Hope

If not now, when?

May 31, 2020

‘Apocalypse (ἀποκάλυψις) is a Greek word meaning “revelation”, an unveiling or unfolding of things not previously known and which could not be known apart from the unveiling.’

‘Our nerves, our home, our country crave peace’…and leaders. As the helpers and heroes  sustain us, I pray for shift. -dayle

Now, I have no choice but to see with your eyes,

so I am not alone,

so you are not alone.

-Yannis Ritsos

Mark Nepo:

There is a story of Gandhi that reveals how profound and daring his sense of compassion was. It occurred during one of his famous hunger strikes. A man whose daughter was killed came in anguish, saying to Gandhi that he would stop fighting if the great soul would eat. But Ghandi knew the healing was deeper than just stopping the violence, and so he told the man he would eat only when the tormented father embraced the man who killed his daughter.

It is said that the man collapsed in tears, but did as Gandhi asked, and the larger conflict ended. This is an enormous thing to ask of someone in grief, of someone who has been violated. But beyond the vast courage needed to incorporate this kind of love into our daily lives, Gandhi’s request reveals the irrefutable wisdom that only when the broken are headed, no matter what they have done, will we as a people heal.

-The Book of Awakening, p. 179.

Image credit: Dorothy Day, by Julie Lonneman.

’So what makes a good community? Our very survival as a faith tradition, not to mention a species, might just depend upon this.’

Common Ground & Purpose

People want something more from church than membership. They long for a spiritual home that connects with their whole life, not just somewhere to go on Sunday morning. Church is meant to be a place that nurtures and supports individuals along their full journey toward the ultimate goal: a lived experience of the communion of saints, a shared life together as one family, the Reign of God “on earth as it is in heaven” (Matthew 6:10).

Too often, the formal church has been unable to create any authentic practical community, especially over the last half-century. In response, we see the emergence of new faith communities seeking to return to this foundational definition of church. These may not look like our versions of traditional “church,” but they often exemplify the kinds of actual community that Jesus, Paul, and early Christians envisioned. People are gathering digitally and in person today through neighborhood associations, study groups, community gardens, social services, and volunteer groups. They’re seeking creative ways of coming together, nurturing connection, of healing and whole-making. The “invisible” church might be doing this just as much, if not more, than the visible one. The Holy Spirit is humble and seems to work best anonymously. I suspect that is why the Holy Spirit is often pictured as a simple bird or blowing wind that is here one minute and seemingly gone and then nowhere (John 3:8).

It’s all too easy to project unrealistic expectations on any community. No group can meet all our needs as individuals for emotional, mental, and physical well-being. The human psyche needs space and healthy boundaries and not co-dependent groupings. I certainly learned this lesson myself through my participation in the New Jerusalem Community in Cincinnati in the 1970s and 80s, and even earlier as a Franciscan brother. Almost any community can serve as an excellent school for growth, character, and conversion, even though it may not be a permanent “home” for many reasons.

Remember, the isolated individual is fragile and largely helpless to evoke long-term change or renewal. By ourselves, we can accomplish very little. We must find common ground and common purpose to move forward. Fr. Richard Rohr

‘We wake to our cities in pain but also in longing. Full of far more people ready to build & create than to tear apart. On Lake St in Minn yesterday I saw what the drones & news cameras do not convey – an alternative landscape of care rising up around devastation.’ -Krista Tippet, On Being

 

The NASA/SpaceX launch and ISS dock has brought needed respite, inspiration, and hope. Look what we can accomplish as a species when we work together. -dayle

 

Let us surrender to Divine Grace.

-Rev. Dr. David Ault

 

Get after that light.

May 21, 2020

@courtwrites

 

‘I believe in all that has never yet been spoken.’ -Rilke

 

May 19, 2020

 Perhaps all of the above can help the final line breathe true. -dayle

 

Amanda Gorman. And hope.

