The root of this possibility of doing good –
that we all have – is in creation. — Pope Francis
How did everything begin? This is the first question faced by any creation myth and … answering it remains tricky. … Each beginning seems to presuppose an earlier beginning. … Instead of meeting a single starting point, we encounter an infinity of them, each of which poses the same problem. … There are no entirely satisfactory solutions to this dilemma. What we have to find is not a solution but some way of dealing with the mystery …. And we have to do so using words. The words we reach for, from God to gravity, are inadequate to the task. So we have to use language poetically or symbolically; and such language, whether used by a scientist, a poet, or a shaman, can easily be misunderstood.— David Christian
SONGS about CREATION & NEW BEGINNINGS:
- Here Comes the Sun by The Beatles (rock): https://youtu.be/KQetemT1sWc?si=pyD-glNVBSeDN4IE
- O Great Spirit by Your Eyes R Your Windows (chant): https://youtu.be/7ycGsXeVddU?si=j19Hqc8ITuUHSwZI
- New Day by Danny Gokey (pop/Christian): https://youtu.be/0TrKXehB0pg
- New Every Morning by Audrey Assad (Christian): https://youtu.be/Grz3Hxw9GWU
- I Can See Clearly Now by Johnny Cash (country):https://youtu.be/FscIgtDJFXg
- A New Day Has Come by Celine Dion (pop): https://youtu.be/NaGLVS5b_ZY
- Today My Life Begins by Bruno Mars (pop): https://youtu.be/rsqpdsgJxDc
- First Day of My Life by Bright Eyes (indie folk): https://youtu.be/xUBYzpCNQ1I
- Start of Something Good by Daughtry (rock): https://youtu.be/WKsyxZWQ_g0?si=knxwJhmbUhRXVQm2
- New Attitude by Patti LaBelle (pop): https://youtu.be/QWfZ5SZZ4xE
- It’s a New Day by Will.I.Am (hip hop): https://youtu.be/Wai6OM3YKTk
- Origin Story by Souveneer (pop): https://youtu.be/PdDq35n2rcg?si=yiARd7UQg6p8T6XA
- Dance Again by Selena Gomez (pop): https://youtu.be/YZ-LagCs6GA
- Brand New Day by Sting (rock): https://youtu.be/cA46ZNjrzeY?si=8Qq3xJ-W_9V-Gkm7
- When Will My Life Begin? by Mandy Moore (Disney/pop): https://youtu.be/kRXmAIHYQR4?si=xEPiXnFEoTn3mQrJ
- Begin Again by Taylor Swift (pop): https://youtu.be/cMPEd8m79Hw?si=AR4Ry4hF0HV80cvP
- New Rules by Dua Lipa (pop): https://youtu.be/k2qgadSvNyU
- Creation Sings by Keith & Kristin Getty & Stuart Townsend (Christian): https://youtu.be/rAE0vUurnUM?si=1EHZPaqdn1sgE-aH
- Start Over by Imagine Dragons (pop): https://youtu.be/z3_IGaOIq_4?si=zsu1QcbZJShjrVvD
- Creation Song by Saddleback Kids ft. Jared Ricgh (Christian children’s song): https://youtu.be/3-9_lOeaGhs?si=k2Jjhz6fUdEbsR2D
- All Creation by David & Nicole Binion (Christian): https://youtu.be/8qSO9HLutb8?si=O-ldKiiB1VUt8M6d
- Origin Story by Hopsin ft Future Kingz (rap with explicit lyrics): https://youtu.be/Won0HhZc0-M?si=l7mnv2aqBPpKHqIZ
- God of All Creation by Hillsong (Christan): https://youtu.be/2NEpSnwGz4Y
- SuperVillain Origin Story by whatyoudid (pop): https://youtu.be/ORFeK-gdcFQ?si=YMTytN1gS84zvgA7
- God of Wonders by Third Day Wonders (Christian): https://youtu.be/rAE0vUurnUM?si=1EHZPaqdn1sgE-aH
- Creation Story (Christian children’s song): https://youtu.be/2NEpSnwGz4Y
- Song of the Human by Pete Wyer (scientific thesis of human music and birdsong): https://youtu.be/JQaRUojja0w?si=QncO1WNm23lJnAlj
Mythology of Creation:
- Creation Stories from many cultures: https://wwnorton.com/college/history/ralph/research/creahelp.htm
- Origin Stories by Khan Academy: https://www.khanacademy.org/humanities/big-history-project/what-is-big-history
- Sioux Creation story:https://chnm.gmu.edu/exploring/pre_18thcentury/creationstories/pop_sioux.html
- Creation Stories: https://www.cs.williams.edu/~lindsey/myths/myths_7.html
- Sumerian creation stories: https://www.metmuseum.org/toah/hd/epic/hd_epic.htm
ORIGIN STORIES & CREATION MYTHS
A creation myth or cosmogonic myth is a type of cosmogony, a symbolic narrative of how the world began and how people first came to inhabit it. While in popular usage the term myth often refers to false or fanciful stories, members of cultures often ascribe varying degrees of truth to their creation myths. In the society in which it is told, a creation myth is usually regarded as conveying profound truths – metaphorically, symbolically, historically, or literally They are commonly, although not always, considered cosmogonical myths – that is, they describe the ordering of the cosmos from a state of chaos or amorphousness.
Creation myths often share several features. They often are considered sacred accounts and can be found in nearly all known religious traditions. They are all stories with a plot and characters who are either deities, human-like figures, or animals, who often speak and transform easily. … Creation myths address questions deeply meaningful to the society that shares them, revealing their central worldview and the framework for the self-identity of the culture and individual in a universal context. — Wikipedia.com
Creators aren’t gods. They make places, which is quite hard. It’s men that make gods. This explains a lot.— Terry Pratchett
Myths are funny. Unlike histories, they are symbolic narratives; they deal with spiritual rather than fact-based truths. They serve as foundations for beliefs, illustrating how things came to be and who was involved, but they’re often sketchy about when or why. — Lisa Hannett, The Atlantic
Myth narrates a sacred history; it relates an event that took place in primordial Time, the fabled time of the “beginnings.” In other words, myth tells how, through the deeds of Supernatural Beings, a reality came into existence, be it the whole of reality, the Cosmos, or only a fragment of reality – an island, a species of plant, a particular kind of human behavior, an institution. — Mircea Eliade
The earth-diver is a common character in various traditional creation myths. In these stories a supreme being usually sends an animal (most often, a type of bird, but also crustaceans, insects, and fishes in some narratives) into the primal waters to find bits of sand or mud with which to build habitable land. — WIkipedia.com
When he, whoever of the gods it was, had thus arranged in order and resolved that chaotic mass, and reduced it, thus resolved, to cosmic parts, he first moulded the Earth into the form of a mighty ball so that it might be of like form on every side … And, that no region might be without its own forms of animate life, the stars and divine forms occupied the floor of heaven, the sea fell to the shining fishes for their home, Earth received the beasts, and the mobile air the birds … Then Man was born:… though all other animals are prone, and fix their gaze upon the earth, he gave to Man an uplifted face and bade him stand erect and turn his eyes to heaven. ― Ovid, Metamorphoses
In emergence myths, humanity emerges from another world into the one they currently inhabit. The previous world is often considered the womb of the earth mother, and the process of emergence is likened to the act of giving birth. The role of midwife is usually played by a female deity, like the spider woman of several mythologies of Indigenous peoples in the Americas. Male characters rarely figure into these stories, and scholars often consider them in counterpoint to male-oriented creation myths, like those of the ex nihilo variety. — WIkipedia.com
Ve and Vili and Odin looked at each other and spoke of what was needful to do, there in the void of Ginnungagap. They spoke of the universe, and of life, and of the future.
