David Sibbet | Community Building
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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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Tom_Atlee - Tom Atlee on Tom Atlee, the creative energy behind the Co-Intelligence Institute, recently wrote Something Bigger Than Life Is Trying To Work Through Us. He says, “I feel called to notice the role of contexts.” His crystal-clear analysis of our current predicament is that we are experiencing the shadow results of our own “enlightened” technologies and practices. The crises we experience will be transformational (or not), and Tom explores how they might be so.

As with any paradigm shifts, the emerging expressions are still being crafted. Tom is one of the shapers I respect. He speaks in poetic language of what it means to wake up to conscious evolution and see ourselves as mirrors of the larger evolutionary pattern.

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My heart is still singing from the four-day retreat I and 35 other colleagues spent in the redwood forests of Ben Lomond this summer solstice. We met at Sequoia Retreat Center, a truly sacred place. It was my eighth year participating. Each time the experience deepens.

The energy in this year’s gathering went up an octave—perhaps because of the crises in confidence the world now faces, perhaps because a core group of us has stepped across a threshold of withholding into true ceremony, perhaps because of forces we cannot explain. But these two weeks after returning have been filled with reflections about all that happened, and especially  the evening of Medicine Wheel dancing that is the turning point of the experience. I felt that our community reclaimed something deep and fundamental. We experienced true ceremony.

MedicineWheelJournal - Reclaiming Ceremony

During one of my reflective times I drew this pen and chalk drawing of the dance, without thought of sharing, just so I could relive the experience. The image has come alive for me. There is something about the energy of line and patterns that re-evokes some of the magic. I have no idea if it will do that for you, but I feel called to try and bring it alive a bit in words. Something happened this time that all of us need more of.
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CoroGraduation - Coro's Graduation: A Personal Adventure in Immersive LearningI was moved and challenged by the invitation from the 2009 Coro Fellows class to be their graduation speaker. It said, “We as a class have decided that we would like to have a speaker at our graduation who can represent our experiences as Coro Fellows.”

I felt confident about this part since I was a Coro Fellow in Los Angeles in 1965, then on the staff from 1969 through 1977 in San Francisco, and on the Board in the 1990s and now again in the late 2000’s. I understand what it feels like to have a series of very disparate internship and projects experiences in government, business, labor, media, politics, and community organizations and try and make sense of the larger system. That’s what the 12 Coro Fellows do for nine months, along with the 66 different Tuesday evening and Friday seminars held to make sense out of it all.

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