Week of August 24 | Holden 2020 | Sustenance for our journey
Imagination: Where the visible and
invisible worlds coalesce
The Irish theologian John O’Donohue tells us, “Though it may not be seen directly, the eye of the imagination will often be drawn to the edges of things where the visible and invisible worlds coalesce. There is no map for this invisible territory, yet sometimes its force completely engages our heart.” It is a time for artists and visionaries to see and lead us into what is, and shape the new from what has been, and leave the results to the passing of time.
In this issue of All Things New, we share our own work not as directors, but as our truest form, as artists. We also share the wisdom and urgent call from Larry Rasmussen for the earth. We hope that these creative resources can help you on whatever path you find yourself, if even in the smallest ways. And we can’t thank you enough for joining us on this journey. We’re going to make it – together. May you be safe, may you be well, and may you be held in love.
With good courage,
Chuck Hoffman + Peg Carlson-Hoffman
When we leave the Village the next time, it will be the last time we leave as Executive Directors.
The next issue of BeHolden will be the final issue of BeHolden.
It will include our farewell — but never goodbye — to you all. Chuck + Peg
FOR THE JOURNEY
There are many invitations afforded us in times such as these. Invitations to listen, to engage, to be open, to love and remind ourselves that we don’t own the answers. In the spirit of our Summer Conversation, All Things New, this summer will be a different kind of summer. Holden will continue to be a light — just in a new way. In this new world we’re all inhabiting, we're sharing insights from some of our originally scheduled summer faculty.
Featured Summer Faculty
Eco-Theologian and Author
Larry L. Rasmussen is Reinhold Niebuhr Professor Emeritus of Social Ethics, Union Theological Seminary, New York City. His book, Earth-Honoring Faith: Religious Ethics in a New Key, received the Nautilus Book Awards as the Gold Prize winner for Ecology/Environment and as the Grand Prize winner for best 2014 book overall. He and Nyla live in Santa Fe, New Mexico. They are Santa Fe County Master Gardeners.
"The early Anthropocene is where I leave my life behind and you begin yours. You cannot know what I would give so you did not live out your days on this trajectory of climate instability, mass uncertainty, and breathtaking extinction across the community of life. I pray that you are able to bring adaptation from distress. What I know, is that Anthropocene citizens who continue Holocene habits, doom their children. Nonetheless, the world has not stopped being beautiful, so claim the beauty that is. Beauty is its own resistance."
We were about to talk of love that’s fitted to what the virus and climate confrontation have wrought. And now we must add mass protest and recession.
Your dad was 6 when we were on sabbatical in Arusha, Tanzania. A safari from Arusha to the edge of the Serengeti took us to Olduvai Gorge.
Chuck Hoffman + Peg Carlson Hoffman
Artists exploring the boundaries of Art . Earth . Spirit
Edges, boundaries and intersections have been at the heart of our artistic expression. We have been artists for nearly 40 years. For more than 20 of those years we have also been speaking about and using art as a tool for peace, reconciliation and community building. We see boundaries and edges not as divisions, but as places that hold tension and allow something new to rise from that struggle. For us, tension is a place where we sense the spirit moving and creating within and through each of us.
Our time spent in places where physical walls divide communities has been particularly formative. Our experience over the years in Belfast, Northern Ireland, runs especially deep. Through this work we have come to believe deeply in re-forming: re-forming our relationship with the earth, with each other and with the divine.
Visual Art Inspiring Change with Holden Village Executive Directors Chuck + Peg
“There isn't better training for leaders than the arts because it enables people to reimagine situations, possibilities, when life seems to constrain and stifle, that creativity can burst through those walls.”
At the Edges of Wilderness Artist’s Statement
The cycles of nature’s seasons offer us deep wisdom and we honor the earth as the original sacred text. We live in what we might call an age of forgetting. We have forgotten who we are in relation to everything else: the creatures, the plants, the mountains, the forests, the oceans, one another, and even ourselves. In this series of paintings we explore boundary as the edge or margin where things connect and find new beginnings. While our paintings are a study of edges, boundaries, and contrasts coming together, our continuing narrative inspiration is about bearing tension. The boundaries and edges are not divisions but the places that hold tension and allow something new to rise from the struggle. For us, tension is a place where we sense the breath of Spirit moving and creating within and through each of us. As our paintings progressed, we realized that part of what we were painting was the aftermath of the forest fire we experienced in 2015. The edges of the Wolverine Fire contained immense destructive power, but also set the table for the re-birthing of the forest and the beauty that followed. Living on this wilderness boundary for over five years, and in that tension, we have born witness to the earth’s resurrection.
VIEW MORE WORK ON INSTAGRAM
Summer Book Recommendations
The Man Who Planted Trees
by Jean Giono, Author; Michael McCurdy, Illustrator
The Man Who Planted Trees, is a timeless eco-fable about what one person can do to restore the earth. The hero of the story, Elzéard Bouffier, spent his life planting one hundred acorns a day in a desolate, barren section of Provence in the south of France. The result was a total transformation of the landscape – from one devoid of life, with miserable, contentious inhabitants, to one filled with the scent of flowers, the songs of birds, and fresh, flowing water.
Strathmore Mixed Media Art Journal
This is an opportunity to explore your own creativity, whether it be journaling, doodling or sketching, it’s 64 pages for your imaginative possibilities.
More Resources for Your Journey
Earth Honoring Faith: Journey of the Universe – Part 1 with Larry Rasmussen
"The world is in crisis because it doesn't have a livable story. The narrative that we live by: consumerism, industrialized nature, and white privilege is self-destructive. The problem is how we think of our relationship to nature: to think humanity and nature. Rather, it's humanity as part of nature as part of creation." We live amidst immense challenges on every front – social, political, ecological and spiritual. Many observers say we need a new story to reorient and ground ourselves to meet these challenges. Join Rasmussen as he engages with the Universe story and discusses our responsibility for the continuity of life as a part of the larger earth community.
"Journey of the Universe," inspired by Thomas Berry, is an Emmy award-winning documentary that brings together modern science and the humanities, including religion, art, and philosophy. Explore: JourneyOfTheUniverse.org
On this day
the blessings of heaven.
On this day
the blessings of earth.
On this day
the blessings of sea and of sky.
To open us to life
to ground us in life
to fill us with life
and with wonder.
On those we love this day
and on every human family
the blessings of heaven
the blessings of earth
the blessings of sea and of sky.
– John Philip Newell
Photo Andrew Zimmerman
This series, All Things New, will explore in part the conversation originally scheduled for summer. In this new world we all inhabit, may you find sustenance for your journey.