Odin and Ve and Vili killed the giant Ymir. It had to be done. There was no other way to make the worlds. This was the beginning of all things, the death that made all life possible. — Neil Gaiman, Norse Mythology
There are two types of world parent myths, both describing a separation or splitting of a primeval entity, the world parent or parents. One form describes the primeval state as an eternal union of two parents, and the creation takes place when the two are pulled apart. The two parents are commonly identified as Sky (usually male) and Earth (usually female), who were so tightly bound to each other in the primeval state that no offspring could emerge. These myths often depict creation as the result of a sexual union and serve as genealogical record of the deities born from it.
In the second form of world parent myths, creation itself springs from dismembered parts of the body of the primeval being. Often, in these stories, the limbs, hair, blood, bones, or organs of the primeval being are somehow severed or sacrificed to transform into sky, earth, animal or plant life, and other worldly features. — WIkipedia.com
The Way gave birth to unity; unity gave birth to duality; duality gave birth to trinity; trinity gave birth to the myriad creatures. — Daodejing
and who can swear,
How creation came,
when or where!
Even gods came after
Who really knows and
who can truly say,
When and how
did creation start?
Did He do it?
Or did He not?
Only He, up there,
not even He.
Every act of creation is first an act of destruction. — attributed to Pablo Picasso and/or e.e. cummings
Love is the only reality and it is not a mere sentiment. It is the ultimate truth that lies at the heart of creation. — Rabindranath Tagore
You aren’t your work, your accomplishments, your possessions, your home, your family… your anything. You’re a creation of your Source, dressed in a physical human body intended to experience and enjoy life on Earth. — Wayne Dyer
The whole difference between construction and creation is exactly this: that a thing constructed can only be loved after it is constructed; but a thing created is loved before it exists. — Charles Dickens
The key to nature’s therapy is feeling like a tiny part of it, not a master over it. There’s amazing pride in seeing a bee land on a flower you planted – but that’s not your act of creation, it’s your act of joining in. — Victoria Coren Mitchell
Every moment there is creation, every moment destruction. There is no absolute creation, no absolute destruction. Both are movement, and that is eternal. — Ramana Maharshi
Every human is an artist. And this is the main art that we have: the creation of our story. — Miguel Ruiz
Love is anterior to life, posterior to death, initial of creation, and the exponent of breath. — Emily Dickinson
The creation continues incessantly through the media of man. — Antonio Gaudi
The artist, like the God of the creation, remains within or behind or beyond or above his handiwork, invisible, refined out of existence, indifferent, paring his fingernails. — James Joyce
If God gave the soul his whole creation she would not be filled thereby but only with himself. — Meister Eckhart
In each individual the spirit is made flesh, in each one the whole of creation suffers, in each one a Savior is crucified. — Hermann Hesse
All the principles of heaven and earth are living inside you. Life itself is truth, and this will never change. Everything in heaven and earth breathes. Breath is the thread that ties creation together. — Morihei Ueshiba
The eyes of the cheerful and of the melancholy man are fixed upon the same creation; but very different are the aspects which it bears to them. — Albert Pike
An original is a creation motivated by desire. Any reproduction of an originals motivated be necessity. It is marvelous that we are the only species that creates gratuitous forms. To create is divine, to reproduce is human. — Man Ray
Man is a creation of desire, not a creation of need. — Gaston Bachelard
Every thread of creation is held in position by still other strands of things living. — Don McLean
I know that you are part of me and I am part of you because we are all aspects of the same infinite consciousness that we call God and Creation. — David Icke
The art of creation is older than the art of killing. — Ed Koch
Once there were brook trout in the streams in the mountains. You could see them standing in the amber current where the white edges of their fins wimpled softly in the flow. They smelled of moss in your hand. Polished and muscular and torsional. On their backs were vermiculate patterns that were maps of the world in its becoming. Maps and mazes. … In the deep glens where they lived all things were older than man and they hummed of mystery. ― Cormac McCarthy, The Road
On EVOLUTION, BIG BANG, STRING THEORY & SCIENCE as Tools of Understanding
When we read about Creation in Genesis, we run the risk of imagining God was a magician, with a magic wand able to do everything. But that is not so. God is not a demiurge [demigod] or a magician, but the Creator who gives being to all entities. Evolution in nature is not opposed to the notion of Creation, because evolution presupposes the creation of beings that evolve. — Pope Francis
Was the big bang really the beginning of time? Or did the universe exist before then?… developments in theoretical physics, especially the rise of string theory, have changed their perspective. The pre-bang universe has become the latest frontier of cosmology… In one form or another, the issue of the ultimate beginning has engaged philosophers and theologians in nearly every culture.
… We can trace our lineage back through the generations, back through our animal ancestors, to early forms of life and protolife, to the elements synthesized in the primordial universe, to the amorphous energy deposited in space before that. Does our family tree extend forever backward? Or do its roots terminate? Is the cosmos as impermanent as we are? … The ancient Greeks debated the origin of time fiercely. Aristotle, taking the no-beginning side, invoked the principle that out of nothing, nothing comes. If the universe could never have gone from nothingness to somethingness, it must always have existed. For this and other reasons, time must stretch eternally into the past and future. Christian theologians tended to take the opposite point of view. Augustine contended that God exists outside of space and time, able to bring these constructs into existence as surely as he could forge other aspects of our world. When asked, What was God doing before he created the world? Augustine answered, Time itself being part of God’s creation, there was simply no before!
