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29 August 2009

Ex-Con Should't Mean Exile

Michael Vick is lucky that he has a skill off of which other people can make money. A LOT of money. Most black ex-cons do not get a chance for a second chance. I am glad to hear that he is penitent. And I don't mind him getting a second chance in his chosen/former career. I am more concerned about all of those formerly incarcerated women and men who cannot get jobs in any field, who are shut out of the society they're trying to reenter and, who are condemned for returning to the only way of life they have left to survive and for a social support system.

26 August 2009

Back to School

We are no longer an agrarian society, yet those rhythms shape us even if we have no connection to a school system. Year-round employees regularly schedule summer vacations and many of those who live near water spend as much time at the water as they can.
The heat of the summer seems to be a reminder that these days are few; that Fall is coming and Winter is not far behind.
Perhaps it is because so many fiscal and governmental calendars begin in July and October that September feels more like a beginning than the end of the year.
For those involved in an educational setting there is so much newness: new faces, new lessons, new books, new clothes, new anxieties, new heartaches.
The Fall is also a time of spiritual reflection and renewal.
The Jewish High Holidays, the ten Days of Awe from Rosh HaShannah to Yom Kippur and the month leading up to them can overlap with the beginning of the school year (more-or-less, depending on the calendar intersection).
The apple has become the symbol of both education and the High Holidays.
Reflection, repentance, confession, renewal.
A fresh start.
As fresh as a child's face on the first day of school, full of the seeds of promise.
May it be a good, and a sweet year.

10 August 2009

No Place for Dragons

This world’s no place for dragons
Not any more

We’ve killed the magic and the mystery

Not with our science and technology

Zoology or theology

But with our violence and degradation

This world’s no place for magical creatures
Whose wingspan
is only exceeded by their capacity to expand our imaginations

Their iridescent scales can’t gleam in the smoggy light of day
Their curving trunks can’t writhe around trunks in deforested lands
Their undulating whiskers can’t ripple the surface of garbage-filled seas

Their fiery exhalations can’t compete with the scorching of this world

There be dragons
But only in my mind
This world’s no place for dragons