These last two months I've submerged myself in the editing for Lost Nation Road, the short film about Stephen Jenkinson and Gregory Hoskins' road tour.
It's incredibly time consuming, yet it's also where a film really begins to become itself. It's an alchemy unique to the medium. Not quite music, not quite photography, not quite voice - it's all of these things, which translates into a million possibilities in the edit room.
How one shot follows the next, or how an interview lingers (or not), or how a particular theme is included at all... weave together in a dynamic dance of emotion and ideas. One powerful thread of Stephen's has been the link between his time in palliative care (what he calls 'the death trade') and our current ecocidal trajectory.
He deftly draws the relationship between a modern culture that is deeply death-phobic, hell-bent on circumventing all limitations, and the collapsing biosphere that can no longer sustain the draw down on its capacity to regenerate life.
What comes to me is this: without limits, the mania to grow will never stop. "We just need one more swath of rainforest cut down. One more pipeline laid though the mountains. One more tanker navigating our delicate waterways. And then we'll have enough." Enough is the phantom always over the next horizon.
Therefore, what might be the marching orders of an elder (and the rest of us, for that matter) in a time like this one? The willingness to obey limits.
And to know that this is not going to last. That's true of my life - and that's true of this culture. You could find that morbid and cause for despair. Or it could be cause to realize...there's nothing to wait for. Time to rise up.
The world needs us.