09 January 2021

It is more important now to be in love than to be in power.

Evidence of the failure to love is everywhere around us. To contemplate what it is to love today brings us up against reefs of darkness and walls of despair. If we are to manage the havoc—ocean acidification, corporate malfeasance and government corruption, endless war—we have to reimagine what it means to live lives that matter, or we will only continue to push on with the unwarranted hope that things will work out. We need to step into a deeper conversation about enchantment and agape*, and to actively explore a greater capacity to love other humans. The old ideas—the crushing immorality of maintaining the nation-state, the life-destroying belief that to care for others is to be weak, and that to be generous is to be foolish—can have no future with us.

Barry Lopez 

*agape (ἀγάπη) means unconditional love, it stems from the Greek agapan (ἀγαπᾷν), which translates as greet with affection, receive with friendship

This came to mind when I read what Beth wrote a few days ago: "When we rise up against one another, with our righteousness, there is a darkness that overcomes us." 


Let me list a couple of nice things that happened in the last week. 

I called my top bosses on Thursday and told them that I want to work from home because, the virus and they said, sure, stay where you are. I have been working two days/week on campus since October because, morale and look what others are risking.

The grandchild has figured out that their name is connected to being an individual person and when asked - which we do ridiculously too often - who's that?, will reply matter of fact with full name and a slight shake of head as in, who are you to have to ask. Also, the repertoire of hand puppets has grown to include a baby owl. (Looks good on whatsapp.)

And this:

After AM sent me her 12 mandalas, I made them into a calendar with the help of an online photo service and today, this came in the post. It hang on the wall above my desk. The picture is shaky. It's a white background with a beige coloured frame. The size is A4.

 Reasons to be cheerful. Stay healthy.


Ms. Moon said...

There are reasons to stay cheerful. There are.

Anonymous said...

I want to live in the world that Barry Lopez envisions. I want the planet to thrive. I want humans to recognize we are just one of many species on this beautiful earth. I want an awakening.

am said...

Reading in your post about unconditional love this morning is a bit of synchronicity. In the past week, the words "unconditional love" have come up each day in one way or another in my life.

*agape (ἀγάπη) means unconditional love, it stems from the Greek agapan (ἀγαπᾷν), which translates as greet with affection, receive with friendship


Thank you for your encouragement in November to keep working on my mandalas. You helped me find what it took to move forward creatively so that there could be a 2021 calendar!


After listening to Niamh Regan singing "Save the Day," I discovered her words:

“Musically this single is a little different from my previous songs. It’s heavily influenced by the indie folk/rock genre. I decided, along with my producer Alex Borwick, that we wanted a full band/‘indie chug’ to lead the motion of the song to convey, hopefully, a sense of relentlessness, steadiness.

It has very little dynamic and musically speaking it’s nothing special but that’s what the song is all about. Not feeling special. Realizing maybe you can’t turn things around so easily and the realisation that pulling through for others ends up being the most important thing despite how defeated we may feel inside. This is about growing up.”

37paddington said...

Sabine, you always offer the best quotes, the most perfect wisdom. Also what photo service did you use for am's mandalas? I want to do the same! Thanks!

Sabine said...

It's a photo print business that I use to print out photos for my dad from my phone etc. - I am sure you have something like it in the US. You log in and upload the pictures, play with the size and the design options, like calendars, prints, posters and so on, all online.

am said...

"... The experience delivered me into the central project of my adult life as a writer, which is to know and love what we have been given, and to urge others to do the same ..."

Just finished reading the essay by Barry Lopez. Thank you so much for that link.

Barry Lopez mentions visiting the Nunamiut village in the central Brooks Range in Alaska called Anaktuvuk Pass. I know of that village because there is a woman living here who was born in the U.S. and went with her husband to be a teacher in that village in the 1970s. Her beloved husband and their small child died in a plane crash. She had learned the Nunamiut language and later married her husband's good friend, a Nunamiut man. Their strong marriage lasted until his death. She came to live here in the early 2000's because one of her sons lives not far from here.

Colette said...

Love the Barry Lopez quote, SO much. I may have to steal it and spread it around FB a bit. Also, I was happy to see am's mandala in calendar form. What an amazing talent.

ellen abbott said...

can love really be unconditional? I don't know. can we change the mindset of all humanity to one that loves and nourishes all life and the planet? I don't about that either. we must try though.

Secret Agent Woman said...

So hard to stay loving in these times. I'm trying and often, failing. Counting blessings does help.

Great song.

37paddington said...

Thanks, Sabine!

Anonymous said...

Thank you for the inspiring quote and music. I've shared them.