Our podcast listeners do not disappoint. Check out this reflection and "found poem" inspired by Annie Dillard. The muse? Our show with Marie Howe. A sampling:
"Real time is true;
redundancy that's happening now.
Remember those swaths of time between high holy seasons:
Nothing dramatic is happening;
this is where we're living."
And Andréana Lefton (@AELefton) graces our blog this week with "A Dark Privilege: Bearing Witness to Victims and Prisoners of Conscience in Iran." Bahá'í leaders in Iran are being persecuted and imprisoned — simply for their faith. From a desk in London, Ms. Lefton reflects on their circumstances and how they remind her of the sacrifice and the richness of human life:
"They are traces of human beings who learned to drink the bitter with the sweet. Memories of weddings, a favorite poem, and the dreams a young girl who dove headfirst into the ocean, arms and legs flying."
While editing Ms. Lefton's commentary, I happened upon this video interview with Roxana Saberi, the American journalist who was accused of espionage by the Iranian government. She talks about the time she spent in an Iranian prison and the relationships she developed with Mahvash Sabet and Fariba Kamalabadi, two of the seven Yaran ("the Friends"), who are sentenced to 20 years in prison because of their faith:
"I think the lessons that Mahvash and Fariba taught me in prison are universal. And they can apply to anybody, anywhere in the world. You don't have to be in prison. We have our own prisons, are own adversities, and we can try to turn those adversities into opportunities."
Seeing this early one morning…
…and reading this:
"Radical change remains a possibility within us right up until our last breath. The greatest tragedy of human existence is not to live in time, in both senses of that phrase."
Christian Wiman's My Bright Abyss: Meditation of a Modern Believer is exquisite and profound. I highly recommend it.
If you're a fan of Harper Lee and To Kill a Mockingbird, you must see this letter from 1960. A charming reply from a legendary writer.
And, after a 10-day hiatus from Twitter, Krista (@KristaTippett) returns with a flare — commenting on everything from Sheila Dillon's BBC Food Programme podcast…
On Sugar; and Cancer and Diet - latest great episodes of a favorite podcast.
…to new religious trends in Europe…
Fascinating: In Norway, where about 1% of citizens attend church, the newest bestseller is the Bible.
Famously secular Western/Northern Europe has been bound for a renewal of spiritual curiosity, a predictable decade or so behind the U.S.
…and the forces that shape our lives:
"I worry that technology is to this century what ideologies were to the last - "solutions" in which hope and hubris merge dangerously."
Where might you take this idea? Are you concerned that this is true, or do you see it differently? Jump into the mix with Krista and others on this conversation.
A great joy this week is witnessing the renewed interest in this video, a brother's tribute to his dying sister's life and art.