Wendell Berry, that poetic shaman of new worlds, conjured up the following words once: “The mind that is not baffled is not employed. The impeded stream is the one that sings.” As our global landscapes experience unprecedented seismic disturbances, my wife, Ej, and I have often wondered about how best we can transit into the life our hearts tell us is possible – into a world in which time and space are not commodified properties of the industrial complex. Our disenchantment inspired us to initiate the Koru project, but we needed some sort of ritual to loosen us from the strongholds of our dying civilization. You can understand our excitement when we learned of ‘Free Money Day’. We looked forward to the day and made plans to give away money; we even helped publicize the day and told friends about it. To us, the day represented a re-enchantment of the sacredness of gifts and our shared selfhood – a way to resuscitate the wealth of togetherness, the lack of which has severely impoverished the world and our imagination.
Unfortunately, we couldn’t embark on the exciting quest to give away money along with other people around the world on Free Money Day! For reasons that concern our workplace demands and constraints, we missed out on so much – connecting with the field of collective consciousness that must have enveloped people around the world. We reasoned, however, that the ‘real’ legacy of the Day must reside in its rhetorical ability to instigate new practices and inspire new ways of being. We may have missed out on the Day, but we haven’t missed out on the days that it birthed. Ej and I have since given out lots of money. Being academics, we tend to live isolated lives – hunched over a new book or our slides for a pending presentation. The Day inspired us to connect with others, to see ourselves as conduits of the universe’s bountiful wealth, to realize that we are songs that the impeded stream sings. Ej bakes great cakes, and we are finding ways to share them with those around us!
We connect with those beautiful souls around the world who are courageously replacing the seeds of separation with the ferns of entanglement. The world is a habit of projection, and our most critical opportunity today is to project new stories on our tortured spheres of interaction. Free Money Day helped us realize that a new world is not merely possible on the pages of a skilled wordsmith, but on the streets of our aching cities, in-between the exchanges of supposed strangers, and through the visions of the many and the few.
www.koruportal.net (still in development)