Happy Birthday, Audre!

audreToday we honor the Lorde with “A Litany for Survival.”

For those of us who live at the shoreline
standing upon the constant edges of decision
crucial and alone
for those of us who cannot indulge
the passing dreams of choice
who love in doorways coming and going
in the hours between dawns
looking inward and outward
at once before and after
seeking a now that can breed
futures
like bread in our children’s mouths
so their dreams will not reflect
the death of ours: Continue reading

The 40 Birds of Lent

Eagle WMMBy Laurel Dykstra

Several years ago I participated in the Wilderness Way Community’s Lenten challenge: to spend 10 minutes each day outdoors in prayer or meditation. Due both to my own inclination and the fact that Lent falls where I live during spring migration, mating and nesting season, this experience, which I described to others as “going outside and paying attention,” quickly turned into going outside and paying attention to birds. Continue reading

Prayer in my Pocket

images“You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you,” declares the LORD, “and will bring you back from captivity.] I will gather you from all the nations and places where I have banished you, and will bring you back to the place from which I carried you into exile.”
-Jeremiah 29:13-14

By Dee Dee Risher

Into my daughter’s pocket,
I slip two dollars to buy milk on her way home after school,
kiss her, and say a blessing over her.
This is our custom. Continue reading

Re-membering the Asistencia Santa Gertrudis

Asistencia1By Ched Myers

Note: This reflection was given at a Farm Church gathering at the Asistencia memorial site in California’s Ventura River Watershed on Sunday, Jan 14, 2018 (right; young Wesley Lehman waters a newly planted sycamore seedling; all photos of the gathering by Chris Wight). You can also find it on Ched’s blog.

This weekend we as a nation rightly commemorate the life and work of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. So a good place to start our circle this Sunday morning before the national holiday is with this passage from King’s 1963 book Why We Can’t Wait:

Our nation was born in genocide when it embraced the doctrine that the original American, the Indian, was an inferior race. Even before there were large numbers of Negroes on our shores, the scar of racial hatred had already disfigured colonial society. From the sixteenth century forward, blood flowed in battles of racial supremacy. We are perhaps the only nation which tried as a matter of national policy to wipe out its Indigenous population. Moreover, we elevated that tragic experience into a noble crusade. Indeed, even today we have not permitted ourselves to reject or feel remorse for this shameful episode. Our literature, our films, our drama, our folklore all exalt it.

Mattie

PC: Bill Wingell/National Museum of African American History and Culture/Smithsonian.

Dr. King summarizes why we are gathered as Farm Church at this unusual venue and time, for a special commemoration of a history that lingers in this very spot. [Right: Mattie Grinnell, a 101-year-old Mandan tribeswoman, speaks to the press outside the Supreme Court during the 1968 Poor People’s Campaign in Washington, D.C.]

Mohecan activist Jim Bear Jacobs taught us that westerners tend to steward our narratives through texts, while indigenous cultures understand their sacred history to be embedded in the land. The land holds the stories. And this Asistencia Santa Gertrudis memorial site is just one small, indeed hidden, chapter in the long and sordid history of Settler displacement of indigenous peoples that marks every single square mile of Turtle Island. Continue reading

For a Time of Sorrow

Howard ThurmanBy Howard Thurman

I share with you the agony of your grief,
The anguish of your heart finds echo in my own.
I know I cannot enter all you feel
Nor bear with you the burden of your pain;
I can but offer what my love does give:
The strength of caring,
The warmth of one who seeks to understand
The silent storm-swept barrenness of so great a loss.
This I do in quiet ways,
That on your lonely path
You may not walk alone.

Ursula: ¡Presente!

UrsulaThe prophetic and passionate Ursula Le Guin (October 21, 1929 to January 23, 2018), excerpted from her 2014 speech at The National Book Awards:

Hard times are coming, when we’ll be wanting the voices of writers who can see alternatives to how we live now, can see through our fear-stricken society and its obsessive technologies to other ways of being, and even imagine real grounds for hope. We’ll need writers who can remember freedom – poets, visionaries – realists of a larger reality.

Right now, we need writers who know the difference between production of a market commodity and the practice of an art. Developing written material to suit sales strategies in order to maximise corporate profit and advertising revenue is not the same thing as responsible book publishing or authorship. Continue reading