Hope in a Kiss; A New Tone for Atonement; The Beauty of Paradox of Pink Clouds and Autumn’s Light; A Common Family and Our Common Future; Smart Reads and Viewing
We ended this work week with Krista having a fabulous interview with the writer Adam Gopnik. I live-tweeted their wide-ranging conversation on @beingtweets, and just have to share this gorgeous gem with you:
“Darwin disenchanted believers in heaven, but he reenchanted lovers of Earth.”
“You are the finest, loveliest, tenderest, and most beautiful person I have ever known — and even that is an understatement.”
Emily Carson, a Lutheran pastor in Minnesota, shared this quotation from a local boy, F. Scott Fitzgerald, on Twitter in honor of his birthday. A beautiful sentiment from the great American writer (who could also be witty and snarky too!).
“I come back to that kiss. There is love, and tenderness, and hope in that kiss. In their love, their tenderness, and their hope, there is hope for all of us.”
When Omid Safi reached out to me with his column, he referenced Zsíros István’s black and white photo that had gone viral. I hadn’t seen it. I’m glad I did. István’s image captures the humanity of displaced refugees, and Omid writes a vital column about the enduring human spirit and the power of love in a time of refugees.
“To only acknowledge in my mind what I have done, without attempting to heal the relationship and directly address my behavior with the other person, would feel inadequate.”
Atoning for one’s shortcomings can be a challenge, especially as a child. Dave Joseph, a conflict mediator with the Public Conversations Project, tells his story of moving from feelings of self-castigation to an opportunity for healing confession on Yom Kippur. The photos by Cia de Foto paired with this piece are incredible too!
“What we do may be impermanent, but it matters. What we care about matters. Where we put our energy matters.”
Sometimes we lose sight of the the beauty and connectedness of all things. Missing her opportunity to take a photograph of a Santa Fe rainbow, Sharon Salzberg invites us to find the beauty of paradox and the changing role of presence and impermanence in all things.
“When we so fear the dark that we demand light around the clock, there can be only one result: artificial light that is glaring and graceless and, beyond its borders, a darkness that grows ever more terrifying as we try to hold it off.”
Summer’s passing and earth’s decay can elicit a deepening melancholy. Parker Palmer ponders the “paradoxical dance” of darkness and light and giving oneself over to its endless interplay. And, most naturally, Rainier Marie Rilke and Thomas Merton assist Parker on his journey.
Two sacred celebrations coincide this year: Yom Kippur and Eid al-Adha. Through the ancient story of Joseph, Mohammed Fairouz kicks off our Public Theology Reimagined project by reimagining a world bound together in a common family and a communal future.
“While we may never forget our wounds, we can choose to forget the grudges we hold. In time, this will ease our pain and cause our resentments and grief to subside paving the path to trust, forgiveness, hope, and, eventually, peace.”
The photos accompanying Mohammed’s column were shot by Beijing-based photographer Eric Guo. They’re mesmerizing and, I think, add a layer of depth to the essay that makes me proud.
And, a two articles that you really ought to read this week:
- “Black Body: Re-reading James Baldwin’s ‘Stranger in the Village'” From a Swiss village, the photographer and author Teju Cole investigates Baldwin’s 1953 essay and the many moving parts of American racism: “There is a vivid performance of innocence, but there’s no actual innocence left. The moral ledger remains so far in the negative that we can’t even get started on the question of reparations.”
- “Just Ignore Them?” Dalhlia Lithwick is a go-to writer on all things political. Her recent article for Slate argues against “ignoring our way to a better discourse,” even if that means giving attention to characters who already hog enough of the spotlight.
- “Color Film Was Built for White People” This Vox video on the racial bias of film should prompt us all to question the idea of platform-agnosticism in tech. Compelling fodder in these larger discussions about identity and norms.
We publish guest contributors alongside our columnists, so please submit your essays, reports, and photos here. And, if you have any suggestions or feedback, please reach out to me via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or via Twitter at @trentgilliss.
May the wind always be at your back.