What is a wounded place? people sometimes ask, as they consider if and how to make beauty for such a place.
A wounded place is a place that, when you think of what’s happening to it, makes your heart ache.
The Global Earth Exchange invites you to go to a wounded place you care about and find and make beauty there. Global Earth Exchanges in 2020 included gifts for the Berlin Wall, a patch of New York land confiscated for gas fracking, a new home with toxic soil in South Africa, and the Ohio River in West Virginia.
Joanne Martin, a RadJoy member and environmental activist who lives in western Pennsylvania, decided to face more personal wounds this year, as she describes here.
This year I am acutely aware that what I was called to do was heal my relationships with the people I am judging to have wounded the land. This became an uncomfortable practice as I sat in my circle surrounded by the woods of my homestead and one by one brought to mind an “enemy” of the land—people I had come into contact with in my advocacy work. As the names grew in number, I decided to write them in my journal. Honestly, this may have been to distract myself from guilt for judging people so harshly.
My work focus this past year has been to derail the fossil fuel industry and replace economic development with a green economy. Soon the parade of “enemies” was replaced by the names of activists, friends, land stewards—all those embracing earth and justice issues as paramount.
My RadJoy Bird brings together all these people—with each name is a healing story, some sweet, some gritty. This circle of trees listening to my stories. My human judgments are easing as I listen to the leaves rustle—there is no judgment there. My heart softens.
- Martin 2020: Joanne Martin
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Radical Joy Revealed is a weekly message of inspiration about finding and making beauty in wounded places.