Emergent

Boethius, Consolation of Philosophy, Book I; part 7

The light becomes the afternoon, and we are still snugly swaddled in the chrysaline furze of late September’s gloaming-fall—the month always ever perched at the end of one thing and the start of something else, dappled first in flecks of stil de grain and draped in ever broader swathes of aureolin, carmine, currant, and rose; persimmon and fire.

I completed the final days of my last class at Sterling College a few weeks ago — a senior seminar titled Posthumanism, where we’d engaged in broad explorations of contemporary theory with an eye toward making tangible some of our more ethereal discussions in ways that might meaningfully impact human engagement with the more-than-human world.

My final days.

After more than 13 years, nearly 70 classes, and experiences without number at this tiny Vermont college, I’ve taken a position as Head of Schumacher College, Dartington, England, where I begin duties next week.

I am honored, humbled, and excited beyond measure to be taking on a leadership role at Schumacher — itself a small, ecologically-centered and community-focused institution, which, among other parallels to Sterling, thrives as part of an ecological whole that involves many moving parts — individuals, organizations, ideas, and aspirations.

I look forward to cultivating all of these and helping the college move forward.

As I make this change in my own life — and in the lives of my family and friends — I hold firmly to the notion, in both mind and heart, that this shift is a chance to build upon decades of work as both a steward and student of ecological and community collaborations.

The Old Postern at Schumacher College

In the sixth century, Boethius wrote his magnum opus, De Consolatione Philosophiae (quoted in the image at top), whilst imprisoned and awaiting execution after his fall from power. I have been drawn to Boethius, much like Annie Dillard’s moth — “only glowing within, like a building fire glimpsed through silhouetted walls” — perhaps for similar reasons that Dante might have included him among the hallowed spheres of paradise, ed essa da martiro e da essilio venne a questa pace.

But though it is often philosophy that helps me sketch a path, only through action can I find my way along its course.

And along this path that I’ve chosen to follow, I realize once again that even in our moments of intensity and brilliance, none of us is sparsile — we are constellations all.

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