Why isn’t Every Conversation We Have About Climate Change?

I’m wondering why every conversation we have isn’t about climate change and the mass extinction event we are in. I’m resisting the urge to hate myself and humanity as a result.
From “I’M OPENING A TEMPLE FOR THE GRIEF SONG” — Sandy Ibrahim

I can remember the day that it happened, 25th November last year, sitting in the living room of our friend, Jude, in Totnes in the middle of a 12 Characters gathering. We were in the pause between Character readings and I was talking with my neighbour about what been stirred up in us with the reading of the previous three Characters. I had read “It’s going to happen – but to somebody else”, Continue reading “Why isn’t Every Conversation We Have About Climate Change?”

The Sacred and the Profane

“But what if we discuss it without the endgame of convincing and mobilizing and compelling others to action? Is there value in talking about this with the people in our lives simply to commiserate, communally, on this impending demise?”

— Sam Miller McDonald, Climate Despair

I think my involvement in 12 Characters can give an emphatic YES to these questions, although that’s qualitative and not quantitative. It has certainly given value to me – it’s helped remove a cynicism and apathy that had become calcified into my days; it has changed the lens through which I see and experience the people around me from one of uncaring, self-centered automatons to confused, frightened, lonely people who have never had any sense of what real life could mean;

Continue reading “The Sacred and the Profane”

It is not at all certain that we are going to avoid environmental catastrophe

It is not at all certain that we are going to avoid environmental catastrophe. — Mike King in The Writing of ‘Mountain Calls’ on the Dark Mountain Project Blog 

Having read these words I was struct again by the recurring realization that as people we are living in a time when the way of living our lives is killing the web of living beings upon which our own lives are entirely dependent. That we might actually succeed in killing the web of life (and therefore ourselves) is not the main focus of my shock. The main focus of my shock is the realization that people have already been born for whom this killing is a possibility. For most of human existence it has not been possible to think the thought that we could kill the web of living beings on this planet – and now it is not only possible – it is even likely by some calculations. Continue reading “It is not at all certain that we are going to avoid environmental catastrophe”

Is 12 Characters a ‘performance’, a ‘workshop’, or something else?

The same friend who asked me recently about what the target group is for 12 Characters events also asked me this question:

How do you see your activity, as a performance, workshop or something else?

Again, this is something that I’ve not really known how to answer and it has mattered to me a great deal. So him asking me the question gave me the opportunity to begin to get clear. Continue reading “Is 12 Characters a ‘performance’, a ‘workshop’, or something else?”

What is the target audience for 12 Characters

I was asked recently by someone looking to host a 12 Characters event the following helpful question:

What target group you would have in mind, e.g. the  “converted”, the “deniers”,  the “sceptics”, or whatever labels you would like to give them?

I liked it because it made me think long and hard about where I stood. Here are my current thoughts. Continue reading “What is the target audience for 12 Characters”

12 Characters – Brynfedwen

Things we tried

  • The “Mythic Triads” as pause questions:
    • Pause One (after: “I did the math” – jason, “I have kids, hopelessness is simply not an option” – clara, and “Let’s party like it’s 2099″-  april)
      • Choose One to marry
      • One character to send to a desert island
      • One to dance with in a graveyard until dawn
    • Pause Two (after: “What will the future think of me?”- jason, “Bring it on!” – clara, and “Defend this ground” – april)
      • One character took you to the top of a mountain
      • One character took you to a dark cave
      • One threw you in a raging river
    • Pause Three (after: “It’s gonna happen – but to somebody else” – jason, “The apocalypse is my gravy train” – april, and “Better to be hopeful” – clara)
      • One character brought you a Gift of fire
      • One brought you a Gift of water
      • One Stole from you
    • Pause Four (after: “This means war” – april, “Despair is our only hope” – clara, “I want a better catastrophe” – jason)
      • One character brings you a handful of feathers
      • One brings you a handful of sand
      • One brings you a handful of worms
  • spectrogram
  • inviting participants to share with one another before starting the monologues
  • singing led by Clara before we began and after we ended
  • opening poem – “Grandfather” Sara Jolena Wolcott