A sorry state – the loss of democracy (+de)

A Sorry State (für eine deutsche Teilübersetzung klicke hier: Ein leider Zustand)

Last week, the Available Light Cinema film series in Whitehorse screened the new documentary by local director Mitch Miyagawa with the catchy title “A Sorry State”. Indeed, much of what we read in the news about politics, be it at the level of the territorial government, the federal government, or many national governments around the world, supports the impression that this world is in a sorry state.

But do not fear: I am not going to write a lament about our current political situation. I’ll leave that for other writers in local newspapers that dared to describe our cage-fighting MP a sock puppet of the Prime Minister… (Yukon News)

The sorry state in Miyagawa’s film refers to the various apologies his extended family has received over the last decade from the government of Canada for political wrongs of its colonial history: Continue reading “A sorry state – the loss of democracy (+de)”

Becoming a Quaker in a fragmented world (+de)

The Friends Meeting House in Victoria, BC. The Quaker community is celebrating the 100th anniversary of their meeting house in 2013. (photo credit: Vancouver Island MM)
The Friends Meeting House in Victoria, BC. The Quaker community is celebrating the 100th anniversary of their meeting house in 2013. (photo credit: Vancouver Island MM)

Für eine deutsche Übersetzung, klicke hier: Quäker werden in einer fragmentierten Welt

Now it is official, I have been accepted into membership of the Religious Society of Friends. I would like to share a quote from the report of the clearness committee that helped me discern whether becoming a Quaker is the right step for me and the Victoria Friends Meeting at this time:

…His readings, experience and deep reflections about his spiritual journey and its congruence with his life of service led him to apply for membership after some email exchanges and conversations with VFM members.

Our clearness committee enjoyed a lively visit with Othmar.  He exhibits a remarkable mix of delightful enthusiasm and direct, serious, and practical commitment to humane principals.  He also has deeply realistic expectations about his service without cynicism or romanticism.  We appreciated his good natured story-telling which was appropriately serious without solemnity.  We feel that he is committed to spiritual openings compatible with our understanding of Quaker faith and practice.  He seeks to deepen his spiritual life with support from Quakers and in particular our Victoria Meeting…

…We recommend his acceptance into membership with joy and the conviction that our conjoined spiritual lives of worship and service will benefit.

This is a big step for me. Continue reading “Becoming a Quaker in a fragmented world (+de)”

A call for lateral love from down under

Today I learned through a follower of this blog about an important indigenous healing initiative in Australia. It is called Lateral Love Australia and is intended to explore and help overcome the opposite of lateral love: Lateral violence.

Lateral violence happens when people who are both victims of a situation of dominance, in fact turn on each other rather than confront the system that oppresses them both.

I was touched by this initiative. I have witnessed many instances where people in marginalized communities I served in were hurting each other. Instead of pulling together towards healing from various forms of colonial trauma, people engage in acts of lateral violence (gossip, bullying, blaming, alcoholism, drug use, domestic violence, suicide). This only creates more hurt and pain, helps reinforce stereotypes, and perpetuates racism.

Inuit children in Ikaluktutiak/Cambridge Bay practicing lateral love. Family dance Christmas 2008.

Continue reading “A call for lateral love from down under”