Renew Fest is Regenerating
Renew Fest is taking a year off to replenish, restore and re-calibrate, with the plan to re-emerge in 2020 as a power source for ecological, economic and social renewal across the nation and the world. This year we are instead holding a Deep Renew Weekend.
Buddhists have this great image and spiritual practice of turning the wheel – they call it the dharma wheel. It signifies action in the world that generates harmony with oneself and the world. If turned with clear mind and heart eventually that wheel turns itself.
This is the vision of the director of Renew Fest, Ella Rose Goninan, to create a self- sustaining movement towards global renewal.
“It’s time to do some heavy lifting. The moment has come to re-organise and expand our festival and build resilience into our local and global community in this time of quickening crisis. We see our role at Renew to provide the foundation and wisdom to action real world change, to embolden clear, audacious vision for this planet and in order to do that our organisation needs time to regenerate.”
Life made that vision and determination crystal clear for Ella at the end of last year with the death of her friend’s son. Her grief and her role in supporting her friends in their grief brought home the fact that renewal is a precious and invaluable process and requires our full attention.
“We human beings need to be working together to be successful in restoring our collective health and our impact on the planet.
In December last year my dear friend lost her son. The harrowing grief that prevailed for her, her partner, her family, myself and all close friends, has changed and is continuing to change every fibre of my being. I spent the whole next month involved in supporting them intimately with their emotional and practical needs, which also involved coordinating a wider community of care. I don’t yet know the full impact of this experience but I am certain I have to allow it. I recognise the importance of remaining close and available to them through the long- term process of their tragic loss. It’s a deep honour to be able to make this choice to offer care in this way.”
In the light of this experience Ella is announcing a change of pace this year, with a DEEP RENEW WEEKEND in May, focused on grief and elder hood in a time of climate crisis, with a fully regenerated festival in 2020.
The Deep Renew Weekend will feature two events with international author, founder of Orphan Wisdom, grief walker and elder hood teacher Stephen Jenkinson, on both Friday evening 10 May and Saturday 11 May. This will be followed by a deep listening Vigil For Grief in the fig tree grove of Mullumbimby Showgrounds 11-12 May with the live immersive music-scape of HHAARRPP, spoken word meditations from festival director Ella Rose Goninan and guests, and the quiet contemplations of all those that attend.
“We are buoyed by all the organisations and individuals who committed and expressed interest in Renew Fest 2019 and we encourage them and many more to join us when the bigger festival returns for Renew Fest 2020. In many ways my passage through this grief and support process parallels that for our festival. Connecting to grief within our human experience, including the grief for our impact on the earth, is a powerful resource for renewing our service to life. Renew celebrates individual and collective desires for regenerating and caring for the planet and our human societies. It speaks to all of us and it speaks from all of us as it speaks up about how to positively transform ourselves and the systems that support us.”