Photo of the Day: Ballooning in Bagan
Photo by Zay Yar Lin (Yangon, Myanmar); Bagan, Mandalay, Myanmar
It seems only yesterday I used to believe
there was nothing under my skin but light.
If you cut me I could shine.
But now when I fall upon the sidewalks of life,
I skin my knees. I bleed. — Billy Collins, from his poem "On Turning Ten"
To talk about spaces in a diminishing way actually means that you devalue the people there, and it becomes very easy to treat them and their neighborhoods as fungible. — Imani Perry, from her interview with Krista Tippett at Chautauqua. Can’t wait to launch this in the podcast next week!
Because while on the one hand I am training my sons to develop resilience in the face of the racial injustice they will encounter, I am also training them to approach the world with full recognition and appreciation of the wide spectrum of human beings, some of whom are quite different from them. They know that they have an ethical responsibility to humanity, animal life, and nature, to care beyond their immediate experiences. We talk about gender and sexual orientation and disability and mental health, along with race, ethnicity, and language. They are encouraged to be critical and analytical, to use those enormous imaginations to journey into the interior lives of others. Together we create gardens of possibility in the parched earth. If we grow the babies up right, they just might redeem us all. — Imani Perry in "Teaching Trayvon."
I choose awe over bureaucracy today and every day that I have the luxury to do so. — Courtney E. Martin, from "I Surrender. I Win. A Spiritual Reclamation of Time."
"Truth is, despite the fact that I’m surrendering, I actually win. You’ll have my money, but I’ll have the most valuable and rare of currencies to me these days: my time. It’s a modern spiritual reclamation. I choose the chance that I’ll be able to do something sacred with my time — watch Maya try to figure out how Velcro works, hand write a letter to my mom, write an essay that matters to a stranger — rather than battle boringly on and on with faceless, nameless you. In that way, I suppose I’m a believer in practical love over financial principle."
—Courtney E. Martin, from her weekly column
The rush and pressure of modern life are a form, perhaps the most common form, of its innate violence. To allow oneself to be carried away by a multitude of conflicting concerns, to surrender to too many demands, to commit oneself to too many projects, to want to help everyone in everything is to succumb to violence. More than that, it is cooperation in violence. The frenzy of the activist…destroys his own inner capacity for peace. It destroys the fruitfulness of his own work, because it kills the root of inner wisdom which makes work fruitful.
— Thomas Merton, as quoted in Courtney Martin’s weekly column for On Being, "The Spiritual Art of Saying No"
I can’t do everything, but today I can ___________ . — Fill in this blank + reblog with your answer. Then pose the challenge to your followers.