April 27, 2020

Amanda Gorman is an American poet and activist from Los Angeles, California. Gorman’s work focuses on issues of oppression, feminism, race, and marginalization, as well as the African diaspora. Gorman is the first person to be named National Youth Poet Laureate.

Stunning.

“Amanda Gorman, the U.S.’s inaugural youth poet laureate, is offering Americans some words of inspiration to help get through this stressful time. In a performance for “CBS This Morning,” Gorman recites one of her poems at the Los Angeles Central Public Library.”

http://www.amandascgorman.com

She’s spoken around the country from the UN to the Library of Congress, alongside the likes of Lin-Manuel Miranda and Hillary Clinton Her first poetry book, “The One For Whom Food Is Not Enough”, was published in 2015 by Pemanship Books.  She is Founder and Executive Director of One Pen One Page, which promotes literacy through free creative writing programming for underserved youth. She is a Harvard junior in the top of her class, and writes for the New York Times student newsletter The Edit. [From her website.]

Read aloud.

April 17, 2020

Starlight. Ancient, starlight.

Hope is the main impulse of life. —Ilia Delio

Mystical hope. -Cynthia Bourgeault

?

One precious life.

April 1, 2020

[Post by Robert Ellsberg]

‘She kept a diary, not simply as a distraction but as a duty, a responsibility to render her experience and her feelings in the most accurate terms. Along with the everyday experiences of a young girl confined indoors she recorded very unchildlike reflections on her perilous life.

“I see the 8 of us with our ‘Secret Annex’ as if we were a little piece of blue heaven, surrounded by heavy black rain clouds. The spot where we stand is still safe, but the clouds gather more closely about us and the circle which separates us from the approaching danger, closes more and more tightly.”

Nevertheless she believed it was her duty to maintain her courage, cheerfulness, and belief in the essential goodness of people, and to uphold her ideals,

“for perhaps the time will come when I shall be able to carry them out.”

While acknowledging the suffering that surrounded her “piece of blue heaven” and the approaching thunder “which will destroy us too” she thanked God for “all that is good and dear and beautiful” and maintained her faith in a better world.

Rarely has anyone so well defined the virtues needed in our age as this 14-yr-old already living under sentence of death. She was one of those in a dark age whose task is to maintain a candlelight of humanity as a guarantee that darkness does not have the final word.’

Roberts Ellsberg is publisher of Orbis Books. His dad, Daniel, gave us The Pentagon Papers. He knows a bit about patriotism, duty, and hope.

 

The other side of the virus.

March 24, 2020

A poem from a Jesuit priest.

The Other Side of the Virus,
An Opportunity to Awaken…
Yes there is panic buying.
Yes there is sickness.
Yes there is even death.

But,

They say that in Wuhan after so many years of noise
You can hear the birds again.

They say that after just a few weeks of quiet
The sky is no longer thick with fumes
But blue and grey and clear.

They say that in the streets of Assisi
People are singing to each other
across the empty squares,
keeping their windows open
so that those who are alone
may hear the sounds of family around them.

They say that a hotel in the West of Ireland
is offering free meals and delivery to the housebound.

Today a young woman I know
is busy spreading fliers with her number
through the neighbourhood
so that the elders may have someone to call on.

Today Churches, Synagogues, Mosques and Temples
are preparing to welcome
and shelter the homeless, the sick, the weary.

All over the world people are slowing down and reflecting.

All over the world people are looking at their neighbours in a new way.

All over the world people are waking up to a new reality
To how big we really are.
To how little control we really have.
To what really matters.
To Love.

So we pray and we remember that

Yes there is fear.
But there does not have to be hate.

Yes there is isolation.
But there does not have to be loneliness.

Yes there is panic buying.
But there does not have to be meanness.

Yes there is sickness.
But there does not have to be disease of the soul

Yes there is even death.
But there can always be a rebirth of love.

Wake to the choices you make as to how to live now.

Today, breathe.

Listen, behind the factory noises of your panic-
The birds are singing again
The sky is clearing,
Spring is coming,

And we are always encompassed by Love.

