I am always attracted to unoccupied space. Realms where the dominant culture has not advanced its patriarchal or empire narrative."writes Peter Block in the collection What Are You Skating Towards in 2012?
His essay is one of 60 which begins to occupy this space. Combined they are, as Gord Tulloch suggests in his own contribution, the "collected living answers to the question, what matters? How do I best live?" Download What Am I Skating Towards?
Some essayists followed Gretzky's observation that success depends on skating to where the puck is going to be.
Rather, I anticipate the unexpected — the bumps in the ice, gaping holes to avoid, gale force winds… counter-balanced with a serendipitous touch of magic which will alter the colors and fill the air with music, wrote Cairine MacDonald.
And that means we need to go into the corners and fight for the things we believe in. Ted Jackson.
Others were more reminiscent of Joni Mitchell's River to skate away on…
I’ve been skating towards the intersection of voice and agency for a long time now. Shari Graydon.
I’m skating towards oblivion. Sorry to say it but so are you. Patrick O'Neill
So I ask you to skate with me as we accept that we don’t know where the end is but to live in hope that it is better than where we are. Allyson Hewitt
Between the old and the new, there is a place that is a kind of nowhere-land and it is one of the most challenging places to be. It can be lonely and is full of uncertainty and tension. Cheryl Rose
Others sought the skater's skill to balance life's paradoxes:
It strikes me that balancing the fine edge of pain and possibility is what is being demanded of me today. Vickie Cammack
The loss of the soul is painless. replied Jacques Dufresne
We can’t feel an obligation to another unless and until we see that person as vulnerable, as open to ourselves to pain and suffering. This seeing in turn requires a special capacity of the mind: moral imagination. Mark Kingwell
We face a widening gap between our need to work together and our ability to do so. Adam Kahane
The most striking thing for me about our world today is the lack of alignment between our wealth, abundance and cascading knowledge and the utilization of these resources to overcome the complex challenges we face. Tim Draimin
How can we have one of the most successful societies this planet has ever known and yet have what so many feel is such a dissatisfying relationships with our government and political institutions? Sean Moore
Others were more goal oriented:
There is a screaming need for a credible political movement that recognizes that we need to get our fiscal houses in order — in order to be able to achieve improved outcomes on the social side. Jim Fletcher
And to think that these gifts are all from the first generation in many years that will have fewer job opportunities, more debt and more challenges than their parents. Molly Harrington
Of all the big ideas I’ve taken a shot at in the past several years — social enterprise, nonprofit technology, open data, impact investing — the one that still holds the greatest promise in my eyes is microphilanthropy. Peter Deitz
Do we have the courage and wisdom to build economies of well-being and a civilization of love? Mark Anielski
I am going to walk with those who desire new forms of leadership. I want to visit places that embrace leaderfulness. Places where lots of leadership can co exist and where people are learning to walk together and pull in the same direction. Paul Born
And finally skating morphed into another sport in this light hearted excerpt from Karin Melberg Schweir describing her son Jim's recent citizenship test.
The Judge smiled. He turned. “Do you know the words to O Canada, Jim?” Well, absolutely! We began with great gusto; the Judge even joined in. At the end, Jim yelled, “Play ball!”
Indeed, where are you throwing the ball? Perhaps a question for another year?
To read all these essays and more Download the PDF What Am I Skating Towards?