Where Earth Meets Sky and We Say Good-bye

The Girl in the Picture

That horizon line where the golden brown of prairie meets the shock blue of Alberta sky has always fascinated me. And after finding a seat in the upper reaches of the Jack Singer Concert Hall for Michael Green’s Celebration of Life, that is what I saw — a large screen filled with horizon and Michael Green looking into some possible place and possible future.

And it seems from the tributes, stories and joy that were shared, Michael was always being called by possibility and invited others along with him into all that was not yet, but might be.

Now as we look out across the vista of our community with Michael no longer on the horizon, what are some possible legacies we might consider?

The new babe begging to be bundled and carried forward is the amazing work of the Making of Treaty 7. Not just the artistic accomplishments, but the quality of relationships, the respect, trust and collaboration which seeded the telling of disruptive stories of which, to our shame, we are unaware; the microcosm of a new way forward of living together in this place.

The friend I was with commented, “Why do we always wait until people die to celebrate the gift they have been to us, especially in the arts community, where folk often labor with scant recognition?” Perhaps we should have an annual Michael Green Wake where we name and enjoy the gifts of living artists. (Would that appeal to his mischievous spirit?)

Finally, as I heard the role that Michael played in bringing together individuals and organizations around the High Performance Rodeo and MT7, and as I saw the seats of the Jack Singer filled with Calgarians young and old, I thought of how we build the social architecture of our city.

As urban and suburban dwellers, we are starting to think much more consciously about the physical design of our city, making it bike friendly, creating vibrant public spaces, exploring what makes a main street.

But what about the social architecture? What about the web of our connections with each other, the pathways of collaboration and delight, the bringing together of unlikely companions (or bridging social capital)?  Who are the conveners, the enrichers of our social capital? Who are the ones who are crafting and designing the social infrastructure that will bring us together in new life-giving ways?

As you stand looking out onto the horizon, without Michael, what do you see?

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1 comment

  1. John Gulak

    Great comments on social architecture, Sarah!