DON’T MISS LOVING
DON’T MISS SNOWDEN
DON’T MISS QUEEN OF KATWE
DON’T MISS 13TH
DON’T MISS MOONLIGHT
REREAD: 1984, BRAVE NEW WORLD, AND DOWN AND OUT IN LONDON AND PARIS.
You’ll just have to take my word for it. I’m overextended and my dog is ill, so I can’t go into all the reasons I’d like you to experience the above. But really, LOVING, the film, will refresh your faith that love is foundational in the making of soul; SNOWDEN will show you the beauty of courage that does nothing to excuse itself; THE QUEEN OF KATWE will lift your spirits by showing the rare genius of children, no matter where they come from, while Lupita and David make our hearts revel in remembrance of all the fierce mothers and loving teachers that have graced our lives; and 13TH continues Duvernay’s brilliant art of inquiry, exposure, and reclamation of truth. What a time to be alive! When artists are fully engaged and masters of their craft!
There’s MOONLIGHT. I went into the theatre knowing nothing about the film. I let it wash over me like a dream. I recommend this. There is this odd little boy with the large, troubled spirit. Who will he turn out to be? Well, I won’t give it away. Except to say there is a tenderness at the heart of this rough story that gives me hope we will soon return to a collective acceptance and honoring of the tender people we, in essence, are.
Then the books: Most of us read 1984 when we were too young or naive to understand it, but read it now and you’ll see what happens when a writer loves humanity. George Orwell did all he could to prepare us for today. As did Aldous Huxley though without Orwell’s sure touch from the lower 99%. (A bit of class confusion there, no doubt). And really I just threw in Down and Out in London and Paris because it’s such a great book about being really poor but with your eyes open to everything around you the whole time.
(Am now reading a great biography of Orwell by Michael Shelden which corrects my misperception above. Orwell was down and out but by no means poor. Well educated and from a comfortable middle class family he could always go home to a comfy bed and plenty of food. He chose not to, and that is part of what makes him so special).
It is fascinating to read Orwell’s account of what we call today sexual slavery and sex trafficking. This appears in a story about one of the down and out characters who lives in his bug infested hotel. This man batters and rapes a child held in slavery by a nefarious couple of Parisians who have bought her from her poverty stricken parents. What is chilling is how completely the rapist identifies his “right” to abuse the child (with her “stupid” blue eyes) as the ultimate expression of his own “freedom.”
There is the most appalling anti-Jewish racism expressed by the Russian former soldier of the famed Siberian Rifles, Boris. So raw and vicious it reminded me of the worst anti-black and people of color racism I’ve heard or read. In Literature we see how ugly racism is, and how, once it infects one’s life, chances for happiness are few.
I admit too that I want you – especially young students like those I fell in love with last week at Spelman College in Atlanta (Hi Beloveds!) – to use this list to get through this woeful “election” crisis. Do what you have to do, but for the next few weeks go to the movies, dance as much as you can, and read great books.
And remember, sometimes it’s LOVING VS. EVERYBODY. Not just Virginia. And that’s ok.
If none of these books appeal, and you care about animals, who seem the last of the truly sane beings around, try THE PLAGUE DOGS.
What is SOUL?
Change, so greatly desired, is not easily accomplished because genuine change requires one’s whole life to be altered; mind and body, spirit and soul. Soul is the source of change; it is the seat of emotions and the ground of our being. Soul is the secret center that connects us to both heaven and earth.
Through soul we connect to the most ancient knowledge as well as to the most immediate events of life. Soul is the hidden unity in any community; it is the secret to genuine culture and our thread to the heart of nature. When there is enough soul both nature and culture are served.
The modern world keeps losing the deep soul connections, leaving many disconnected and disheartened. Yet, genuine transformation is the secret aim of the tensions and troubles we encounter in life. Even when everything breaks down soul knows where to reconnect.
– Michael Meade, Mythologist and Wise Elder, whose recorded works are ideal for listening to through this time. That last sentence, for instance, is crucial wisdom for now.