… So, when did time begin? Science does not have a conclusive answer yet, but at least two potentially testable theories plausibly hold that the universe–and therefore time–existed well before the big bang. If either scenario is right, the cosmos has always been in existence and, even if it recollapses one day, will never end. — Gabriele Veneziano, Scientific American (full article: https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/the-myth-of-the-beginning-of-time-2006-02/)
In essence, String Theory describes space and time, matter and energy, gravity and light, indeed all of God’s creation… as music. — Roy H. Williams
The capacity to be puzzled is the premise of all creation, be it in art or in science. — Erich Fromm
Creation is a process that is still happening and we’re in on it! We are a part of this endless creativity of God. — Fr. Richard Rohr
Believing as I do in evolution, I merely believe that it is the method by which God created, and is still creating, life on earth. — Rachel Carson
The environment selects those few mutations that enhance survival, resulting in a series of slow transformations of one lifeform into another, the origin of a new species. — Carl Sagan
I believe God did intend, in giving us intelligence, to give us the opportunity to investigate and appreciate the wonders of His creation. He is not threatened by our scientific adventures. — Francis Collins
Seeking to populate this otherwise sterile universe with living creatures, God chose the elegant mechanism of evolution to create microbes, plants, and animals of all sorts. — Francis Collins
Evolution is amazingly versatile in adapting the materials at hand to other uses. — George Gaylord Simpson
Mutation is random; natural selection is the very opposite of random. —Richard Dawkins
From the paramecium to the human race, all life forms are meticulously organized, sophisticated aggregates of evolving microbial life. Far from leaving microorganisms behind on an evolutionary ‘ladder,’ we are both surrounded by them and composed of them. — Lynn Margulis
Today, I believe that humanity is at a critical crossroad. The radical advances that took place in neuroscience and particularly in genetics towards the end of the twentieth century have led to a new era in human history. Our knowledge of the human brain and body at the cellular and genetic level, with the consequent technological possibilities offered for genetic manipulation, has reached such a stage that the ethical challenges of these scientific advances are enormous. It is all too evident that our moral thinking simply has not been able to keep pace with such rapid progress in our acquisition of knowledge and power. Yet the ramifications of these new findings and their applications are so far-reaching that they relate to the very conception of human nature and the preservation of the human species. So it is no longer adequate to adopt the view that our responsibility as a society is to simply further scientific knowledge and enhance technological power and that the choice of what to do with this knowledge and power should be left in the hands of the individual. We must find a way of bringing fundamental humanitarian and ethical considerations to bear upon the direction of scientific development, especially in the life sciences. By invoking fundamental ethical principles, I am not advocating a fusion of religious ethics and scientific inquiry. Rather, I am speaking of what I call “secular ethics” that embrace the key ethical principles, such as compassion, tolerance, a sense of caring, consideration of others, and the responsible use of knowledge and power – principles that transcend the barriers between religious believers and non-believers, and followers of this religion or that religion. — His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama
CHRISTIAN COMMENTARY on BIBLICAL CREATION STORY
As God has not made anything useless in this world, as all beings fulfill obligations or a role in the sublime drama of Creation, I cannot exempt from this duty, and small though it be, I too have a mission to fill, as for example: alleviating the sufferings of my fellowmen. — Jose Rizal
Religion is essentially the art and the theory of the remaking of man. Man is not a finished creation. — Edmund Burke
I confess that I am a Christo-centric universalist. What that means to me is that, whatever God was accomplishing, especially on the cross, that Christological event, was for the restoration and redemption and reconciliation of all things and all people and all Creation – everyone. Whatever God was getting done there, that is for everyone. How God manages to play that out through other religions, other symbol systems, I will never understand. I have to allow for the idea that God is actually nimble enough and powerful enough and creative enough to do that. — Rev. Nadia Bolz-Weber
They define virtue thus—that it is a living according to Nature, and think that we are made by God for that end; they believe that a man then follows the dictates of Nature when he pursues or avoids things according to the direction of reason. — Thomas More
What is Man? Man is a noisome bacillus whom Our Heavenly Father created because he was disappointed in the monkey. — Mark Twain
For Christians, who believe they are created in the image of God, it is the Godhead, diversity in unity and the three-in-oneness of God, which we and all creation reflect. — Desmond Tutu
That’s love, you see. It is redemptive, and this is why Jesus says love. There’s something about love that builds up and is creative. There is something about hate that tears down and is destructive. So love your enemies.―from “Loving Your Enemies”
The intention that man should be happy is not in the plan of Creation. ―
… God who created the universe out of ‘nothing,’ that can put flesh on dry bones ‘nothing,’ that can put life in a dusty womb ‘nothing.’ I mean, let’s face it, ‘nothing’ is God’s favorite material to work with. — Rev. Nadia Bolz-Weber
While I know myself as a creation of God, I am also obligated to realize and remember that everyone else and everything else are also God’s creation. — Maya Angelou
I would rather be what God chose to make me than the most glorious creature that I could think of; for to have been thought about, born in God’s thought, and then made by God, is the dearest, grandest and most precious thing in all thinking. ― George MacDonald
Christianity is, I believe, about expanded life, heightened consciousness and achieving a new humanity. It is not about closed minds, supernatural interventions, a fallen creation, guilt, original sin or divine rescue. — John Shelby Spong
Creation exists first of all for its own good sake; second to show forth God’s goodness, diversity, and beneficence; and then for humans’ appropriate use. Our small, scarcity-based worldview is the real aberration here, and I believe it has largely contributed to the rise of atheism and the “practical atheism” that is the actual operative religion of most Western countries today. The God we’ve been presenting people with is just too small and too stingy for a big-hearted person to trust or to love back. — Fr. Richard Rohr
A blank piece of paper is God’s way of telling us how hard it is to be God. ― Sidney Sheldon
We could not become like God, so God became like us. God showed us how to heal instead of kill, how to mend instead of destroy, how to love instead of hate, how to live instead of long for more. When we nailed God to a tree, God forgave. And when we buried God in the ground, Got got up. ― Rachel Held Evans
God wants us to know that life is a series of beginnings, not endings. Just as graduations are not terminations, but commencements. Creation is an ongoing process, and when we create a perfect world where love and compassion are shared by all, suffering will cease. — Bernie Siegel
It is the spirituality of creation—our affinity, our care, for the rest of creation—that really stretches us to the wholeness of ourselves and to the wholeness of God, as well.
Only when we see ourselves, humans, as part of creation, rather than as the crown of creation, will we ever be able to come anywhere close to really grasping the greatness of God and God’s gifts to us. Only then will we begin to see the glowing face of God everywhere. Only then will we begin to understand that we are all meant to come to fullness of life together—plants, animals, planet, and humans in one great reciprocal circle of a common creation. Until we do, all of us will go on living life with spiritual blinders.
What we do not do to save the whole of creation will shrink our own spiritual vision and separate us, starved and emaciated in soul, from the wholeness of life. We will look at forests and, like the loggers destroying the rain forests on this earth, fail to see the living gift of them. We will take for granted the devotion of our pets and fail to recognize that real human relationships are about more than sex or social comfort or authority. We will watch our children grow up in cement jungles, denied the right to plant tomatoes or the wonder of picking flowers. We will find innocent enemies and set out to destroy them rather than protect them as sisters and brothers and make them our friends.
What we do to the rest of creation we do to ourselves. What we destroy in the rest of creation makes it even easier to destroy in our own.
But God sees the despoliation of all that is “good” and comes closer to those who are its saviors. And therein lies the secret of both the quality of our “dedication” and the depth of our relationship with God. Why? Because it’s profitable to steward the world well? No. Because it is holy to care for the world as God cares for the world. Because co-creation is the task of being human.— Joan Chittister, from The Monastic Way
Yet even now, says the Lord, return to me with all your heart, with fasting, with weeping, and with mourning; rend your hearts and not your clothing. Return to the Lord your God, for God is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, abounding in steadfast love…
WED, Feb 22
- ASHES to GO
- 8-10am: JTown Deli
- 10:15-11:30am: Autumn Nomad
- Noon-1:30pm: Glen Ledge Deli / McSheffreys North
- 2-3:45pm: JCC Sanctuary
- 4-4:30pm: Red Parka
- ASH WEDNESDAY SERVICE
- 7pm • Nativity Lutheran, North Conway
JCC attends Lutheran service to enjoy local clergy John Heropoulos , MDiv lead the liturgy
- 7pm • Nativity Lutheran, North Conway
MUSINGS on ASH
If you have become ash,
Then wait, you become a rose again.
And do not remember how often you have become ash,
But how often you were reborn in ashes to a new rose. ~ Rumi
I can hear the sizzle of newborn stars, and know anything of meaning, of the fierce magic emerging here. I am witness to flexible eternity, the evolving past, and I know we will live forever, as dust or breath in the face of stars, in the shifting pattern of winds. — Joy Harjo
SONGS about DUST & ASHES:
- Ashes by Celine Dion (pop):https://youtu.be/CX11yw6YL1w
- Dust In the Wind by Kansas (rock): https://youtu.be/tH2w6Oxx0kQ
- Ashes to Ashes by David Bowie (rock): https://youtu.be/HyMm4rJemtI
- Glimmer in the Dust by Hillsong (Christian): https://youtu.be/bYWgeEoVmhI
- Dust by Eli Young Band (pop): https://youtu.be/QN5QgYuuxs4
- Another One Bites the Dust by Queen (rock): https://youtu.be/rY0WxgSXdEE
- Dust by Steffany Gretzinger (Christian): https://youtu.be/yBJXMX8vti4
- Devils & Dust by Bruce Springsteen (rock): https://youtu.be/cG8ZQkeZvzc
- Ashes By Now by EmmyLou Harris (country): https://youtu.be/eSMqF8EtUsA
- Dirt to Dust by David Aldean (country): https://youtu.be/iaPHIcebF8I
- Ashes by Embrace (pop): https://youtu.be/EtQ9l0oQmXE
- Ashes by Meghan Trainor (pop): https://youtu.be/uwKg4pCRQfw
- Take These Ashes by Sarah Hart (Christian): https://youtu.be/QKQjYYtUZLY
WILL YOU MEET US? — Jan Richardson
Will you meet us in the ashes,
will you meet us in the ache
and show your face within our sorrow
and offer us your word of grace:
That you are life within the dying,
that you abide within the dust,
that you are what survives the burning,
that you arise to make us new.
