We had a fine party last night at Java River Coffeehouse in Montevideo, Minnesota. It was a fine party, but for a sad reason. It was to bid a fond farewell to the Wright family, who are leaving our area to move back to the Twin Cities.
Many luminaries from the local arts and music scene, along with many Sustainable Ag folks, were on hand. Java River has two rooms, which worked well- those who wanted to could sit in the louder, more crowded music room, while the bar room was the place for more involved, philosophic discussions. Several people wandered about, alternating doses of crowd and chat.
Some of the folks were writers and scholars of note, so of course talk turned to my book- which brings me to the questions:
I really need some feedback from my loyal readers on this.
Writing my next book was spurred by people saying that perhaps the Local Foods and Sustainability movements had taken a wrong turn somewhere, so I went to see what was what. Conversations on my road trip, and especially since then, have shifted in their focus. They've become more dire. More and more people are seeing that we've lost the battle to stop Climate Change, that this civilization is going to run right off the Peak Oil cliff at full speed, and that politics has gone utterly insane.
They are losing hope- but the question is "hope in what?" I agree that we're not going to stop the calamities bearing down on us, but that doesn't mean that the situation is hopeless. Hope of avoiding trouble is a false hope, but hope to build something that comes through the tumultuous times to nurture our descendants is very real and sustaining. Pretending that this isn't a stormy sunset does no good, but neglecting that there will be a sunrise is downright blasphemous.
So my question is: Do people need me to take a somewhat darker tone in my writing, but saying that there will be a calm after the storm? We won't be there to see it, but who will be and what they will have to work with are our responsibility. Do I remind that Hope always includes Responsibility?