Books

Coming Together through Good

A few days ago, a man named Eric emailed me about a just-launched mini pantry, “Community Pantry,” in Concord, NC. He attached a copy of the Concord newspaper presser, titled “Diverse Groups Come Together for Good.” The first paragraph reads as follows:

At a time when intense tribalism grips our country, two diverse Concord groups have found a way to come together for good.  Pastor Nathan King, representing Trinity United Church of Christ, and J. Rodger Clark, Director of Planned Giving - The Humanist Foundation representing North State Humanists, have joined forces to create, dedicate and support a “Community Pantry”. 

In her book Braving the Wilderness, Brené Brown defines the term “Common Enemy Intimacy.” “Common Enemy Intimacy is counterfeit connection and the opposite of true belonging. If the bond we share with others is simply that we hate the same people, the intimacy we experience is often intense, immediately gratifying, and an easy way to discharge outrage and pain. It is not, however, fuel for real connection.”

We may bond over the “bad,” but these bonds aren’t lasting; we will retreat to our tribes. We come together through good. In Concord, NC, “Community Pantry” is one such conduit.



Grace After Meals

We end this meal with grace.

For the joy and nourishment of food,

The slowed time away from the world

To come into presence with each other

And sense the subtle lives behind our faces,

The different colors of our voices,

The edges of hungers we keep private,

The circle of love that unites us.

We pray the wise spirit who keeps us

To change the structures that make others hunger

And that after such grace we might now go forth

And impart dignity wherever we partake.


Find “Grace After Meals” in John O’Donohue’s To Bless the Space Between Us. If, like me, you are moved by his writing, you might enjoy listening to Krista Tippett interview him for her podcast, On Being. Listen here!

Grace Before Meals

As we begin this meal with grace,

Let us become aware of the memory

Carried inside the food before us:

The quiver of the seed

Awakening in the earth,

Unfolding in a trust of roots

And slender stems of growth,

On its voyage toward harvest,

The kiss of rain and surge of sun;

The innocence of animal soul

That never spoke a word,

Nourished by the earth

To become today our food;

The work of all the strangers

Whose hands prepared it,

The privilege of wealth and health

That enables us to feast and celebrate.

 

From John O’Donohue’s To Bless the Space Between Us

First Post

Developing the LFP website. Something I've never done before. Continually amazed at this relatively small box's expansiveness.

When I was a kid, the Narnia books were my favorite. The LFP is my wardrobe. It's also my House of Leaves. In grad school I devoured Mark Danielewski's debut novel as the Navidson's home devoured book characters. HOL is both a horror story and a love story; the LFP project scares me, and I love it (both being scared and the project itself).

I also love books and might write about them a lot. If you didn't guess, The Little Free Pantry project was inspired by Little Free Libraries, and I'm grateful to them for being another wardrobe for so many.

It's Summer. Let's read!