James Bowey, photographer and oral historian for refugees running from their native “homes that won’t let them stay,” recently provided an exhibit at the Paramount. The documentary hopes “that portraits and vignettes are universally humanizing” (St. Cloud Times, 7/8/2018), that refugee stories and experiences might touch our hearts while endless debates seem to not only prolong the process, but deaden our spirits! Many of his comments penetrated my soul; e.g. “We create the world we want by the stories we tell of one another!” I keep reminding myself: “WE CREATE the WORLD we WANT by the STORIES we tell of ONE ANOTHER!”
What do I say after having watched my country’s tribute and burial of Senator John McCain? Of singer, Aretha Franklin? Of the wounded and wounding Church I love?
Can I find never-failing goodness there and reveal that to my world?
What about my next door neighbor who may be one of the Muslim strangers in my country? Or our present and past presidents, black or white, beloved or not? Can I find and celebrate their goodness?
Recently I raised a glass of wine while my friend toasted: “To the goodness in all of us!” I like that! “We create the world we want by the stories we tell of one another!” Therefore, I raise my voice, over and over again, to the goodness in YOU, my reader, and YOU…and YOU…and YOU whom I do not yet know, but in whom lies so much goodness! Adelante! Salud! L-chaim! To LIFE!
Renée Domeier, OSB