Artwork by Deborah Milton
Whether this is the first time you are learning about this gathering or you have been helping to grow it since we began three years ago...
WE WELCOME YOU
Whatever your beliefs and the traditions of your past
whatever your political stance
whatever your heritage
whoever you are, and whomever you love...
WE WELCOME YOU TO...
The eighth edition of Now What?! takes place from Friday, April 22 through Friday, May 27.
Once again, we gather to offer our gifts, our attention, and our care in service to "the art of being fully human in a time of crisis."
You are welcome to participate as much or as little as you desire. We will begin and end with a day of ceremony and gathering. In between, you are invited to choose among a variety of activities to weave community, foster healing, support action, and unleash generosity. Please read the Invitations Blog for information about many of these activities, and see the calendar for specific dates, times, and connection details.
If you want to contribute as a session host, you are welcome to join the "Collective" that is co-creating the set of engagement invitations that will form the heart of the gathering. The Collective also stewards the gift economy that pops up each time we come together. Learn more about the Collective here.
The gathering will also feature events convened by organizations, networks, and groups that become Now What?! Partners. Interested in partnering? Learn more here.
Here's a taste of the harvest
from previous editions of Now What?!
This is a recording from one of the sessions hosted by Sophy Banks on Healthy Human Culture during the last edition. In it, Banks explores this question, so relevant just a few months later as we witness the war in Ukraine: "If modern culture is pervaded by residual states of flight / fight / freeze which are recycling through systems of harm, how are people creating return paths to health for whole sectors of the population?
The poem "co-sensing with RADICAL TENDERNESS" was a beautiful gift from our partner Global Regeneration CoLab during the gathering from October-November 2020. We made a ritual out of reading it together. This is how it begins:
Accept its invitation to be present. Tune in with the collective body, both human, and non-human.
Take notice of all the skins and places we inhabit, the bones and lands that bear our weight.
Feel your entanglement with everything, including the ugly, the broken and the fucked up.
Relate beyond desires for coherence, purity and perfection...
Here we are reading it to together:
"Streams of Engagement" was the Spotify collaborative music playlist compiled during the March-April 2020 edition of the gathering. Co-creating these playlists is a regular practice. Got some music you want to add to the April-May 2022 playlist? Please email us your requests.
Here's an excerpt from Jeff Aitken's August 2019 Deep Dive Learning Journey--one of a series that emerged out of the June-July 2019 edition that was the first full length gathering.
I recalled a phrase by Paul Hawken: Climate change could be happening TO us, or it could be happening FOR us. I began to consider the implications of this new thought: What if climate change is happening FOR US?
I began by noting that to honor that we are in shock is important, honoring it fully… And yet I also began to wonder if this shock may be the beginning of a “Grief Cycle” - the famous stages of grief and transformation such as bargaining, depression, acceptance, and letting go, which, as Harrison Owen describes the cycle, can become a step “across an open space” into a new understanding.
So then, what kind of new understanding might that be? Is it that we are entering a new world? Or a new worldview, or new world story?
Or a new understanding of being human? If this project’s inquiry is how to be fully human in a time of crisis, are we carrying forward any unexamined assumptions about what it means to be human? I decided to focus on this question...