“This is the often-quoted phrase engraved on the base of the Statue of Liberty. For more than a century, the statue with its inscription has been a beacon of hope for immigrants — many without “merit” — who have fled to our shores, seeking a better life in our country.
We would do well to reflect on what this inscription means to us and what the Statue of Liberty represents before we give our assent to building walls, limiting immigration to favored foreigners and kicking Dreamers out of our country.”
The times in which we’re living are dramatic and unstable, yet pregnant with new possibilities for a future released from the shackles of fear.
At a time when fear and hatred have been turned into a political force, is it possible to harness the powers of love and decency for political purposes as well?
Our task is to create a new, whole-person politics, breaking free of a paradigm based on a decidedly outdated view of the world and embracing a more enlightened understanding of our relation to the universe. We need a deeper, multi-dimensional understanding of our national story: where we have been, where we are, and where we need to go now.
As with other extraordinary times in our history — from our Founding to Abolition to Women’s Suffrage to the Civil Rights era — it is time once again to break free of an old way of being and embrace a new story going forward. As in the words of Abraham Lincoln, “… we must think anew, and act anew. We must disenthrall ourselves, and then we shall save our country.”
I will be touring the country this year, discussing how a revolution in consciousness paves the way to both personal and national renewal. In the words of Martin Luther King, Jr., “Our goal is to create a beloved community and this will require a qualitative change in our souls as well as a quantitative change in our lives.” Let’s embrace the possibility of both.
Full Moon is Sunday, December 3 at 8:46AM Mountain Standard Time (MST).
‘This Super Moon is an opportunity for a good reality check and a time to tell the truth about what you know to be true, not what someone else tells you is true, but what you, yourself know. It is a good day to discuss and share dreams of the future, intentions, solutions to problems, and everything you can imagine for yourself. A full moon is always expansive. Use the expansiveness to fuel your imagination and creativity but do not get scattered.
As the theme for December is UPGRADE, this is also a good time to make an inventory of what you wish to upgrade. The decisions to change something in your life will use this full moon energy to take hold and begin the process. Try not to spend time in frustration or disappointment in self or others as you make your list. Be neutral. Negative feelings about what needs to change are never useful. Think instead about how fabulous the upgrade will be. Spend some time in nature today and begin putting some practices in place to open your senses.
Mercury has gone retrograde and it is best if you are fairly well organized with your schedule for the next three weeks (with room for flexibility of course).’
The theme for this new moon is creating positive change out of challenging circumstances.
Anything that has been a hardship for you, and can be seen as a negative experience, can be used as a powerful agent to shift into something new. This is a new moon and will support anything new. Take the pieces of the old, whether an old dream, an old life, or challenging lesson, and use the power of those experiences to fuel what wants to emerge from the ashes.
It is a time where healing that comes from a shift in attitude and reaction is on the table. We may be triggered again, the same way were were during the time of the eclipse (actual trigger point on November 20). So take advantage of the opportunity to reset what needs it. As you turn the soil of our life, focus more on the gifts and inspiration you are discovering that what you regret or feel bad about. Do a practice every day from now until the solicit on December 21st of dreaming an improved life.
A massive effort is underway to mobilize the potential new voters. Ex-offenders have hit the streets to register others like them to vote, often teaming up with community groups. “There’s a lot of work being done to make sure they’re planning to be a significant part of this election,” says Price, who also directs a voter engagement project with the nonprofit New Virginia Majority that has targeted ex-offenders.
In Richmond, few people have registered as many felons to vote as Muhammad As-saddique Abdul-Rahman. The 54-year-old was himself most recently released from prison in 2002—he went in for the first time as a teenager on felony robbery charges. After getting out, he struggled for years with homelessness and alcoholism. But things changed after he got sober, and again the day McAuliffe announced his rights were restored.
That night he went online to register to vote, and the next day he set out to register others. “I went to Monroe Park, where they have breakfast for the homeless and I knew there were a lot of ex-offenders,” he says. “I went to drug houses, to the neighborhoods I grew up in, the neighborhoods I had lived in. I went to AA meetings, different churches, soup kitchens.” Within a few weeks, he says he had registered some 500 people. Hoping to turn his sudden calling into a career, he searched online for voter registration jobs and stumbled upon a phone number for New Virginia Majority; the group hired him as a full-time staffer. Abdul-Rahman estimates he has now personally registered about 2,000 people.
