It is a hot word at the moment, wound tightly around the United States’ political boondoggle. Everyone is frustrated, regressing to their corners, slamming their doors and turning off the lights. We are turning our back on those who do no agree with us and branding them with a capital “O” for Other.
Lotta good that’s gonna do.
I do know this incredible carpenter who can look at any problem: leaky roof, cracked slab, uneven walls, you name the homeowner headache and his answer is always, “I have a solution for that!” He does not sue the previous roofer or blame the dry wall folks for the wiggly walls. Using his own talent from his own toolbox, he always finds a way to solve the slanted floor, unsupported supporting wall or air duct to nowhere. I still have windows from 1972 and frightening Waverly English Ivy wallpaper in my laundry room, but the floor is flat and his efforts are a start.
Every effort is made to encourage my readers to leave their politics and religious polemics at the door during our book discussions. Our time together is sacred and dedicated to the love of literature. The rest, for an hour and a half, means gornish.
I know the troubling tribal mentality of our country’s behavior cannot be ignored.
What am I going to do about it? Slam and shut? I think not.
Relying on my own toolbox, stuffed with books and Ticonderoga #2s, I offer my own attempt to find a sliver of a solution to the lack of civil discourse that has become de rigueur and frankly ewwwww. It isn’t alchemy or a weird retreat. It’ a start.
Art lecturer Cindy Edelman and I are embarking on a four-part series, LiterARTure, that will explore how the arts and literature influence and tell us who we are as Americans in this vast country.
It is a discussion about how books and art affect and reflect us. The US.
Understanding our common American experiences represented in the arts and written word can nudge us one step closer to reclaiming our country’s proud legacy of civil discourse and collective sense of citizenry.
If we both love Catcher in the Rye, it’s a start, right?
I hope you’ll join us Oct. 16, Tuesday, 6:15 pm at Hendrick Avenue Baptist Church, 4001 Hendricks Avenue or Oct. 17, 7 pm at Congregation Ahavath Chesed, 8727 San Jose Blvd. for our first program in the series that is titled aptly—through no planning of our own—Rebels Outlaws and Troublemakers: a conversation about books, painting and sculpture that initially caused trouble and eventually became celebrated works.
I hope you will become a part of LiterARTure conversation.
To book the program series, call/text 904-419-9915 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.