And in our aching, you are breathing;
and in our weeping, you are here
within the hands that bear your blessing,
enfolding us within your love.
REND Your HEART
To receive this blessing, all you have to do
is let your heart break.
Let it crack open.
Let it fall apart / so that you can see
its secret chambers, the hidden spaces
where you have hesitated / to go.
Your entire life
is here, inscribed whole
upon your heart’s walls:
every path taken
or left behind,
every face you turned toward
or turned away,
every word spoken in love
or in rage,
every line of your life
you would prefer to leave
every story that shimmers
with treasures known
and those you have yet
It could take you days
to wander these rooms.
Forty, at least.
And so let this be
a season for wandering,
for trusting the breaking,
for tracing the rupture
that will return you
to the One who waits,
who works within
to make your heart
MARKED by ASHES (excerpt) — Walter Brueggeman
Ruler of the Night, Guarantor of the day . . .
This day — a gift from you.
This day — like none other you have ever given,
or we have ever received.
This Wednesday dazzles us
with gift and newness and possibility.
This Wednesday burdens us
with the tasks of the day,
for we are already halfway home
halfway back to committees and memos,
halfway back to calls and appointments,
halfway on to next Sunday,
halfway back, half frazzled, half expectant,
half turned toward you, half rather not.
This Wednesday is a long way from Ash Wednesday,
but all our Wednesdays are marked by ashes —
we begin this day with that taste of ash in our mouth:
of failed hope and broken promises,
of forgotten children and frightened women,
we ourselves are ashes to ashes,
dust to dust; we can taste our mortality
as we roll the ash around on our tongues.
We are able to ponder our ashness with some confidence,
only because our every Wednesday of ashes anticipates
your Easter victory over that dry, flaky taste of death.
On this Wednesday, we submit our ashen way to you —
you Easter parade of newness.
Before the sun sets, take our Wednesday and Easter us,
Easter us to joy and energy and courage and freedom;
Easter us that we may be fearless for your truth.
Come here and Easter our Wednesday
with mercy and justice and peace and generosity.
We pray as we wait for the
Risen One who comes soon.
PRAYER — Mary Oliver
May I never not be frisky,
May I never not be risque.
May my ashes, when you have them, friend,
and give them to the ocean,
leap in the froth of the waves,
still loving movement,
still ready, beyond all else,
to dance for the world.
MEDITATIONS on MUD & SOIL
― Thích Nhất Hạnh
It is possible of course to get stuck in the “mud” of life. It’s easy enough to notice mud all over you at times. The hardest thing to practice is not allowing yourself to be overwhelmed by despair. When you’re overwhelmed by despair, all you can see is suffering everywhere you look. You feel as if the worst thing is happening to you. But we must remember that suffering is a kind of mud that we need in order to generate joy and happiness. Without suffering, there’s no happiness. So we shouldn’t discriminate against the mud. We have to learn how to embrace and cradle our own suffering and the suffering of the world, with a lot of tenderness.
— and —
The soil of our mind contains many seeds, positive and negative. We are the gardeners who identify, water, and cultivate the best seeds.
Living Psalm 51—Ash Wednesday
CONFESSION for CREATION JUSTICE
Written by Maren Tirabassi
To any leader. A Psalm of David, when he took what he wanted, uncaring of the death and damage it caused, which was great.
Have mercy on us, O God,
with the love that shaped all creation,
for we confess that we have been the ones
who blotted out — made endangered and extinct —
creatures of air and land
by destroying their habitats.
If there is any clean water left, wash us,
but only after the creatures
of the oceans and lakes and rivers
return and are healed.
For we know our transgression —
we have torn off the tops of mountains
and our sin has fracked deep
into the very fissures of the earth.
Against you, melting your glaciers, we sin,
and we have done what is evil,
so that wildfires rage across
and the Amazon rainforest
and the fox and koala and ocelot
judge us by their death.
Indeed, we are guilty against the newly born
who will be eleven years-old,
when our greed changes their earth
beyond hope of repair.
You desire truth,
but we clutch lies about the climate.
Help us repent so we can hear wisdom,
and make us wise enough to repent.
Let us not be clean,
but dirty in a community garden,
and wet with sweat
because we have walked and biked,
taken buses instead of cars,
cleaned ourselves with quick showers.
Let us taste the joy of locavores,
celebrate grizzly, wolf, gray whale,
sea lion, panda,
who have come back to thriving.
Most of all — let our hearts be stirred
not by what makes us wealthy in money
but what makes us wealthy in future.
Create in us a pure heart, O God,
and renew in us
the Spirit that hovers over your creation.
Then we will let our children teach us,
honor sacred lands of indigenous peoples,
open our lips for national parks
and our mouths for wildlife refuges.
Deliver us from being destroyers, O God,
and give us tongues that call for change.
For you have no delight
when we pile abundance on abundance.
The gift that pleases you
is one pollinator saved —
butterfly and bee, O God, is our acceptable prayer.
