Four Articles and a Poem

8:49 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.

In a week with King v. Burwell, Obergefell v. Hodges, funerals for the dead of Charleston, and Confederate flags, here are four articles and a poem for your consideration.
  1. "Laudato Si’ on Non-Human Animals: Three Hopeful Signs, Three Missed Opportunities." The Catholic Moral Theology blog is a space shared by an interesting cross-section of younger Catholic moral theologians. Charles Camosy, an associate professor at Fordham University and author of For Love of Animals: Christian Ethics, Consistent Action,has been a thoughtful commentator on Laudato Si' since its promulgation.
  2. "Build STEM Skills, but Don’t Neglect the Humanities." My undergraduate work in the "Great Books" enlivens my pulse anytime I see a quotation from Aristotle early in an article. Published in the Harvard Business Review, Dr. Johan Roos, Dean and Managing Director of Jönköping International Business School (JIBS), where he also holds a professorship in strategy, writes that, while STEM education is important, we need to propose an expansion of the concept. I concur, although I suggest that we also need a hefty formation in ethics along with STEM. It's not good enough to know that we can do something; we need to be thoughtful about the "why."
  3. "Racism: America's Original Sin." Originally written by Jim Wallis of Sojourners back in 1987, he revised it in 2013 in honor of Trayvon Martin. There remain fundamental fears that are black and white in America and need addressing.
  4. "The Question of Why." Brooks Jensen, the editor of LensWork, always asks great questions and offers practical, thoughtful advice. In this podcast, Jensen asks why one engages in photography. He boils it down to this: "We all know the maxim that there is no better way to learn something than to teach it. I guess my variation is photography (careful observation) and publication (expression) are the twin aspects of learning about life." Take a look. You can learn a lot from this wise man.

For more than twenty years, I have enjoyed reading essays and poetry from Kathleen Norris. Her works are fantastic. The poem below may well be my favorite from her. I especially love the line:
I don't know why
it's in us: this love that moves
in color, through fears
that are black and white.
We live amid such fears, communal and personal, of race and who another loves, and, yet, we are invited to live from a richer, deeper love.

"A Litany for Basil, on Leaving Oz"
by Kathleen Norris
[from Little Girls in Church (1995), University of Pittsburgh Press] (1995)]

I don't know how to do it,
but I see the plains before me
like a book.
I don't know why pain comes
in waves, but I see
grass in wind.
I don't know how it happens
but I listen to the story.
I don't know why
it takes so long,
but I love to hear it.
I don't know how
the days will run,
but I long to see them unfold.
I don't know why
it's in us: this love that moves
in color, through fears
that are black and white.

'You've always had the power,'
the good witch says. Why love is like death,
only longer. Amen. Amen.

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