David Sibbet | Community Building
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My struggle to make sense of this new era of Trump has sent me back to my journals to look for longer threads and themes. I’m having an old feeling. It’s one I associate with the time of the assassinations in the 1960s, the lying during the Nixon and Johnson years, and the warmongering of the Bush years. In such times of disruption in my mental model of a world that progresses—carefully inculcated by my post-war teachers—I am thrown into questions.

Finding myself back in the questions again, I came across a journal entry from December 1994, recounting a talk with my friend Bob Horn about postmodernism. Our talk began with a review of Walter Truett Anderson’s schematic of the postmodern challenge:

postmodernchallenge-94

As Bob drew the boxes, I had wondered at the casualness with which he could lay down a box and label it “postmodernism”, as if all the perceptions and theorizing and turmoil of the times could be neatly packaged in a historian’s bow. “I won’t say anything,” I thought. “I’ll listen past it to the meaning.” Meanwhile, in my own mind I began to frame a story of fragmentation and return, of choices and confusion.

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trump_clinton_vote“This is what our democracy stands for, the smooth transition of power.” Obama’s words came in the deliberate, stately cadence that we’ve all heard so many times over the last eight years. “I’ve asked my team to do everything possible to ensure that the new President elect can hit the ground running” he said. “George Bush’s team did that for us when we took office.”

We are going to miss this intelligent, civilized man and his family. Riding waves of populist anger, the quintessential infotainment tongue surfer is our next President. And where will this take us all?

As a student and practitioner of change, I hold a few assumptions as I think about all this.

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SunseedMandala - Winter Solstice—Trusting the Return of the LightThis winter the solstice (Saturday December 21 at 11:11 PST) marked a turn to a new year at a level I’ve not felt for a while. I usually spend it with my Elder’s Circle down in the Santa Cruz area conducting ceremony in a hollowed out redwood tree that will hold a dozen people in its charcoal teepee-like interior. Chayim Barton would lead us in letting go of the old and dancing in the new, and sharing stories of Manibozo and singing in the light.

But Chayim is in the bardo now, having died in a bicycle accident on November 14th.

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Susan&GTree2 - Homage To My Life Partner SusanMy partner of 48 years, Susan Herron Sibbet, passed away this August 31, 2013, from metastasized endometrial cancer. We’ve been in full “cancer journey” mode for the last two years, which is why I haven’t been posting much here. I’d like to share her obituary with you here, in appreciation of having the extraordinary privilege of living with this brilliant sensibility for so long. Her poetry and modeling how to teach children to write has inspired me deeply in my own facilitation work.


Susan Herron Sibbet passed away August 31, 2013. She is survived by her husband of 48 years, David Sibbet and her children—Thomas Sibbet, Valentine Brown, Jerda Solonche, Phillip Sibbet, 7 grandchildren and one great grandson. After a 4-year struggle with endometrial cancer, she passed in peace, out of pain, and literally held in a field of love.

Susan was a beloved poet/teacher in the schools with California Poets in the Schools, an organization she worked in and supported as Acting Director and President of the Board for more than 25 years. She is a published poet and was a founding member of Sixteen Rivers Press, a respected poetry publishing cooperative.

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