We came to this practicum experience as sixteen undergraduates from three different majors to write about a vaguely defined topic. On the first day we met, we were presented with the word "green" and asked by Paul, our advisor, to express what this word invoked. The responses ranged from "technology" to "grass" to "life." From this first critical meeting to the present, we have struggled to integrate our diverse backgrounds and our various voices in order to work together on a collaborative product. This has involved much more than any of us ever expected. In the last five months, we have: read hundreds of books and articles on the California Greens; travelled the entire state from San Diego County to Humboldt County; interviewing countless Greens and several others and attending Green meetings; and spent endless hours in retreats and meetings to finally produced the only collaborative work in existence on the California Greens. During this process, we have experienced much: we mourned and protested together as our federal government poured money into a war and our state government simultaneously raised our registration fees forty percent; we felt joy and a sense of accomplishment as we saw our field work and final product come together; we felt frustration as we experienced the inevitable tensions that are bound to exist in any group trying to create a work in accord with the challenging concept of "unity in diversity"; and we felt disappointment when certain members of the practicum couldn't finish their pieces for this publication or weren't happy with the piece they had created. We realized our expectations were incredibly high, and had to come to terms with falling short. This work is not complete without this understanding of our process, which has changed all of us. Most of us had never worked in a group setting, let alone tried to write together. We are all products of a system that affords us no real or preparation to work in a group or create community. We are proud, nonetheless, to have come this far together.
We found this process to be as important at times as our elusive subject: the California Greens. The Greens' process is as complex and difficult as our own, and we have often identified with their struggle while acknowledging the obvious and subtle differences. We call this work Impressions of the California Greens, having integrated sixteen perspectives on the Greens which range from friendly to hyper-critical and run the gamut in terms of form from fiction to critical analysis to a demographic report outlining who the Greens are in this state. We hope that this collection will serve as a catalyst for much discussion and debate among Greens, ourselves, and all those interested in movements trying to bring about change. We realize at times that the reader might encounter ideas that seemingly contradict, but we feel that these differences perhaps inform a greater, more holistic truth; dialogues are active and open.
The work is loosely grouped into three sections: Green Evolution, which traces the Greens from their roots in Europe to who they have become in California; Green Thought, which offers tidbits of the lifestyles, philosophies, and spiritualities that the Greens have embraced and evolved from in five varying ways; and Green Visions, which examines briefly where Greens are, but mostly explores where Greens could go. It is a moving, dynamic collection, which we offer in a spirit which is well expressed by Starhawk in a ritual:
... Because no one alone can dream the dark into love.
We need each other for that. We need all the power we can raise together.
... Take hands for we are the circle of rebirth. If there is to be renewal,
it begins with us. We can touch - through these words, these pages.
We can know the dark, and dream it into a new image. As life, friends,
IMPRESSIONS OF THE CALIFORNIA GREENS
International Greens 3
California Green Activities 17
Who Are the California Greens? 35
Internal Dynamics 63
Picnic Among the Greenery 71
History of Green Thought 83
Deep Spiritual Roots 103
Green Themes 121
Burnout, Pacing, and Expectations 122
Scale and Its Importance to Right Relationships 127
Cultivating the Possibilities 141
Early Spring with the Greens 173
Suburban Souls 199
A Critical Analysis of the California Green Party 217
Do the Greens Have an Empty Boat 255
Greening the Economy 275
A Step Towards a Greener Economy 297
Pathways to Green Fulfillment 317
THE SANTA CRUZ GREENS 331