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The Latest: 'Legends' episode not airing after Paris attacks

AP Top news - Mon, 11/16/2015 - 11:10am
The Latest: 'Legends' episode not airing after Paris attacks Associated Press - 16 November 2015 15:09-05:00 News Topics: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
People, Places and Companies: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Only Connect - Reading and Writing Builds Empathy

49 Writers - Mon, 11/16/2015 - 5:00am
So much pain and despair in the world, so much divisiveness. It is tempting to plunge into easy answers, to see the world filled with simple binaries – good and bad. But to do so robs us of the nuance that every situation is steeped in.
When faced with the death of a friend or a parent, when faced with the horrors of terrorism and oppression and violence of all stripes, I find myself returning to the page, to the book. Not to avoid the pain of the world, but to understand it better. Writing and reading are empathetic acts. We must wear the clothes of others, we must try to see from within their lives, experience their childhood loneliness, their adult alienation, and also the propulsion of their first love and their delight in small children. In doing so, we remind ourselves that things are not simple, that people are not all good or all evil.
James Baldwin wrote: “You think your pain and your heartbreak are unprecedented in the history of the world, but then you read. It was books that taught me that the things that tormented me most were the very things that connected me with all the people who were alive, or who had ever been alive.”

These acts of empathy are like lifting weights. With practice the muscle of our heart becomes stronger, more able to love, to forgive, to imagine the despair and joy of another. That empathy makes our characters stronger and our stories more believable, but more importantly, that empathy makes us more human. This week, seek out stories and poems from cultures unlike your own; read deeply and widely, write deeply and widely to grow your heart.

And because I am a poet, I'd like to share a poem that has increased my empathy over the years, one that I return to when the world feels overwhelming:

             ~ by Naomi Shihab Nye

Before you know what kindness really is
you must lose things,
feel the future dissolve in a moment
like salt in a weakened broth.
What you held in your hand,
what you counted and carefully saved,
all this must go so you know
how desolate the landscape can be
between the regions of kindness.
How you ride and ride
thinking the bus will never stop,
the passengers eating maize and chicken
will stare out the window forever.

Before you learn the tender gravity of kindness
you must travel where the Indian in a white poncho
lies dead by the side of the road.
You must see how this could be you,
how he too was someone
who journeyed through the night with plans
and the simple breath that kept him alive.

Before you know kindness as the deepest thing inside,
you must know sorrow as the other deepest thing.
You must wake up with sorrow.
You must speak to it till your voice
catches the thread of all sorrows
and you see the size of the cloth.
Then it is only kindness that makes sense anymore,
only kindness that ties your shoes
and sends you out into the day to gaze at bread,
only kindness that raises its head
from the crowd of the world to say
It is I you have been looking for,
and then goes with you everywhere
like a shadow or a friend.~
Write on, friends.
Take care,Erin
Categories: Arts & Culture

ArtsUp! Whats Happening in Juneau This Week?

Juneau Arts and Humanities Council - Fri, 11/13/2015 - 3:33pm
Events in Juneau for November 13-18, 2015 A letter from Jasmine about what she loves about Juneau! Send in your letters to Meredith at the JAHC and we will read them during ArtsUp on KTOO and KXLL and post online! … Continue reading →
Categories: Arts & Culture

2nd Art Excursion for Any Given Child Juneau

Juneau Arts and Humanities Council - Thu, 11/12/2015 - 1:17pm
  Juneau is fortunate to be one of 18 Kennedy Center Ensuring the Arts for Any Given Child sites nationwide. Any Given Child Juneau uses a collective impact approach of involving local arts organizations, businesses, government and community members to … Continue reading →
Categories: Arts & Culture


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