Cloister Commentary, Day 73: Citizens of Minneapolis

After days of waiting for the right morning, we drove to Capen Park, hiked up to a gorgeous bluff overlook our friend George Frissell had shown us long ago, then walked an additional couple of miles over to Old 63 and back. It was the perfect start for a morning in these times.
We also had Zoom escapades. Nicole walked me through some tips and tricks–she’s more practiced than I–so now I can confidently share a screen and won’t create a waiting room in the middle of a class. I DO need a haircut, but I’m working on my inner and outer Jeff Bridges. Shortly after my training, my parents and brother joined as for a virtual hangout and we were glad to hear everyone’s doing ok.
If you haven’t read Louise Erdrich, you really should. She’s not just one of the greatest Native novelists to ever publish, she’s one of the greatest novelists we’ve known, period. There’s a whole world in her books, and her most recent one, The Night Watchman, which I’m about to finish, is a compulsive read. A citizen of Minneapolis, I am sure she has some new work brewing in her capacious brain.
I am not a fan of destruction. But in the case of that connected to the current protests–and JUST that destruction, not that caused by opportunists and outside agents–I understand it. Why do buildings have to burn? Before we get to that question, first, why have black men and women been killed by police (official and unofficial) with impunity, over and over again, throughout our history? As one activist leader said, “They sent the military, and we only asked them for arrests.” So much of what we have seen could easily have been avoided by a doing of the right thing. Second, I have felt the urge to smash sh*t up and stab at my own self out of frustration–and I’m about as privileged as a U. S. citizen can be. I can easily imagine how frustrated I would be if I enjoyed none of that privilege, and came to the (quite sane) conclusion that nothing I could ever do would stop the authorized oppression and threat to my (and my friends’ and families’) life and limb that seem like my country’s preferred ways. It’s well past time for a sea change. If you don’t get it but would like to, I can suggest plenty of enlightening and meticulously sourced books. If you don’t get it and either don’t want to or don’t care? I guess all I can do is retweet John Donne to you: “No man is an island, entire of itself.”
Mary, I do indeed wish George was here to talk to about this…
Streaming for shut-ins:
Spiritual fuel.

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