In a 1933 letter to his 11-year-old daughter Scottie, F. Scott Fitzgerald produced this poignant and wise list of things to worry, not worry, and think about, found in the altogether excellent F. Scott Fitzgerald: A Life in Letters:
Things to worry about:
Worry about courage
Worry about Cleanliness
Worry about efficiency
Worry about horsemanship
Things not to worry about:
Don’t worry about popular opinion
Don’t worry about dolls
Don’t worry about the past
Don’t worry about the future
Don’t worry about growing up
Don’t worry about anybody getting ahead of you
Don’t worry about triumph
Don’t worry about failure unless it comes through your own fault
Don’t worry about mosquitoes
Don’t worry about flies
Don’t worry about insects in general
Don’t worry about parents
Don’t worry about boys
Don’t worry about disappointments
Don’t worry about pleasures
Don’t worry about satisfactions
Things to think about:
What am I really aiming at?
How good am I really in comparison to my contemporaries in regard to:
(b) Do I really understand about people and am I able to get along with them?
(c) Am I trying to make my body a useful instrument or am I neglecting it?
Notes from Jackson Pollack and Ronald Reagan to their own kids.
“The Vietnam War,” a 10-part, 18-hour documentary by Ken Burns and Lynn Novick, premieres on PBS on Sunday, Sept. 17.
There are more Vietnamese voices “The Vietnam War” than Burns at first thought necessary. … It has animated three-dimensional maps and foreign-language interviews. There’s rock music, as well as a score commissioned from Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross; Erik Ewers, a longtime editor at Florentine, who has worked on dozens of hours of film chivvied along by ragtime and bluegrass, told me, with feeling, that the opportunity to use “Dazed and Confused,” by Led Zeppelin, was “a dream come true.”
The film includes striking sequences in which well-known black-and-white photographs, always central to Burns’s work, coëxist with color film and color photography. The subject, being recent and contested—and its traumas sometimes evident in the stiffness around the mouths of witnesses—has its own narrative potency. … Still, when the narration begins, its liturgical phrasing, and its reach for a negotiated settlement among viewers, will seem familiar.
[The New Yorker’s Ian Parker]
In “Ken burns Tackles a Different Civil War,” N.Y. Times ideas reporter Jennifer Schuessler says the film “offers an uncannily well-timed reflection of our current societal fractures — a kind of origin story for the culture wars.”
“The $30 million film, more than 10 years in the making, offers an intensely immersive, often head-spinning history lesson, combining grand sweep and archival depth with sometimes devastatingly emotional first-person interviews with people from all sides (including more than two dozen Vietnamese, from both the winning and losing sides).”
“There are scenes covering 25 battles, 10 of which are examined from multiple perspectives.”
“Every word of the script, written by the historian Geoffrey C. Ward, was carefully weighed. And perhaps none were as carefully debated as that opening narration, which describes the war as ending in ‘failure’ (not ‘defeat,’ Mr. Burns noted, though he used the word himself). ‘I think we probably spent six months on the word ‘failure.'”
“As for ‘begun in good faith,’ Mr. Burns said he stands by those words, which he said reflect the intentions of those who fought the war, even if they are perhaps ‘too generous’ to our leaders.”
Worth the click: “Shot by Shot: Building a Scene in Ken Burns and Lynn Novick’s Vietnam Epic.”
We are now navigating the debris kicked up by events that triggered the RESET of August. We know something is different, and we know things should be different. We feel somehow different and some of us are manifesting big changes, but we cannot fully embrace the reality of it until we adjust on all levels, assimilating and integrating as we go.
So, this is the period of great ADJUSTMENT.
There is a new energy inside each one of us whether it is tangible at this point or not. This new energy requires that your environment, whatever that may be, adjust itself to you in a new way. This could mean a sudden move, a radical change in work, an upgrade in your home, vehicle or electronics or a change in your relationships including one with self. You may feel an overwhelming desire to clean out, move things around, get rid of the old, bring in the new get different support, make new friends, and generally upgrade your personal environment to reflect a new vibration and new intentions. When the adjustment is self-driven, it is exciting and inspiring even if it may be overwhelming at times.
