Interdependent Web: Converting heartbreak into a sacred fire

Interdependent Web: Converting heartbreak into a sacred fire

A weekly roundup of blogs and other user-generated web content about Unitarian Universalism.


Converting heartbreak into a sacred fire

Kim Hampton is too weary to write about the death of Sandra Bland; she does, however have something to say about #IfIDieInPoliceCustody.

Know that whatever the police tell you about my mental state, it is only going to be part of the story. There is no way I would give law enforcement the satisfaction of taking my own life with them anywhere near around me. (East of Midnight, July 22)

The Rev. Cynthia Cain addresses Ta-Nehisi Coates about his new book, Between the World and Me.

You dish out reality, as you have come to understand it (and you have earned this understanding, through reading, study, observation, and experience. Yours is not a capricious authority) in bitter doses stripped of any sweetening agent, stripped of salve, stripped of answers, or really of hope. These are powerful lessons that all of America needs to hear, but few will. (A Jersey Girl in Kentucky, July 20)

Karen G. Johnston wants to be more of an activist—and begins by engaging her neighbors in conversation about racial justice.

I sometimes wish I was the kind of activist who goes out on the front lines, who stops traffic, who risks arrest. I wish to be the kind of clergy who stands as an oasis of calm between a too-nervous-for-comfort police officer and a raging protester. I admire the courage of such clergy: their clarity, their bad-ass-selves. Just maybe, that will be me one day. (Awake & Witness, July 18)

Tina Porter acknowledges that she needs to do more.

As I showered just now, I thought of how invisible I am in my privilege as a middle-class, middle-age, white mother who can go about her days and get pulled over for a traffic violation that should have gotten me a ticket in the very least but instead got me a stern warning. The world I live in is not the same world my friends of color live in. I know it. . . . I need to do more. (Ugly Pies, July 17)

Diana McLean is learning to lead from heartbreak.

In the last month, I've been preaching from heartbreak rather than strength. It makes some people uncomfortable. Sometimes I'm even one of those uncomfortable people, as tears constrict my throat in the middle of a sermon. It's worth it, though, to move us collectively (and myself personally) closer to converting heartbreak into a sacred fire that can transform the world. That's where there's room for the hope. (Poetic Justice, July 19)

Informed eclecticism

The Rev. Dr. David Breeden writes that "hyphenated UUs," who claim another religious identity in addition to Unitarian Universalism, are essential to maintaining UU pluralism.

We do UUism a service. Eclecticism can’t exist in a vacuum, after all. Eclecticism requires some new ideas to continue functioning. In other words, we wing nuts provide fodder for the eclecticism of the non-hyphenated ones. (Quest for Meaning, July 23)

The Rev. James Ford provides an introduction to loving-kindness meditation.

[Kindness] need not be merely an aspiration, or an example of self-deception. Kindness is is something that we can cultivate. Metta or loving-kindness is one of the three meditative disciplines that Gautama Siddhartha, the Buddha of history taught. With this Metta becomes the foundation, learning it we can open ourselves to karuna, which is usually translated as compassion, mudita, where we share in the joy of other’s successes, and upekkha, which is looking on all things as they rise and fall with equanimity. (Monkey Mind, July 23)

Allison Ehrman practices “forest meditation.”

I press up the steep hill in my backyard, making my way to the wild raspberry brambles that mark the edge of our local nature preserve. As I pop a ripe berry into my mouth and press through the thorny path into the woods, I wonder if the neighbors watch me through their closed windows and call me “that crazy hippie.” Always spending time outdoors, regardless of the weather, seldom in shoes, seldom caring if my clothes match so long as they’re comfortable. Picking herbs, sledding, listening to music, playing games, doing yoga, eating, laughing. Quite the fool. (Nature’s Path, July 22)

John Beckett has a few sharp words for the citizens of Farmersville, Texas, who are trying to keep local Muslims from establishing a Muslim cemetery.

Religious diversity is a reality. The days when Protestants ran the show, Catholics and Jews played along, and everyone else kept their heads down is long gone. Your neighbors may still be Baptist or Methodist, but they might be Buddhist or Hindu, or Wiccan or Druid. Or atheist. There are almost a half million Muslims in Texas. (Under the Ancient Oaks, July 23)

We encourage you to engage with these bloggers by commenting on their sites.