History tells us about our past. Stories tell us about our future. These very human testimonies from ordinary yet extraordinary people will help to chart the paths. Here sixteen people describe the ways in which they try to make sense, and create a dignified future, out of the social and environmental troubles of our times. How do you stay fully aware and yet, not sell out or burn out? Many will know of Peter Reason's work, bringing action research and spiritual depth to his teaching when a professor at the University of Bath. Melanie Newman the co-editor is completing her PhD on Real Life and Magic - deep ecology in children's fiction, and the publisher, Vala, has been set up by Sara Bird who is part of the same circle of southern English radical thinkers. Writing as a Scot, I know that it can be a lot less easy to do radical work in the south of England than it can be here. But these essays show how people are digging where they stand, deepening inwardly where there might be little latitude outwardly.
In many ways, these are essays of the practical spirituality of everyday life. Not the sort of thing that everybody would want to read, but everybody hasn't yet chosen to be part of the solution. Five stars, however, for those who are doing what they can where they can.
I often reflect - forgive me for citing a Christian source if that's not your trip - on the woman with the precious oil in Mark 14 - who had so little that she could do to make a difference in the face of impending doom, but of whom old Jesus said two things. "She has done something beautiful to me" and "she did what she could". What more can be asked? This book of stories reflects people who are seeking to do beautifully what they can - a part of what Paul Hawkens describes as "blessed unrest".