This week I spent many hours immersed in the text of the gigantic new IPCC report on our climate, composed by hundreds of the world’s most expert scientists, who volunteer to assemble this analysis for our benefit.
It is hard to take in the scope and the seriousness and the sadness of the report. At the end I sat overwhelmed for a bit, trying to summarize my notes in a logical and focused way, but there was no logic or focus to be found.
Then I went for a walk in the meadow, where the milkweed and goldenrod are blooming and the monarchs are flying and the turkeys are begrudgingly moving off the path as I round the bend.
What is an antidote to overwhelm? Analysis.
What is an antidote to despair? Agency.
What is an antidote to cynicism? Love.
Dear friends, let’s try not to skip over the bad news this week, whether planetary or political or personal.
Let’s take it in, take a breath, go for a walk.
And then, let’s go forward,
with thought and action and love.
I have learned so much about the benefits of community when it comes to considering our most interesting and challenging questions, and am especially grateful for the Santa Fe Institute community in this regard. This week I am honored to be featured on the SFI Complexity podcast: https://www.santafe.edu/culture/podcasts#Complexity
Our book is already celebrating its first birthday!
If you find yourself wanting to reflect on this past year, or to contemplate better times to come, we hope you might consider turning to Month of Sundays, which can be found at all of your favorite booksellers. One friend recently mentioned that she’s bought a stack of books to gift as she begins to reconnect with loved ones who have been apart, as a way to say, “welcome back.”
Thank you to those who have supported this endeavor to date, where proceeds have allowed us to give more generously than usual to some of the most vital nonprofits around. We designed the book to be evergreen, and hope it will bring comfort and connection through times of ease and times of challenge alike.