Music as prayer today.
Music as prayer today.
Something a little different this week: recommending a documentary, Poetry of Witness. Poetry of Witness is a 2015 documentary film directed by Billy Tooma and Anthony Cirilo about the lives of six contemporary poets who have lived through, and survived, extremities such as war, torture, exile, and repression, using poetry to preserve their memories.It debuted October 16, 2015 at the Buffalo International Film Festival.
The film documents the struggle of six contemporary poets who have faced the duress of war, exile, and human rights violations to give voice to their experiences while wrestling with the complex moral quandaries of artistic production, memory, and trauma. The poets: Carolyn Forché (Salvadoran Civil War), Saghi Ghahraman (Iranian Revolution), Fady Joudah (Doctors Without Borders), Claudia Serea (Socialist Republic of Romania), Mario Susko (Bosnian War), and Bruce Weigl (Vietnam War) offer first-person accounts of how their experiences as soldier, activist, doctor, and survivor imprint their poetry as evidence of those conflicts, rather than as representations of them.
A Couple of Suggested Anthologies (there are so many more…)
Award winning poet Carolyn Forché spent 13 years compiling Against Forgetting: 20th Century Poetry of Witness. It is an exhaustive and illuminating work of breadth, beauty, wisdom and tragedy.
More about the Poetry of Witness
More About Against Forgetting at3Generations
The moon does not fight. It attacks no one. It does not worry. It does not try to crush others. It keeps to its course, but by its very nature, it gently influences. What other body could pull an entire ocean from shore to shore? The moon is faithful to its nature and its power is never diminished. -Ming-Dao Deng
I grew up in Hurricane Alley, eastern North Carolina, so the preparation for these big storms is something I learned early. Hurricane Matthew has ripped through Haiti, and is on his way to the US East Coast. All my provisions are laid in, flashlights and emergency equipment in place and ready, and I’ve battened down as much as I can. But sometimes Mama Nature’s just too big and unpredictable for any kind of preparation.
Make art about preparing the best you can.
Thinking a lot today about all the ways people find their way to, or demonstrate faith. Took me immediately to one of my top three favorite songs, The Mountain, by Dave Carter and Tracy Grammer.
Excerpted Lyrics by Dave Carter
Some build temples and some find altars,
some come in tall hats and robes spun fine.
Some in rags, some in gemstone halters,
some push the pegs back in line.
I see the mountain, the mountain comes to me,
I see the mountain and that is all I see.
Make art about temples or altars or shrines, faith in some unexpected way.
Road Angel Andrea at Walmart today told me about her grandmama teaching her to sew, first by making curtains, long straight hems, she said, over and over again, summer curtains, winter curtains with their heavy lining. She said her grandmama was patient but tough, making her tear out crooked stitches, and try again til she got it right. “I learned to take my time,” she said. “I learned to take my time, look ahead of the foot, and how a pair of curtains can make all the difference in a room.”
Make art about curtains. Or about what you learned from an elder.