Inspired To Insignificance

We are forest walkers here at DP; ramblings through local woodlands have offered deep sustenance during Covidzeit. Now comes poet & essayist J. Drew Lanham recounting varied Conversations with Trees, first published in the reliably invigorating digital pages of Wildness. A brief excerpt below, with images from Sally Mann’s Southern Landscapes series, as relayed from her website.

 

 

 

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In closing, we bend an ear to a speculative interview dating from the 1990s with a famous yet unnamed tree-whisperer, via Radical Language of Trees:

 

 

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After the Last Sky

Hard to believe, yet it has been ten years since the blossoming of dissent and creativity known as the Arab Spring. This week, we listen closely to the nuanced voice of the lawyer and writer Rayan Fakhoury, whose illuminating  Still Arab has just been published within the digital scroll of the venerable LAYB.

The essay is worthy of close consideration in its entirety; two brief excerpts below, with images of untitled paintings by Ayman Baalbaki, as relayed from the website of the Dalloul Art Foundation.

 

 

 

 

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Love For This Oasis

One of the key tidal observations throughout our DP voyages has been, simply put, that we cannot change what we do not truthfully understand.

For example: reconciliation regarding the historical experience of American slavery is impossible without coming to grips with how that history lives on in the present through densely interwoven manifestations of white supremacy, with the carceral state at its center.

Now comes the ever-lucid Eileen Crist, with thoughts on a different though related variant of subjugation, not within a single species but rather between one particularly invasive species (homo sapiens) and the rest of life on Mother Earth.

Excerpts from a recent interview below, with images relayed from the website of Joseph Wheelwright.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Note: The entire excellent interview from within the pages of The Sun Magazine (not the tabloid, mind!) is worthy of close consideration. The magazine has generously dropped its pay wall during Covidzeit, yet relies entirely on reader support. We highly recommend trial perusal, and then subscription.

 

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A Heart Full of Grace

On this birthday of Martin Luther King Jr., celebrated during times of racist violence and white supremacist insurrection unleashed in the name of “American greatness”, we give full attention to one of MLK’s most powerfully transformative sermons: The Drum Major Instinct, delivered at Ebenezer Baptist Church on February 4, 1968.

We urge close, deep listening to the entirety of the sermon; excerpts transcribed below.

 

 

 

 

We also take note of an op-ed in the Washington Post written by MLK III in opposition to the ruthless executions staged by a racist & omnicidal thanatocracy during its own dying days, with an excerpt relayed below:

 

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Regimes of Racist Terror

Amidst the cacophony of a malignant regime finally exposing its white supremacist core, we bend an ear to professor Manisha Sinha, historian of slavery, abolition, Civil War and Reconstruction and the author of The Slave’s Cause and The Counterrevolution of Slavery. 

Excerpts from a recent interview below; caption to the image added by DP.

 

 

THE DAY MAGALAND DISPLAYED ITS TRUE COLORS

 

During the largely peaceful BLM protests, Trump declared that anyone damaging federal property would be charged with felony riot and face the possibility of ten years in prison.

Let us see what punishment shall be deemed appropriate for the racist & deluded berserkers who ransacked the capitol, and for those who incited and praised them as “patriots”. Of all the lies spewed forth from the twisted MAGA delusion machine, surely that is the most repugnant – yet.

We close with the glorious voices of the Resistance Chorus, with luminous Rhiannon Giddens in the mix:

 

BOUND TO LOSE

 

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The Tenth Voyage

Onwards we sail into the fogbanks of a New Year, grateful for the warm & vibrant community of DP readers.

Please keep sending ideas, links and inspirations; they are the buoys that guide our varied navigations.

 

The good ship Desperado rides out a storm, aware that myriad wrecks have  pleased, and not appeased, the implacable sea.

 

 

 

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Als I Lay On Yoolis Night

 

 


Habits of Deception

Now comes David Farrier, author of Footprints: In Search of Future Fossils, with an essay in the venerable and indispensable Orion magazine; it is not too late to purchase a gift subscription!

An ungloved handful of excerpted paragraphs below, with images collected from the tidal wash of the digital ocean.

 

 

 

 

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Right Livelihood Writ Large

Today, a man named Brandon Bernard was executed for a a crime committed when he was eighteen, in circumstances clouded by numerous unanswered questions. Appeals for clemency fell on deaf ears.

Now comes the honorable Bryan Stevenson, a winner of this year’s “Right Livelihood” award, for his tireless work exposing, documenting and fighting against the injustices of the Carceral State. Below, his acceptance speech for the award.

Images are from the most powerful work of public art in North America: the museum and memorial created by Stevenson’s Equal Justice Initiative in Montgomery, Alabama.

 

Evidence From a Regime of Racial Terror

 

 

Names to Recollect

 

Below, a link to the video of the above speech:

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The Cult of Death

In a fascinating essay in the most recent New York Review of Books, Fintan O’Toole refers to the rise of “zombie politics”, and to Trumpism as akin to a necromantic death cult. Consistent with his observations, we note that five federal executions have been scheduled between now and the way overdue termination of this relentlessly omnicidal administration.

This week, we bend an ear to the exceptionally strong voice of Sister Helen Prejean, a longstanding opponent of the death penalty, first with an excerpt from a recent interview and then with a passage from her 1993 book, Dead Man Walking. Images added by DP.

 

 

 

 

And now to the passage from Dead Man Walking:

 

 

 

 

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