June 1 BeHolden All Things New


Week of June 1 | Holden 2020 | Sustenance for our journey

Light in the darkness

Chuck_Peg_Hiking_200.jpgWe are continually reminded of the extraordinary time we live in. We do have the ability to change, to heal from this pain and rise up with new strength, to see our mistakes and become wiser, to look deeply at our challenges and give ourselves fully toward others and to the earth to find better ways of sustainable living – this is a light in the darkness.

In this issue of All Things New, you will find reflections and insights from Minneapolis-based photographer and storyteller John Noltner. 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,

Peg Carlson-Hoffman + Chuck Hoffman
Co-Executive Directors


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

JohnNoltner.jpgJohn Noltner

Photographer, Author, Educator and Activist

A Peace of My Mind is a multimedia arts project, created by award-winning photographer John Noltner, that uses portraits and personal stories to bridge divides and encourage dialogue around important issues.

A gifted storyteller, Noltner has worked on four continents, gathering stories of human courage, grace, and resilience. He has produced projects for national magazines, Fortune 500 companies, and non-profit organizations. A Peace of My Mind reflects his belief that art and storytelling can help individuals, organizations, and communities articulate their deepest values and encourage action toward rebuilding social capital and community connections.

John Noltner in Minneapolis

Current stories from the streets of Minneapolis

A Peace of My Mind

Like most people, I was caught off guard by the COVID-19 pandemic. Over the past decade, as I have developed A Peace of My Mind, all of my work has moved toward public programming. Then suddenly, the public could no longer gather. The opening in my schedule was a profound hole that felt equal parts professional, personal, economic, and spiritual. And I had to ask, “What’s Next?” The answer was a podcast.

I started gathering stories from across the country and around the world, and created A Peace of My Mind’s “How Life Changed: Stories of real people and how their lives changed as a result of COVID-19.” Over the past two months, we have posted almost 40 stories and I have relearned the lesson that I never quite forget but that I always need refreshed. We are built for connection. We are better together. As I reached out to hear other people’s stories, I understood more of my own.

You can find it here.

Books From John Noltner

APOMM_Noltner.jpga peace of my mind: American Stories, Exploring the Meaning of Peace One Story at a Time

by John Noltner

This inspiring collection is the result of photographer John Noltner's 40,000-mile journey across our country, asking the simple question, "What does peace mean to you?" 58 people from diverse backgrounds share stories of hope, redemption, and forgiveness, paired with compelling color portraits in this 144-page, full-color book with a foreword by Terri Lee Freeman, president of the National Civil Rights Museum. The book is designed to encourage thoughtful dialog.

APeaceOfMyMind_Noltner.jpga peace of my mind: Exploring the Meaning of Peace One Story at a Time

by John Noltner

In a world that often asks us to consider the things that can separate us, whether race, politics or ethnicity, A Peace of My Mind explores the common humanity that unites us. Since 2009, Noltner has photographed and interviewed Holocaust survivors, refugees, political leaders, artists, homeless individuals, and others, asking them to reveal what peace means to them, how they work towards it in their lives and what obstacles they encounter along the way. It reveals hope through the inspiring stories of people committed to peaceful tomorrows.

Summer Faculty Voices

Podcast150.jpgPeace of my mind

with john Noltner

"I was frustrated with the quality of our national dialogue and concerned with all of the things that ask us to look at what separates us." LISTEN NOW

New_AudioArchive_LOGO.jpgListen. Create a Space to Hear and Honor Differences

With John Noltner

Your new ritual: Immerse yourself in a single poem, guided by Pádraig Ó Tuama. Short and unhurried; contemplative and energizing. Anchor your week by listening to the everyday poetry of your life, with new episodes on Monday and Friday during the season. Currently working on season 2 for release in fall 2020. LISTEN NOW

Summer Faculty Book Recommendations

TheHeartbeatofWoundedKnee.jpgThe Heartbeat of Wounded Knee: Native America from 1890 to Present

by David Treuer

The received idea of Native American history – as promulgated by books like Dee Brown's mega-bestselling 1970 Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee – has been that American Indian history essentially ended with the 1890 massacre at Wounded Knee. Not only did 150 Sioux die at the hands of the U.S. cavalry, the sense was, but Native civilization died as well.

Growing up Ojibwe on a reservation in Minnesota, training as an anthropologist, and researching Native life past and present for his nonfiction and novels, David Treuer has uncovered a different narrative. Because they did not disappear – and not despite but rather because of their intense struggles to preserve their language, their traditions, their families, and their very existence – the story of American Indians since the end of the nineteenth century to the present is one of unprecedented resourcefulness and reinvention.

In The Heartbeat of Wounded Knee, Treuer melds history with reportage and memoir. Tracing the tribes' distinctive cultures from first contact, he explores how the depredations of each era spawned new modes of survival. The devastating seizures of land gave rise to increasingly sophisticated legal and political maneuvering that put the lie to the myth that Indians don't know or care about property. The forced assimilation of their children at government-run boarding schools incubated a unifying Native identity. Conscription in the U.S. military and the pull of urban life brought Indians into the mainstream and modern times, even as it steered the emerging shape of self-rule and spawned a new generation of resistance. The Heartbeat of Wounded Knee is the essential, intimate story of a resilient people in a transformative era.

Voices From The Village

A Peace of My Mind visited Holden Village to talk about faith, justice and courage. This is a compilation of Village voices during the summers of 2018 and 2019. WATCH NOW




A kind of rapture, this longed-for laying of hands,
high cries as we nuzzle, leaning in to kiss
And when this ends we will emerge, shyly
and then all at once, dazed, longhaired as we embrace
loved ones the shadow spared, and weep for those
it gathered in its shroud. A kind of rapture, this longed-for
laying on of hands, high cries as we nuzzle, leaning in
to kiss, and whisper that now things will be different,
although a time will come when we’ll forget
the curve’s approaching wave, the hiss and sigh
of ventilators, the crowded, makeshift morgues;
a time when we may even miss the old-world
arm’s-length courtesy, small kindnesses left on doorsteps,
the drifting, idle days, and nights when we flung open
all the windows to arias in the darkness, our voices
reaching out, holding each other till this passes.

– John O’Donnell –

Photo by Chuck Hoffman

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.