Grateful to have received an invitation last night to the A Rocha singer-songwriter retreat dinner, and saw friends the likes of Sandra McCracken, Julie Lee, Britt Norvell, Andy Gullahorn, Jill Phillips, Buddy and Vicki Greene. Then after dinner, Sarah Masen interviewed her husband David Dark. Was a treat. I once heard David say that one of his ways of writing is to be a curator of quotations, and then after getting sufficient material, he edits and writes. So, here are quote-worthy quotations from David and Sarah. Or at least they are my interpretations, and likely not exact wording. "'It is what it is' is the new 'shut-up'," says David. "That is, it is to say, 'I've gone as far as I want to go with this conversation.'" To which Sarah added, "and it indicates that there is a deep hurt there."
"Wendell Berry calls us to 'pre-emptive sympathy.'"
"Try to go a week without using any labels, such as 'conservative' or 'liberal'--because we tend to love our labels as we love ourselves. Jesus teaches us not to call our brother a 'fool,' lest we be in danger of hell-fire, and our use of labels [of whatever opposing party] often functions in the same way that 'fool' functions in Jesus' admonition."
"You can't get to the bottom of someone, sum up who someone is, by the use of any adjective."
"I see 'Christian' as a public verdict instead of a self-descriptor." [As indicated in the book of Acts: it was a term used by outsiders to describe this odd group of people. So perhaps we should not use it of ourselves, but see if anybody else would call us that.]
Playing off the great activist and poet and Catholic Daniel Berrigan: let us use language that "re-members" instead of "dis-members," lest we fall into a spiral of self-justification.
Playing off Wendell Berry: "Economy" is derived from the Greek oikos, the word for "household." So, says David Dark: "When someone says 'it is good for the economy,' it's a fair question to ask, 'whose household are you referring to?'"
"Art is a feat of attentiveness," says Sarah, quoting someone whose name I forget.
"Hurry up and matter" is a psychological/cultural powers that is opposed to the imposing of a sort of stillness of Sabbath rest; and that Sabbath rest, according to some economies, is perverse.
"We are all trying to live meaningful lives," closed Sarah: "that's something to celebrate in each other."