Power of the Internarrative
Internarrative is the term I’ve just coined for the sharing of our stories electronically. Biography and autobiography are my favorite genres of literature since primary school. I wanted to know how to do life by reading about the accomplishments of writers and scientists, artists and humanitarians, and the extraordinary ordinary people who provide context for our lives. World Pulse and PulseWire recognize we’re a storytelling species and are challenging us in not only forging activities for positive societal enhancement and equity, but in learning how to creatively communicate those activities as widely as possible in narrative form electronically.
Awareness of World Pulse and PulseWire comes in the midst of my international, self-funded work in the energy sector of the built environment. Build and they will begin to comprehend and construct is my mantra for creating a viable vision for my life. Ten years ago my late husband, an architect, and I were aware the real challenge of changing use of energy in buildings wasn’t just change in technology, but effective communication through narrative for altering energy-use habits. To that end, we fostered the construction of energy efficient buildings at high latitude and publicized these efforts internationally before the Internet era. After my husband’s sudden death, I completed a Ph.D. in communications to strengthen my understanding and skills relating to persuasion and technical connectivity.
Initially, my work was based on model buildings in the northern Midwest of the US. The vision of the life I now lead came to me quite clearly on a beach in Goa, India six years ago while pausing for a holiday before plunging into my dissertation. It was as though a compact fluorescent light bulb appeared in a cartoon bubble above my head catapulting me into the realization that I needed to focus on communication challenges not only from a Western perspective, but also from examples based in the East. Soon I learned about extraordinary design and construction work underway in the state of Kerala, India as part of its devotion to creating enhanced and sustainable lives for its citizens.
Synchronicity remains a key feature of reducing my ecological footprints on my life’s path and helping others do the same. When I decided to relocate my North American base back on Canadian soil, I didn’t know that the local college was about to create a Centre of Excellence that would be doubling its facilities and striving to fulfill the Living Building Challenge by becoming a fully self-supporting facility relating to its energy needs -- one of sixty attempts now underway worldwide. Our local affiliate of Habitat for Humanity is also planning a prototypical energy efficient house that will supply a large portion of its own power and be a model Green Building. The small city where I’m a resident also wants to know what I’m doing in India and contacts internationally are asking for more information about efforts in western Canada.
I’m becoming a bridge between East and West conveying ideas and examples between cultures. Right now I’m again loading a couple of duffle bags and tucking my laptop and digital camera into a daypack for another six months in India. All those biographies and autobiographies that have been lifelong reading have indeed shown me how to do a life: cultivate a vision; live the vision with passion and willingness to risk; and communicate widely.
As I operate at a grassroots, low-budget, nongovernmental, and noncorporate level, I’m heartened by American anthropologist Margaret Mead’s words: “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.” World Pulse and PulseWire offer us the power of Internarrative. Though I’m operating internationally and using the Internet, the readings as part of this final assignment -- Losing Innate Female Wisdom and Taking Back the Wisdom of the Feminine -- really struck a chord in my soul and left me with a lump in my throat. My academic work did not honor this source of wisdom. I value the opportunity of bidding for a Web 2.0 training position to intensify my feminine voice and share such knowledge and skills with other women in my global network to strengthen their visions and voices.