I need to be engaged in something I consider worthwhile, preferably with others. The question is, what might that be?
This time of the year has always been critical – endings and beginnings. As a school child and then at University, it was the hiatus, the moment the year (rather than in December) really turned. But then, as a community rabbi, the annual cycle of readings closed at the end of Deuteronomy and began again just after the New Year in, usually, September and the Day of Atonement, the great annual Fast of Reflection.
So I have been accustomed to rethinking at this time just what I am about. What am I doing here, on this earth and what do I want to do?
Officially, I am ‘retired’, which means that I have the great good fortune to be able to make choices. Family can be priority but also an excuse, an easy option to avoid having to make those choices. So?
Clearly, as everyone else, I am ageing. Again, this existential fact may act as a point of inspiration and exploration or another evasion but undoubtedly I now experience time very differently. Without the daily pressure – these days ‘too little’ is more usual than ‘too much’ – each moment provides immense opportunities in which the multiplicity of possibilities can be paralysing and filled by anxiety or my iPad, as now.
But here I want to open my personal dilemmas. Perhaps the universe will respond.
I am available and need to be needed but it seems, (I write knowing how limiting is this egoism) that though there is so much that I, anyone, could usefully do – visiting, gardening, exercise, reading to young or old – each of these raises within me such a strong antipathy that surely they are not what is asked of me at this time.
Over these past few years – perhaps since the sixties but occasionally it seems the roots go back very much further – I have been deeply concerned in what we are doing to our Earth and to one another. As I write this, immediately I know I’m on the right track: this is where my heart lies. Is there a possibility of my making a practical contribution?
The www.EarthCharter.org appeared for some years, and still does, as the best summation of values and principles that exists. It provides a present version of classical teachings. It is insufficiently known and I would, for sure, go anywhere if asked to teach it. To do so would be a joy.
Through it, I was lucky enough to meet with Peter Head http://ecosequestrust.org/our-people/executive-team/ who is Founder and CEO of www.EcoSequestrust.org (TEST for short). If there were an opportunity to work alongside or within this visionary project which wishes to help transform city-regions, I would gladly do so.
Recently, http://www.chilternsociety.org.uk asked me to help establish a new Heritage Group, certainly a worthwhile and exciting project and we are beginning to make progress.
Finally, I write articles, when I can, especially when asked. I tweet and perhaps now I may even ‘blog’. Could this provide the link which holds the strands together? At this point, there is also the possibility of a talk emerging out of the work of http://davidholtonline.com for the http://www.jungclub-london.org. This, if it should take place, may be in two parts: “Encountering David Holt” and “Holt and the Future”.
Surely, that is enough and provided the balance works out, it sure is. But it can’t be all writing. If anyone looks at this….