23 Jul 2008
A Transition Visualisation
Last Saturday we had Starhawk in Totnes giving a talk as part of Transition Town Totnes‘ programme of talks. Her talk was excellent, very inspiring (and she kept it all together even when one woman in the audience collapsed and had to be taken off in an ambulance), and at the end she did a guided visualisation thing which I thought was a very useful tool for helping people to start visualising a powered-down future. You might like to try it out with your Transition group if it feels useful… I can see places where it might come in useful, although I often avoid the term ‘visualisation’ as it can press some peoples’ woo-woo buttons… I tend to call it ‘an imagination exercise’, or somesuch…. anyway, it went something like this….
After an initial invitation to get comfortable, to take a few deep breaths, she continued;
“I’d like to invite you to visualise yourself walking down Totnes High Street in a future Totnes, a future which has successfully navigated the energy descent transition. As you walk along, look around you.
Who are you? What are you doing? Look at the shop fronts and the buildings, what has changed? What are the businesses you see? Sniff the air, how does it smell?
What did you have for breakfast? Where do you get your food from? Who else is walking with you? Are there children there? Who cares for them? Who teaches them so they know what they need to know?
Are there old people? Who cares for them? How do they share their wisdom? What kind of work do you do in this future? What are your rituals and celebrations?
Imagine someone coming towards you, someone from this future time. You sense they have a lot of knowledge, wisdom and memory. What do they look like for you? They have the knowledge and the memory of how this Transition came to be.
Talk and listen to them. Maybe you have some questions for them, maybe they have some advice for you (here she left a gap for people to reflect on this…).
Know that you may not get all the answers this second but you can invite this future to inform your dreams, your choices and allow it to inform your bringing this future into being.
Now, as you start to leave, you walk back up the High Street, and as you walk, notice what you pass.. what has changed and what remains the same. Bring that memory and that vision with you, so that we can create the deep knowing that it is possible and that you have an important role to place”.
When she had finished she talked about how at the moment, statues are dedicated to famous people. In this future, she said, the statues will instead be to the amazing work that many thousands of ordinary people put into our getting to that point. She invited people to start thinking about what they would like their statues to be like, what clothes they would like to be wearing in them!
24 Jul 2:37pm
My chief vision of the future walking down Totnes High Street was that the shops priced their goods at an affordable rate. It always rankles that despite its wonderful transition status Totnes is not a location where poorer people can survive. Even the market fails to offer the cheaper goods that London or Northern markets offer. Even essential items such as shoes have to be bought in Paignton or even further afield in Plymouth or Exeter. My dream for the future is one of a more egalitarian world and not the one of middle class consumerism reflected in the cosy shops of Totnes.
25 Jul 11:21am
I wouldn’t disagree with you there… one of the great things about the town is that it has avoided the worst excesses of ‘Ghost Town Britain’, the homogenised High Streets one sees in most other places. The trade-off though, as you point out, is that the High Street features a number of shops selling non-essential frip-frap and gubbins, and not much of life’s essentials. That is only something that has been the case for the past 20 years or so though. By the way, you can buy shoes here, I always buy my shoes here! Cheers…
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