It is joy that sorrow protects.”
Megan Hollingsworth, writer & creative director
This work is about the present moment. The attention is to the root causes of pain and suffering while practicing and facilitating the body’s natural grieving process, allowing emotions to move rather than stagnate in the body, only to later surface as emotional and physical distress.
We bear creative witness to and grieve today’s hunger, homelessness, sickness, and systemic violence brought by a hyper-competitive socioeconomic system complicated by materialism. And we amplify radical compassionate actions that are shifting this dominant socioeconomic system toward a peace economy - labor and exchange practices that work for everyone.
In doing so, we shed the light of compassion on dark matter, alleviating at least the pain of ignorance and negligence.
This is our contribution to the many solutions that must be implemented to revive biodiversity, allay species extinction, and reverse global warming.
We believe we can accomplish these collective goals together if the focus remains on the quality of the process rather than attainment of these goals.
Thus, our primary goal is living well, “even beautifully” (author Barry Lopez), as we do our best to be of greater help than harm.
Happiness in living is a matter of being alive with care – embodying compassion. Non-dual reality is embraced in uBuntu* – surely I am because we are.
Death is and is not real. The real loss, we grieve.
“When grief is allowed to surface, and the reasons for grief
are not denied, a healthy process unfolds that can lead
to new depths of insight and feeling, major shifts in values,
and subtler and nuanced decision-making.”
– Allen Kanner in ‘Why Extinction Matters at Least as Much as Climate Change’
Tikkun Online, December 12, 2011
Writer and creative director Megan Hollingsworth initiated Extinction Witness in 2012 with recognition of the naturally complicated and conflicted human emotional and spiritual response to species extinction resulting from human activity.
‘Witness’ in Extinction Witness is derived from Quaker witness practice in keeping with Megan’s Quaker roots in Ireland, 1680’s.
Extinction Witness project work has included film production, compassionate online presence, generative memorials, and a collaborative eighteen-month (February 2014 – September 2015) creative witness practice with attention to the critically endangered and extinct, including languages.
The creative witness practice revolved on a monthly basis from one group to the next and was offered in posts via MailChimp. Contributors included Megan, a few other writers and several visual artists, among them Bryan Holland Chris Jordan, Denise Monaghan, Jeff Cain, and Tom Murphy. The edited and archived posts will be available via the Extinction Witness website in 2018.
* “uBuntu is our most fundamental reality.” – Reclaim and Live uBuntu