I have spent the last week and a half taking pictures of the clouds over central Asheville. Some have looked like angels or elephants, some like the forgotten symbols of some ancient clan … others look like giant fractals.
While considering … what such odd formations might mean, it occurred to me just how little we know and how scared we all are … by the things that are happening in our world.
It is hard to reconcile the ephemeral grace of a dove-shaped cloud that, if viewed by some shepherd thousands of years ago, would surely have been seen as a sign from some God, full of love.
In the end, the parameters we place on our beliefs simply draw bloody lines between us. All the gods of humanity have been used in ways that detract from the truth of our smallness, our fragility and the absolute necessity for us all to seize the love and the strength we have found in our systems of belief…
Well, we need to discuss where we stand and we need to discuss what is vital (in terms of actual mortality).
And, in the spirit of Mr. Gardner [”Don’t Force Your Apocalypse on Me,” July 7 Xpress], who responded to Frank ”Uncle Remus” Eliot [”On Religion, the Gulf Oil Spill, and Our Hypocrisy,” June 30 Xpress], [we need to] remain steadfast in our commitment to not veer toward fanaticism during fearful times.
I used to read and love the Uncle Remus and Br’er Rabbit stories when I was a kid .… I knew, however, that the pictures were meant to be outlandish, and I thought of Uncle Remus in the same way I thought of Santa: some ridiculous creation made up to teach a lesson. I loved Uncle Remus.
Rigid belief systems can look a lot like a briar patch. In closing: Be like Br’er Rabbit.
We all need to be really understanding of one another and all the ways we may have gone wrong these past few years, and we need to work together to talk honestly about how to bridge the gaps that need bridging.
Thanks so much for providing a forum for respectful dialogue.
I still love Br’er Rabbit and call on him almost daily. Ha! Now, there's a belief system for you.
— Faith R. Rhyne