“Art has the power to render sorrow beautiful,
make loneliness a shared experience,
and transform despair into hope. “
from Brené Brown, Braving the Wilderness
After the trauma of August 11/12, 2017 in Charlottesville a hummingbird visited me on the front porch. How do art and beauty speak into your pain, loneliness and frustration?
I am from Charlottesville
burning torches winding their way
through trauma ancient and new
embodied, colliding, rising
Where does it hurt? Ruby Sales asked
truth revealed while always known
O God, we are the problem!
Eyes opened I wrestle Jacob like
Who is the God I worship?
Olam chesed yibaneh (we will build this world from love)
There are events and times in our lives that cause us to reevaluate everything we thought we knew or believed. What have been those moments in your live? How have they changed you?
I am from Iran
9 yards of black polyester
slowly invisibly suffocating
anger waiting to explode
amidst beautiful, hospitable people
picnics by the side of the road
fragrant rice, gourmeye sabzi, shirin-e pollow
pulling my chador off while walking into the airplane –
leaving … to Fairouz singing …. kifak inta? (how are you?)
Where have you found challenge and beauty together in one place?
I am from Κοβρος – (Cyprus)
stepping off the plane –
breathing deeply… letting go
ocean blue nourishing the soul
Lebanese Cheese pies in the Ayia Napa Monastery
resting, belonging, connecting
laughter, food, friends
nourishing, sustaining, renewing
What refreshes your soul? When or where do you breathe deeply?
I am from the old city of Damascus
dusty, ancient, vibrant,
Christian, Jewish, Muslim
narrow alleys winding, twisting, intersecting
shaded oasis within
filled with the smell of jasmine
dinners on the roof – allah u akbar
What dust do you have on your feet? What cultures have added color and flavor to your life?
I am from AMBS
dwelling within the word
a seminary, a community,
spiritual friends searching together
sunshine under cloudy Indiana skies
empowered, nudged and commissioned
Who has empowered you?
AMBS is Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary in Elkhart, Indiana.