„A Visit”


By Margaret Atwood

Gone are the days
when you could walk on water.
When you could walk.

The days are gone.
Only one day remains,
the one you’re in.

The memory is no friend.
It can only tell you 
what you no longer have:

a left hand you can use,
two feet that walk.
All the brain’s gadgets.

Hello, hello.
The one hand that still works
grips, won’t let go.

That is not a train.
There is no cricket.
Let’s not panic.

Let’s talk about axes,
which kinds are good,
the many names of wood.

This is how to build 
a house, a boat, a tent.
No use; the toolbox

refuses to reveal its verbs;
the rasp, the plane, the awl,
revert to sullen metal.

Do you recognize anything? I said.
Anything familiar?
Yes, you said. The bed.

Better to watch the stream 
that flows across the floor 
and is made of sunlight,

the forest made of shadows;
better to watch the fireplace
which is now a beach.



„Everything begins in mysticism and ends in politics.” —Charles Péguy

From Mysticism to Politics, by Richard Rohr
Friday, July 13, 2018

Everything begins in mysticism and ends in politics. —Charles Péguy (1873-1914) [1]

In last fall’s issue of the Center for Action and Contemplation’s journal, Oneing, Wes Granberg-Michaelson, our good friend and neighbor here in New Mexico and the former General Secretary of the Reformed Church in America, traced the path between mysticism—which is actual experience of God or Universal Love—and politics:

„Transformative change in politics depends so much on having a clear view of the desired end. Where does that vision come from? Possibilities may be offered by various ideologies, or party platforms, or political candidates. But, for the person of faith, that vision finds its roots in God’s intended and preferred future for the world. It comes not as a dogmatic blueprint but as an experiential encounter with God’s love, flowing like a river from God’s throne, nourishing trees with leaves for the healing of the nations (see Revelation 22:1-2). This biblically infused vision, resonant from Genesis to Revelation, pictures a world made whole, with people living in a beloved community, where no one is despised or forgotten, peace reigns, and the goodness of God’s creation is treasured and protected as a gift.

Such a vision strikes the political pragmatist as idyllic, unrealistic, and irrelevant. But the person of faith, whose inward journey opens his or her life to the explosive love of God, knows that this vision is the most real of all. It is a glimpse of creation’s purpose and a glimmering of the Spirit’s movement amid the world’s present pain, brokenness, and despair. This vision also recognizes the inevitable journey of inward and outward transformation—the simultaneous, continuing transformation of the inward hearts of people liberated by God’s astonishing grace and the outward transformation of social and economic structures liberated by God’s standards of justice.

So, for the Christian, politics entails an inevitable spiritual journey. But this is not the privatized expression of belief which keeps faith in Jesus contained in an individualized bubble and protects us from the “world.”. . . Rather, it is a spiritual journey which connects us intrinsically to the presence of God, whose love yearns to save and transform the world. We are called to be “in Christ,” which means we share—always imperfectly, and always in community with others—the call to be the embodiment of God’s love in the world. . . .

The necessary detachment from this ugly and injurious present political climate depends upon our inner attachment to the mystery of God’s unbounded grace and divine, creative love. That is the foundation from which we can witness to truth, nurture community, and build essential bonds of solidarity with those who suffer. More than ever, politics which offers redemptive hope will begin with mysticism.”

[1] Charles Péguy, Notre Jeunesse (Paris: Cahiers de la Quinzaine, 1910), 27. Original text: “Tout commence en mystique et finit en politique.”

Wes Granberg-Michaelson, “From Mysticism to Politics,” “Politics and Religion,” Oneing, vol. 5 no. 2 (Center for Action and Contemplation: 2017), 17, 21.

Some good news


„How did they survive so long with so little food, and lose so little weight?

The boys were in the caves nine days before they were found. They may have had a little food from what they bought to celebrate Night’s birthday. They are passionate football players, very fit, and with the training they have had a tight-knit team.

This would have helped them ration their food carefully and support each other, perhaps with songs.

Image caption Rescuers brought them food, light and letters from their parents to help them cope

„The entire operation was complex, innovative and very bold. Nothing like it has been attempted before. Some of those involved described the tasks undertaken by the core divers, who carried the boys out, as superhuman.”



