My second grader is now officially a third grader. We had a huge school-wide picnic in the blazing summer heat. Looking out from under the chestnut tree at the top of the hill, eating a fresh cool salad, there was short grass in the foreground, tall grass a little beyond that, rolling farmland a bit further out, and then the forested Holyoke Range, hazy and blue in the humidity, presiding silently over the raucus proceedings.
All the adults kept accidentally calling the kids “second graders”, and the kids kept screaming out “third graders!”
Tomorrow we’re headed to Boston for my wife’s ten-year college reunion. Then we’re driving a bit further, out onto Cape Cod, for a week of camping by the beach. (Yes, with four small children. Don’t worry, we’re professionals.)
So I’ll be away from the computer for a spell, and I realized that this would be an awesome chance to do something I’ve been meaning to do for a while: bring some Other Voices front and center here. I did some guest blogging for Pagan Sojourn back in January, and Slade and I have exchanged articles, and each of those experiences was extremely positive for all involved. The cross-pollination of ideas and readers and writers is exciting and invigorating for everyone.
Below is a list of the generous bloggers who have graciously agreed to step in to fill my silence, along with a snatch of their voices:
- Adam Alexander of Adam’s Peace.
Sometimes, I have strayed from this topic, and other times, I have remained extremely faithful, but the purpose of this blog has always been to encourage other people to talk about inner peace, whether here, or in their own domains.
- Damian Carr of Be the Change – Tread the Path.
I then noticed that the elderly man had taken a large crucifix out of his pocket. He then, quietly but very deliberately, blessed the tube carriage and all the people in it three times. Nobody else seemed to notice…
- Angela-Eloise of Blogickal.
When we are learning to walk, we have people who hold our hands. When we are learning to walk in divine love, it’s nice to have people who lend their support as well.
- Erik of Executive Pagan.
The simple act of pouring a libation or casting an offering into the fire grounds my prayer in the physical universe, and reminds me that I am a part of Ultimate Reality, and that the Gods are equally real and equally present here with us.
- S. Nichole of Pagan Sojourn.
This blog was meant to be a year long study of Paganism, before moving on to something else. However, when I got to end of the year, I realized that I had more that I wanted to learn.
S. Nichole’s post: Religious Tradition and Innovative Ideas
- Kara-Leah Masina of be Conscious now.
What does it mean to be conscious? It means you are aware of the gap between the thinking and the acting when YOU have a choice. You can obey your thoughts… Or not. That gap — that choice — THAT is the stillness of Self. That is Consciousness.
- Slade Roberson of Shift Your Spirits.
You are God; act like it. The time has come to shift your spirits and transform the life you are already living into the creative spiritual mission you know it’s supposed to be.
Over the next week, these big-hearted souls will be posting on topics of their own choosing when the spirit moves them. At Erik’s suggestion, some of them are planning to write about the tension between innovation and tradition in religion — a fascinating topic, and a potentially explosive one, as history has shown. But whatever they write about, I thank them all from the bottom of my heart! I can’t wait to see what they will post.
Men go abroad to wonder the heights of mountains, at the huge waves of the sea, at the long courses of the rivers, at the vast compass of the ocean, at the circular motions of the stars; and they pass by themselves without wondering.
[Note: I just realized that my beautiful “Other Voices” page was gutted when I upgraded WordPress last week. My apologies to those whose work was represented there — I didn’t backup things properly, it appears, and I will have to reconstruct it from scratch after my vacation.]