November 2010

The Deaths of Dracula and Voldemort

(Spoiler Alert! If you don't yet know the end of the Harry Potter story and don't want to know yet, then stop reading!) -- In J.K. Rowling's final book in a series of seven increasingly massive tomes --Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows--Voldemort dies six pages from the end of the last chapter: "Voldemort fell backward, arms splayed, the slit pupils of the scarlet eyes rolling upward. Tom Riddle (Voldemort's alter ego) hit the floor with a mundane finality, his body feeble and shrunken, the white hands empty, the snakelike face vacant and unknowing.

Do Religion and Politics Mix?

Here is something to think about: For the first time in a generation, the Religious Right had almost no visibility in the recent Congressional elections. The social issues that brought millions of conservative evangelicals out to the polls in previous years were simply missing from the debate. Instead, Americans focused on their worries about the economy, the deficit, and unemployment. This is actually an extremely significant and positive phenomenon. 

Parker J. Palmer's endorsement for "The Sword"

Today I got a fantastic blurb for the cover of the book from Parker J. Palmer (author of Let Your Life Speak, A Hidden Wholeness, and The Courage to Teach). I admire Parker Palmer's writing, his compassion, and wisdom, and I am grateful for his friendship and support. Parker helped me figure out who I was supposed to be when I grew up, and then inspired me to begin writing the book and continue through many drafts, believing I had something of value to offer.

Remembering Vietnam

Thirty-five years ago the Vietnam War came to a cataclysmic end as Saigon fell to the victorious armies of the People's Republic of Vietnam (North Vietnam) and the Provisional Revolution Government of South Vietnam (Vietcong). That event was the capstone to many years of needless killing and mindless destruction.  Human fatalities included including 3 to 4 million Vietnamese from both sides, between 1.5 to 2 million Laotians and Cambodians, and 58,159 U.S. soldiers.

Cameron Penny's poem

If you are lucky in this life,
A window will appear on a battlefield between two armies.
And when the soldiers look into the window
They don’t see their enemies.
They see themselves as children.
And they stop fighting
And go home and go to sleep. When they wake up, the land is well again.

Cameron Penny's If You Are Lucky in This Life was originally published in the November/December 2001 issue of North American Review. Marie Howe reads his poem in the film Voices in Wartime.