A Future Story

The gift of imagination is a divine birthright we have been given to use (or abuse) to be co-creators of our days, our families, and our communities.

Bill Plotkin in his book “Soulcraft” captures a teaching about two threads, or two paths we can weave in our lives. The Survival Dance and the Soul Dance.

The Survival Dance is all about meeting our basic daily needs. It’s about pursuing education, jobs, housing etc. It is all too easy to become pre-occupied by the demands, pressures, and fears this dance presents – especially the more precarious our survival currently is.

The Soul Dance is about the purpose we were born to fulfill; the ecological niche each one of us is born to weave within the context of community. It lives in our souls beneath the surface of survival.

As we make room to dance with soul, we ask the simple, rooted, question “Why am I here?”
and “What gifts do I bring to my community?”

In the Bridges Ptbo experiment, we invite strangers into the Bridging Team experience. Together we learn about the systemic quagmires too many of our neighbours are caught in. Systemic racism, ableism, ageism, sexism, intersects with systemic underemployment and the systemic failures of our tax dollars to provide enough Social Assistance to help – instead of hinder – the Survival Dance.

In a Bridging Team, we create a safe space where participants can catch their breath, have conversations that matter, and begin to collaborate on the questions of both Dances.

Imagining a Future Story can be very challenging.

The very effort can be questioned against the wisdom of living “one day at a time” and the illusory allure of procrastinating…until the future comes – when all we ever truly have is today, the present, the eternal now.

However, without prophets who dare to put their imaginations into play, without poets, songwriters and artists of all makes and modes, without the dreamers who find the courage to co-create new ways of crafting old wisdoms into the art of community-making – are we not destined to stay stuck in the Survival two-step?

Imagine yourself in your future story…
What does it look like?
What does it feel like?
(smell like, taste like, sound like…)
Who else is there?
How will you know when you’ve arrived?

A future story…needs to be potent enough to outlast the roadblocks, hurdles, and setbacks you will encounter – life will send your way. (Shit happens!)

And how about beginning with… Our future story…
Your story might be about the kind of community you want to help create. The kind of world you want to live in. Starting here with an eagle-eyed, eco-system, view might help to make clearer the role you’d play in making it. From there, our intentions become seeds planted.

At Bridges Ptbo we’re in a season of imagining. Imagining how a new group of strangers – in our latest team – might bring their talents, struggles, and gifts into play with the community of Bridging Team Alumni and supporters… to co-create a new culture, to plant the seeds of change, to make room for the dance of miracles we see in the earth’s inter-being.

Here’s two samples from couple of prophets that inspire me:

Michael Bennett


Only the weak survive
Only the strong ones cry
In the land I’m thinkin’ of
Only the wise are fools
Only the sinners rule

You must agree that no one is free
Until everyone Is loved.
That’s the way it is
In the land I’m thinkin’ of

Only the hungry eat
Only the bitter is sweet
In the land I’m thinkin’ of
Only the poor can give
Only the dead can live
In the land I’m thinkin’ of

You must agree…
What’s up is down
What’s wrong is right
What’s lost is found
What’s dark is light
What’s first is last
What’s in is out
I think you know what I’m talkin’ about?

Only the blind can see
Only the slave is free
In the land I’m thinkin of
Only the losers win
Only the out get in
In the land I’m thinkin’ of

You must agree that no one is free
Until every one is loved
That’s the way it is
That’s the way it is
Uh huh
In the land I’m thinkin’ of…

From the Introduction to Looby McNamara’s “People and Permaculture”

(paraphrased by me for your consumption)

When we feel alive, awake, engaged and resourceful, we are continually growing. Our learning, our effectiveness, our spiritual and personal development grows. Our internal landscape is filled with regenerative positive thinking that encourages us to be our best in the world.

To bring about full collective health we need to challenge cultural conditioning and facilitate cultural shifts to support the emergence of a culture of well-being.

A culture of well-being would mean that self-care, family care, community care, and ecosystem care are all prioritized and valued. There is focus, intention and attention on well-being of the whole.

Collective well-being starts with those closest to us, our friends and family. We can nurture relationships and find ways to give and receive support with good communication, bringing us into peaceful connection with each other. This connection with other people extends to our groups and communities, so that we embrace diversity in all shapes and sizes with respect and value intergenerational wisdom.

Collective well-being would mean valuing all people and beings for their intrinsic worth to create an inclusive, fair, stable and safe world. Every person would have freedom of speech and freedom for our bodies. We would all be free from oppression. There would be respect and freedom for the diversity of choices each of us makes.

Our collective well-being extends to future generations. We start today by designing the world they will inherit.

This is the time to bring ourselves together with such unity and sense of purpose that we know we will succeed in emerging new cultures that brings balance, health, and care for all beings.

We must breakdown existing paradigms of fear, greed, and competition that are pulling apart the seams of our life support systems on the planet.

A “Permanent culture” ethic gives us the opportunity and tools to actively create peace and understanding, to weave our own webs of abundance.

To live a life of abundance – to have what we need, to be thriving, to have enough to be generous – is magical. True abundant living permeates all levels of our lives; abundance in our well-being, in the quality of our relationships, in our communities, and into the world.” 

How does that sound? Why not join us?

Monday June 26
Ptbo Library Community Room (lower level)
5pm potluck
6pm Celebrating the Getting Ahead Graduates of 2023
Storytelling on the theme:  A Future Story

r.s.v.p. allan@bridgespeterborough.ca

Recent Comments


  1. Alan Collins

    Hi Allan,

    I enjoyed reading “A Future story”
    It inspired me a lot.

    I have been feeling depressed lately because the Climate Change is all around us and no-one seems to care.
    Thanks for the poem it cheered me up.

    • Allan Smith-Reeve Smith-Reeve

      Hey Alan, it’s hard to see but there’s a revolution of kindness growing…and you’re a part of it I’m sure!


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