“I believe in kindness. Also in mischief. Also in
singing, especially when singing is not necessarily
prescribed.” ~~Mary Oliver
Like Mr. Rogers, I believe in kindness. Like Mary Oliver, I also believe in mischief and in singing.
When I wrote the anchor poem for my book, Holding the Bowl of the Heart, I was working through an intense internal dialogue about how to be an activist in the world without losing my sense of hope, without giving in to despair. How can I hold onto the Beauty and kindness and goodness in my heart, and also hold the pain and cruelty and injustice that fill so much of the world? My professors at Eastern Mennonite College in Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley encouraged us to see ourselves as both contemplatives and activists, letting prayer fuel action and action inform prayer. In order to be an active participant in creating just structures and opposing cruelty, I must stay informed about that cruelty and injustice. To keep from becoming a ragged shell of despair in the face of that I must hold the Beauty and kindness and joy with equal intensity. And so into the bowl they go, the terrible and the wonderful.
You will notice that I capitalize Beauty. This is because Beauty is one of my favorite names for the divine one, for the Holy Mystery, the Creative Force, the Source. When I capitalize Beauty in every reference to it, I am acknowledging to myself the immanence of the divine within the concept.
This page, and these thoughts, are in process. I will be re-working and refining this page periodically as part of my personal writing project.