by Terry Sterrenberg
I’m looking out my window of my Brooklyn co-op building. The city is clothed in mist and haze that describes pretty much how I have been thinking during the last year and a half.
Our life once again has been upended and transformed.
The tag line on our web site is “One vision at a time”. Visions of course are not truths. They are more like “reality in the making.” And my visions tend to be somewhat malleable. They don’t change their integrity, but they may change their form.
I have moved into another stage of my life which indeed changes the form of my vision. The covid crisis, the falling apart of our plans to create a new community on Staten Island, climate crisis, and what I can only describe as mass denial, hysteria and paranoia in the country as a whole has fed the ongoing mystery novel we all have been living within for the last five years. Mystery novel? Actually it is more like an evolving visionary cartoon.
It seems our country is moving from Elmer Fudd chasing down Bugs Bunny with his trusty shot gun, shooting himself in the foot, hopping around like a wild man and finally falling off the cliff, to the final “that’s all folks” from Porky Pig. The real life characters are interchangeable, each playing every role at different times. We all laugh and stare in amazement at the foolish chain of events as if they are independent of the future they are creating for us. The knot in my gut is all that is real, a foreshadow of a possible future.
I tell myself that perhaps it is time to scale down the vision. Can’t save the future? But ….but, what then is important? Truth and reality are confused and cloud the vision. Is there any burgeoning future where new life is popping forth?
I’ve come to the conclusion that the truth is what we say it is. The truth is what we see it is. I perceive this everywhere – From Donald Trump – to Joe Biden – To Bernie Sanders. We need a new utopian vision that is not political, or religious, or capitalistic, or socialistic, or any “ism” at all. What vision does not include any of these? What vision is only about letting caring communities care and not only compete; letting the world support and build and not only war, letting society feed our hearts and needs and not only our bank accounts. I do think this vision exists. People deny it in various ways, calling it utopian, calling it immature, calling it unrealistic, calling it impossible, saying it is against human nature, etc. but…but this really is important. The truth is what we say it is. Why not say it is this.
I can actually see the city now, still with shades of gray. Saying it really isn’t enough. There are choices to be made and steps to be walked. And definitely dreams (visions) to manifest.