At Dark Mountain, the home of Uncivilization, I found a living culture. I didn’t know what I would find. My hopes caught up in theoretical frameworks. The flimsiness of my previous interactions with the core of this loose amalgam overcompensated in mental calculations assembled, as if in a geometric proof. As if reading the perturbations of the orbits of the visible planets I could intuit the existence of another beyond the range of my senses.
Imagine spending a week cheek by jowl, in continual conversation, exploring among a growing number of people. At first there were fewer than a dozen. By the weekend there were hundreds. I only found one truly angry man . Heard rumors of a second…. Swimming in an emergent community, sharing an easy, yet thoughtful, deep acceptance of each other. Foreigners, outsiders, voluntary refugees like me, and other wanderers. All finding a place, adding to the richness, the fullness of our experiences.
The power of not pretending. An emergent potential releasing joy.
There is a scarcity of this in the world. In the world of wealth and power. None of this was a re-turn, a re-creation of something out of the past. Simply a group of people joining together, bringing whatever brought them to this verge. Prepared to make this leap of no longer pretending. Stepping off into an unknown future. Not a future of “big stories,” or poorly disguised wish-fulfillments. Each of us looking, feeling, finding, and responding to an awakened living reality in all its granularity and specificity. Energies released by letting go of the pretending, leaving us open. Not only to live our lives, but to touch, and be touched by the lives of others.
I was deeply moved by all I met there. A result of experiencing their power. Of perception and expression, their rootedness in reality.
The contrast that one rare angry man hit me. The extreme poverty of those who refuse to break from bankrupt, discredited ways of life.
The Dark Mountain is necessarily dark, but it is also a height from whose summit I now feel I can view new horizons. Horizons grounded in bedrock, the roots of the Earth. Tall and broad enough to give me a sure place to stand. This mental and emotional sense of place provides a vista. We can recognize the power of connectedness, of rootedness. To hold this sensation, not as a memory, but as a living experience, carrying with it my hopes of grafting its vigor and health onto the deepest roots in my own place. Places around me, inside me. Where I live caught up in attempting to make other plans.
I take this hope with me. The cause of a new-found resolve. As one new friend, discovered just at the moment I needed her perspective, put it. This an uncanny experience but not unusual in this place of conjunction, upon the slopes of this, our Dark Mountain in Wales.