To Step Back & Let New People Direct the Conversation

AidenAn announcement from our comrade up north Aiden Enns (right) of Geez Magazine:

After much reflection and in close conversation with the board of directors, I’ve decided that now is a good time for me to retire from my
post as editor of Geez magazine. I plan to make the Winter 2017 edition my 48th and final issue.

Geez magazine started 12 years ago under the tagline, “holy mischief in
an age of fast faith” in order to poke and prod at the pitfalls of
mainstream religion. Continue reading

I Wish the Ring Had Never Come to Me

Frodo: It’s a pity Bilbo didn’t kill him when he had the chance.

Gandalf: Pity? It was pity that stayed Bilbo’s hand. Many that live deserve death. Some that die deserve life. Can you give it to them, Frodo? Do not be too eager to deal out death in judgment. Even the very wise cannot see all ends. My heart tells me that Gollum has some part to play yet, for good or ill before this is over. The pity of Bilbo may rule the fate of many.

Frodo: I wish the Ring had never come to me. I wish none of this had happened.

Gandalf: So do all who live to see such times, but that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to us. There are other forces at work in this world, Frodo, besides the will of evil. Bilbo was meant to find the ring, in which case you also were meant to have it. And that is an encouraging thought.

  • The Fellowship of the Ring

An Ode to Frodo and Team Middle Earth: Gratitudes and Reflections On a Beloved Tale, in honor of those engaged in the struggle for “Middle Earth”

18451590_10212829369908513_6895391242480893518_oBy Lindsay Airey, LMFT (right: with her nephew Mason)

I didn’t choose for Frodo and Team Middle Earth to accompany me through pivotal points in my 20’s, nor to keep being a source of life-saving balm throughout my 30’s. I didn’t choose them to weave a deep bond between myself and other devoted followers of their epic struggle. I didn’t choose them to hold me through multiple seasons of disorienting grief, nor whisper to my deepest hopes, dreams, sorrows and visions of Beloved Community. I didn’t choose them to challenge and inspire me out of dark valleys of despair or numbing ancestral, cultural and imperial demons of depression, nor to rearrange my notions of power, success, and happiness. Continue reading

Time To Heal

HealAn unveiling from the legendary John August Swanson, posted on his Facebook page (July 28, 2017):

Today, I am happy to share with you my newest poster (right), on healthcare. The central image of this poster comes from my 2016 giclee print, TIME TO HEAL.

The text is taken from Pope Francis and from RoseAnn Demoro, who is the executive director of National Nurses United.

I wanted to share their voices and their messages of the importance of working together, and caring for everyone. There are complicated and difficult problems in the American healthcare system, and we do not all agree on the best solutions. My hope is that we can all agree to work together to make it possible for all people to get the care they need.

If you are interested, the poster is available on my website at this link: http://temp.johnaugustswanson.com/produ…/time-to-heal-poster

More information on the giclee print edition, TIME TO HEAL, is available on my website, here: http://www.johnaugustswanson.com/def…/PID%3d1.2.30.3-11.html

 

Art of Listening

siddSiddhartha listened. He was now listening intently, completely absorbed, quite empty, taking in everything. He felt that he had now completely learned the art of listening. He had often heard all this before, all these numerous voices in the river, but today they sounded different. He could no longer distinguish the different voices- the merry voice from the weeping voice, the childish voice from the manly voice. They all belonged to each other: the lament of those who yearn, the laughter of the wise, the cry of indignation and the groan of the dying. They were all interwoven and interlocked, entwined in a thousand ways. And all the voices, all the goals, all the yearnings, all the sorrows, all the pleasures, all the good and evil, all of them together was the world. All of them together was the stream of events, the music of life. When Siddhartha listened attentively to this river, to this song of a thousand voices; when he did not listen to the sorrow or laughter, when he did bind his soul to any one particular voice and absorb it in his Self, but heard them all, the whole, the unity; then the great song of a thousand voices consisted of one word: Om- perfection.
Siddhartha by Herman Hesse

Decolonizing Psalms

PilgrimageBy Kathy Moorhead Thiessen, Christian Peacemaker Teams (CPT) Delegate

Originally posted in the April-June 2017 CPT newsletter  

I co-led the Pilgrimage for Indigenous Rights on April 23-May 14, 2017. As I walked–kilometer after kilometer–I listened to music. One song, based on Psalm 23 struck my soul. I know that this psalm is often read at times when people need comfort. I thought about the role of Christianity in colonization of the indigenous peoples of Canada. I imagined that the young children forced into residential schools run by the churches had been forced to listen to the King James version of this psalm- in situations where they were not able to derive comfort. Everything presented was foreign and they were not given space to draw on what they knew to be good and right.
Continue reading