„Despre adevar si minciuna”


Final articol Ana Maria Sandu

„Recitiți interviul acesta cu Ciprian Mihali de pe PressOne.ro, pentru o mai bună contextualizare a lumii a post-adevărului în care trăim. „Pentru ca minciunile să poată fi înghiţite uşor, adică să nu-i trezească din somn pe cei care le aud, e nevoie ca ele să fie formulate în cuvinte cît mai puţine şi cît mai des repetate, dar rostite teatral pe scenele publice oferite cu atîta generozitate de industriile mediatice, ele însele complice şi supuse acestui spectacol (…). O afirmaţie absurdă spusă o dată poate fi percepută ca absurdă, deci necredibilă. Repetată însă de o mie de ori, ea nu este în fond mai puţin absurdă, doar că devine credibilă. Iar credibilitatea ei se obţine prin credulitate, expresia cea mai înaltă a abandonării oricărui simţ critic”, spune Mihali.

Exact acesta a fost unul dintre reproșurile aduse opoziției de actuala putere, maestră absolută la capitolul manipulare: „Prezentaţi răul ca fiind bine, iar binele ca fiind rău. Am credinţă în puterea adevărului, în inteligenţa acestui popor, care a dovedit în nenumărate rînduri că nu se lasă manipulat şi e capabil să distingă între adevăr şi minciună. Ecuaţia va fi cît se poate de simplă, dvs.aţi tăiat, noi am majorat pensiile şi salariile”, a mai spus Dăncilă.

Philip Roth credea „că trăim într-o lume în care minciuna e regină”. S-ar putea ca în curînd marile bătălii să nu se mai dea pe resurse, ci pe alchimia transformării adevărului în minciună și invers.”

Amazing Salmon!

„Their sensitivity to changing environmental conditions make salmon susceptible to climate change, but it’s also why scientists use salmon as an indicator species to gauge the health of the ecosystem. We need salmon—and not just because they’re tasty.

1. Salmon feed forests.

On their journey out to sea and back, salmon feed humans, bears, orcas—and trees, too. It’s their unique life cycle that make them an important food source. Washington state biologists have estimated that salmon come into contact with 137 different species—and that’s not including plants. They’re such an important food source that scientists identify them as a “keystone species”—a species without which the ecosystem would change dramatically. Salmon spend most of their lives at sea. So when they return inland to spawn and die, they bring ocean nutrients—stored in their bodies—with them upstream, sometimes hundreds of miles, depositing nitrogen and phosphorus that forests need.

2. Salmon can tear down dams.

Almost four years ago, the largest dam removal project in U.S. history was completed, and scientists are already recording regeneration up and down the Elwha River in Washington state as it rushes back to life. The proposed removal of four dams on the Klamath River in 2020 would be even bigger in scale. And one driver behind dam removal is salmon. The federal relicensing process requires dams to make sometimes costly upgrades for fish passage under modern environmental laws. PacifiCorp, which owns and operates the four dams on the Klamath, has said in public statements that tearing the dams down is less costly than relicensing and maintaining them. When environmental laws protect salmon, removing dams makes economic sense.

3. Salmon sustain cultures.

Historically, members of the Karuk Tribe in Northern California ate more than one pound of salmon every day. Today, as dams, climate change, and development impact Klamath River salmon, that number averages less than five pounds of salmon eaten per person—in a year. In 2017, the tribe announced it would limit its harvest to just 200 chinook salmon. And it’s not just diet that’s impacted. All along the Pacific coast, Native people have lived alongside salmon for thousands of years. Salmon is at the center of ceremonies, art, and identity for tribes in the Pacific Northwest, Alaska, and California. When salmon are threatened, so is culture.

4. Salmon keep humans healthy.

Salmon is one of the most nutrient-dense foods for humans. It’s a healthy source of protein and has lots of vitamins and minerals, including vitamin B-12, magnesium, potassium, and selenium. And, of course, fatty fish like salmon have lots of omega-3s. We eat a lot of it. Worldwide, salmon overtook shrimp as the most traded seafood in 2016. And we pay a lot. Right now, a wild king salmon fillet is $37.99 from my local fish market in Seattle. That’s less for wild salmon than we used to pay because of competition from cheaper farmed salmon. But it may not be able to continue meeting the demand it helped create: Last year, sea lice—which kill Atlantic farmed salmon—caused a worldwide shortage.

5. Salmon shape the landscape.

When they spawn, salmon may move mountains, according to a recent study. Over millennia, salmon sex has helped to carve the mountain ranges of the Pacific Northwest. It works like this: When fish spawn, they stir up the river bed, digging holes for their eggs and swishing their tails in the process. That sends gravel downstream and also loosens the riverbed, making it less compact and more likely to move when the river floods. Over thousands of years, the tons of gravel that salmon move add up. The study, whose lead author is from Washington State University, showed that the landscape surrounding the streams where salmon spawn would be nearly a third taller if the salmon weren’t there.”



