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Incomplete thoughts...


This is what the tree right outside of our front door looks like this morning. There is a certain beauty in the contrasts.


These mornings stir thinking. Most days the thoughts are not crisp and final, just moments on a path, that together, and over time might show greater clarity of where they are going.


Last night I was listening to a friend as he introduced the possibility of looking differently at some of the most volatile, violent, and dangerous elements of the divides that are appearing in the light of day here in the USA. It is understandable when people see the actors who attacked the Capital, or the police who shoot black citizens, as "bad" people. In fact we have heard the concept and metaphor of "bad apples" often used as a means of separating from "us", that ultimately just perpetuates the behavior of more "bad" people.


Our friend raised the question of how would things shift if we see people, the perpetrators of harmful acts and ways, not as "bad" people but as "sick" people among "us". How would a paradigm of sickness change how we see, and what we would do in response to sickness among "us"?


I don't claim to hold answers to the question. But I do feel it is a question worthy of pursuit.


We have the opportunity to shift our understanding that can come from living in a time of "sickness", with a viral disease that is passed from one to another among us. Noticing and addressing how this sickness spreads, and affects some of us more than others is critical, to reduce suffering and death, but equally important to heal the whole of "us".


This morning, it was the snowy tree outside of our door that began the meandering road that my thoughts travel. It triggered thoughts about, and images of, negative space, and the questions that come to my mind.


Negative space art forces us to see the whole. The images that appear could not exist in isolation.

So questions that arise for me today are:

  • How do we treat "sickness" among "us"?

  • How do we see the whole? How do we heal the whole?


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4 comentários


Dara Zandanel
Dara Zandanel
03 de fev. de 2021

Thanks Dave, I really appreciate what you’re writing. I don’t always have time to respond but I always enjoy your writing and the photos.

This idea, that of treating the writer is sick is intriguing. It could be useful and certainly would serve to “demonize“ less. There is one thing that sticks in my mind, however. Sickness carries with it no sense of responsibility. No one is to be blamed for illness, nor should they be. No one chooses to be sick. On the other hand, many of the rioters chose to be there, chose violence. Some of them even chose to kill. So, while their hatred may be an illness, their actions were their choices. And I believe this…


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David Hasbury
David Hasbury
03 de fev. de 2021
Respondendo a

Thanks Dara for the response. A few things. First, the title "incomplete thoughts". I would have a different take on your thoughts about "Sickness carries with it no sense of responsibility". If anything this era of covid-19 has demonstrated that carrying illness comes with responsibilities to protect the wider community. Carrying illness is no excuse for harming others, no person has a right to be harming/violating other people. A paradigm of illness opens accountability to the wider community/nation to uncover the conditions that create fertile ground for the spread of illness. Finally, this morning's reflections raise more questions than answers. Thanks for participating in the reflection.

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The idea of sickness versus bad or evil is intriguing; perhaps it gives us a way to keep all people within the circle rather than on the other side of the barriers we’ve erected in recent history. I wonder whether we would then encounter the dilemma of who decides how sickness is defined - who would be the diagnosticians, and would we expect to somehow treat or cure the sickness? Someone I love very much got caught up in the sickness/evil that has become all too prevalent in recent times. When he began to attack my own family and the people I love, I was forced to regard him as sick; it is easier than regarding his actions and words…

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David Hasbury
David Hasbury
03 de fev. de 2021
Respondendo a

Thanks Kim. Great questions and reflections on your experience.There are always risks, and considering "hate" as illness related is no exception. In particular who gets to decide what is "sickness" (diagnosticians) is one particularly great challenge. Deciding what is a "cure" is another challenge. I tend to lean toward the idea of "heal"ing ". To heal is about restoring health, or making "whole".

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