Open the windows of your soul
And though you may not be able
to touch across the empty square,

Sing.

– Written by Fr. Richard Hendrick

COVID…and hope.

March 23, 2020

Sharing a message from one of the spiritual leaders in our valley, Sun Valley, Idaho.

Viral Hopes by Sara Gorham
Well. Here we are, friends, living in interesting times. Every day the ground shifts beneath our feet, while the news assures us that even more disruption lies ahead. The invitations to fear are everywhere, and seldom has the unknown felt so unknowable. That said, though I do not wish to diminish the pain and loss brought on by the current pandemic, I actually have some high hopes for that little scrap of DNA we call the coronavirus. I have high hopes for the potential of what it might be able to teach us. My apologies to the virus if such expectations are too much to pin on the shoulders of so small a microbe.
I think this virus and the disruption it’s causing have the potential to bring us together and to help us see each other as we truly are – a unity, an interconnected family. I see it reminding us of the inherent uncertainty of life and how helping each other in hard times is the best way to deal with that uncertainty. I am hopeful it will remind us of the blessings of the present moment, so we all learn to spend more time there. I think it can and has placed us in a deeper appreciation of all that truly matters in our lives – including an appreciation of community and a deep gratitude for our loved ones everywhere, in particular those we shelter with, whether they have two legs or four.
I see our little coronavirus as here to remind us of our kinship to the greater biology of the planet, reminding us that we are a species like any other and subject to the same natural balances and controls as other populations. I see it as a welcome chink in our hubris, our assumption that we live apart from and by different rules than the rest of life on earth.
Perhaps we might see this virus as a notice nailed to our door, sent to us from the planet letting us know she needs a break, that we all need a break, from the constant taking and despoiling. Empty smokestacks and grounded jets may cause economic pain, but they also create breathing room and put blue back in the sky.
As business as usual grinds to a halt, we busy modern humans suddenly find ourselves gifted with the unfamiliar phenomena of unscheduled time. In that collective pregnant pause, I hope we might be reminded of the fine art of being which, in turn, might allow us to stand down a bit from our constant doing. And while we pause, I hope we listen – to the voice within, to the needs of our neighbors, and to the chorus of unity that hums in our hearts, waiting to be heard.
So yes, this virus has caused real pain, and yes, it’s probably not done. The planet has raised her voice at us, as mothers and teachers sometimes do, but I pin my hopes on all of us that we are open and capable of learning from all that this tiny virus might have to teach us as it works its way around the globe.
May we be reminded of this: that we are all One within a greater Oneness – within our common humanity, within the web of life on this planet, and most fundamentally, within the Divine Infinite. It is a simple and profound truth, claimed around the world and throughout the ages, and now taught to us once again, this time by the tiniest of teachers. The opportunity now is for all of us, individually and collectively, to listen and learn and, from that place of realization, to create a more thoughtful, compassionate and interconnected tomorrow.
Ketchum, Idaho
’Those who love their own noise are impatient of everything
else. They constantly defile the silence of the forests and the mountains and the sea.
They for through silent nature in very direction with their machines, for fear that the 
calm world might accuse them of their own emptiness. The urgency of
their swift movement seems to ignore the tranquility of nature by
pretending to have a purpose. The loud plane seems for a moment to deny the reality 
of the clouds and of the sky by its direction, its noise, and its pretended
strength. The silence of the sky remains when the plane has gone. The
tranquility of the clouds will remain when the plane has fallen apart. It is the
silence of the world that is real. Our noise, our business, and all our fatuous statements 
about our purposes—these are the illusions.’
 
-No Man Is an Island [1955]
From Rebecca Solnit, Hope in the Dark, A Paradise Built in Hell
“For me, is not optimism, that everything’s going to be fine and we can just sit back. And that’s too much like pessimism, which is that everything’s going to suck and we can just sit back. Hope, for me, just means a Buddhist sense of uncertainty, of coming to terms with the fact that we don’t know what will happen and that there’s maybe room for us to intervene. And that we have to let go of the certainty people seem to love more than hope and know that we don’t know what’s going to happen. We live in a very surprising world where nobody anticipated the way the Berlin Wall would fall or the Arab Spring would rise up, the impact of Occupy Wall Street. Obama was unelectable six months before he was elected.
 