Doru,n. 6 iulie 1945


RIP  Locotenent-comandorul FLORIN ROTARU. Cazut la 7 iulie 2018.


„O să înţelegi acum ce-am simţit când am
văzut deodată că avionul lui Chioru arde. Luase foc brusc; şi ardea
cu fum negru, învârtejit într-o coadă scurtă şi groasă, din care ţăşneau,
când şi când,şerpi portocalii. Ardea exact ca avionul ăla de pe planşa
din sala de pregătire, dar acum era real, la câţiva metri de mine, în
stânga şi puţin în faţă… Am împins piciorul drept în palonier, mult,
şi avionul mi-a glisat pe plan, depărtându-se de aparatul care ardea.
Degetele mi-au apăsat singure emisia şi am strigat cu gura uscată:
„Chiorule… măi, sări! Catapultează, Chiorule!” Uitasem de indicativ,
de tot; fixam avionul arzând, fumul, flăcările şi repetam în neştire:
„Sări, te rog, catapultează, auzi, arzi, ai incendiu la bord, catapultează!”
Totul a durat foarte mult, adică mi s-a părut că durează foarte mult,
era una din situaţiile alea când secundele se lungesc într-o peltea fără
sfârşit, şi mi-era ciudă de laşitatea mea care mă depărtase de avionul cap,
zburam aproape în linie cu ei, lateral la vreo optzeci-o sută de
metri, şi tot strigam „sări, mă, sări, fir’ar mă-ta a dracului, eşti şi surd!”
Apoi a explodat, a fost o explozie neaşteptat de slabă şi de mică, în
comparaţie cu incendiul ăla violent şi cu tot fumul negru străbătut
de flăcări portocalii. Avionul a luat-o pe un plan, s-a răsucit ca o
frunză de plop toamna, când o bate vântul, şi s-a năpustit în jos, spre
pământul care se vedea împâclit şi ars. Abia atunci m-am dezmeticit,
şi am luat degetul de pe emisie; mi-am şters pleoapele, mi-am smuls
masca de oxigen care mustea de sudoare şi am intrat în picaj; se mai
vedea, o musculiţă de argint cu un panaş negru-cenusiu după ea.”

Din cartea de debut Caii de la Voroneţ, ed 2 2015



Changing Sides – July 4, 2018 U.S. Independence Day

By Richard Rohr

God chose things the world considers foolish to shame those who think they are wise. And God chose things that are powerless to shame those who are powerful. —1 Corinthians 1:27

You have heard that it was said, “You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.” But I say to you, love your enemies, and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your heavenly Father, for he makes his sun to rise on the bad and the good, and causes rain to fall on the just and the unjust. —Matthew 5:43-45

Christianity is a bit embarrassed by the powerless one, Jesus. We’ve made his obvious defeat into a glorious victory. Let’s face it, we feel more comfortable with power than with powerlessness and poverty. Who wants to be like Jesus on the cross? It just doesn’t look like a way of influence, a way of access, a way that’s going to make any difference in the world.

We worship this naked, homeless, bleeding loser, crucified outside the walls of Jerusalem, but we want to be winners . . . at least until we learn to love the so-called little, poor people—and then we often see they are not little at all, but better images of the soul. Yes, those with mental and physical disabilities, minority groups, LGBTQIA folks, refugees, prisoners, those with addictions, those without financial wealth—all who have “failed” in our social or economic success system—can be our best teachers in the ways of the Gospel. They represent what we are most afraid of and what we most deny within ourselves. That’s why we must learn to love what first seems like our “enemy.”

If we look at all the wars of history, we’ll see that God has unwittingly been enlisted on both sides of the fight. It’s easy to wonder what God does when both sides are praying for God’s protection. Trusting Jesus as the archetypal pattern of God’s presence and participation on Earth, I believe God is found wherever the suffering is. I believe this because that is precisely where Jesus goes. He makes heroes of the outsiders and underdogs in almost all his parables and stories. To miss that point is culpable and chosen ignorance. The awakened and aware ones—like Jesus and Francis of Assisi—go where people are suffering, excluded, expelled, marginalized, and abused. And there they find God.

Imagine, brothers and sisters, how different Western history and religion could have been if we had walked as tenderly and lovingly upon the earth as Francis and Jesus did. Imagine what the world would be like if we treated others with inherent and equal dignity and respect, seeing the divine DNA in ourselves and everyone else too—regardless of ethnicity, religion, gender, sexual orientation, nationality, appearance, or social class. Nothing less offers the world any lasting future. We must be honest about that—and rather quickly, I think.