Express Your Vision:

What will the Town of West Greenwick Look Like
and Feel Like in the Year 2291?

What ultimately determines the course of our lives, the arc of history, the direction of the future?

In order to answer that question, we have to ask what is the primary motive power of the universe and what is our relation to it?  What is the engine of our lives?  Sheer blind chance?  Biological striving for preservation, ascendance or dominance?  Brute greed or the savage will to power?  Mindless self-interest or propagation?  The desire for comfort and delicious forgetfulness?  The weight of historical karma playing out in a small number of practically predetermined cycles or patterns?  The deliberate operation of intelligence?  Collective aspiration?  Stubborn, continual, and often thankless work against the grain?   Some kind of “strange (invisible) attractor” in the cosmos luring us on?  The omnipresent operation of God’s providential care?  A celestial amphitheater of benign beings cheering us on?

What are the chief ways the future might or will unfold?  What are the “powers that be” in our time?  What power today do so-called ordinary people have to shape or influence the tendencies that surround us?  Or might the ordinary be the extraordinary in disguise?

How is true power expressed?

What will the planet be like some 250 to 300 years hence?  — the scene of ever more turbulent and destructive conflict, or vibrant, expansive and luminous growth?

How will any geographical locality figure in all this?   For example, will there even be a municipality or town called “West Greenwich”?

In celebrating the 275th anniversary of West Greenwich, the West Greenwich Conservation Commission, as an exercise in far-seeing and long-range thinking, invites town residents and students of all ages to vividly express their visions of how our planet and locality will change, imperceptibly or dramatically. Who or what will get us there – if indeed we do get “there.”  And what will that “there” be like?  A cynic will say, who can know and why should we care?  — It’s never up to us!  Our so-called choices are mirages and only the worst global future scenarios will pan out.  The future is pure degradation and default.  The burden of proof will be on those who think otherwise!

The West Greenwich Conservation Commission is soliciting your vision for how things will turn out:  predictions – short or long, wild or cautious — sketches, paintings, poems, dreamscapes, streams-of-consciousness, half-conscious riffs, well-thought-out scenarios (the dire to the ecstatically beautiful), ardent wishes, canny tactics, wise strategies, urgent and intentional imperatives, psychic expansions…

And……….in line with all this, what are artifacts of 2016?  What things are representative of our time (one hint: an iPhone!)?   What will be definite antiques centuries hence?  What do we assume will be constant but no longer around?  What is ubiquitous now but will be totally absent around 2300 CE?

Please submit your items, suggestions and planetary/local future essays to The West Greenwich Conservation Commission at 280 Victory Highway, W. Greenwich, RI 02817 by Sept. 21st.  Submissions will be read, and shared at the Celebrate West Greenwich event at Town Hall on Sunday afternoon, September 25th selected for inclusion in the time capsule to be buried and unearthed around 2300 CE!


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