Issue 342


Once upon a time… H

ope and enchantment – our wonderful theme for this issue – takes us straight to what feels like the pages of an old dusty book of fairytales, but these are, of course, all tales with a serious message of hope, enchantment and purpose and all curated to help usher us into another new year.

From writer Paul Evans’ poetic ‘ode’ to a humble fern (which opens our theme) to the enchanting true story of a dress made entirely from nettles, we explore ways to find the extraordinary in the ordinary. We look too at the sometimes darker path to enchantment, with an honest article by musician and men’s coach James Garside, and we then learn how the human psyche craves meaning in order to feel whole in an article by Gemma Newman, a family GP who brings the quality of being openminded into the usually more closed off conventional world of medicine.

In the pages of The Slow Read you will meet global thought leader, religious scholar and author Andrew Harvey, who is often described as a modern mystic but calls himself a Sacred Activist. In his interview with me, Andrew talks about how he sees Active Hope as being the first step to ‘Divine Hope’ and how it will be the emergence of a new consciousness that will give us the courage to pass through what he calls The Great Shattering currently upon us – and out the other side.

The invitation here then is to lose yourself in an uplifting issue full of hope that will take you to the edges of your own imagination and hopeful visions for 2024. In Connected Life, for example, founder of The Thousand Year Trust Merlin Hanbury-Tenison shares his vision of a future a thousand years from now in which Britain’s temperate rainforests have been restored, one tree at a time, and in our Art & Culture section you will be swept away by the poetic words of John Wedgwood Clarke, who describes how it feels to behold some of the new and extraordinary work of the camera-less artist/photographer Susan Derges.

And talking of poetic words… Finally, after a long wait, many members’ requests and much excitement, we have brought poetry back to the pages of the magazine. A huge welcome to our new poetry editors, Briony Hughes and Rachel Marsh – see more about them on page 48 – who will be jointly curating these pages for us. In this issue, they introduce us to the powerful work and words of Greek eco-poet Astra Papachristodoulou, who writes about what it was like to witness the wildfires of the summer of 2023 ravaging the lands she calls home.

Susan Clark

Editor of Resurgence & Ecologist

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Resurgence & Ecologist is published by The Resurgence Trust, an educational charity. See inside back cover and our website for more information. Views expressed in these pages may not necessarily reflect those of the Trust.

Resurgence & Ecologist