Today (and until September 30th), I will be sharing inspiration from our sibling publication, The BeZine. Our issue this month is a pre-quel to our big event, 100,000 Poets for Change - a worldwide event of local poets and artists coming together to share their creations on peace, sustainability, and social justice. We will be holding a virtual event at The BeZine. You can read more about it here.
Today, I'm inspired by W. H. Auden's Refugee Blues. Auden's Refugee Blues is specifically about the Jews and Nazi Germany/Hitler. However, it is eerily reminiscent of the way we treat refugees today. I wonder if we zipped out undocumented immigrant and zipped in refugee...would it make a difference in our discourse?
Say this city has ten million souls,
Some are living in mansions, some are living in holes:
Yet there’s no place for us, my dear, yet there’s no place for us.
This could be the undocumented immigrants in our cities. The Rohingya fleeing their home. The Syrians trekking to Turkey. There is no place for them.
Recently, I watched the movie Freedom Writers. I find it incredibly moving and inspirational. It is the true story of a teacher and her transformation of a classroom in Long Beach. There is a clip below that is the turning point of the classroom. I'd like to call attention to this quote:
Lady, I'm lucky if I make it to 18.
We in a war. We're graduating every day we live.
There is no place for them. These students are living to die. In a sense, we all live to die. But this is a fatalistic, nihilistic sense. There is a critique of the movie--it is centered on white savior of the classroom. But then again, there are definitely white anti-Christs in this movie. (There is not a really good word for opposite of savior.)
There is a lot of uncomfortable truth revealed in this movie.
From W. H. Auden to the students in Mrs. G's classroom. There is no place for them. The refugees, the outcast, the ex-slave, the shadow side of America. It is as if we blame the shadow for being the shadow! We need to learn to bring our shadows into the light.
What will you bring into the light today?
The complete practice today includes centering, breath prayer, thought-provoking music from Brother Ali about the nature of terrorism, a quote to reflect on by Carl Jung, and prayers for the world.
Refugee Blues: https://thebezine.com/portfolio/refugee-blues-w-h-auden/
The BeZine: https://thebezine.com
100,000 Poets for Change: https://beguineagain.com/100000-poets-for-change/
Let my heart rise up to meet mercy, my voice to meet compassion, my hands to meet action.
BIBOLOVE: Breath In, Breath Out--yum
Breath prayer (repeat as many times as possible):
(inhale) Inner Peace,
(exhale) Enlighten me.
Jewish Daily Reading: Daily Study from Chabad
Christian Daily Reading: Revised Common Lectionary Daily Reading
Muslim Daily Reading: Daily Verse from The Only Quran
Buddhist Daily Reading: Daily Zen
Please bring your own sacred readings to the daily pattern. If there is something else you'd like to see, please share!
― C.G. Jung
Weekly prayer focus comes from the World Council of Churches prayer cycle. We know the world needs to be surrounded with prayer and positive thought. This allows us to work through the world country by country. We focus on one set of countries per week with the same prayer, lifting them up. I encourage you to fill this in however you see it.
Let us pray.
We know that we fail to live up to being makers of peace. Let us bring in rather than push out, be invitational rather than confrontational--seeing signs of life while decrying the desecration of hope.
This week we pray for the countries of Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Peru.
For signs of hope and peace, we pray for
the mercy workers caring for the many affected by hurricanes and displacement from their homes
the warriors fighting fires that seem to be unending
the athletes that are taking a knee in solidarity
the rains that come to refresh the land
the peacemakers relentlessly working to create change
For the oppressed and weary, we pray for
those seeking food and shelter, especially the Rohingya
those affected by hurricanes, especially Puerto Rico
those who have been harmed by violence, especially the innocent
those who suffer in systems of domination
those who are refugees and find no home
For those we love, those we hate and those we are indifferent to, we pray.
For the transformation from ME to WE, we pray.
Let peace prevail on earth.
So mote it be.
Translation by Neil Douglas Klotz, Sufi
O Birther! Creator of the Cosmos,
Focus your light within us— make it useful:
Create your reign of unity now-
Your one desire then acts with ours,
as in all light, so in all forms.
Grant what we need each day in bread and insight.
Loose the cords of mistakes binding us,
as we release the strands we hold of others’ guilt.
Don’t let surface things delude us,
But free us from what holds us back.
From you is born all ruling will,
the power and the life to do,
the song that beautifies all,
from age to age it renews.
Truly— power to these statements—
may they be the ground from which all
my actions grow: Amen.