It’s as though in some violent gift you’ve been given a kind of spiritual awakening where you’re close to mortality in a way that makes you feel more alive; you’re deeply in the present and can let go of past and future and your personal narrative, in some ways. You have shared an experience with everyone around you, and you often find very direct, but also metaphysical senses of connection to the people you suddenly have something in common with.
“We surviveand then we die.” -Ojibway Elder
Please read this article from Donald G. McNeil Jr., a science and health reporter specializing in plagues and pestilences. He covers diseases of the world’s poor, including AIDS, Ebola, malaria, swine and bird flu, mad cow disease, SARS, and so on.
#extremesocialdistancing #COVID19US

The Virus Can Be Stopped, but Only With Harsh Steps, Experts Say

Terrifying though the coronavirus may be, it can be turned back. China, South Korea, Singapore and Taiwan have demonstrated that, with furious efforts, the contagion can be brought to heel.

Whether they can keep it suppressed remains to be seen. But for the United States to repeat their successes will take extraordinary levels of coordination and money from the country’s leaders, and extraordinary levels of trust and cooperation from citizens. It will also require international partnerships in an interconnected world.

There is a chance to stop the coronavirus. This contagion has a weakness.

Although there are incidents of rampant spread, as happened on the cruise ship Diamond Princess, the coronavirus more often infects clusters of family members, friends and work colleagues, said Dr. David L. Heymann, who chairs an expert panel advising the World Health Organization on emergencies.

No one is certain why the virus travels in this way, but experts see an opening nonetheless. “You can contain clusters,” Dr. Heymann said. “You need to identify and stop discrete outbreaks, and then do rigorous contact tracing.”

But doing so takes intelligent, rapidly adaptive work by health officials, and near-total cooperation from the populace. Containment becomes realistic only when Americans realize that working together is the only way to protect themselves and their loved ones.

In interviews with a dozen of the world’s leading experts on fighting epidemics, there was wide agreement on the steps that must be taken immediately.

Those experts included international public health officials who have fought AIDS, malaria, tuberculosis, flu and Ebola; scientists and epidemiologists; and former health officials who led major American global health programs in both Republican and Democratic administrations.

Americans must be persuaded to stay home, they said, and a system put in place to isolate the infected and care for them outside the home. Travel restrictions should be extended, they said; productions of masks and ventilators must be accelerated, and testing problems must be resolved.

[…]

Just as generals take the lead in giving daily briefings in wartime — as Gen. Norman Schwarzkopf did during the Persian Gulf war — medical experts should be at the microphone now to explain complex ideas like epidemic curves, social distancing and off-label use of drugs.

The microphone should not even be at the White House, scientists said, so that briefings of historic importance do not dissolve into angry, politically charged exchanges with the press corps, as happened again on Friday.

Instead, leaders must describe the looming crisis and the possible solutions in ways that will win the trust of Americans.

Above all, the experts said, briefings should focus on saving lives and making sure that average wage earners survive the coming hard times — not on the stock market, the tourism industry or the president’s health. There is no time left to point fingers and assign blame.

The next priority, experts said, is extreme social distancing.

If it were possible to wave a magic wand and make all Americans freeze in place for 14 days while sitting six feet apart, epidemiologists say, the whole epidemic would sputter to a halt.

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/03/22/health/coronavirus-restrictions-us.html#click=https://t.co/7cy71sKLVG

You.

July 27, 2019

If not for you, there would be a place of emptiness in the heart of God.

If not for you, all the good you have done would still need doing.

If not for you, the spark of your ideas would not have ignited a fire in others.

If not for you, the key role you have played in life’s drama would remain unfilled.

If not for you, at least one person would not have awakened to their dreams.

