In my early twenties, I had a bookmark pinned to my bedroom wall, with this passage from the
novel, Wuthering Heights. I haven’t thought about it in years, but today these words found their
way back to me, with their reminder of what this current crisis might do for us.
“I’ve dreamt in my life dreams that have stayed with me ever after, and changed my ideas: they’ve gone through and through me, like wine through water, and altered the colour of my mind.”
― Emily Brontë, Wuthering Heights
What if this time of disruption was like wine through our waters… the waters of our psyches, of
our communities and of the larger systems in which we live?
Can we let ourselves be changed by what we’re living through? Every day, we are generating
new/ancient life affirming patterns; more authenticity and healthy vulnerability with one another,
purpose without productivity, generosity towards strangers, community wellbeing ahead of
short-term profit, cooperation across partisan divides, appreciation for the unacknowledged
labour of those who bring us our food. The list extends itself far beyond these pages.
What are the small and large patterns that we can nurture and grow such that we are so altered,
so coloured by our experiences that we cannot go back, cannot take the wine out of the water?
Big Bright Dark was first conceived as a way to offer some guideposts or supports as we make
our way into an uncertain ecological future; dark because of its unknowability, bright because of
its potential and big because of the scale and significance of it all.
Now, it feels as if some version of this future is not just at our doorsteps, but snuggled up in our
Over the next while, we’ll be sharing some resources (repurposed out of a draft workbook for
resilient responses to the climate crisis) that we hope will support the life affirming patterns we need now and into tomorrow.