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Editorial: Letter From Zagora

Editorial: Letter from Zagora      ED. NOTE: Every few months the Riverwest Currents receives a mysterious missive that seems to be from the future. They come with clear instructions about how and when to publish them. The writer often refers to some kind of  cause and effect notion – we need to print the letter now, so that something specific will happen, and the future of  the letter will be the future that comes about. We’ve toyed with the idea that, if we didn’t print a letter, perhaps the  future they come from would wink out of existence, and the letters would cease. We decided not to take that chance.                   Greetings from Zagora, the land beyond the  green hill – the area that you who live in 2009  still refer to as Riverwest.   The summer of 2048 has been a busy one. We just  completed the 40th annual Twenty-Four Hour Bike  Battery Charging Marathon. I understand that  this festival has its roots in a bike race around the  neighborhood that was begun shortly after the turn of  the century. Of course, we have added a very utilitarian  component, with bikers charging the batteries that we  use to cool our homes and pump our water.   Looking around me now, I see so many things that owe  their success to the decisions and choices you folks  made during the summer of 2009.   The advances we have made in urban agriculture are  amazing. I can only imagine what a struggle it must  have been to scratch out a few vegetables and greens  from your little community garden plots. But you  started us on the path to where we are today, with our  localized soil-building projects and individualized  food production structures – both in our own homes  and on the common spaces we’ve set aside in each  block.   Much of our food is grown by each household, with  local markets to sell and distribute field crops like  grains, squash, and beans that are grown in what used  to be called the sub-burbs. How strange to think of all  that fertile land being covered by big flimsy houses –  balloon houses, we call them now.   But back to your time. The decision you all made about  Garden Park turned out to be pivotal for changing the  neighborhood, and actually the whole attitude of the  city. It’s amazing how creative you got, and how – as a  group – you worked out a way to use that space that no  one would have possibly thought of on their own. That  project more than anything was a breakthrough in the  use of group process and planning. You’re really going  to enjoy solving that problem.   The summer of 2009 was also known as one of those  years with a lot of shootings. It must have been  heart rending – those young men shot on your very  doorsteps. It’s strange how violence and brilliance can sometimes lie side-by-side like that.   If I were to say anything about that, I would just  encourage you to hang in there. Pride in your  neighborhood and hope for the future will help  overcome the fear that many feel. I’m happy to say that  great strides will be made after the summer of 2009,  but you’re just going to have to go through it all in  order to gain the understanding that will heal.   Of course, the Depression you’re weathering right now  will make a big difference. The top and the bottom of  the economic spectrum will both be trimmed. The  very poor will, happily, begin to do a bit better… and  yes, it will be at the expense of the very rich. Sorry  rich folks. Hope you enjoyed it while you had it. But  if your literature is an accurate reflection, I don’t think  you did.  It’s a good thing you’re all learning to  grow food for yourselves. I’d suggest  you eat a lot of it. You’re going to be  learning soon about the effects of fresh  foods on the immune system, and that  as much as anything is going to help  most of you pull through the influenza  epidemic of 2010. Sorry, but that’s going  to be a bad time. But looking back, it  was the only thing that was effective  to force the insurance companies to  give up their stranglehold on health  care in our country. Again, sorry, a bad  time is coming your way. Eat well, and  Beyond the Green Hill  Editorial   Continued from page 1  whatever you do, don’t give up control  of your water.   Well, that’s the news from the future.  Please keep a positive attitude, work  together and help each other. You  have the opportunity to find your  way through your troubles in a most  brilliant way. The key is to talk to each  other, work together as a group, and  figure it out.   Just remember the motto of Zagora  adopted in our founding year of 2025:  We have brains, let’s use them!