If not for you, your triumphs could not be examples to inspire others.

If not for you, someone who needed love would not have received it.

If not for you, all life would have been shortened, or never have existed.

If not for you, the song of life would have missed a beat.

If not for you, your gifts would remain ungiven.

If not for you, another might have suffered in your place.

If not for you, someone would have no path to follow.

If not for you, there would be one less smile, one less laugh, and one less hug.

If not for you, there would be one less ember of love to warm the soul.

If not for you, an animal might be homeless and a garden left upland.

If not for you, something would be missing.

You have always made a difference. Who you are is important every day.

You are the face, the heart and the soul of God.

 

Between silence.

April 20, 2019

‘Words stand between silence and silence: between the silence of things and the silence of our own being. Between the silence of the world and the silence of god.’

-Thomas Merton, Thoughts in Solitude

Some days are indeed times of great pain and some are of great joy, but most are…in between. Most are, in fact, times of waiting, as the disciples waited during Holy Saturday. We’re waiting. Waiting to get into a good school. Waiting to meet the right person. Waiting to get pregnant. Waiting to get a job. Waiting for things at work to improve Waiting for diagnosis from the doctor. Waiting for life just to get better. 

And there is,

is an active waiting; it knows that, even in the worst of situations, even in the darkest times, God is at work.

And to look carefully for signs of the new life that are always right around the corner–just like they were on Holy Saturday.

-James Martin, Jesuit priest

https://www.americamagazine.org/content/all-things/we-live-holy-saturday


I am not attempting, O Lord, to penetrate your loftiness,

for I cannot begin to match my understanding with it,

but I desire in some measure to understand your truth,

which my heart believes and loves.

For I do not seek to understand in order that I may believe,

but I believe in order to understand.

For this too I believe,

that “unless I believe, I shall not understand.” ([Isaiah 7:9)

-Anselm of Canterbury

‘Hold fast to hope.’

March 6, 2019

 

‘Survival Math,’ Is A Memoir About Growing Up Black In Oregon

‘NPR’s Mary Louise Kelly talks with author Mitchell Jackson about his second book, Survival Math, which details the calculations he made to survive as a young black man growing up in Portland, Ore.’

MITCHELL JACKSON: He knew that we – you know, we had an issue, and he pulled a gun on me and was like, are you looking for me? And in that moment between my answer and him asking the question, a lot of thoughts went through my head.

KELLY: Mitchell Jackson thought about whether he could get away, whether there were any witnesses, whether he could survive a gunshot wound, what he should say to make sure he walked away alive.

JACKSON: I ultimately said, no, I’m not looking for you and probably ended up saving my life because he did murder someone not too long after that. So I took that kind of calculations and then asked myself, well, there must be some men in my family or others who also had to make those calculations.

KELLY: Calculations that he calls survival math. That’s the title of Mitchell Jackson’s new book. It’s his story, his family’s story. The opening chapter describes how he started dealing drugs back when he was 14 or 15 years old.

[…]

JACKSON: Yeah, my novel, “The Residue Years.” But I was also a little frustrated with the way that reviewers and other readers were portraying it as if I was just telling a story and there was no kind of craft or art to it or intellectualism. And I was like, oh, well, I know how to force a reader to kind of confront the way that my mind works, so I’m going to put these in essays.

And then the other thing is I want you to know that there were a community of people in Northeast Portland that struggle but ultimately are survivors. And a lot of us are thriving. And so that’s really important to me because I – when I ask – tell people I’m from Portland, Ore., they say, oh, my God. Like, I didn’t even know black people live there. And it’s true, really, because we’re only, you know, 2, 3, 4 percent of the population, but we’re a community. And I think that we deserve to have a kind of public persona.

KELLY: This is the predictable question, but what would you tell 14, 15-year-old Mitchell Jackson if you could go back and talk to him?