What isn’t so exciting is the adjustment you personally may have to make to what has changed in your environment that is not consciously your choice. For example, if you find a change has been thrust upon you such as in work or relationship, you can either wallow in martyrdom and see yourself as a victim, or you can be neutral and embrace it as a necessary situation that will ultimately support you in the direction you need to go.
The main thing is to see all that is happening as a positive step in the direction of change. Whether you are informing the environment around you to adjust to the “new you”, or you are struggling to adjust to what is happening around you, the best attitude will be one of acceptance, patience, neutrality and trust. You will have days when you don’t know your bottom from your top, days of frustration with yourself and others, days when you are so inspired you can hardly contain the excitement, days when you feel overwhelmed, and days when you see inspiring glimpses of this new direction we are all going in.
Think of ADJUSTMENT in terms of your body. If you are not aligned correctly, you don’t function so well. You go to the chiropractor and get straightened out so the energy can flow again. In times of great change, there is always a period of feeling out of sorts, where some parts have made the change and others are being resistant or trying to catch up. This can result in feeling not quite “all there”, a little spaced out with a sense of not being able to hold onto any thought for too long. Instead of resisting this, take the time just to be in this container of adjustment. It is not always about doing. Sometimes rest is the prescription we need.
The most important thing is to be in acceptance of what is and of what is showing up. There is a big picture at work here and we have not yet been able to see or experience fully the outcome of what we are currently creating for ourselves. We need to recognize this as a collective co-creation and take what comes. We also need to embrace the adjustment necessary in this process. The sun and the earth are at a new vibration, adjusting to each other, and since all of life is informed by those two energies, there is a need to adjust ourselves to this new vibration as fully as we can.
‘Having a spiritual meltdown without realizing it? The author of Eat, Pray, Love reveals the critical, overlooked red flags.’
1. You’re Bored.
I feel like boredom is the first and quietest signal of spiritual despondency. I don’t just mean that you’re bored with your religious path; I mean that you’re bored with everything—bored with yourself, bored with human beings, bored with your work, bored with life. Some people accept boredom as normal, but I see it as a sign that you have completely lost touch with the real wonder that is exploding all around you in every moment. Because let’s be honest—this world is many things, but it ain’t boring. This world is beautiful, violent, extreme, dangerous, magnificent and mysterious. This world is also filled with millions of varied and incredible life forms, including human beings (the most creative, bizarre, unpredictable species that ever lived). If all that bores you, then your soul has really gone to sleep at the wheel. Start reviving your curiosity, and your spirit will have a chance to wake up again.
2. You’re Scared.
You’re scared of everything and everyone. Fear is the opposite of faith, and your fear is a signal that your faith has left you. Fear is also the murderer of creativity, innovation, hope, risk and joy. Fear always makes the most boring, soul-killing choices, because fear only ever speaks one word, and that word is: “STOP!” When you only listen to your voice of fear, all you do is remain paralyzed. And fear breeds fear, so you get more and more frozen by the day. But your soul doesn’t want to stop. Your soul was born on a spinning planet, in an evolving world, in an expanding universe. Your soul is all about motion. Your soul wants to GO—wants to try things, wants to jump, wants to soar, wants to sail, wants to create, wants to fall, wants to fail, wants to try again. Sit down and have a calm discussion with your fear. Respectfully inform your fear that it doesn’t get to make decisions anymore. Let your creativity and your curiosity start making decisions, instead. Watch and see what happens in your life next, as your soul grows into the giant space of possibility that your fear had been blocking forever.
3. You’re Angry
Anger is OK, actually. Anger, we can work with. At least anger (unlike boredom and fear) has fire in it. At least anger is alive with a kind of passion. The ancients said that there are three different kinds of prayer: You can pray in gratitude, you can pray in beseechment or you can pray in anger. You are allowed, in other words, to vent your rage to God. You are allowed to say, “I am furious at you for what you have allowed to occur!” Do it. Get it off your chest. (God can take it.) But make a commitment that you will not remain in that state of rage for your entire life, or else it will burn a hole right through your soul. Start asking the universe more interesting questions than, “Why am I so cursed?” Start asking, “How can I learn to see this perceived curse as a blessing? How can I grow from here? What is life trying to teach me? What does my soul want the rest of its journey to look like? How am I being invited to transform?” By asking these questions, you can turn the fire of your anger into a different kind of fire—a fire for expansion, a fire for greatness, a fire for dignity, a fire for grace. Trust me, your soul will love those questions far more than it loves the hot and simple rage.
