Stan Lee, Privilege, & the Tree of Life Synagogue

Tree of Life Synagogue

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Our calling isn’t to find the solution to all of the world’s problems as much as it is to rush to the vulnerable, to be with those who hurt, and to love across all kinds of lines.

Last week, after giving one of the best, most important, and most challenging sermons I’ve heard in a long time- our pastor announced that she had an already-planned trip to Pittsburgh that would take her within two blocks of the Tree of Life Synagogue where the terrible shooting took place. She invited us to write letters and contribute to a prayer quilt that she would take with her.

Being able to participate in that, from one faith community to another meant more to me than I realized it would. Togetherness heals.

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Inuksuk

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Stacked stones have long been used to help people find their way. They’re made to be helpful, sometimes pointing out danger or showing the way to a generous fishing spot.

In Inuit tribes, when they take the shape of a human, then they also symbolize welcome, hospitality, and friendliness. The shape lends itself well, appearing on the flag of Nunavut and the 2010 Olympic logo.

In Inuktitut, these are called inuksuk- "to act in the capacity of a human." There’s a cool bit of symbolism of a person being made up of parts that rest and rely on each other, providing balance and all that.

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Stan Lee

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Stan Lee’s passing has called some attention towards his Stan’s Soapbox columns that used to go at the end of Marvel comic books in their earlier days. Some of these are such gems, like this one taking a hard line against bigotry while still sounding very much like a 60’s comic book.

I have lots of respect for storytellers who can build entire universes. Great storytelling builds a better world, and Stan Lee got that. He made heroes human and allowed humans to be heroes. He made characters that broke barriers. 95 years is no mere cameo on the Earth, but just like a good surprise appearance in a movie, he managed to deliver his message well.

Pax et justia. #wowradhumans

Daniel’s Visit

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A good friend is one who will get out of bed at 3 in the morning to respond to your needs.

Even if that need is going to Denny’s to build a Lego spaceship.

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Privilege: Give It Away

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I remember participating in one of those experiments where for every bit of privilege you have you’d take a step forward. Being male. Never worrying about your next meal. White skin. Etc. By the end of the experiment I was one of the ones far ahead of the crowd.

The other week, our pastor gave one of the best sermons I’ve heard in a long time and it was on the topic of privilege. That’s not a topic I hear churches very often. But if we can get our heads around the idea that the things we’ve been given aren’t just for our own benefit but for the purpose of helping others- money, abilities, time, then privilege totally belongs on that list.

When we’re asked to consider our privilege, the end goal isn’t to shame us. It’s a reminder of another thing we have to give away for the sake of others. Success isn’t a measure of how much we accumulate, but how much we give.

Prints With Purpose

I love that a good chunk of my working day revolves around simply sitting down and making stuff.

I’ve had my hands full lately on some print products, and that’s totally fun for me. Here are some recent things I’m pleased with.

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Robert Rodriguez on Creativity

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This has been one of my favorite quotes lately, since I’ve seen it come true in my life quite a few times.

When something doesn’t happen the way you thought it would, it can be easy to assume that it’ll never happen. It just means it won’t happen the way you expected to. Creativity is the ability to see plenty of solutions to a single problem, multiple pathways to where you want to go.

Philippe Lazaro