JACKSON: I would tell him, hold on. It’s going to get better. I don’t know if I would take back the mistakes that I made because you take back one mistake and I’m not here speaking to you right now. But I do think, you know, you have to hold fast to hope, especially in moments where you think it’s close to hopeless.

https://www.npr.org/2019/03/06/700873567/survival-math-is-a-memoir-about-growing-up-black-in-oregon

Don’t give up.

August 9, 2018

‘You have a vision and keep at it, bit by bit it will happen.’

#community

#grassroots

Keep going.

July 10, 2018

From a friend.

Today seems like the right time to do a thread I’ve been thinking about for a while on how to handle the seemingly never-ending deluge of depressing and disturbing news. My tips are based on my time as a CIA military analyst in which I dealt daily with disturbing content.

There are several risks to being overloaded with disturbing/negative content.
Complacency – becoming so used to the deluge that it all starts to seem normal.
Paralysis – that is, being so overwhelmed, you can’t figure out what to do/how to move forward.
 
Crisis perspective – you get trapped in the Breaking News cycle where everything seems like a potentially world-ending crisis to you.
Depression/PTSD – you don’t have to be on the frontline of a war have either/both. Disturbing content is absolutely a trigger.
 
There are also serious physical consequences to living a negative content overloaded life. I had a colleague who didn’t know he had stage 4 brain cancer because the symptoms were the same as our very stressful careers–exhaustion, random fevers, stress, and dizziness.
 
So, what do you do? First, I strongly urge you not to ignore the news/current events. Ignorance is one reason we have this society. It won’t make the problems go away & contributes nothing to their solving. Now that that’s established, here’s how to make it easier to handle:
 
1. TAKE ACTION. Volunteer for a food pantry, canvass for a political candidate, donate to a NGO, visit a sick friend. Seriously. Service of some kind in your community lets you be part of SOLUTIONS. You will see RESULTS when otherwise you’d feel helpless.
 
2. Conversely, for those who may take tip #1 to the extreme–know that you alone can’t save the world. Accept your limits. You aren’t a 7/11. You can’t always be open. At the end of every day when I reached my limit, I silently told myself, “I’ve done what I can today.”
 
(Note: Repeating that to myself did not stop me from feeling like I could have done more most days. But it was important to tell myself anyway because I am human. We are human. It’s good we *feel* things.)
 
3. RESEARCH BEFORE PANICKING. Easier said than done, but everything will seem like crisis/earth-ending if you don’t know what has/hasn’t happened before. If it has happened before, it’s can be hugely comforting to know how it was resolved and/or what might happen next.
 
 
4. GET UP & MOVE. Put the phone away, turn off the TV, log out of Twitter. Go for a walk, sit outside, get some coffee, call a friend. CIA is full of ppl walking the building with a colleague/friend. There’s a reason. Our brains & bodies need breaks from stressful content.
 
 
5. SET RULES. Because of my work at CIA, I had a rule–I only read fiction at home. I had enough reality at work. In the civilian world, I set blocks of time each day where I turn everything off–no news or social media. Let yourself recharge so you can keep fighting later.
 
6. AVOID DARK HOLES. (I’m sure there’s a joke to be made about that.) It’s easy to get sucked into the swirl of bad news. You watch a gruesome YouTube video and the next one is all queued up to play right after it. Focus on one issue at a time. Deal w/ it before moving on.
7. YOU NEED FUN. When there is suffering, war, despair, etc. around you, it’s easy to feel guilty when you have fun, feel happy, have a good meal with friends. You NEED these things. You will be better able to do good in the world if you let yourself have these things.
 
8. TALK TO SOMEONE. Often, we curl inward socially when overwhelmed w/ negative content. It’s a means of protection. One of the great things at CIA was that everyone else knew what you were going through. Whether it’s therapy or talking to your person, talking helps.
 
None of this is easy. I got burned out a lot in my career & many days recently, I’ve felt overloaded by the barrage. I’m sure you have too. But you and I can’t check out. We can’t give up & we need to stay engaged, but we can’t do that if we get overloaded. Keep going.

Spiritual healing.