When despair for the world grows in me and I wake in the night at the least sound in fear of what my life and my children’s lives may be, I go and lie down where the wood drake rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds. I come into the peace of wild things who do not tax their lives with forethought of grief. I come into the presence of still water. And I feel above me the day-blind stars waiting with their light. For a time I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.
“HBO’s Confederate takes as its premise an ugly truth that black Americans are forced to live every day: What if the Confederacy wasn’t wholly defeated?”
Nazi Germany was also defeated. But while its surviving leadership was put on trial before the world, not one author of the Confederacy was convicted of treason. Nazi Foreign Minister Joachim von Ribbentrop was hanged at Nuremberg. Confederate General John B. Gordon became a senator. Germany has spent the decades since World War II in national penance for Nazi crimes. America spent the decades after the Civil War transforming Confederate crimes into virtues. It is illegal to fly the Nazi flag in Germany. The Confederate flag is enmeshed in the state flag of Mississippi.
The symbols point to something Confederate’s creators don’t seem to understand—the war is over for them, not for us. At this very hour, black people all across the South are still fighting the battle which they joined during Reconstruction—securing equal access to the ballot—and resisting a president whose resemblance to Ande Johnson is uncanny. Confederate is the kind of provocative thought experiment that can be engaged in when someone else’s lived reality really is fantasy to you, when your grandmother is not in danger of losing her vote, when the terrorist attack on Charleston evokes honest sympathy, but inspires no direct fear. And so we need not wait to note that Confederate’s interest in Civil War history is biased, that it is premised on a simplistic view of white Southern defeat, instead of the more complicated morass we have all around us.
African Americans do not need science-fiction, or really any fiction, to tell them that that “history is still with us.” It’s right outside our door. It’s in our politics. It’s on our networks. And Confederate is not immune. The show’s very operating premise, the fact that it roots itself in a long white tradition of imagining away emancipation, leaves one wondering how “lost” the Lost Cause really was.
It is difficult to know what to do with so much happiness.
With sadness there is something to rub against,
a wound to tend with lotion and cloth. When the world falls in around you, you have pieces to pick up, something to hold in your hands, like ticket stubs or change.
But happiness floats.
It doesn’t need you to hold it down.
It doesn’t need anything.
Happiness lands on the roof of the next house, singing,
and disappears when it wants to.
You are happy either way. Even the fact that you once lived in a peaceful tree house
and now live over a quarry of noise and dust
cannot make you unhappy.
Everything has a life of its own,
it too could wake up filled with possibilities
of coffee cake and ripe peaches,
and love even the floor which needs to be swept,
the soiled linens and scratched records . . .
Since there is no place large enough
to contain so much happiness,
you shrug, you raise your hands, and it flows out of you
into everything you touch. You are not responsible.
You take no credit, as the night sky takes no credit
for the moon, but continues to hold it, and share it,
and in that way, be known.
Like so many people I was in one measure shocked by what happened and in the other awed by Taliesin‘s selfless act of love and courage to do the right thing in a horrible situation. I spent a little time online learning a bit about who Taliesin is and what he believed in and stood for. I then learned that he worked with my friends and colleagues at Cadmus. I want to share this song I wrote called “Night Birds,” as I believe Taliesin embodied the spirit of the song’s intention as much as anyone could. I have also made a donation through the fund set up to honor Taliesin at Reed College.Most importantly, I wanted to send my thoughts and support an Thank you for the spirit of love that you and your family embody.
“This song alludes to a story of a young couple who decide not to be together yet because the world is stuck in senseless violence, separation, and injustice. They decide to turn into night birds until humanity has had a consciousness transformation that eliminates war, hunger/poverty, and injustice. Of course, the song is as much a set of images and that’s just one possible interpretation. Ultimately, it’s about belief that a better world is possible and the comfort, love, and support that we provide to each other along the journey.”