Continually refreshing a Sense of Journey simultaneously locates the current moment in the sweep of personal and community history and presents with fresh urgency the choice of what to keep and what to let go. These times of decision, etched into common memory as new milestones, honor the “divine economy of the Universe,” in which nothing is ultimately lost; all experiences are woven into an unfolding adventure.

We have a journey to take, and little time,
Ships to name, and crews.

[Henry Dumas]

Four cardinal compass points help to center attention and re-establish direction for resolving conflicts that might otherwise fracture or fragment a community, an organization or an enterprise. An overview of this framework can be read here.

2. Sense of Journey

Sometimes all it takes in a moment of paralyzing uncertainty is the reminder that we are on a journey, that the present experience of loss, disorientation, or even betrayal signals the dissolution of an expectation or story that no longer corresponds to reality. We are “off the map” and entering the unknown, where “there be dragons.”

It is a moment of beginning and ending, of painful realization and profound self-questioning. We reach farther back, not to superimpose an old solution on the current crisis, but to gain permission to “rise with the occasions,” “to think anew and act anew,” “to disenthrall ourselves,” just as those who have gone before us had done to open the way for us.

And so the significance of the now becomes the promise of the Long Now, measured not in days, or decades, but generations and centuries.