Blogs

Affection and Respect

Now that the Black Nativity show is finished (we had our last performance on Sunday) and I am no longer singing in the choir every two days or so, I can rest a bit and reflect on what I've learned over the past 6 weeks. I know I'll cherish the experience of singing these amazing gospel songs with a talented African-American choir, and being on stage with a dozen stunning dancers and five extraordinary musicians. But what will remain with me as deep life lessons are remarks made by two of the directors of Black Nativity.

The Deaths of Dracula and Voldemort

(Spoiler Alert! If you don't yet know the end of the Harry Potter story and don't want to know yet, then stop reading!) -- In J.K. Rowling's final book in a series of seven increasingly massive tomes --Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows--Voldemort dies six pages from the end of the last chapter: "Voldemort fell backward, arms splayed, the slit pupils of the scarlet eyes rolling upward. Tom Riddle (Voldemort's alter ego) hit the floor with a mundane finality, his body feeble and shrunken, the white hands empty, the snakelike face vacant and unknowing.

Do Religion and Politics Mix?

Here is something to think about: For the first time in a generation, the Religious Right had almost no visibility in the recent Congressional elections. The social issues that brought millions of conservative evangelicals out to the polls in previous years were simply missing from the debate. Instead, Americans focused on their worries about the economy, the deficit, and unemployment. This is actually an extremely significant and positive phenomenon. 

Parker J. Palmer's endorsement for "The Sword"

Today I got a fantastic blurb for the cover of the book from Parker J. Palmer (author of Let Your Life Speak, A Hidden Wholeness, and The Courage to Teach). I admire Parker Palmer's writing, his compassion, and wisdom, and I am grateful for his friendship and support. Parker helped me figure out who I was supposed to be when I grew up, and then inspired me to begin writing the book and continue through many drafts, believing I had something of value to offer.

Remembering Vietnam

Thirty-five years ago the Vietnam War came to a cataclysmic end as Saigon fell to the victorious armies of the People's Republic of Vietnam (North Vietnam) and the Provisional Revolution Government of South Vietnam (Vietcong). That event was the capstone to many years of needless killing and mindless destruction.  Human fatalities included including 3 to 4 million Vietnamese from both sides, between 1.5 to 2 million Laotians and Cambodians, and 58,159 U.S. soldiers.

Ravenna

We're in Italy for two weeks on vacation with a couple of friends. We've been staying for the past few days in Bologna, an extraordinarily beautiful city in the north of Italy. Bologna is the home of the oldest University in Europe, and students have attended classes in some of the lecture rooms for almost a thousand years. Bologna is also a city of porticos, covered walkways along the streets that shelter walkers and talkers from the elements. There are over 35 km of these porticos in the central, oldest part of the city. And Bologna is a city of churches.

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