We’re actually commanded to be happy during Sukkot. Commanded? While joy is an emotion, it’s also a spiritual practice. So practice. For a week, the choice is joy … the practice of joy. — tobendlight.com
In 2022, Sukkot begins at sundown on Sunday, Oct. 9 and ends at sundown on Sunday, Oct. 16. — myjewishlearning.com
A careful reading of the Torah portion reveals that what is asked for is not to constantly feel joy, but to regularly do joy. To do what brings joy to us and others – gathering with family and friends; celebrating with community, and sharing with those who are vulnerable or in need – will bring feelings of joy as a result. While we can’t reasonably be commanded to feel joyous under all circumstances, we can be commanded to do what brings joy, just as we are commanded to do what brings on holiness, honesty, justice, mercy, or any other quality of being that our Judaism values. — Rabbi Jack A. Luxemburg,
SONGS about ‘DOING’ JOY & ‘FEELING’ JOY:
- Joy to the Wold by Three Dog Night (rock): https://youtu.be/kyI1OImD7ow
- Ac-Cent-Tchu-Ate The Positive by Bing Crosby & The Andrews Sisters (muysical): https://youtu.be/5Qk9o_ZeR7s
- All Will Be Well by The Gabe Dixon Band (folk/rock): https://youtu.be/Swy-z_KZON4
- I Just Want to Celebrate by Rare Earth (rock): https://youtu.be/VRVPLPFoJL0
- Joyby King & Country (Christian): https://youtu.be/lA7n7TwPDmw
- Get Happy by Judy Garland (musical): https://youtu.be/2U-rBZREQMw
- I’m Alive by Kenny Chesney (country): https://youtu.be/NrvQ1yju_Lk
- Happy by Pharrell Williams (pop): https://youtu.be/C7dPqrmDWxs
- Walkin’ on Sunshine by Katrina & the Waves (pop): https://youtu.be/iPUmE-tne5U
- O Happy Day by the Edward Hawkins Singers (gospel): https://youtu.be/EfGDvDGE7zk
- Daydream Believer by The Monkees (pop): https://youtu.be/tmhta4AbwoM
- Two Kinds of Happiness by The Strokes (rock/pop): https://youtu.be/6ux2GZ1OF3w
- Don’t Worry Be Happy by Bobby McFerrin (pop/raggae): https://youtu.be/d-diB65scQU
- Joy by Andy Grammer (pop): https://youtu.be/qA0HpG_Phho
- Joy by Bastille (Christian): https://youtu.be/miy6aK6btgU
- Happy People by Little Big Town (country): https://youtu.be/DDcJiamY9N8
- Joy by VaShawn Mitchell (Christian): https://youtu.be/Yl5lKSTtPR8
- Just Fine by Mary Blige (pop): https://youtu.be/12J4RyKN3As
- Happiness Is by Verve Pipe (pop): https://youtu.be/btvAKDZUEOE
- I Like It When You Smile by Harry Koonnick Jr (jass/pop): https://youtu.be/bjHrHrb0f20
- Good Vibrations by Beach Boys (pop): https://youtu.be/Eab_beh07HU
- I Wanna Dance with Somebody by Whitney Houston (pop): https://youtu.be/eH3giaIzONA
- Joy from Rend Collective (Christian): https://youtu.be/VDiETOLBvxA
- Happy Is a Yuppie Word by Switchfoot (rock): https://youtu.be/pen1SgiIPt8
- Ain’t No Stoppin’ Us Now by McFaden & Whitehead (pop/disco): https://youtu.be/i2FW1WJc0lg
- That’s the Way I Like It by KC & The Sunshine Band (rock & funk): https://youtu.be/k_ZPaQUS8W4
- It Feels So Good by Steven Tyler (rock): https://youtu.be/BM39ya_-XQM
- I’ve Had the Time of Life by Bill Medley & Jennfer Warnws (rock): https://youtu.be/4BQLE_RrTSU
- Joy to the World / Unspeakable Joy by Chris Tomlin (Christian/Christmas): https://youtu.be/tC3SwhJsLqU
SUKKOT 101 by Legos (info video): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SRHkgWGyn4Y
Recipes for Sukkot: Traditional Ashkenazic Sukkot Recipes / Celebrate the Jewish fall harvest
— Giora Shimoni
- Gefilte Fish — This classic recipe for homemade gefilte fish is an Ashkenazi menu fixture not just for Sukkot, but also for Shabbat and other holidays like Passover. Whitefish, along with vegetables, herbs, eggs, and seasonings are ground and blended together and formed into small loaves or balls. The gefilte fish is then boiled in a flavorful broth and chilled.
- Chicken Matzo Ball Soup — Since Sukkot is celebrated in the fall, there’s often a nip in the air. Soups like this one are the perfect way to keep guests comfortable while dining al fresco in the sukkah. This soup begins with a whole chicken and includes lots of vegetables. The matzo balls are made from scratch, but you can use a mix if you like.
- Meat Stuffed Peppers — Stuffed foods are a traditional addition to Sukkot menus, so these peppers are a natural fit. You can use ground beef or turkey according to your preference, or if you’ll be hosting vegetarian guests, consider replacing the meat with a ground beef substitute, cheese, or beans.
- Roast Chicken With Vegetables — This traditional Shabbat entree is perfect for Sukkot since you can surround the chicken with vegetables that are at their peak. Use a whole chicken or chicken parts to eliminate the need for carving.
- Sweet Potato Kugel — Sweet potatoes are prevalent fall produce and make for family-friendly side dishes. This potato kugel combines sweet and Yukon Gold potatoes in a dairy-free recipe filled with apples and carrots with a hint of lemon and cinnamon.
- Fruit Compote — This simple dessert features stewed apricots, plums, and raisins and makes a nice alternative (or complement) to heavier sweets. The dried fruit is simmered and then combined with sugar, lemon rind, cloves, and allspice and cooked until a thick syrup develops.
- Classic Kosher Apple Cake — Apples seem only fitting at the Sukkot table, and not just because fall is apple season but also since Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, is roughly two weeks before Sukkot. A symbol of a “sweet new year” is the apple, and one of the most traditional desserts is the Jewish Apple Cake. This recipe features layers of cinnamon apples in the batter that bakes into a beautiful tube or Bundt cake.
Sukkot Lunch Meal…
- Pomegranate Apple Salad With Poppy Seed Dressing — Fall fruits shine in this simple but beautiful seasonal salad of apples and pomegranates. The tangy homemade poppy seed dressing featuring mustard and onion is the ideal foil for the sweet fruits.
- Butternut Squash and Leek Lasagna — This vegetarian lasagna calls for roasting the butternut squash, which brings out its nutty flavor. When layered with a leek bechamel (white sauce) in between noodles, you’ve got a delicious lasagna the whole family will enjoy.
- Oven-Fried Breaded Chicken — This kid-friendly recipe is quick and easy, and delicious eaten warm, room temp, or even cold, making it a great make-ahead dish. These breaded chicken strips are also egg-free, perfect for anyone with an allergy.
- Tzimmes With Honey — Tzimmes is a mixture of fruits and vegetables that is cooked slowly until soft and tender. In this recipe, roasted carrots, sweet potatoes, and prunes combine with the flavors of orange, honey, and cinnamon, perfectly showcasing the flavors of fall.
- Classic Potato Kugel — Sometimes called potato pudding, this Eastern European Jewish dish is a staple at Shabbat and holiday tables, and a great warm side to serve in the sukkah. Grated potatoes and onions are mixed with eggs, oil, flour, and seasonings and baked in a casserole until golden brown and crispy on top. Delicious served with a dollop of sour cream.
- Apple and Dried Cherry Crisp — Whether you went apple picking or grabbed some at the farmers market, this fruit crisp is a great way to showcase the quintessential fall fruit. And when combined with dried tart cherries, oats, cinnamon, ginger, maple syrup, and pecans, you have a dessert that is sweet and tart with warm spices and a wonderful crunch.
— 2017 CCAR Press from This Grateful Heart: Psalms and Prayers for a New Day
Dance one-thousand steps toward heaven.
Sing one-thousand hymns of praise.
Breathe one-thousand breaths of glory.
Climb one-thousand steps of courage.
Chant one-thousand hymns of hope.
Laugh one-thousand breaths of healing.
Walk one-thousand steps of power.
Hum one-thousand hymns of life.
Share one-thousand breaths of wonder.
Leap one-thousand steps toward beauty.
Cry one-thousand hymns of joy.
Feel one-thousand breaths of mystery.
PERMEABLE — Velveteen Rabbi
Today I’ll finish our sukkah
stacking old wildflowers
to hint at roof, twining tinsel
around the slats
all year we imagine
our houses are our houses
stable and comfortable
waterproof and familiar
but these seven days
remind us that permanence
is overrated, that our true home
is under the stars
change is always underway
nine short weeks remain
until you’ll leave the home
you probably think is forever
and enter our world
airy and unpredictable
where we won’t know what you need
even sometimes when you tell us
your first big leap of faith, kid:
into nothing you’ve ever known
into the fragile sukkah
we’ve decorated just for you
LET JOY — Alden Solovy
Let joy spread across your face,
Flash from your eyes,
Beam from your lips.
Let joy quiet your heart,
Sooth your lungs,
Relieve your chest.
Let joy flow through your bones,
Awaken your nerves,
Caress your flesh.