April 4, 2018

Human Bodies

Bodily Knowing
Wednesday, April 4, 2018
50th Anniversary of the Assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr.

If you lose hope, somehow you lose that vitality that keeps life moving, you lose that courage to be, that quality that helps you go on in spite of all. And so today I still have a dream. —Martin Luther King, Jr. (1929-1968)

“Deep knowing and presence do not happen with our thinking minds. To truly know something, our whole being must be open, awake, and present. We intuitively knew how to be present as babies. Psychologists now say there is no such thing as an infant. There’s only an infant/caregiver.

In the first several months, from the infant’s view, they are one and the same. Infants see themselves entirely mirrored in their family’s eyes; they soon believe and become this vision. Contemplative prayer offers a similar kind of mirroring, as we learn to receive and return the divine gaze.

In his book Coming to Our Senses, historian Morris Berman makes the point that our first experience of life is not merely a visual or audio one of knowing ourselves through other people’s facial and verbal responses; it is primarily felt in the body. He calls this feeling kinesthetic knowing. We know ourselves in the security of those who hold us, skin to skin. This early knowing is not so much heard, seen, or thought. It’s felt. 

Psychologists say that when we first begin to doubt and move outside of that kinesthetic knowing, we hold onto things like teddy bears and dolls. My little sister, Alana, had the classic security blanket as a baby. She dragged it everywhere until it was dirty and ragged, but we could not take it away from her. Children do such things to reassure themselves that they are still connected and one. But we all begin to doubt this primal union as the subject/object split of a divided world slowly takes over, usually by age seven. Body/mind/world/self all start getting split apart; we begin to see the basic fault lines in the world—and the rest of life will be spent trying to put it all back together again.

It seems we all must leave the Garden of Eden, the state of innocence and blissful, unconscious union. We can’t stay there, letting mother gaze at us forever. Unfortunately, if that primal knowing never happened at all, immense doubt arises about whether there even is a garden (“God”) where all things are one and good. When family systems disintegrate, people live with doubt and uncertainty. I am sure God fully understands. It is surely why Jesus says, “It would be better for you if a millstone were hung around your neck and you were thrown into the sea than for you to cause one of these little ones to stumble” (Luke 17:2).

Hopefully, our parents’ early gaze told us we were foundationally beloved. But when we inevitably begin to see ourselves through eyes that compare, judge, and dismiss, then we need spirituality to help heal the brokenness of our identity and our world. True spirituality is always bringing us back to the original bodily knowing that is unitive experience, which is why you cannot do it all in the head!”

[Richard Rohr]


 

H O P E

January 2, 2018

‘Hope for me is deeply tied to the fact that we don’t know what will happen. This gives us grounds to act.’

“On January 18th, 1915, six months into the first world war, as all Europe was convulsed by killing and dying, Virginia Woolf wrote in her journal, ‘The future is dark, which is on the whole, the best thing the future can be, I think.’ Dark, she seems to say, as in inscrutable, not as in terrible. We often mistake the one for the other. Or we transform the future’s unknowability into something certain, the fulfillment of all our dread, the place beyond which there is no way forward. But again and again, far stranger things happen than the end of the world.

BOB GARFIELD:  I want to read you a note from a father to his three daughters on election night, after the kids had pledged a compact to invest their next four years in looking inwards towards the family and relationships and the things that mattered to them the most. The note went as follows:

“Yes, we must look inwards and cherish one another, holding onto our precious love where our own values seem so under attack. But please, we must not retreat from the world, we must never stop believing in and fighting for what is just and sane. Loathe as I am to be a backseat driver in your lives, I do implore you, be courageous. Live your life fighting the fight.”

I’m intimately familiar with those sentiments because I wrote them, but notwithstanding my encouragement to my daughters, no matter what the scope of history one day will provide, in the foreseeable future we are likely as a society to go abruptly and maybe irretrievably backwards on civil rights, human rights, climate, sanity.

