My latest blog includes three poems honoring the dark. It can be viewed at
Thanks for checking it out and I welcome your feedback.
I attended a talk recently that brought home one of the most difficult balancing acts in restoration: love and power. The speaker was Adam Kahane, an internationally recognized expert on conflict resolution and the author of Power and Love: A Theory and Practice of Social Change. He led with this quote by Martin Luther King, Jr., which kind of says it all:
“Power without love is reckless and abusive, and love without power is sentimental and anemic.”
I first came upon the concept and term “winter count” in a short story by Barry Lopez. It’s a practice employed by Native American tribes of the plains to record the most memorable event of each year. Each year is symbolized by one picture (representing the event) drawn onto (originally) a hide. Taken together the pictures form a tribal history. According to the website http://wintercounts.si.edu/html_version/html/
If ever there was a day of the year calling out for ceremony and celebration it’s the winter Solstice, December 21st. The shortest day of the year and the longest night, it’s followed by the gradual lengthening of the days, the return of the sun.
I watched the NOVA special on Space the other day and one reference caught my attention. The host, Brian Greene, said that most of the universe is made up of space – makes sense, but then he qualified it by stating that atoms are mostly space, and if you sucked out all of the space from the Empire State Building, you would have something the size of a small BB.
I got back from my visit to the occupations in NYC and DC 2 days ago. The view from the trenches leaves me feeling humbled and invigorated. Here’s why. The people involved in the occupations that I witnessed, worked with, and supported are:
Today marks the beginning of the third week of the occupation of Freedom Plaza here in DC by people associated with October 2011. I 've spent the past six days and nights on the plaza with them and it's been a great pleasure to participate in this historical moment. The sister occupation (Occupy DC) a few blocks away is also going strong.
I spent my first full day with the October 2011 people yesterday. They are surviving the rain and are an impressive group wiith a strong contingent of Vietnam-era veterans. Their spot in Freedom Plaza includes a full frontal view of the Capitol building. This is the older crowd with the young folks of Occupy DC holding down a different square closer to the White House. I went to the Occupy DC camp and got some support from the guy struggling to maintain the kitchen to come and talk about sustaining our activism at 2:00 this afternoon.
I spent two days with the Wall Street protesters and the energy is high there. It's youth-led and very organized in it's way - welcome annd media center, a library, kitchen and security, a comfort center with blankets, tarps, etc. and well run meetings. No, they don' t have a clear list of demands but given what they are confronting I think we can cut them some slack.They aren't beating themselves about it either. One of my favorite signs was:" We're here, we're unclear, get used to it"
Going to Auschwitz to meditate and bear witness on the grounds of the former concentration camp in November, living on the street for several days/nights with only a blanket and the clothes on your back in a large northern city in early spring, or a southern city in the heat of summer, these are examples of the “plunge practices” Bernie Glassman and the Zen Peacemakers employ to help wake people up. Another good example is the wilderness vision fast – setting up alone in a wild place for 3 or 4 days of fasting with only a tarp for shelter.