For joy is in the dawn and the dusk,
The silence and the great expanse,
The flow of light from G-d’s grace,
Divine wonder and awe,
Calling out to you dear sisters and brothers:
‘Awake you slumberers!
Awake you who sleepwalk through hours and days,
Blind to hope and love.
Have you forgotten Sarah’s laugh and Miriam’s song?
Have you forsaken Jacob’s dreams and Ezekiel’s visions?’
Have you succumbed to fear and shame?
This, then, is G-d’s command:
Let joy hold you,
Burst forth from your words and deeds.
Let joy take you from season to season.
Dance and sing,
Celebrate and rejoice,
Lifting your life with exultation.
Let joy be your light and your lamp.
Blessed are You, G-d of joy.
FOR JOY (when grieving)
— Alden Solovy
Listen with your eyes
And hear with your heart:
In every grief, there is blessing…
In every joy, there is hope…
In every love, thanksgiving…
In every thought, wisdom…
In every breath, renewal…
In every moment, a choice,
To stay bent in sorrow,
Or to lift ourselves in songs of praise
To G-d Most High.
To dance with Miriam.
To dream with Jacob.
To laugh with Sarah.
To greet angels with Abraham.
To argue with heaven on behalf of earth.
G-d of the seen and unseen,
Creator of light and darkness
Author of justice and mercy,
Give us the courage and strength to choose a life of service,
Guided by Your loving hand.
A life of song and dance,
Gentleness and peace,
Honor and grace,
Kindness and understanding.
Blessed are You, Adonai our G-d, You love joy and service.
.בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה ה’ אֱלֹקֵינוּ, אוֹהֵב שִׂמְחָה וְשָׂמֵחַ בְּתִקּוּן הָעוֹלָם
Baruch atah Adonai Eloheinu, oheiv simchah v’samei’ach b’tikun ha’olam.
If the home is a body, the table is the heart, the beating center, the sustainer of life and health.― Shauna Niequist
If you’re not at the table, you’re on the menu. — Michael Enzi
I feign fullness, but in reality I am achingly empty. And it is because I too often sit at the table of the world instead of the feet of God. ― Craig D. Lounsbrough
SONGS about SHARING FOOD & ENJOYING LIFE:
- Common Table by Reuben Hollebon (folk rock): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1w4pP_JmLSo
- Hands, Hands, Hands mealtime prayer song by Sacred Heart Montessori (Christian): https://youtu.be/ah_sAtYBZQA
- Thank God I’m a Country Boy by John Denver (country): https://youtu.be/QRuCPS_-_IA
- Bread and Butter by Newbeats (rock): https://youtu.be/S_Jzl_bx3fI
- Meanwhile Back at Mama’s ft Faith Hill & Tim McGraw (country): https://youtu.be/or-Lam5tPHc
- Feeling Good by Nina Simone (rock/blues): https://youtu.be/oHRNrgDIJfo
- Sugar, Sugar by the Archies (pop): https://youtu.be/h9nE2spOw_o
- Try Everything by Shakira (from Zootopia / pop): https://youtu.be/Bd2mU_BmVrs
- Where You Are from Disney’s Moana (musical): https://youtu.be/RTWhvp_OD6s
- Fast Food Folk Song by Rhett & Link (comic folk): https://youtu.be/-uwY3sjqYX0
- Too Much Food by Jason Mraz (rock): https://youtu.be/NN1S3OvYnPo
- Eat It by Weird Al Yankovic (rock comedy cover of Michael Jackson’s Beat It): https://youtu.be/E8Nv5hWd-Js
- Carry Out by Timbaland (ft Justin Timberlake) (rap): https://youtu.be/NRdHsuuXxfk
- Chicken Fried by Zac Brown Band (country): https://youtu.be/e4ujS1er1r0
- Thank You Lord for Your Blessings by Bill & Gloria Gaither (Christian/country): https://youtu.be/R9gEo0_Abc4
- Peanut Butter Jelly Time by Buckwheat Boyz (rap): https://youtu.be/eRBOgtp0Hac
- Coca Cola’s Great Meal (commercial ad/pop COVID anthem): https://youtu.be/vUMQeNw2QDA
- Humble and Kind by Tim McGraw (country): https://youtu.be/awzNHuGqoMc
The Thanksgivings — Harriet Maxwell Converse
We who are here present thank the Great Spirit that we are here
to praise Him. We thank Him that He has created men and women, and ordered
that these beings shall always be living to multiply the earth.
We thank Him for making the earth and giving these beings its products
to live on. We thank Him for the water that comes out of the earth and runs
for our lands. We thank Him for all the animals on the earth.
We thank Him for certain timbers that grow and have fluids coming
from them for us all. We thank Him for the branches of the trees that grow shadows
for our shelter. We thank Him for the beings that come from the west, the thunder
and lightning that water the earth.
We thank Him for the light which we call our oldest brother, the sun
that works for our good. We thank Him for all the fruits that grow on the trees and vines.
We thank Him for his goodness in making the forests, and thank
all its trees. We thank Him for the darkness that gives us rest, and for the kind Being
of the darkness that gives us light, the moon.
We thank Him for the bright spots in the skies that give us signs,
the stars. We give Him thanks for our supporters,
who had charge of our harvests.
We give thanks that the voice of the Great Spirit can still be heard
through the words of Ga-ne-o-di-o.
We thank the Great Spirit that we have the privilege of this pleasant
occasion. We give thanks for the persons who can sing the Great Spirit’s music,
and hope they will be privileged to continue in his faith.
We thank the Great Spirit for all the persons who perform the ceremonies
on this occasion.
Table Blessing — Jan Richardson
To your table
you bid us come.
You have set the places,
you have poured the wine,
and there is always room,
for one more.
And so we come.
From the streets
and from the alleys
From the deserts
and from the hills
From the ravages of poverty
and from the palaces of privilege
We are bloodied with our wars,
we are wearied with our wounds,
we carry our dead within us,
and we reckon with their ghosts.
We hold the seeds of healing,
we dream of a new creation,
we know the things
that make for peace,
and we struggle to give them wings.
