Some days are better than others. Some days it’s hard to breathe. Those days start out red. Continue reading “Red Dawn: Living under the Eruption”
a heavy heart as the lava flows toward Kapoho,
of all the special places on Hawai’i a jewel.
the tidepools, shallow ponds separated by
a lacy network of low coral and lava walkways,
where the people can go out a half mile into the ocean
and see the little fishes, a calm protected reef,
the seas held just outside, a place where the little
ones come right up and nibble on your fingers
while the lava flow is not quite there yet
it continues on its course
I’m not sure why but today’s reflection posted by Richard Rohr seemed like something worth sharing.
“We are told that Jesus hung out with publicans, tax collectors, and sinners. Perhaps during these sessions of music, laughter, and food fellowship, there were also . . . moments when the love of God and mutual care and concern became the focus of their time together. Contemplation is not confined to designated and institutional sacred spaces. God breaks into nightclubs and Billie Holiday’s sultry torch songs; God tap dances with Bill Robinson and Savion Glover. And when Coltrane blew his horn, the angels paused to consider.
Some sacred spaces bear none of the expected characteristics. The fact that we prefer stained glass windows, pomp and circumstance . . . has nothing to do with the sacred. It may seem as if the mysteries of divine-human reunion erupt in our lives when, in fact, the otherness of spiritual abiding is integral to human interiority. On occasion, we turn our attention to this abiding presence and are startled. But it was always there.”
Perhaps it was the use of the word erupt that took my mind to the people of Hawaii, but I started to think about how even amidst the disasters of life…God breaks in…another way of saying that the sacred is always there. My heart goes out to all those Hawaiians faced with recent volcanic eruptions and perhaps more to come. I’m not trying to make light of the situation. Living in the middle of the North American plate, I seldom feel the earth shake. The only roar I hear is the thunderstorm and maybe once in a lifetime, a tornado. The power of the earth experienced as an earth quake, volcano, or tsunami is almost beyond my imagining. I’m beginning to understand why people of the Hawaiian Islands made sacrifices to appease the God’s when the volcanoes erupted.
The photo of the plants covered with lava in Michelle’s last post seemed poignant to me somehow. It reminded me that nature is tenacious. No matter what events surround us; we pick up the pieces and move on. Perhaps it’s harder to see the other side, when dark smoke fills our view. But eventually the lava turns to soil and plants will thrive in its mineral richness. Perhaps this is why prayers and sacrifices are given, to remind us that the sacred is still there. To hope that we can find the courage and strength to face loss and adversity.
My prayers to everyone in Hawaii for their safety and speedy recovery.
There are disasters happening all over the world, but to lose your home to lava is incredibly final. There is no going back. For anyone who might want to help those families that have lost their homes to lava flows and/or been evacuated from the rift zone this is a good site:
Photo credit: Trevor Hughes, USA Today
“Sharing the same motivations and rules of the self interest game created a common orientation and thus a common operating system for economic actors to participate in.” Brian Davey, Credo, 9.
For a few days I’ve been sleeping in airplanes and hotel rooms. There is nothing in a hotel room that tells you about life. There is a bed, a TV, and some electrical outlets. The closest thing to life is the water piped in, and the view if there is one. Everything non-human has been disappeared except as it appears on the breakfast, lunch or dinner plate. “There is no there there,” as Gertrude Stein once said so famously of Oakland, (By which she meant the place that she had known had been disappeared). What does it mean to live in a place which is no place, an abstraction made concrete (and of concrete), a place where appetite is untethered from its context and therefore unlimited in scope and blind ferocity?
These are the places we made in the name of a certain kind of pantheon of economic Gods – in the name of Efficiency and Innovation and Growth and Jobs. These are the names of the orthodoxy now. It is difficult to argue with the gods. It always has been. These are the places that we make under the influence of our gods – hotel rooms, office buildings, airports. They represent the ideals of our civilization. They are clean to the point of sterility, air-conditioned, anonymous, secure, profitable. These, it seems, is the realm we make when the rules of the game are determined by the lowest common denominator of humanity: unmitigated self-interest. We make places that are stripped of all life and love of life. We make places that are cold, efficient, and impersonal. We make places that reproduce our lowest common denominator – our blind self-interest, our infinite appetite.
