I was surprised recently to hear the phrase ‘I become we’ and it reminded me of something important, especially in these times. This is an idea that’s been made use of for generations in the Civil Rights and Labor movements, as well as in religious teachings.
We fear power because we associate it with aggression. It’s there in everything from militarism to abusive husbands and boyfriends, to those we say are ‘drunk with power’ – implying control, domination, and injustice. But power in itself is neutral. Power can be turned any way, and this is something we need to know, for our own sake, for that of our community, and world.
First Corinthians, chapter 13
Though I may speak in the tongues of men and of angels, if I have not love, I am but a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal…
by William Shakespeare
Let me not to the marriage of true minds
Admit impediments. Love is not love
Which alters when it alteration finds,
Or bends with the remover to remove….
I first saw what has come to be known as ‘the human microphone’ during Occupy. This is where one person speaks, and those around him or her repeat it, so that others can hear. They begin with saying ‘Mic check!’ ‘MIC CHECK’, the crowd replies. This is a time when we all need to repeat the best things that we hear, a time when we all suffer and struggle together, and whatever wisdom we can gather needs to be spoken far and wide.
In the Fall of 2013, I started what I thought was going to be a simple project that would take me a few months: I was going to organize my father’s photographs. I had no idea at the time how this would lead me into a deeper relationship with the man who was my hero, and role model in many ways.
On 29th St., in San Francisco. Photo by Jason Espada
The following was written in 2014, in preparation for visits from curators, who were coming to view the entire range of my father’s work, within the space of a few short days. I took this as an opportunity to touch upon the most significant events in his life, and to celebrate the man I had come to know more fully through organizing his archive.
Documenting the Puerto Rican Experience in the 20th and 21st centuries
Imagine if you will conceiving of a project that would document the Puerto Rican experience across the United States… Imagine further that this project would be undertaken by someone who is widely respected as an advocate for these people, and that this person, in addition, is a first-rate photographer… Continue reading
There is so much contained in love at it’s best that I thought it would be worthwhile to write a few words about it this morning. I highlight love ‘at its best’ to distinguish it from the fleeting, partial, or limited kinds of affection we all know so well. The love I would like to talk about is the kind we look to when we want to remember who we truly are and who we can become.
“If the doors of perception were cleansed,
all things would appear as they are, infinite…” – William Blake
In a recent movie, Tomorrowland, a young woman touches a magical medallion, and is transported to another world, where it is safe, beautiful, and enlightened. When she lets go of the button, she’s back in her ordinary world. When I first saw this, I thought immediately of how it was just like the working of mantra in Buddhism – under the right circumstances, it can shift a person’s awareness immediately, and produce the vision of a Pure Land that has been right here all along.