On Winter’s Wings: An Advent resource

In this season, when our hearts are heavy
and we oscillate between rage and despair,
we pause and look close.
We are washed over by the wind in the white pine,
startled by the stars in the night sky,
and saved by the cardinal standing in the snow.
These are the days to nestle in
when we need to remember
how gloriously small we are
in the ecosystem of creation.
Let us fall in love with the wisdom and beauty
of creatures who could not help
but turn us all into poets.

Dear Radical Discipleship community,

It has been one of our great delights to have stumbled upon making daily Advent books with Geez magazine. This tradition has roots with the Radical Discipleship community since we made a version or two with this beautiful circle. We have loved feeling the hunger and resonance in our community for such a resource. It has been good for our souls and we feel connected knowing that hundreds of folks far and wide have been reading them together.

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Take Up Your Red Nose

Image: Matilda’s Debut, Summer 2014, Photo by Joshua Sage.

by Veena Vasista. This first appeared in Geez 64: The Holy Fool.
I arrived to my forties wonder-full.

Wondering how to love. Wondering, as a long-time human rights activist, how we can possibly create liberation when we continually replicate the oppression we claim to be dismantling. Wondering how to be free from suffering.

I’d been journeying along life’s spiral with neck tensed, shoulders curved, and legs weakened from bearing a heavy cross of beliefs: Vulnerability is shameful. I am repulsive and disgusting.

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Games for Fun and Liberation

by Tim Nafziger. This first appeared in Geez 64: The Holy Fool.

I’ve included a mix of light party games, games that have become widely popular in the board gaming community and a few less well known games with a liberation orientation. I’ve roughly ordered them from simplest to most complex (with the exception of the last game on the list). In other words, if you are looking for a game for a party, start at the top. If you are looking for a satisfying compex gift for a board game geek, start at the bottom.

Code Names, Vlaada Chvátil (2015) I’ve seen this game delight again and again at parties. It is a team game where a clue giver on each team tries to give one word clues that connect disparate words together. It takes a minute to understand and join in and offers suspense and intrigue in just the right doses.

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The Courage to Quit

Image credit: “Broccoli florets find their seed after a long winter,” May 2021, Detroit, Michigan, photo by Lucia Wylie-Eggert.

By Lydia Wylie-Kellermann. This piece first appeared in Geez 64: The Holy Fool.
My mom once wrote, “We need to recall, to intuit, to dream the life we’re called to and then make a plan that allows us to strip down enough to have it” (The Witness, 1998).

We stand at a moment of mass resignation. Folks are leaving work in every sector. After years of a pandemic and the impending threat of climate change, folks are seizing control of this one precious life. Yet to walk away is terrifying. By most standards . . . foolish. Well, we are here to bless those fools in our midst. May these words offer courage and company.

Oh holy one
who dabbles as a trickster
yet calls us to be unafraid.
Wrap your spirit around
this holy one before you.

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Foolish Ancestors: Tricksters from Around the World

Image credit: “Francis and the Birds”, Giclee, 17.5” x 14.75”, Copyright 2015 by John August Swanson.

By M. Ashe Van Steenwyk. This article first appeared in Geez 64: The Holy Fool.
Within Christianity there is a strange subset of the prophet called the “holy fool.”

Holy fools defy social convention in both word and action – sometimes in bizarre ways – out of their religious devotion.

In the West, Saint Francis is our typical holy fool. Born in the late 12th century, Francis was known for famously renouncing his inheritance by stripping naked, kissing lepers, preaching to forest creatures, and living a life of such stark simplicity and deep generosity that it sparked a movement that continues to today.

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