REBECCA SOLNIT:  You’re talking about two different things, how do we feel and what do we do. And I’m not telling people how to feel, I’m telling people that there is scope for action. One of the great conundrums is that unless we believe there are possibilities we don’t act, but the possibilities only exist if we seize them. And so, a lot of what I’ve been trying to do is encourage people to recognize there is an extraordinary history of popular power in the US but also around the world. I’m not an optimist, as you said in your introduction. Optimism believes that everything will be fine, no matter what we do and, therefore, we don’t have to do a damn thing. Pessimism is the mirror image of that – that believes that everything’s going to hell in a hand basket, and it gets us off the hook. We don’t have to do anything.

Hope for me is deeply tied to the fact that we don’t know what will happen. This gives us grounds to act. And the Trump administration is such an amplifier of uncertainty. Will the guy have some kind of breakdown? Will he get impeached? Will he start World War IV? Will the Republican Party split? Will the Democratic Party find its backbone? So I think that there’s grounds to stay engaged, while being clear that terrible things are happening and we should mourn them.

You keep wanting to talk about despair and I’m just not very interested in it. The situation on climate, which I spent a lot of time looking at and trying to do something about as an activist, is really bleak but there’s wiggle room in there. You know, a lot of extraordinary stuff is happening and it’s happening in very complex ways. One thing that not very many people have noticed, because it’s a change so incremental, is that the technology of renewable non-carbon energy has evolved so dramatically over the last dozen years that we’re in a completely different place than we were at the beginning of the millennium. Bloomberg News ran a story yesterday that within the decade solar power is likely to be cheaper than coal, which is the cheapest fossil fuel. We actually have the energy solutions and they are being adapted pretty rapidly in a lot of places.

You know, we also are looking at the Antarctic ice shelf cracking. We’re looking at sea level rise. We’re looking at chaotic weather. We’re in a very deep crisis. You know, and I want people to be able to hold both of those things. We’re not talking about a future that’s already written.

What we get from the mainstream media over and over and over is a story that what we do doesn’t matter. We have had huge impacts. We have changed what constitutes what’s acceptable and ordinary in innumerable ways. You can tell the story of same-sex marriages, oh, the Supreme Court in its beneficence handed this nice thing down to us, but the Supreme Court decided that this was normal because millions of people had transformed our society in powerful ways over decades about what was normal, and so they did what seemed reasonable, but we defined what reasonable is.

The future is not yet written. What the story is depends on what we make it, and that’s really what I’m here to say.”

Rebecca Solnit is a writer, historian and activist. She’s the author of Hope in the Dark: Untold Histories, Wild Possibilities.

[Full Interview on WNYC/On The Media: https://www.wnyc.org/story/otm-rebecca-solnit-hope-lies-and-making-change/]

[Photo: Prayer Wheel in Sun Valley, Idaho]

‘May the frightened cease to be afraid and those bound be freed; may the powerless find power, and may people think of benefitting one another.’  Shantideva

Hope.

December 21, 2017

“Nothing worth doing is completed in our lifetime; therefore we must be saved by hope. Nothing true or beautiful makes complete sense in any immediate context of history; therefore we must be saved by faith. Nothing we do, however virtuous, can be accomplished alone; therefore, we are saved by love.”  

-Reinhold Niebuhr

 

Mary.

December 8, 2017

‘To pay attention, this is our endless and proper work.’

-Mary Oliver

Creating, not repeating.

October 2, 2017

“Cultural memory, the hope of history, is often as potent as historical fact.”

-Bettany Hughes, Historian/author

 

Gaia’s promise.

January 17, 2017

‘Giving and receiving, loving and being loved, I rejoice with all creation and find in field and flower and running brook, in the sunshine and in the stillness of the night, that One Presence that fills everything. I enter into the harmony of eternal peace, into the joy of knowing that I am now in the harmony of eternal peace, into the joy of knowing that I am now in the kingdom of Gaia, which no person is excluded.’

-Science of Mind

[photo: Port Angeles, Washington, Tuesday, January 17th, 2017]

January 3, 2017

Clean Web Design