Radical Joy Revealed
August 27, 2014

Radical Joy Revealed is a weekly message of inspiration about finding and making beauty in wounded places. We hope you'll enjoy these doorways into places that are both familiar and surprising, and we welcome your suggestions, stories, and photos. Click here to subscribe.

Beauty, Breakage, Tears
Shell bird with broken wing
RadJoy Bird with broken wing, Global Earth Exchange 2014,
Folly Beach, SC. Photo by Janice Toporek

We shed tears when we're moved by joy and tears when we're sad. But sometimes we weep simply because we find ourselves in an emotional space where the boundary between joy and sorrow vanishes and we slip fluidly back and forth, hardly knowing one from the other.


For her Global Earth Exchange on June 21, Janice Toporek of Charleston, South Carolina went to Folly Beach. The beach has recently been undergoing a process of "renourishment" that entails the Army Corps of Engineers carting in 1.5 million cubic yards of sand to rebuild the coastline. To Janice, the work is an assault that has turned a beloved beach into an industrial zone, with pipes stretching three miles into the ocean, and rocks and equipment spread over the sand. She had already broken her toe while walking under the full moon.


Yet when she made her RadJoy bird she was suddenly awash in a mixture of emotion that included love for the beach, sorrow for what had happened to erode it and for all the mechanics of restoring it, and an upsurge of feeling about the beauty she herself was making as a gift for it. Janet wrote: "When I finished creating my shell bird, I burst into tears! I sat and did not want to leave her. One wing was supposed to look as if the bird was in in flight but actually looks broken. Mother Nature will 'replenish' with our help and the ocean waves will wash away all our fears and tears."



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On June 21 people around the world went to wounded places, shared their stories of what the places mean to them, spent time getting to know the places as they are now, and made a simple act of beauty there. To see the photos of the 5th annual Global Earth Exchange, visit our website. To read the stories click on the little "pins" on our world map.
Radical Joy for Hard Times is a global community dedicated to finding and making beauty in wounded places. Reconnecting with these places, sharing our stories of loss and despair, and making acts of beauty there, we transform the land, reconnect people and the places that nourish them, and empower ourselves to make a difference in the way we live on Earth.
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2014 Radical Joy for Hard Times | | trebbe@radicaljoyforhardtimes.org |