December 24, 2018


“The Light in which we are one does not change.”

-Thomas Merton

Every Day Is Extra

Merry Christmas
Former Senator and Secretary of State John Kerry began his conversation at the Community Library in Ketchum, Idaho with these words: “Our country is in trouble, our democracy at risk.” I was in that moment grateful for Executive Director Dr. Jenny Emery Davidson’s own preface before introducing Mr. Kerry. She read words written by Walt Whitman on the eve of the Civil War in his preface to ‘Leaves of Grass’: This is what you shall do: Love the earth and sun and the animals, despise riches, give alms to everyone that asks, stand up for the stupid and crazy, devote your income and labor to others, hate tyrants, argue not concerning God, have patience and indulgence toward the people, take off your hat to nothing known or unknown, or to any man or number of men — go freely with powerful uneducated persons, and with the young, and with the mothers of families — re-examine all you have been told in school or church or in any book, and dismiss whatever insults your own soul; and your very flesh shall be a great poem, and have the richest fluency, not only in its words, but in the silent lines of its lips and face, and between the lashes of your eyes, and in every motion and joint of your body.” Author and educator Parker Palmer once wrote about these same words, “I love the grounded quality of Whitman’s counsel. In it, I find a powerful antidote to our tendency to get distracted by bling, to lust after shiny things, to bow down to false authority and lose our souls in the process.” Mr. Kerry reminded our community of hope’s possibility and reason for optimism, to put our country over party, and ”have patience and indulgence toward the people.”

Walt Whitman, 1855


Conversation with John Kerry by The Community Library, Ketchum, Idaho

Saturday, December 22, 2018

4 pm

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