Wrapping Up the Week 3.9.13

Boston’s unexpected foot of snow has now been replaced with bright sunshine. It’s remarkable really – for three days we braved treacherous roads, high wind, and blowing snow – and today? The sun is bright and it’s expected to reach the mid forties. It is so much like other areas of life, where stress and worry blow in and take over, covering everything around — you think it will never end. And then it does. And you shake your head with a bit of a smile as the tension leaves your back and your face and, holding yourself straighter, you walk forward.

On to the week wrap-up.

On online criticism: Our online behavior when it comes to getting involved in issues we care about is nothing short than a mob mentality. We find those who think like we do and we join forces with loud opinions through 140 characters, with long blog posts, and short Facebook insults. While the article I’ve linked to is specific to one author and a new book that is being released, the advice in the article is excellent. In short he says and I paraphrase: Calm down, Read first, understand the other guy, cling to what is good. The entire article is excellent but my favorite line is this:

“Criticism Is Not Inherently Narrow-minded Oppression”

I would urge all to read and then share this article – it’s full of wisdom and sound advice. So Rob Bell Wrote Another Book – Some Thoughts Before Actually Reading It – Take a look and let us know what you think!

On Poetry and Women: Mirman Baheer is a woman’s literary society in Kabul. It serves as a way for women to come together and recite poetry, often poetry that they have written, as well as talk about literature. The rural areas of Afghanistan are far stricter when it comes to women and poetry, in fact, women risk their lives to call in to Mirman Baheer and recite their poetry so it can be transcribed. The article here is a long one but will take you to the rural areas of Afghanistan where young women are taken out of school and find writing poetry to be their only form of education. You will be introduced  to some brave artist poets who risk their lives for the love of poetry. Why Afghan Women Risk Death to Write Poetry was published this week in the NY Times. Along with that comes an article on the power of poetry from Christianity Today. The author compares this love and commitment to poetry to our apathy of poetry. “We seem, sadly, to have lost an understanding of poetry’s beauty and power.” she says in Have we forgotten the power of poetry? I would love to hear what you think – do you like poetry? Understand it? Read it? Would you risk your life for poetry?

IMG_5065On International Women’s Day: Yesterday held news from Around the world for International Women’s Day. While I’m glad we have a day set aside, I feel a bit skeptical as I see all this news, and know that a day later much will be forgotten. I do want to highlight two articles – One is an article of hope that takes a look at the difference mothers can make in the nutrition of their children. Mother’s Rewriting the Future will take you to Kenya and give you a glimpse of one woman’s life. The other is from Djibouti Jones where the author Rachel encourages us to think about this every day – not just one day a year. She gives us 5 Ways to Celebrate International Women’s Day. Rachel is also doing a series on Hijab that you don’t want to miss. I’ll be linking to more on that series next week.

Also on International Women’s Day – have you yet read about My Favorite Feminist? Take a look at this remarkable woman!

On my bedside stand: I’ve almost finished Beyond the Beautiful Forevers – a hard, beautiful read. There is no doubt that the author is skilled with words – but I actually want Robynn to read it and do the review – as someone who has lived in India for a long time and been intimately involved in the lives of many, I think she is the one to respond. Of course – this is the first she’s heard of this …..! I’ve also begun a small book by Frederica Matthewes-Green called The Jesus Prayer. This is a simple prayer that was passed on through the ages by the desert fathers “Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, Have Mercy on Me”. It was passed on as a way to practice being continually in prayer. Partly devotional, partly historical it is opening my eyes to the power of these words.

How about you? What are you reading? What has caught your eye through the week?