“To a Contemporary Bunkshooter” by Carl Sandburg

I was given recently 15 bags of books, all kinds, from a newly-retired pastor. The first one I happened to open is a 1923 edition of “The World’s Great Religious Poetry” from Macmillan. How delighted I was to find Carl Sandburg included the volume.

“To A Contemporary Bunkshooter” was apparently originally called “To Billy Sunday,” but changed because of concerns about libel.

It’s powerful, and it’s one of the few plainspoken, modern pieces in this 99-year-old collection. Read it here on Bartleby.

What If Our Priorities Actually Healed?

I wrote this five years ago.  I don’t think we’ve done better by mental health since then.  Not on any level.  The good news is that in certain demographics, there seems to be less stigma.  But that’s not enough.  We need to understand this public health crisis and respond.  But first, people probably need healthcare.

From November, 2013:

This evening I was going over some notes from last year and came across something taken in part from  the April 2011 issue of Sojourners.  I’ve transcribed my scribbly notes below:

Some ancients called nature The Garden of Delight, while others framed their narratives more violently. But if we think of God not as a warrior but as a gardener, we might think about what it means to join in the garden of God’s Delight.  How would we change if we saw the world as a garden?  What if we actually planted?  What if our political priorities actually healed people?

Earlier today, I was with an interfaith group and we talked about how the seeds of the mental health crisis in this country were sewn when state hospitals started shutting down and programs standing in the gap were (and are) left woefully underfunded.

How would the world look if we actually planted? If our priorities actually healed?

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I followed up with this.

The God of Senses

Fight error with courage and kindness. Look around you and see the injustice that chains so many people. Take time for quiet prayer. Know your faith and let that knowledge burst into flame in your heart. (St. Anthony of Padua)

They say that knowledge born of experience is mechanical, but that knowledge born and consummated in the mind is scientific, while knowledge born of science and culminating in manual work is semi-mechanical. But to me it seems that all sciences are vain and full of errors that are not born of experience, mother of all certainty, and that are not tested by experience, that is to say, that do not at their origin, middle, or end pass through any of the five senses. . . .(Leonardo Da Vinci)

 

This scene from the 1995 movie starring Ben Kingsley as Moses.

Fight Error With Courage and Kindness

Fight error with courage and kindness. Look around you and see the injustice that chains so many people. Take time for quiet prayer. Know your faith and let that knowledge burst into flame in your heart. (St. Anthony of Padua)

They say that knowledge born of experience is mechanical, but that knowledge born and consummated in the mind is scientific, while knowledge born of science and culminating in manual work is semi-mechanical. But to me it seems that all sciences are vain and full of errors that are not born of experience, mother of all certainty, and that are not tested by experience, that is to say, that do not at their origin, middle, or end pass through any of the five senses. . . .(Leonardo Da Vinci)

This scene from the 1995 movie starring Ben Kingsley as Moses.