In 2010 we celebrated our 20th Annual Men’s Conference. In honor of that occasion, Hari Meyers, the Redwood Men’s Center Master Storyteller put together a retrospective of the first twenty years.
A History of the Redwood Men’s Center’s Conference-Gatherings
by Hari Meyers
Our 17th conference, Turning Points:
Is every moment we live a turning point? Do we recognize them as they happen? Some are revolutionary – a catastrophe, falling in love, a sudden insight, a shattering loss. Some are evolutionary – schooling, career, parenting, depression, health, aging, changing of administration (inwardly and outwardly). What transitions do we now each face in our lives? How might the community of men help us find the courage to fully embrace the direction that is required?
The first task seemed to be the healing of our own wounds; we moved from perceiving them as unique and individual to an appreciation that our sufferings are universal, a necessary part of every journey, an entry point to collective Soul. Appreciating how kindred are our dreams and aspirations, we formed stronger and stronger bonds together. Community then increased our capacities both in witnessing and testimony. How do we now apply the salve of our own wholeness to the world at large? How can our own movement from isolated suspicion of each other to a trust in brotherhood turn the world we dream together from harshness to harmony? How to collectively nudge this seemingly intractable world more and more towards a worthy habitation for Soul? That “turning point” refines its challenge to us in every conscious moment.
There is a rhythm to our returning to the Gathering each spring – we reaffirm our connection, acknowledge our community, bear witness to each other’s journey, to our welcoming old and young, new men and seasoned men alike, and to knowing that the questions we ask and the stories we tell are simply a framework within which, regardless of particular theme or story, our community comes home.