Monday, June 25, 2012

Week 26 - Jack Frost


As Frosty Ice melts
Our hearts with promise of spring
Snowmen slowly pass
Winter's dying breath

52 Week 26 - Ta-Nehisi Coates - Of the Beautiful Struggle

There are people who inspire you in quiet ways, people who have no reason at all to inspire you, but still, somehow they manage. TNC (as he’s affectionately called by his readers and followers) is a senior editor for the Atlantic. I subscribe to the Atlantic primarily to read his insightful essays and musings. The topics vary, from Football to the Black Panthers, to musings about hiphop and the intricacies of fatherhood.

Somehow he always seems to get to the core of an issue, and he’s never afraid to ask the difficult questions, even of himself. Maybe I’m being vain, but I’ve always felt like his story mirrored my own in a way and that gives me hope.

 His memoir ‘The Beautiful struggle’ is a truly heartwarming story of his coming of age and it manages to be both emotionally raw, yet truly uplifting. I check out his blog at least twice a day, and every story/piece he writes always has me as an eager reader. The best thing I can say about him is that he has inspired me to continue writing and I can only hope that my writing and thinking approaches the quality of his.

Best Quote:
We know what we are, that we walk like we are not long for this world, that this world has never longed for us

Monday, June 18, 2012

Week 25 - A Good Old Fashioned Nightmare


If life is a dream
Then we are the nightmare
Of turmoil and strife
Surreality in black and white

Week 25 - Archbishop Desmond Tutu: The Peacemaker

Beati pacifici

Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall inherit the kingdom of God.

Desmond Tutu, a South African activist who first rose to prominence as a result of his opposition to apartheid and would later become the first Black archbishop of South Africa. During the apartheid era, he was a strident opponent of the regime, but was avowedly dedicated to the use of non-violence.
Archbishop Desmond Tutu has dedicated his life to the pursuit of peace and the betterment of all mankind. In my darkest moments, when the evil of people who professed themselves righteous had hardened my heart, I was glad for people like Desmond Tutu. He has been a moral conscience not just of a nation but of an entire planet.

He has shown through his actions that there is another way; a better way. Being Christian and being compassionate are not mutually exclusive. Christianity ought not to be solely a tool of majority oppression. I’ve learned from my research about the disgraceful actions of the South African churches as well as the Southern Baptists, who stridently supported both Apartheid and Slavery. Their disgraceful actions are tempered by the actions of people like Desmond Tutu, for whom religion is a force for good; a force for social change and not merely a tool of the powerful to control the masses, but a catalyst for positive social change. For these and other efforts, he has received quite a few accolades, including but not limited to:

1979 – Honorary D.C. L., Harvard.

1980 – Prix d'Athene prize, Onassis Foundation, Greece.

1984 – Nobel Peace Prize, Norway.

1984 – Martin Luther King Jnr Humanitarian Award.

1986 – Ordained as the Archbishop of Cape Town.

1987-97 – President All Africa Conferences of Churches.

1988 – Chancellor of the University of Western Cape.

1989 – Joint recipient Third World Prize.

1996 – Archbishop Emeritus of Cape Town.

1996 – Order for meritorious Service (Gold) from State President, Nelson Mandela.

1992 – Bishop John T. Walker Distinguished Humanitarian Award.

1998 – Grand Officer of the Legion of Honour from French President Jacques Chirac.
1999 – The Sydney Peace Prize
2005 – Gandhi Peace Prize
2009 – Presidential Medal of Freedom

He has been active his entire life in the defence of human rights and has campaigned to end racism, sexism, homophobia and poverty. In particular, he has worked to reduce poverty in the developing world as well as aid in reconstruction of war-torn areas and mediation in ongoing conflicts (particularly in places such as Sudan, Somalia and Angola). He still continues to this day to be actively involved in causes all over the world. More of his history and work can be found as part of the South African History Project

Greatest quote:
If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor. If an elephant has its foot on the tail of a mouse and you say that you are neutral, the mouse will not appreciate your neutrality.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Week 24 - Our Chemical Overlords


Some chemical load
Trapped within our darker souls
Let’s poison seep through
Salvation and destruction