Four Articles and a Poem

9:02 AM

Weekly, I will post four articles that I found significant, meaningful and a poem. Our lives are enriched by seeing better. One article likely will come from the world of photography, a discipline that is about seeing. Another article will come from the world of technology, hence seeing something of the future. Another article will take up some aspect of our life together, seeing more clearly the other. Another article will be directed to faith, seeing the unseen. Finally, the weekly post will conclude with a poem, because poetry is about seeing words whose arrangement allows us to see anew.

  1. Laudato Si'. Rather than read a commentary or excerpts, read the whole thing. It may take a few hours, but it is worth it. Read it on the Vatican website, or download the .pdf from the linked page. The U.S. Catholic Conference of Bishops has additional resources here. Don't read it with an eye for Red/Blue, agree/disagree. Read it with an eye for: What does the Pope say that I know to be true? What does he say that makes me uncomfortable? What does the Pope say that calls me to change?
  2. Superwheat Kerna Could Save Our Soil and Feed Us as Well. In the spirit of Laudato Si', let's recognize the good work of farmers and scientists in my home state of Kansas. The Land Institute, founded by Wes Jackson and based in Salina, has done pioneering work that embodies the best of Laudato Si'.
  3. Stop using a Camera, Start Making Photographs. Most of my learning about photography is from reading blogs, books, and looking at images. An engaging writer and photographer, David duChemin is well known for his motto: "Gear is good; vision is better." DuChemin is also keen on the creative process. His posts are human, vulnerable, often poignant. Give him a look.
  4. Thugs and Terrorists Have Attacked Black Churches for Generations. The Atlantic tells of the sad history around attacks in Black churches. Another commentary, of a video variety, is from Jon Stewart.

What a week of joy and sorrow.And now for some poetry from Wendell Berry, who happens to be a collaborator of Wes Jackson from the Land Institute. This poem from his collection Leavings seems fitting for both the themes raised above.

2008, XII
My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge… 
Hosea 4:6 
We forget the land we stand on
and live from. We set ourselves
free in an economy founded
on nothing, on greed verified
by fantasy, on which we entirely
depend. We depend on fire
that consumes the world without
lighting it. To this dark blaze
driving the inert metal
of our most high desire
we offer our land as fuel,
thus offering ourselves at last
to be burned. This is our riddle
to which the answer is a life
that none of us has lived.

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