Visiting North America’s only mainland Shinto shrine (not counting Hawaii) :
From the Burke Museum in Seattle :
What have you found?
Where would the Abrahamic religions be without their precious conflicts? I say “precious” because all the Abrahamic religions have developed largely by thriving on conflict to such an insidious degree that they experience a crisis of purpose when not faced with some constant, huge moral drama of problems to suffer and fight against. Abrahamic believers can never let themselves be at peace with the life of the world’s profoundly normal and anciently functioning natural cycles of life and death. They must always look for some problem to throw themselves against, and when they do not find one, they invent one. They are bored with peace, because peace does not bring about their sick fantasy of armageddon. They have become so entwined with their need to fight everything that even the world itself has been sorrowfully vilified by their holy texts that resent the creaturely body and the ground itself. What a poverty of spirit when the whole living, physical world is decried as your resented enemy keeping you from some imaginary disembodied heaven, instead of your natural, creaturely, beloved eternal home.
To truly educate is to bring out what is already inside a person. A teacher may input information, but authentic education uses this imparting of information to draw out the animistic aliveness of the student in their capacity to wonder.
Photo by Noah Silliman on Unsplash
How Far Did You Get?
by Christopher Bursk
Often the first question other boys would hit a boy with,
as if the kid hadn’t gone out on a date but tried to swim the English channel,
and they knew he couldn’t cross such a distance without their help,
and this was their way of helping him.
“Go on, tell us exactly how far,” not knowing yet
how to understand what a boy did with a girl,
except by measurements: how long, how often,
the precise calculations of sex.
What was a kid to say to his buddies?
“It was like grabbing hold of a boat
and being pulled aboard after treading water for days.
I lay there like someone who’d been rescued,
looking up at the stars as if they’d been part
of the search party, too,
the breeze on my neck, the whole dark sky.”
Imagine a boy telling that to his friends.
It is more than they wish to know.