Unbroken

If we don’t sit with the rough edges of our journey, we forget how we made it. Kevin Gannon, The Tattoed Professor, ‘On being broken, and the kindness of others‘ 1 It’s Friday at the end of a long week of being trivially unwell. Trivially in the not-cancer sense, but disruptively in the whole-family-down-with-it sense, the “Oh, everyone has this, isn’t it dreadful, have you got the cough yet?” sense. Whole days in bed, shivering and sweating. And coughing. Having…

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Shared values

It happened because our corporate policies were put ahead of our shared values. Oscar Munoz, United Airlines CEO It happened: a passenger hauled by his arms from a plane to enable airline staff to get from airport to airport. His reaction to being grabbed out of his seat seemed to take everyone by surprise, and from the moment he refused to go along with things, every mistake was made. He was physically harmed, mentally harmed, and then further abused by media and social media investigations…

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Connectedness and learning: an invitation

How much capacity for empathy do we have, for ideas and people whose worldviews are very different from our own? How much hospitality do we have in ourselves, beyond mere tolerance, for this kind of difference? Maha Bali,  ‘Whom do you listen to? And why I’m hoping to go the US this August“ At Mary Freer’s compassion lab last week I learned new things from systems researcher Fiona Kerr. Fiona advises large corporations on social neuroscience, and is a robust and articulate…

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In our own hands

To offer consolation is an act of generosity. Arthur Frank, The Renewal of Generosity ANZAC Day: dodging the memorialisation of war by gardening, trying to distribute worm casts without ripping handfuls of living worms to bits. I’m feeling the dirt packed under my fingernails, and suddenly hearing Thom Gunn’s poem that skids to a stop on the matter of our cellular form: when we die and fall into the earth, we become dirt, and there is no intention in this, it just is. This poem ends with…

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Enhancing life

When a person dies, they leave behind, for those who knew them, an emptiness, a space: the space has contours and is different for each person mourned. This space with its contours is the person’s likeness and is what the artist searches for when making a living portrait. A likeness is something left behind invisibly. John Berger,  ‘Steps Towards a Small Theory of the Visible’ It’s been hard to write, evidently. It’s March. This morning I was over on Plashing Vole’s…

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Lenses

There’s a lot of things that we have to look at critically that might have been useful at one time that are no longer useful. Myles Horton What is the space between the orchid and the wasp? Jacques Abelman 1 In the third chapter, “Ideas”, of Myles Horton and Paolo Freire’s We Make The Road by Walking (1990), there’s a moment where the conversation suddenly looks right at us. The [electoral] system that we have in the United States was set up at…

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The roads we make

We all agreed we had to start learning from the people we were working with, and that we had to learn from each other. Myles Horton, #HortonFreire , We Make the Road by Walking So I’m in a pop-up book club, which is probably the only kind of book club I can manage, as I’m a terrible reader. I have a vision of book clubs that is part Oprah, and part my friend David the philosopher who tells me stories of Melbourne book…

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Listening

Everything about a particular voter, you have to predict how that voter is going to act. Reince Priebus, MSNBC Be patient for the wolf is always with you. Malcolm Lowry,  ‘Be Patient for the Wolf‘ 1 It’s morning in Brooklyn. Below us the street is going about its business. Little ones are being walked to school, stores are rattling open, buses at ground level and planes in the sky. Yesterday, voting day, I walked the High Line listening and marvelling at the…

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Tenet

The Latin word is from PIE root *ten- “to stretch” (source also of Sanskrit tantram “loom,” tanoti “stretches, lasts;” Persian tar “string;” Lithuanian tankus“compact,” i.e. “tightened;” Greek teinein “to stretch,” tasis “a stretching, tension,” tenos “sinew,” tetanos “stiff, rigid,” tonos “string,” hence “sound, pitch;” Latin tendere “to stretch,” tenuis “thin, rare, fine;” Old Church Slavonic tento “cord;” Old English þynne “thin”). Connecting notion between “stretch” and “hold” is “cause to maintain.” 1 What are the things that we hold to be true? What are the tenets of our time that arouse conviction, that we stretch towards, that we grab hold of and hold dear? Sometimes we hardly know what we…

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For now, our own

In open online spaces, opening doors is not enough. Maha Bali, ‘Reproducing marginality,’ September 2016 We so easily forget our bodies. Mary Freer, ‘This body goes to work,’ August 2016 Over the last week I’ve been skirting a significant conversation begun by Maha Bali (“I don’t own my domain, I rent it“) and continued by Audrey Watters (“A domain of ones own in a post-ownership society“). Never far away is Andrew Rikard’s Edsurge post “Do I own my domain if you…

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