Radical Joy Revealed
March 11, 2015

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.

Pictograms for Lost Villages  

Pictograms in the snow
Snow pictograms made for the Catskills villages flooded in 1915 to provide drinking water for New York. Photo by Trebbe Johnson

New York City needed water--water for drinking, cooking, bathing, cleaning apartments and offices. And where was this water to come from? It would come from the valleys along the Esopus Creek in the Catskill Mountains, decided the newly created New York City Board of Water Supply. Wielding the principal of eminent domain, the agency began buying up the lands of twelve communities a hundred miles north of the city.


On the day in 1915 when the water began flowing out of the new Ashokan Reservoir and through taps in New York, city people celebrated and children jumped up and down in the spray of fire hydrants. But in the Catskills, a feeling of bitterness has lingered for generations.


Ever since Radical Joy for Hard Times was founded in 2009, the board of directors has included in their annual board meeting an Earth Exchange for a wounded place. On March 7, at this year's gathering, they went to Ashokan Reservoir. After spending reflective time along the waterway, the group decided that for their act of beauty they would draw pictograms in the snow to depict the houses, churches, school, stores, trees, and creek that were flooded to make the dam.


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Make Beauty
for a Place You Love

On June 20 people around the world will go to wounded places to share their stories of what the places mean to them, spend time getting to know the places as they are now, and make a simple act of beauty there: a bird created out of materials found on site. Join the world in making beauty for the Earth for the 6th annual Global Earth Exchange.

To see the photos of the 2014 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.
2014 Radical Joy for Hard Times | | trebbe@radicaljoyforhardtimes.org |