Thursday, June 21, 2018

Offer of citizenship

I participated in a "virtual vigil" broadcast by Facebook live today. An Episcopal group, in a Methodist prayer space near the Capitol, broadcast some of the their reflections, as people from across the country posted prayers (and likes). With speakers from many different denominations, it was a tonic, a reminder that the religion of Washington's scary "prayer breakfasts" and White House "Bible studies" isn't the only Christianity in the land, and isn't the one which has made America good.

The most inspiring prayer came from Sister Simone Campbell, who called Matthew 18:6 on those in power and prayed that "we let our hearts be broken ... open," and the most heartbreaking from a Quaker who recalled that in her meeting house the babble of young children is seen as another kind of revelation. The greatest takeaway for me was the so-called "Immigrant's Creed," by José Luis Casal, a Presbyterian.

I believe in Almighty God,
who guided the people in exile and in exodus,
the God of Joseph in Egypt and Daniel in Babylon,
the God of foreigners and immigrants.

I believe in Jesus Christ, a displaced Galilean,
who was born away from his people and his home,
who fled his country with his parents
when his life was in danger.
When he returned to his own country
he suffered under the oppression of Pontius Pilate,
the servant of a foreign power.
Jesus was persecuted, beaten, tortured,
and unjustly condemned to death.
But on the third day Jesus rose from the dead,
not as a scorned foreigner
but to offer us citizenship in God’s kingdom.

I believe in the Holy Spirit,
the eternal immigrant
from God’s kingdom among us,
who speaks all languages,
lives in all countries,
and reunites all races.

I believe that the Church
is the secure home
for foreigners and for all believers.
I believe that the communion of saints
begins when we embrace all God’s people
in all their diversity.

I believe in forgiveness,
which makes us all equal before God,
and in reconciliation,
which heals our brokenness.

I believe that in the Resurrection
God will unite us as one people
in which all are distinct
and all are alike at the same time.

I believe in life eternal,
in which no one will be a foreigner
but all will be citizens of the kingdom
where God reigns forever and ever.


Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

It can happen here

Requesting asylum is not a crime.
Criminalizing it is
Gleefully tearing children from their parents...

Using these hostages for political points:

Monday, June 18, 2018

A typical group of New School pupils

What fun we're going to have complicating New School histories! Browsing the digitized New School Publicity Scrapbooks I found a picture of our unsung hero, the indefatigable Clara Mayer, at work! (vol 24, 16)
This picture, with accompanying article "Grown-Ups Return to School: Housewives and War Brides Crowd Classrooms of New School for Social Research," was seen in the final months of 1943 around the country, appearing in the Wilmington, DE News; the Troy, NY Morning Record; the Omaha, NE Morning World Herald; the Greensburg, PA Review; the Roanoke, VA Times; the Fort Wayne, IN Journal-Gazette; the Hartford, CT Courant; and the Toledo, OH Times. Women are hidden behind men's
names throughout the article (as in the article's relentlessly matrimonial title), but come into their own names decisively at the end, starting with New York's first woman judge. Just what was going on there?!

Sunday, June 17, 2018


These aren't exactly the colors of the woods above Kaaterskill Falls, I'm afraid. In reality, they're brighter and lighter, and the sky hovers close above, the clearest of blues. And of course everything's shimmering.

Saturday, June 16, 2018


Baby trees

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Now it's official: summer is here.

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

A lot like life

Forget the frippery of "Heavenly Bodies." The Met blockbuster to see is "Like Life: Sculpture, Color and the Body" at the Breuer, an astonishing exhibition of sculptures of the human form from 1300 to the present. There's lots of religious art, too, but here it doesn't feel like it's being abused. Duane Hanson's 1984 "Housepainter II" opens the show.

Kusama Yayoi, "Phallic Girl" (1967) with other mannequins; Rigoberto Torres, "Shorty working in the C. & R. Statuary Corp" (1985); a naughty but somehow not malicious juxtaposition of a German Shrine of the Virgin (1300) and Damien Hirst's "Virgin (Exposed)" (2005), itself a take on a famous Degas sculpture of a young ballerina on view nearby.

John De Andrea "Self-Portrait with Sculpture" (1980) won't let you go; the huge Nellingen Crucifix (1430-35) with four of Lucia Fontana's heart-breaking "Crocifissi" (1948-55); Gregorio Fernández' glass-eyed "Dead Christ" (1625-30) and Alison Saar's metal-plated "Strange Fruit" (1995).

Louise Bourgeois' unnerving "Three Horizontals" (1998). Perhaps my favorite of many sly juxtapositions was Elmgreen and Dragset's 2012 "The Experiment" (the boy is looking into a mirror) with a c. 1625 Spanish or Mexican "Child Jesus Triumphant" (more divinely garbed than most of "Heavenly Bodies"). And the exhibition ends with Australian Ron Mueck's characteristically powerful "Old woman in bed" (2000).

Tuesday, June 12, 2018


Native North American rhododendron, backlit for effect. BBG of course!

Monday, June 11, 2018

Fall course

Looks like the set for a German expressionist film, doesn't it!