And yet, to your table
Hungering for your bread,
thirsting for your wine,
singing your song
in every language,
speaking your name
in every tongue,
in conflict and in communion,
in discord and in desire,
O God of Wisdom,
SHARED MEAL: Commentary
Food feeds our souls. It is the single great unifier across all cultures. The table offers a sanctuary and a place to come together for unity and understanding. — Lidia Bastianich
The heart is cooking a pot of food for you. Be patient until it is cooked. — Rumi
The table is a meeting place, a gathering ground, the source of sustenance and nourishment, festivity, safety, and satisfaction. A person cooking is a person giving: Even the simplest food is a gift. — Laurie Colwin
There are times when wisdom cannot be found in the chambers of parliament or the halls of academia but at the unpretentious setting of the kitchen table. ― E.A. Bucchianeri
It’s around the table and in the preparation of food that we learn about ourselves and about the world. —Alice Waters
They all know the truth, that there are only three subjects worth talking about. At least here in these parts,” he says, “The weather, which, as they’re farmers, affects everything else. Dying and birthing, of both people and animals. And what we eat – this last item comprising what we ate the day before and what we’re planning to eat tomorrow. And all three of these major subjects encompass, in one way or another, philosophy, psychology, sociology, anthropology, the physical sciences, history, art, literature, and religion. We get around to sparring about all that counts in life but we usually do it while we’re talking about food, it being a subject inseparable from every other subject. It’s the table and the bed that count in life. And everything else we do, we do so we can get back to the table, back to the bed. ― Marlena De Blasi
Meals are significant because you are in close quarters with someone. Your hands are reaching into the same dishes. It is a clear act of welcoming, accepting, and befriending. It was the precise thing that you did not do with the social pariahs. It was the precise thing that the social outcast wanted: community. — Dave Dunham
You’ve spent the whole of your life filling your plate with the scraps that life has thrown your way. And even so, you feel horribly undeserving of these. But please understand that there is a glorious table generously spread with everything that you will ever need. And you might think about the fact that God sits at that very table staring at an empty chair that has your name on it. So, maybe you should step up and RSVP the God who is desperate to see you in that chair. ― Craig D. Lounsbrough
A SEAT at the TABLE: Including Stakeholders
I am not interested in picking up crumbs of compassion thrown from the table of someone who considers himself my master. I want the full menu of rights. — Desmond Tutu
To share a table with someone is to share everything. ― Paul Krueger
A good life does not mean just good food, good clothes, good shelter. These are not sufficient. A good motivation is what is needed—compassion, without dogmatism, without complicated philosophy—just understanding that others are human brothers and sisters and respecting their rights and human dignity. — Dalai Lama
No matter what message you are about to deliver somewhere, whether it is holding out a hand of friendship, or making clear that you disapprove of something, is the fact that the person sitting across the table is a human being, so the goal is to always establish common ground. — Madeleine Albright
All of your stakeholders have to have the right seat at the table, and they all have to be successful. It’s hard to do, but you have to keep your eye on developing a meaningful relationship where it is beneficial for them. Then you work backwards from there. —Brian France
If I am more fortunate than others I need to build a longer table not a taller fence. —Tamlyn Tomita
We don’t come to the table to fight or to defend. We don’t come to prove or to conquer, to draw lines in the sand or to stir up trouble. We come to the table because our hunger brings us there. We come with a need, with fragility, with an admission of our humanity. The table is the great equalizer, the level playing field many of us have been looking everywhere for. The table is the place where the doing stops, the trying stops, the masks are removed, and we allow ourselves to be nourished, like children. We allow someone else to meet our need. In a world that prides people on not having needs, on going longer and faster, on going without, on powering through, the table is a place of safety and rest and humanity, where we are allowed to be as fragile as we feel. ― Shauna Niequist
It is not necessary that you leave the house. Remain at your table and listen. Do not even listen, only wait. Do not even wait, be wholly still and alone. The world will present itself to you for its unmasking, it can do no other, in ecstasy it will writhe at your feet. — Franz Kafka
The best thing we can do for the poor is offer them a place of welcome and community. Our first priority in social involvement is to be the church, a community of welcome to, and inclusion of, the marginalized. This needs to go deeper than a warm handshake at the door. People are often unaware of how much the culture of their church is shaped by their social class. Someone at the door of a church, for example, may hand a newcomer a hymnbook, Bible, service guide, and bulletin with a smile and greeting without realizing how intimidating these can be to someone from a nonliterate culture. The social activities to which the poor are invited, the decision-making processes of the church, the unwritten dress codes, the style of teaching can all be alien to the marginalized. As a result, however warm the welcome, the poor can feel marginalized within the church just as they are outside. (Total Church, 81-82) — Tim Chester and Steve Timmis
Freedom is what we do with what is done to us. — Jean-Paul Sartre
The most courageous act is still to think for yourself. Aloud. — Coco Chanel
When I discover who I am, I’ll be free. — Ralph Ellison
We were the people who were not in the papers. We lived in the blank white spaces at the edges of print. It gave us more freedom. We lived in the gaps between the stories. — Margaret Atwood
Freeing yourself was one thing, claiming ownership of that freed self was another. — Toni Morrison
Letting go gives us freedom, and freedom is the only condition for happiness. If, in our heart, we still cling to anything – anger, anxiety, or possessions – we cannot be free. — Thich Nhat Hanh
You can have peace. Or you can have freedom. Don’t ever count on having both at once. — Robert Heinlein
The really important kind of freedom involves attention, and awareness, and discipline, and effort, and being able truly to care about other people and to sacrifice for them, over and over, in myriad petty little unsexy ways, every day. — David Foster Wallace
Songs about Freedom:
- Everybody Wants Freedom by Civil Rights Marchers/Protesters (anthem)
- Freedom by William Pharrell (pop anthem)
- Alexander by Lin-Manuel Miranda (spoken word/rap that became first song in Hamilton!)
- O Freedom by Shirley Verrett (opera/anthem)
- Ain’t Gonna Let No Body Turn Me Round by The Freedom Singers
- Freedom by Beyonce (pop/rap)
- Blackbird by The Beatles (rock ballad)
- Freedom! ’90 by George Michael (pop)
- Simple Song of Freedom by Bobby Darin (country)
- Woke Up This Morning by The Freedom Singers (gospel)
- Freedom by Alice Cooper (rock)
- Go Tell It On the Mountain by Civil Rights Marchers/Protesters in Selma
Freedom — Langston Hughes
Freedom will not come
Today, this year
Through compromise and fear.
I have as much right
As the other fellow has
On my two feet
And own the land.
I tire so of hearing people say,
Let things take their course.
Tomorrow is another day.
I do not need my freedom when I’m dead.
I cannot live on tomorrow’s bread.
Is a strong seed
In a great need.
I live here, too.
I want my freedom
Just as you.
MEDITATIONS on PERSONAL FREEDOM
The truth will set you free, but first it will piss you off. ― Joe Klaas
The truth will set you free. But not until it is finished with you. — David Foster Wallace
People demand freedom of speech as a compensation for the freedom of thought which they seldom use. — Soren Kierkegaard
No one loses anyone, because no one owns anyone. That is the true experience of freedom: having the most important thing in the world without owning it. — Paulo Coelho
Lock up your libraries if you like; but there is no gate, no lock, no bolt that you can set upon the freedom of my mind. — Virginia Woolf
Most people do not really want freedom, because freedom involves responsibility, and most people are frightened of responsibility. — Sigmund Freud
He who has overcome his fears will truly be free. — Aristotle
The most important kind of freedom is to be what you really are. You trade in your reality for a role. You trade in your sense for an act. You give up your ability to feel, and in exchange, put on a mask. There can’t be any large-scale revolution until there’s a personal revolution, on an individual level. It’s got to happen inside first. — Jim Morrison
Reality doesn’t impress me. I only believe in intoxication, in ecstasy, and when ordinary life shackles me, I escape, one way or another. No more walls. — Anais Nin
True freedom is impossible without a mind made free by discipline. — Mortimer Adler
But the Hebrew word, the word timshel—‘Thou mayest’— that gives a choice. It might be the most important word in the world. That says the way is open. That throws it right back on a man. For if ‘Thou mayest’—it is also true that ‘Thou mayest not.’ — John Steinbeck
Freedom is not worth having if it does not include the freedom to make mistakes. — Mahatma Gandhi
Man is condemned to be free; because once thrown into the world, he is responsible for everything he does. It is up to you to give [life] a meaning. — Jean-Paul Sartre
If you want to rebel, rebel from inside the system.That’s much more powerful than rebelling outside the system. — Marie Lu
I tell my students, ‘When you get these jobs that you have been so brilliantly trained for, just remember that your real job is that if you are free, you need to free somebody else. If you have some power, then your job is to empower somebody else. This is not just a grab-bag candy game. — Toni Morrison
Those who deny freedom to others, deserve it not for themselves. — Abraham Lincoln
Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn’t pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same, or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children and our children’s children what it was once like in the United States where men were free. —Ronald Reagan
When a man is denied the right to live the life he believes in, he has no choice but to become an outlaw. — Nelson Mandela
They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety. – Benjamin Franklin
Better to die fighting for freedom then be a prisoner all the days of your life. — Bob Marley
A concept is a brick. It can be used to build a courthouse of reason. Or it can be thrown through the window. — Gilles Delueze
We must be free not because we claim freedom, but because we practice it. — William Faulkner
If we don’t believe in freedom of expression for people we despise, we don’t believe in it at all. — Noam Chomsky
I am free, no matter what rules surround me. If I find them tolerable, I tolerate them; if I find them too obnoxious, I break them. I am free because I know that I alone am morally responsible for everything I do. — Robert Heinlein
Being Good Doesn’t Make You Free. The Truth Makes You Free. — Nadia Bolz-Weber (full text)
… “You know that part at the beginning where we all say together that we’ve fractured relationships and done things we shouldn’t and stuff?” Uh…I answered…the confession? “Yeah! they said. That’s so amazing.”
