • Pursue authenticity, humility and grace in our dialogue.
The blog is open for collaborators of all kinds, and Darren's vision (which we are embracing with glee) is one of inclusivity, adventure, and fun. 

When I started Concrete Gardener, I was interested in "social responsibility in context", where context was everything- the right choice at the wrong time doesn't do us any favours. Along the way, I've sometimes veered towards taking positions rather than telling my/our story, and I think the danger in taking positions is legalism, lack of compassion, and self-righteousness. I'm sure I'll keep making mistakes and expressing myself poorly, but I hope this new blog will give me a new opportunities to consider context. I would like to think of readers and writers and co-creators of meaning, where together we learn. 

At the same time, I think it's important to DO something, no matter what our context. To act, to be conscious of where we think we might stand in the world, to consider our responsibilities to one another, even if it turns out we're wrong. In a recent interview Wendell Berry said about sustainability "the question is not 'will it make a difference?', the question is 'is it the right thing to do?'" I would add that the right thing to do must be in the right place and the right time, and I really want to develop my sense of place here in the Western Cape of South Africa. 

My peer group is in danger of knowing a little about everything because we are so geographically dispersed and have such a range of experience. The internet makes it seem like the world's problems and solutions must always be so big and complex, and we must be so smart to have our abstract opinion on what to do in the abstract. I love that our family has roots in three continents, maybe four, and that we read widely and deeply and have a pretty huge range of experiences. We've experienced extreme wealth and extreme poverty, at least second-hand. But few of those experiences are ours, exactly. We're a bit outside of them exactly because they don't feel defining or restraining. Sometimes faith adds to that feeling of being outside of something because I embrace the notion that there's a world i can't see. I'm mixing ideas terribly here, but I guess my point is that I want to explore the problems right in front of me more deeply- from the perspective of both what is seen and what is not. All this is still rather abstract, so I guess we'll just have to dig in and see where the adventure takes us! Stay posted for more updates. 

Concrete Gardener will stay up and running, and I'll still update friends and family here even as the new blog takes shape. 

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