I wonder where all this is heading.
When I started on the EAP journey, what I really wanted was to explore what effect story has on our world…what place stories inhabit in it, what they say about it, whether changing stories changes how we see it.
So I noticed a lot of possibilities were going, not just unnoticed or ignored, but literally unseen. I realized that story about possibility is the building block of our human world, that we are the story making animal in the same way that bees are the honey making animal…that we interact with reality to actually form it, in a kind of dance. And that we can only see what our stories tell us is there.
Of course, that means we can’t see what our stories tell us is not there. Worse, we can’t see beyond what they do tell us. No matter how vast the landscape on the other side.
So what happens when we tell stories about what might be there, on the other side of that borderland? Or even of what we would want to be there? Or what, looking backward at our dearest desires, what we might once have seen from a different view point…and then, with no stories to remember it by, to hold it, just up and forgot.
Those types of stories are usually sort of dissed as fairy tales. Wonder tales. Fantasy. Yeah. I never quite got what was supposed to be the ‘lowly’ thing about those kinds of stories. My own experience has been that when I reach a dead end of some kind—when the joy just leached out of my life and I didn’t know what direction to go in next—the solution was to look at the things I’d ignored, or even scornfully thought beneath me. Because just about every time, that was where I found my new energy to go on.
I suspect that’s true in the larger world as well. Probably when a living thing of any kind, a person or a culture, starts to grind in on itself and run down, where it pays it most to look is at the areas once ignored. Or thought of as ‘lowly’. Beneath notice. Because usually that’s where the green sprouts have grown without anyone paying much attention.
So I have the vague (as of yet) idea to propose a little experiment. I’m thinking of making a private space somewhere for the kinds of writers I’ve found in the last few years on this online magazine to play with those ideas about what might be, about what might have been, without us noticing. Ideas we might have scorned as ‘childish’ or ‘crazy’ or ‘just plain bad’. You’ll see a few of those ideas in this issue, as a matter of fact. (Ronnie Pontiac, I’m looking at you.) Ideas that we’ve rejected, or even just plain forgot. About what might become possible without us believing, up till now, it is possible. I’m thinking of emailing a few of you and asking if you’d like to play in that experiment. Maybe on “EAP: The Magazine.” Maybe somewhere else online. I’d like to hear other people’s thoughts on that.
Which is as far as I’ve gotten. This is my experiment in virtual thinking out loud. In imagining it’s possible to dream in a group.
Mind you, most sensible would be an inclusive, not an exclusive experiment, so anyone who wants to join in, just let me know. My point isn’t to exclude, it’s just to not bother those who aren’t interested in the idea of stretching these kinds of borders.
When I say ‘these kinds of borders’, I mean the borders of where the discourse presently stops. I’d especially like to see some definitions of where that boundary lies, and then I’d like to get in a conversation about how to cross over it into something different.
Mainly I’d like a conversation about it.
Does this all sound too odd? Well, I think it’s good if it does. If it sounds too odd to you, just ignore, please.
But if there is something in what I’m saying that interests you, do let me hear from you.
And we’ll see where we get to from there.
What would a world that met real human needs look like? That’s what I wonder.
So that’s what I’m calling #TheArcadiaProject.
And in the meantime, welcome back, whether this little experiment is for you or even if it’s not.