The River Birch Project Fall Event — Recap

The River Birch Project LogoFilm Viewing and Discussion

The Women’s List

a PBS documentary by Timothy Greenfield Sanders

 Meet 15 Women Who Have Created and Defined Contemporary US Culture

Inspiring! Uplifting! Provocative! Fun! Compelling!

About thirty of us gathered to view the film along with lively discussion.  You may purchase this video from PBS (as we did), and / or view the trailer or complete version here.

“It’s sometimes surprising to discover the cumulative progress women have made in recent times. Just think, what field has not been enriched by females in art, theater, finance politics, law, entrepreneurship, science.  The list is as impressive as it is enlightening. To realize that we’re no longer pioneers, the startling exception, the first to fly, or swim or sail prodigious distances in bad weather. No longer the first to untangle problems in science, math or physics.

No. We are multitudes, and society is clearly the better for our peaceful invasion.  There is no modernity and no justice without the talent, the passion and the steely intelligence of women.”

Toni Morrison

Our discussion covered many elements inspired by the film, including a discussion of what it means to be a feminist.  What does this really mean for those who came before us as well as those who are young today, and for men, as well as women, male youth as well as female? Our discussion was about knowing one’s own power, own voice, in service to what matters, and in service to humanity.

There also was lively discussion on the topic of Self-Doubt and Confidence.  See this brief and fun TED Lesson: Tips to Boost Confidence!

Curated Resources on the topic of Women and Leadership, from last night’s event.

We look forward to seeing you at future events!

For Event updates and announcements watch this site.

For More Information on The River Birch Project

The Story of The River Birch

Reflections on Impermanence

“My Riverbirch has lost its leaves…and now I can see the lake.”

This is true as I look out my window, and is so unexpected.  The property between my house and the lake has undergone major changes, with the removal of numerous old trees.  I’d never had a view, and now I do. It is true that the changes that may be unwelcome (the removal of large and beautiful trees) can have unexpected benefits…and open up new vistas, so to speak.  Today…the sun shines brightly and a crystal sharp reflection juts off the water.

It is reminiscent of a Japanese Haiku:

“Barn’s burnt down…now I can see the moon.” Masahide, Japanese poet, (1657?-1723)

I first saw this Haiku on a card intended for a husband who’s wife had nearly lost her life in an accident, and she was left partially paralyzed.  I thought the expression (this haiku in this situation) was very stark. But as their new life unfolded, I also saw that they had a new and deeper relationship.

At this time of year I think about tragedy, and change…  I think of blessings, too, for there are many and I feel these and name them quietly in gratitude.  I think about the Buddhist notion that tragedy is inevitable and suffering is a kind of choice.  I don’t think I’ve mastered that one yet.  It’s not as simplistic, as I put it here.  The teaching is that we suffer because of our desires and attachment, and life is impermanent, change is constant.

So, at this time impermanence is a theme as nature does its dance and changes, and our season transforms through Fall into Winter.  Through light into dark… and as I know with my garden, there is much that carries on behind the scenes, underneath and hidden.  Things are still very alive, just not as visible…and we make our own light with Thanksgiving and with the upcoming Holidays.

May you find peace and many blessings as we approach Thanksgiving.