Snow is falling thickly in Vancouver. It is a “snow” day urging me to introspection and the time to send greetings.
On the personal front my blogs below tell of my 2016 travels and interests. I just saw the film Manchester by the Sea which I saw while reading Romeo Dallaire’s Waiting for the First Light. They reinforce each other with the depth of suffering that trauma exacts in those who hurt. My next book that I will read is Born a Crime: Stories from a South African Child hood by Trevor Noah and then it will time again for Canada Reads.
In 2016 I became obsessed with US politics and a little smug about our dashing left leaning prime minister. As the year draws to a close, our prime minister’s honey moon is ending and compromises are being made. Yet my concern is for what is happening south of the border.
I hear the sentiment around me that advises a cool head and a wait and see attitude. I also hear what I think is a false optimism espousing that everything will be just fine. Neither sit well with me.
In Canada we have a philosopher Mark Kingwell who I follow and call a major public intellectual. Recently I heard him give a speech where he tells me that the age of reason is under attack. I was surprised to find myself nodding my head energetically. Me, raised in the 60ties when putting passion over reason was my guiding principle. I was all about getting in touch with my feelings. I am not about to rescind all allegiance to this notion. Yet, when Kingwell states that “we have to reorient and reconfirm our commitment to reason” and that “we must reaffirm wonder where we are stretched beyond what we know because our experience of wonder is what makes us most humane", I hear a resounding yes within my soul.
Have you heard that we are living in a post factual age? My daughter reminds me that this is not the first time in history that this has been the case. Nevertheless 2016 for me brings home the irrelevance of fact and truth. I can only think that we are called to vigilance; that each of us in our way must reaffirm the rigour of our minds and curb the post factual creep. Kudos to Kingwell for that turn of phrase.
I think we also could ask ourselves to not only think but to move our thoughts forward toward wisdom. Wisdom is seen often as soft, weak, and in its roots is a feminine noun. I am proud that in our Canadian cabinet this year there is parity between men and women. I see this as step toward wisdom. The signs toward wisdom can be discerned by those who look. Even the science of physics is moving in this direction.
Some of you reading this are not spiritual, maybe most of you are and a few of us are still embracing the Christ whose entry into the world as Jesus touches us with wonder. No matter. I make bold to ask you to reflect upon the invitation of a feminist Christian scholar who asks us to remember that Jesus saw himself as the child of the word, of Sophia, of wisdom. This Christ begs our attention.
I wish you a 2017 marked by our vigilance to reason and our commitment to evolve in wisdom.
With love to you all, Ann