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Sound and Silence

when necessary, use words

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The European Post-Colonial

“When the missionaries came to Africa they had the Bible and we had the land. They said, ‘Let us pray.’ We closed our eyes. When we opened them we had the Bible and they had the land.” [Desmond Tutu]

“I went to India to find the other half of my soul”. [Bede Griffiths]

amahoroI have just spent a magical week at the 3rd Amahoro Conference at the YFC Cyara Centre near Johannesburg, South Africa.

Above all things this was a conversation involving probably 300 people, from countries including South Africa, Zimbabwe, Kenya, Burundi, DRC, Rwanda, Uganda, Ghana, UK, Switzerland, Australia, New Zealand, USA, Canada and Dominican Republic.

In recent years I have become aware of what can be described as the “post modern condition”. This epiphany has been instrumental in my current spiritual awakening. To accept that I have moved beyond modernity has meant that I now find myself in a new “framing story” in which God’s word, revelation and mission, can be fundamentally freshly understood. Continue reading “The European Post-Colonial”

My agricultural revolution.

I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived. [Henry David Thoreau]

second-patchI have had the good fortune to be a homeowner since 1999. “Owning” (I use the term advisedly) a piece of land has provided the impetus for reconnecting with the Earth. One of the things I set out to do was to “grow my own”, and to start a gradual return from the industrialised insanity of consumerism.

By this I mean, I wanted to set an achievable target of the amount of food I consumed off my own land and by my own hand, rather than merely bought via a corporate supply chain. I set the goal at 1% for the first year. It’s now nearly 10 years later and I am nowhere near that. Continue reading “My agricultural revolution.”

Make Something Day.

For many years now Friday (US) and Saturday (International) after thanksgiving (that’s November 29th in South Africa) has been Buy Nothing Day, in recognition that we consume and waste too much. Originally suggested in 1992, the idea has been promoted by AdBusters, an activist media organisation.

But now it has been suggested that withholding purchases is not going far enough. A positive idea is to actively create something, and to rethink BND as Make Something Day. This includes: Organise It, Make It, Give It or Share It.
It sounds to me like a challenge of liturgy. Don’t forget, liturgy means “the work of the people”.

How will you be spending MSD?

 

Soop – Sound (Waves) Out Of Place

“Which is more musical; a truck passing by a factory or a truck passing by a music school?”  John Cage

Welcome to Moop

One of the many delightful new ideas brought to us via Burner Culture is that of moop – “matter out of place”. Meaning predominantly litter and detritus, but also things inappropriately placed. One of the 10 Burner principles is “Leave no trace”, and is designed to make us wasteful westerners think twice about how we interact with the environment.

Afrika Burn (and far more so its parent Burning Man) is not a simple back-to-nature event, despite a strong stream of green awareness and survivalist minimalism. It is more than that, and incorporates at times almost impossibly complex structures bordering on madness, and requiring truckloads of materials and months of preparation. The central piece of Tankwa Town, The Wish by the Upsetters, for example, is an 8 M high spherical installation of hoops within hoops, meticulously designed, transported and assembled for the pleasure of all. Continue reading “Soop – Sound (Waves) Out Of Place”

An Economy of Grace

I have been reflecting on Afrika Burn 2008, with 2 articles, a general synopsis called “AB08 scorecard” and a cheeky cultural crit called “Soop – Sound (Waves) Out Of Place“. But now I want to get to the heart of the experience, from the point of view of the theme camp that our community set up, Sanctuary. Continue reading “An Economy of Grace”

AB 08 scorecard / Syncroblog

Update:

Afrika Burn 2008 Syncroblog:

Also see

We are back from the burn! Just thinking that causes the dust to rise.

Next Monday 27th October 2008, we are inviting anyone to Syncroblog with us; to participate see this post.

But to get the ball rolling, here is my initial scorecard for AB 08. Bear in mind this view is personal, and I did not visit all the camps and attractions I would have liked: Continue reading “AB 08 scorecard / Syncroblog”

the conundrum of discipline

This is the original sodaiku conundrum for which credit is due to M Scott Peck.

Discipline produces abundance
Abundance breeds laxity
Laxity undermines discipline

A Chernobyl Meditation

//www.angelfire.com/extreme4/kiddofspeed/spring2008.1.jpg

I’m a-goin’ back out ‘fore the rain starts a-fallin’,
I’ll walk to the depths of the deepest black forest,
… Where the pellets of poison are flooding their waters,
… Where the executioner’s face is always well hidden,
Where hunger is ugly, where souls are forgotten,
Where black is the color, where none is the number,
And I’ll tell it and think it and speak it and breathe it,
And reflect it from the mountain so all souls can see it,
… And it’s a hard, it’s a hard, it’s a hard, it’s a hard,
It’s a hard rain’s a-gonna fall.
 [Bob Dylan : A Hard Rains a’gonna fall]

The third angel sounded his trumpet, and a great star, blazing like a torch, fell from the sky on a third of the rivers and on the springs of water— the name of the star is Wormwood. A third of the waters turned bitter, and many people died from the waters that had become bitter. [Revelations 8:10, 11]

We cannot say how the wind blows. From whence, towards where, how strongly, how varied, bearing good or ill omen. The wind remains, even in this proud scientific age, a profound mystery.

And so it is that the fateful events of April 1986 have been blown into my ambit. I have been reminded of something that is part of the wallpaper of the 20th century, something I saw from afar, the implications of which I clearly did not grasp at the time. I am in the grip of this tale of horror, and feel compelled to make some sense of it. Continue reading “A Chernobyl Meditation”

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