Imagine a machine that measures tenderness towards the earth. Perhaps it is a satellite sent from a distant planet, measuring oil wells against gardening, carbon in the atmosphere, minerals left in the ground, dinosaur bones still buried. To measure tenderness may be spreadsheets and adding machines, the legal tender to which we owe our existence.
Since March 2021, I’ve been trying to write this blog post. I probably have written thousands of words of draft text. I had the chance to share an Easter reflection at our staff meeting this week, and was given three minutes to speak and two minutes for a ritual. That beautiful constraint birthed this very
Note: Edited on Feb 10th due to helpful reader response, including removing the reference to Ghandi due to some increased yelling at schools as part of protest behaviour. Keep the feedback coming! I have a sign from MCC’s migrant welcome campaign in my window: “No matter where you are from, we’re glad you are our
I went to sleep and woke up to the sounds of honking horns. As the sun set last night, an airplane with a banner reading “mandate freedom” flew past my window. The city is filled with more beards and coveralls than I have ever seen in Ottawa. Canada flags attached to hockey sticks are everywhere.
Let everything happen to you: beauty and terror.Just keep going. No feeling is final.Don’t let yourself lose me. Nearby is the country they call life.You will know it by its seriousness. Give me your hand. –Rainer Maria Rilke On July 9, 2011, two armed men shot Facundo Cabral in Guatemala City. I had been in Colombia
It’s been a month of physical distancing here in Ottawa. I have spent a lot of time on my couch eating gummy candies and watching Betty la Fea, while feeling overwhelmed by the need to act urgently and effectively in response to a crisis, with no idea of how to do so. As the days
My facebook feed is full of politics, but you would barely know that Canada is in campaign mode. A number of Colombian community leaders are running for local political office. Gabriel Pulido, a community leader from Mampujan, is running for mayor of Maria la Baja. Jorge Montes is in the race for council in El
My first night in Mampujan, the community leaders came to Juana’s house to meet me. The evening turned into an impromptu meeting about community events. Voices were raised. I didn’t understand everything, but the tone felt was harsh. I went to bed that night convinced that I had witness the fragmentation of leadership. I woke
The last time I lived in Ottawa, the Arab Spring was just beginning. I would come home to my mansion to watch the Al Jazeera live feed for hours. I had studied nonviolence for social change; here was nonviolence for social change taking place right in front of my eyes. I moved to Colombia and
It is an understatement to say that coming back to Canada has been a change. A panel I attended in November with Kate Hennessy, Dorothy Day’s granddaughter, was a space for calm. Kate shared lessons and memories of growing up in a Catholic Worker home. Surrounded by anarchists, in the audience and on the panel,