Sunday, January 18, 2009

creative practice: finding a way


"Saint Augustine once said, ‘Love God with all your heart, soul, and strength, and love your neighbor as yourself. Then do anything you want.’ This liberty is exercised within love’s boundary. Love God and neighbor, then do anything you want. That gives love and joy all kinds of room to weave their spell.

Irony is, love and rules have the same goal --helping folks get along. Though love does it through the pull of the heart while rules attempt it with the twist of the arm. Don’t get me wrong. I’m not an anarchist. Rules have their place on life’s roster. I just think love and joy ought to lead the way.”

That's Philip Gulley, writing in the book Front Porch Tales.

Seems like a good thought for marking Martin Luther King Day in the United States.

Gulley is an author and also a Quaker minister. The short pieces in Front Porch Tales could have been, maybe were, sermons told as stories. In each, he starts with a story, often one in which he pokes fun at himself, and ends up with some reflection on a purpose of faith -- not always getting here the way you might expect. His tales are set in small town Indiana, as is a series of novels he’s written, with a main character who is -- guess what? a Quaker minister, in the town of Harmony.

music to go along with these ideas

Carrie Newcomer: The Geography of Light faith, hope, love, and questions -- and email gone astray

Caroline Herring: Lantana southern gospel and southern gothic both run through Herring’s stories in song

Tish Hinojosa Our Little Planet country and folk with heart integrity, and originality

Hanneke Cassel and Christopher Lewis: Calm the Raging Sea
melodies of familiar hymns on Scottish style fiddle and guitat

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posted by Kerry Dexter at

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