As I am traveling in this world of placeless hotel rooms, the DJ Avicii, a mere boy in his 20’s but a superstar of the Electronic Dance Music scene, is dying of a drug overdose in another hotel room in Muscat, Oman. It is a lethal world, this world, even for those who are its “winners,” and infinitely more so for the “losers.”
Why am I traveling in the karmic realm (avicii) of hotel rooms and airports? To protect its opposite paradoxically enough. Brian Davey’s speaks of such places:
“People living in human communities situated in specific biological communities (eco-systems) may come, over time, to recognise that the eco-system in which they live has a “balance level” of health. This is is not the same as what economists understand by equilibrium but a dynamic negotiation between the different elements beyond which “tipping points” occur and the system slips into a different state altogether. The sense of responsibility for the maintenance of a place and the way of life embodies and embeds a recognition of the need to stay back from these ecological tipping points. This is based on a keen appreciation of the needs of the whole human community, as well as the need to maintain balance in the community of species of which it is a part (the eco-system).” Davey, 32.
What if we thought about economics in terms of looking at the whole picture of life on Earth? What if we let economics be about our better selves – the selves that love and nurture our children without pay, that serve as volunteers in our communities, that feel and act on our connection to the environment? What if we advocated for a kind of economics that saw the whole picture of what it means to be alive instead of the current definition that has us fighting over scarce resources, selling ourselves to the highest bidder, bull-dozing “empty” land to make into hotel-rooms, and sacrificing our health and happiness in the name of success?
This is all to say that I am reading Brian Davey’s book Credo (available for free online) where he advocates for just such another kind of economics, and that it’s worth checking out, as well as the website for FEASTA of which Davey is a frequent contributor.
Also here’s a picture of some lovely snowdrops – which I had never seen before – at Jody’s house. Amazingly beautiful little things!
I took this photo of my son, 18 months old and poised to jump off the bench to the ground below. The picture captured his fearless love of adventure so clearly. At the age of two he climbed up to the top bunk and jumped off into a bin of stuffed animals below. He is still adventurous but lately I’ve come to realize that he isn’t without fear or doubts. In other words, he is a normal young man. I’d been thinking about gender roles when I came across a recent article by Tim Winton discussing how toxic masculinity is shackling men to misogyny. “I don’t have any grand theory about masculinity,” he wrote, “but I know a bit about boys.”
It is the day of the spring Equinox, the light and the dark in precise balance, the light hours lengthening most rapidly now, the lightest half a year starting now. With all the human holydays coming on their own human planned schedules, the four “astronomical” special points have a solid and real basis, cosmic even, so to speak, for being celebrated. Call me a pagan if you like, but just remember that unrepentant pagans cannot hear you on days like this… so…
Behold the Equinox and Happy Spring Everyone….
The photo above is William Butler Yeats (1865-1939)
“The Second Coming”
Turning and turning in the widening gyre
the falcon cannot hear the falconer;
things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
the blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
the ceremony of innocence is drowned;
the best lack all conviction, while the worst
are full of passionate intensity. Continue reading “Will the Center hold? (shorter version)”
Here it is in text with the original link below…
“NYTimes FEB. 8, 2018
Everyone a Changemaker
Bill Drayton invented the term “social entrepreneur” and founded Ashoka, the organization that supports 3,500 of them in 93 countries. He’s a legend in the nonprofit world, so I went to him this week to see if he could offer some clarity and hope in discouraging times. He did not disappoint.
Drayton believes we’re in the middle of a necessary but painful historical transition. For millenniums most people’s lives had a certain pattern. You went to school to learn a trade or a skill — baking, farming or accounting. Then you could go into the work force and make a good living repeating the same skill over the course of your career.
But these days machines can do pretty much anything that’s repetitive. The new world requires a different sort of person. Drayton calls this new sort of person a changemaker. Continue reading “sounds easy doesn’t it”
What is true and real and what makes it so? Why is it that the only kind of science we know depends on math for its truth-claims and our math is (as far as I know) strictly quantitative? Continue reading “Qualitative”