There’s a trend in starting… to actually eliminate the confession and absolution in the liturgy because, well, it just makes people feel bad. And let’s be honest, it’s just a lot more appealing to go to a church that doesn’t make you feel bad.
And I guess there is some logic to that. I mean, if the point of religion is to teach us good from evil and how to choose the good, then who wants to start out each Sunday saying that you didn’t manage to pull that off. Again.
Of course no one can really be that good, which I guess is why there is also a long and rich Christian tradition which in Latin is called “totally faking it.” Also known as pretending to be good and nice and happy and successfully Christian.
… Jesus contrasts not good and evil, but truth and evil. We either do what is true or do what is evil.
I know that I myself will go to extraordinary lengths to fight the truth, especially truth about my shortcomings… One of the most common truths we avoid is about our motivations…
I was substituting being good for the Truth…
But truth comes to us and it changes us. It comes in the word of a sister, in the language of scripture spoken in a community, in the prayers of the people…
The light of truth is simply the only thing that scatters the darkness in ourselves and in the world because God doesn’t deal in deceit and denial and half-truths. Yes, encounters with Truth are hard and require you to step into something that feels like it might just crush you. But the instant is crushes you it also puts you back together into something real. Only the Gospel can do that.
The good news is not that you can possess the truth, but that the truth can possess you, making you real and making you free … perhaps for the first time. And as frightening as it might feel, as much as it might feel like it’s going to crush you, the light of the truth is something you can live in because the love of God has freed you and indeed every human being from the need to live in any lies. Step into the light. You’ll be fine. You’ll be real. And you’ll be free.
There is freedom
waiting for you,
On the breezes of the sky,
And you ask “What if I fall?”
Oh but my darling,
What if you fly?
― Erin Hanson
I am no bird; and no net ensnares me: I am a free human being with an independent will. — Charlotte Bronte
You wanna fly, you got to give up the shit that weighs you down. — Toni Morrison
Some birds are not meant to be caged, that’s all. Their feathers are too bright, their songs too sweet and wild. So you let them go, or when you open the cage to feed them they somehow fly out past you. And the part of you that knows it was wrong to imprison them in the first place rejoices, but still, the place where you live is that much more drab and empty for their departure. — Stephen King
Caged Bird— Maya Angelou
A free bird leaps
on the back of the wind
and floats downstream
till the current ends
and dips his wing
in the orange sun rays
and dares to claim the sky.
But a bird that stalks
down his narrow cage
can seldom see through
his bars of rage
his wings are clipped and
his feet are tied
so he opens his throat to sing.
The caged bird sings
with a fearful trill
of things unknown
but longed for still
and his tune is heard
on the distant hill
for the caged bird
sings of freedom.
The free bird thinks of another breeze
and the trade winds soft through the sighing trees
and the fat worms waiting on a dawn bright lawn
and he names the sky his own
But a caged bird stands on the grave of dreams
his shadow shouts on a nightmare scream
his wings are clipped and his feet are tied
so he opens his throat to sing.
The caged bird sings
with a fearful trill
of things unknown
but longed for still
and his tune is heard
on the distant hill
for the caged bird
sings of freedom.
Of Old Sat Freedom on the Heights— Alfred, Lord Tennyson
Of old sat Freedom on the heights,
The thunders breaking at her feet:
Above her shook the starry lights:
She heard the torrents meet.
There in her place she did rejoice,
Self-gather’d in her prophet-mind,
But fragments of her mighty voice
Came rolling on the wind.
Then stept she down thro’ town and field
To mingle with the human race,
And part by part to men reveal’d
The fulness of her face—
Grave mother of majestic works,
From her isle-altar gazing down,
Who, God-like, grasps the triple forks,
And, King-like, wears the crown:
Her open eyes desire the truth.
The wisdom of a thousand years
Is in them. May perpetual youth
Keep dry their light from tears;
That her fair form may stand and shine,
Make bright our days and light our dreams,
Turning to scorn with lips divine
The falsehood of extremes!
I’m sorry, but I don’t want to be an emperor. That’s not my business. I don’t want to rule or conquer anyone. I should like to help everyone if possible; Jew, Gentile, black man, white. We all want to help one another. Human beings are like that. We want to live by each other’s happiness, not by each other’s misery. We don’t want to hate and despise one another. In this world there is room for everyone, and the good earth is rich and can provide for everyone. The way of life can be free and beautiful, but we have lost the way. Greed has poisoned men’s souls, has barricaded the world with hate, has goose-stepped us into misery and bloodshed. We have developed speed, but we have shut ourselves in. Machinery that gives abundance has left us in want. Our knowledge has made us cynical; our cleverness, hard and unkind. We think too much and feel too little. More than machinery, we need humanity. More than cleverness, we need kindness and gentleness. Without these qualities, life will be violent and all will be lost. The airplane and the radio have brought us closer together. The very nature of these inventions cries out for the goodness in men; cries out for universal brotherhood; for the unity of us all. Even now my voice is reaching millions throughout the world, millions of despairing men, women, and little children, victims of a system that makes men torture and imprison innocent people. To those who can hear me, I say, do not despair. The misery that is now upon us is but the passing of greed, the bitterness of men who fear the way of human progress. The hate of men will pass, and dictators die, and the power they took from the people will return to the people. And so long as men die, liberty will never perish. Soldiers! Don’t give yourselves to brutes, men who despise you, enslave you; who regiment your lives, tell you what to do, what to think and what to feel! Who drill you, diet you, treat you like cattle, use you as cannon fodder. Don’t give yourselves to these unnatural men – machine men with machine minds and machine hearts! You are not machines, you are not cattle, you are men! You have the love of humanity in your hearts! You don’t hate! Only the unloved hate; the unloved and the unnatural. Soldiers! Don’t fight for slavery! Fight for liberty! In the seventeenth chapter of St. Luke, it is written that the kingdom of God is within man, not one man nor a group of men, but in all men! In you! You, the people, have the power, the power to create machines, the power to create happiness! You, the people, have the power to make this life free and beautiful, to make this life a wonderful adventure. Then in the name of democracy, let us use that power. Let us all unite. Let us fight for a new world, a decent world that will give men a chance to work, that will give youth a future and old age a security. By the promise of these things, brutes have risen to power. But they lie! They do not fulfill that promise. They never will! Dictators free themselves but they enslave the people. Now let us fight to fulfill that promise. Let us fight to free the world! To do away with national barriers! To do away with greed, with hate and intolerance! Let us fight for a world of reason, a world where science and progress will lead to all men’s happiness. Soldiers, in the name of democracy, let us all unite! — Charlie Chaplin