There’s a lot of craziness going on these days. Broken political systems. Indecent wealth on the top and innocent suffering at the bottom. Name calling and shouting matches pretending to be free speech and civic responsibility. It’s not a pretty sight.
Streaming music and YouTube videos are awesome. My new Wacom Bamboo Dock and mini-apps is pure magic. We’re bathed in the delight of world music, fusions of this and that, instant downloads and HD on demand, and still the celebrities go nuts and get divorced while the homeboys shoot ’em up and babies die. We live in this amazing age of global connection and universal possibility and still the powers that be are fiddling around with their hands in the till and their minds on the next election.
I think we mostly know better, but can’t quite figure out what to do with the messiness that comes along with all of the miracles. Everything is too big, too complex, too entrenched, too scary, too heavy to lift or too hot to handle. I tend to ping-pong back and forth just trying to keep my mind sorted out and my attitude up. But it eats at my heart to see society bog down and people stay forgotten. We’ve got work to do before we play and playing is too much fun to burden with a guilty conscience or a distracting to do list because we didn’t stick to our knitting—caring for our neighbors. So what’s a cultural creative with an itch to write to do?Write about culture and creativity. It may seem like a stretch to leap from culture and creativity to “grounded spirituality,” but I’m going to spend a lot of time and effort drawing the connection. I’d stake my life on the proposition that the work we have to do is mostly related to culture: how we think, what we believe, what we value, how we treat one another, how we organize ourselves, what we celebrate, how well we encourage innovation, how much time we spend reading books and listening to jazz, and yes, how carefully we dig into the riches of religion and spirituality, especially how fully we dive into the life of communities of faith.
If I had to jam a bright stake into the ground, around which I could circle on a fairly long leash, that stake would be “grounded spirituality and creating culture.” One way or the other, everything that appears here will have something to do with being consciously and deeply related to myself, to other people and to the universe—being passionately responsible for the future, our neighbors and our planet.
Writing a first blog post leans toward the vertigo a ski jumper must feel before leaping into the controlled fall that’s needed to go farther, quicker. But I know enough to take it step by step, one day at a time, and to ask for feedback. As I write forward, I’ll also fill in backward by adding stuff I’ve written over the last decade or so, just to check where I’ve come from.
Remember this is an informal, neighborhood salon. You’re invited. Come as you are and bring a folding chair or yoga pad. Don’t forget the chips and dip. And a cold one or two.