Orion Online has just posted Engagement, the third part of Terry Tempest Williams’ series on the Open Space of Democracy:

In our increasingly fundamentalist country, we have to remember what is fundamental: gravity — what draws us to a place and keeps us there, like love, like kinship. When we commit to a particular place, a certain element of choice is removed. We begin to see the world whole instead of fractured. Long-term strategies replace short-term gains. We inform one another and become an educated public that responds.

Here in the redrock desert, which now carries the weight of more leases for oil and gas than its fragile red skin can support, due to the aggressive energy policy of the Bush administration, the open space of democracy appears to be closing. The Rocky Mountain states are feeling this same press of energy extraction with scant thought being given to energy alternatives. A domestic imperialism has crept into our country with the same assured arrogance and ideology-of-might that seem evident in Iraq.

It is easy to believe we the people have no say; that the powers in Washington will roll over our local concerns with their corporate energy ties and thumper trucks. It is easy to believe that the American will is only focused on how to get rich, how to be entertained, and how to distract itself from the hard choices we have before us as a nation.

I refuse to believe this. The only space I see truly capable of being closed is not the land or our civil liberties but our own hearts.

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