“We are in an imagination battle. Trayvon Martin and Mike Brown and Renisha McBride and so many others are dead because, in some white imagination, they were dangerous. And that imagination is so respected that those who kill, based on an imagined, radicalized fear of Black people, are rarely held accountable.
Imagination has people thinking they can go from being poor to a millionaire as part of a shared American dream. Imagination turns Brown bombers into terrorists and white bombers into mentally ill victims. Imagination gives us borders, gives us superiority, gives us race as an indicator of ability. I often feel I am trapped inside someone else’s capability. I often feel I am trapped inside someone’ else’s imagination, and I must engage my own imagination in order to break free.” – adrienne maree brown, Emergent Strategy
What happens to a dream deferred? Or all together denied? What happens when an entire nation, already reeling from a pandemic, witnesses a murder before “its” very eyes? Does poetry have anything to say in such a situation? Might a piece of art console us? Might a poem begin to tell a story that we are finally ready to hear? Might that new story heal us? Might new dreams arise?
There is an edge
Beyond which we cannot grasp the scale
Of our universe.
That outer boundary
The only known edge of existence
The only one we can prove by universal experience –
We can imagine so much!
We can only imagine so much.
If perhaps it is a function of our collective minds
A dream of our endless nights
Then there will be abundance so long as we can imagine it –
Abundance on earth
If we can imagine it
Or abundance of earths
A sphere for every tribe
And every combination.
And to have it all
All we need is to remember
there is an edge
And grow our dreams beyond it.
– inspired by #ArtChangeUS
“Moral leadership of progressive religious communities is sorely need right now. As we care for another, we will find our way forward to a post-pandemic world that is more just. We can only navigate this unprecedented time together.” – Rev. Susan Frederick-Gray
Here is a new press release from the UUA President – Practicing Now for a more just Post-Pandemic Society
“The work of becoming more equitable, inclusive, and diverse within our congregations is justice work. If we cannot do this well, we cannot be effective as justice partners.
A frequent criticism of anti-oppression and hospitality work is that people are tired of us focusing internally, “navel-gazing,” rather than working on issues in the world. Yet greater awareness of the practices within our own institutions is complementary work to our justice. We cannot do accountable justice work if we are not able to remain in good relationship with those most affected by the conditions of injustice.”
“A just person is one who is conformed and transformed into justice.” – Meister Eckhart
“There is no crueler tyranny than that which is perpetuated under the shield of law and in the name of justice.” – Montesquieu
“Where justice is denied, where poverty is enforced, where ignorance prevails, and where any one class is made to feel that society is an organized conspiracy to oppress, rob and degrade them, neither persons nor property will be safe.” – Frederick Douglass
Chalica is a week long holiday celebrating the Seven UU Principles. It is a time of reflection, community, and living our faith.
Here are some ways to help you celebrate.
A Thought to Ponder:
Should you be kind to people who hurt you? What about people who commit really terrible crimes?
Orange picture credit: Kris Nobis Cervantes
From Rev. Susan Frederick-Gray’s Facebook: “To be a faith of action with love as our doctrine doesn’t mean we live it perfectly, but it does mean we are called again and again to learn, to make amends, to restore relationship, to choose love.
Read more on the essential spiritual and moral value of love in my column in UU World.“
“Cyntoia Brown received clemency!
While we still have much work to do to change our justice system, we are celebrating this victory.
Thanks to all who organized for this win, and thanks to Cyntoia Brown for never giving up!” – From the UUA Facebook
Rev. Michael J. Crumpler reflects on his presence at Dr. Christine Ford’s testimony and how we all are witnessing a monster, but through affirming the worth and dignity of victims, we diminish the power of monsters and create survivors. Through truth survivors can be set free.
“Why a flaming chalice?” the question comes.
It’s the cup of life, we answer.
A cup of blessings overflowing.
A cup of water to quench our spirits’ thirst.
A cup of wine for celebration and dedication.
The flame of truth.
The fire of purification.
Oil for anointing, healing.
Out of chaos, fear, and horror,
thus was the symbol crafted, a generation ago.
So may it be for us,
in these days of uncertainty, sorrow, and rage.
And a light to warm our souls and guide us home.