Here in Lexington federal prison's Atwood Hall, squinting through the front doorway, I spotted a rust-red horse swiftly cantering across a nearby field. The setting sun cast a glow across the grasses and trees as the horse sped past. "Reminds me of the Pope," I murmured to no one in particular. "What's that?" Tiza asked. I tried to explain that once, when I asked a close friend his opinion of the Pope, shortly after Catholic bishops had elected Pope Francis, my friend had said, "The horse is out of the stable! And galloping."
Thank you very much, Kathy Kelly!
Thank you for this extraordinary and exemplary call to each of us to rise to the opportunities our challenges present us hourly, every season of this Great Sixth Extinction’s era dominating our living planet. Indeed, every one of us now lives in perhaps the longest “Forty days and nights alone in the desert” to have ever come along since humans appeared on this beautiful planet.
Your writing is a great inspiration. Please only take into consideration any suggestions I or anyone else offers along with whatever inner and outer guides you otherwise choose. For you are obviously learning from the very best.
This era presents us with the greatest, most unique opportunity humans have ever encountered. Prayerfulness offers an invaluable help revealing for each of us our every next step, one step at a time. Meditation can reveal to us our self-debilitations as well as our most promising habits, practices, and routines. Deliberation with others can help us discover and overcome our own petty ego-dominated habits, quirks and reactions as well as articulate our shared visions. Contemplation and reflection in solitude can reveal to us present splendors, challenges and opportunities we otherwise might never discover.
Please consider one suggestion regarding where we focus our intention, our vision and our envisioning practices. I like what you have presented: “Recognizing our need to support one another, to overcome the scourges of our time, to pick up a pace commensurate to the needs of those surrounding us, focused on our sick society with the same determination to heal that we would bring to a very sick child, we all have the task of going beyond our places of comfort, of escaping the stable and trotting if we can’t manage to gallop, of building new affinities in which to imagine and then co-create a better world.”
Yes, we do need to master the details of the sicknesses of our time as well as deliberate our ways into creating a better world. I wonder: can we do this most masterfully without also envisioning and articulating with others the most flourishing and resilient wellness of which we hope to become capable? It seems to me we need to discover our balances between these, balances revealing a family of creative tensions between the challenges and the opportunities, tensions creative of what Dr. King called to our attention with his magisterial “I Have a Dream!” vision. Like the Lincoln in whose monument he stood, Dr. King obviously had prayed long and patiently prior to delivering his great utterances. Also like Lincoln, Dr. King reminded us to focus upon what is most promising while not forgetting what is most challenging. Both offered the most exemplary creative balances between the death and destruction all around them and the most splendid visions of what we might create collaborating with others.
If only men’s prisons were such nice places! The prison experiences of male civil disobedient activists like Tim DeChrstopher and others is quite different and a whole lot less pleasant. I hope Kathy Kelly realizes this.