How can you play your part in The Great Reconnect?
All this week, the first in November, I have been sharing my thoughts with email subscribers about Adventurous Ink, what it means to our community, and how we are part of a much more significant change happening in society.
In Deep Ink's latest deep read, the author has a moment of enlightenment in an encounter with a young cattle herder.
He instantly sees all the hunger, thirst and violence the boy has faced. Experiences the writer has been sheltered from his entire life, which mean he can never truly understand this young man.
And he realises something else too, something that has stuck with me ever since I read it:
"But I'm starting to see the things he has which I lack.
He has his people's story to give him meaning."
It made me think, "What is the story of our people?"
You can summarise our narrative as 'The Great Disconnect', a severing of the bonds that connect us to the planet, each other and ourselves.
Or rather, you could.
Because I think that has changed.
We have passed the inflexion point. The pendulum is now swinging the other way, 'The Great Reconnect' has begun - a change you can discern in all the books we share, not just the deep reads.
Here's a lovely testimonial about this month's Adventurous Ink book, from 'Everything But the Girl' singer Tracey Thorn:
Through the books we read and the adventures we enjoy, we are a prime example of how people are seeking out new sources of meaning and connection.
A whole section of society has woken up to the fact that the world around us is pointing us in the wrong direction. This is not our fault; nobody is being weak-willed or blinkered. In fact, perhaps blinkers would help, as it is our very environment and surroundings that condition us toward this unsatisfying end. Consider this quote by leading thinker Seth Godin, from his manual This is Marketing.
Is it any wonder that we have disconnected from the natural world?
But it's not just our physical environment that pushes towards unsatisfying solutions. One of subscriber's favourite books of the year has been Claire Nelson's Things I Learned from Falling. It tells the story of a fall Claire has whilst accidentally off the trail, in Joshua Tree National Park. She careers down a cliff face, breaking her pelvis as she lands.
Stuck there, lost and alone, the book reflects on how she had lived her life up until that point. A life she felt sure was about to end. Spoiler alert - it didn't, and she wrote an amazing book.
As she regrets the amount of time she spent on her phone, or "boredom prosthetic" as she coins it, she conjures up this thought-provoking phrase.
In years to come, we are certain to look back upon the Pandemic as a turning point, the point of inflexion when The Great Disconnect becomes The Great Reconnect.
The change may still be small, but when the pendulum changes direction, for a moment, it barely moves at all.
And then suddenly, the swing.
That is where we are.
Our community is in the vanguard of this change, thanks to the time we spend bouncing thoughts off the Great Wide Open and gleaning fresh insights from the books we read.
We asked our community how it felt to be part of this change, this is what they told us: