February Update: Lessons From the Field
As I thought about what to write to you, I found myself looking out over the bluff at the end of my property. It drops suddenly off into a thick wood that takes over the landscape framing the skyline of the city beyond. Having recently returned from time on the road, I find myself often reflecting on how much I value Hinterlands, areas not quite in the city yet not quite out. These places remind me of the center point on magnets. One of the most interesting things I remember learning as a boy was that the earth’s magnetic center in which longitude and latitude converge isn’t fixed, but is actually constantly shifting. This happens because at the temperatures and pressures found in our planet’s core, iron is squeezed to nearly twice its normal density, and the abundant heat drives electrons crazy. The result is a constant push and pull between competing poles, creating a center that is as alive and seemingly chaotic as the natural systems which its conditions engender.
It seems such an apt analogy of the work we keep being drawn to at Youth Passageways. I’ve often found there to be a certain charge that comes with a given modality or from working with a specific demographic, and these charges on their face can seem at first to repel each other. Yet given the right container, the proper context and conditions, met with a good deal of compassion and patience they can find their way into exemplifying that old adage: that opposites do indeed attract. And so it is with us that we search for how to carefully co-create a living center in which we are made stronger in our diversity and multiplicity. It doubly goes without saying that this is by no means easy, our goals and schedules, egos and shadows so easily tell us we are repelled and yet with persistence…we come fully into the long view. William Heat-Moon describes it perfectly:
“What and who I cherish I’ve come to slowly, usually blindly, not seeing it for some time, and then suddenly gratitude rolls in like a thunderclap, and I am changed.”
As we think through where YPW is in 2016, and where we must carefully place our energy I find myself filled with a boundless and buoyant gratitude for the many ‘fields’ created by each of you: our partners, both as one pole among the many which comprise our network’s field and within each of the communities from which you hail.
with deep thanks and joy,
Dane Zahorsky, Co-Coordinator
Here’s a little of what we’ve been up to:
- We are proud and excited to formally acknowledge Kruti Parekh and Clementine Wilson as the newest members of our Stewardship Council! You can read more about them and their work HERE
- We are full swing in preparations for our upcoming Gathering in Los Angeles. Invitations are out, momentum is building and we’re very excited to say that youth presence is coming in strong and clear. Though it’s an invite only event we still have some wildcard slots left so if you or someone you know is called, or if you’d just like to be involved and aren’t sure how, contact us HERE. To learn more about the gathering itself or to stay up to date we are using our Facebook group and have created an event page you can check HERE or on our website HERE
- We officially achieved 501c3 Status with the State of California, and remain incredibly grateful to Warrior Films for their fiscal sponsorship while we got there!
- A big thank you to everyone who helped us reach our 2015 fundraising goal! Stay tuned for our forthcoming annual report.
- The Cross Cultural Protocols Working Group is preparing for a pre-gathering Webinar on Monday, March 14, 5-6:30pm Pacific/8-9:30pm Eastern. More Info Coming Soon!
- Youth Passageways offered consultation to United Visual Arts, an international arts organization based in NYC on a project they are headlining that would bring art, rites of passage, ecology, nature, and entrepreneurship together for inner city youth in NYC in 2017! Visit Pohopoco.co to find out more.
Invitation to Participate in the Youth Passageways Journal:
Want to be on the ground floor of what a YPW journal could be or do? Have experience with editing, visioning creative projects, or are you just someone with great ideas? We are excited to convening a working group to help envision and launch the journal, a resource that will be accessible and relevant to a variety of audiences. If you’re interested and want to learn more, email Dane HERE and he’ll get back to you ASAP.