Friday, 9 January 2015


Last evening, I, and about three hundred and fifty others who study, work, live, and love in Halifax attended a talk hosted at the new and exquisitely welcoming library downtown. The conversation, hosted by, The Canadian Centre for Ethics in Public Affairs, was not a new one. Nothing novel about the fact that our fear about talking about justice, sex, and violence, has led and will continue to lead us into and with and because of our inter-connectedness. Passion, care, fierceness, integrity, wisdom, and each of our yearning to be heard, to hear, to be seen, to see, Sawbonna's contextualizing of justice, was alive in the library. In gathering in that agora of sorts, each of us there, was an expression of and expressing how justice means for us. And why. In rereading the inspiring Natalie Goldberg, I came across some of her vital words, and share them below. I share them for they are Sawbonna's voicing. And they  underscore how and why words matter, details matter, sharing on the page, writing in and from and with the heart, "writing" in the talk we have with ourselves as we sip our coffee and sally forth each day, working, living, studying, loving, not just here in Halifax, but wherever we are. Oh! And we do not necessarily need a pen, or fingers to the keyboard. The blank page of our very heart, of our potent intellects, of our steeped-silences, are spaces to engage in ethics, works well too.  Daily. And this writing is a way to invite that sibling of restorative justice, Sawbonna, to engage, challenge, inspire, and accompany us. Daily. With all the details.

“We are important and our lives are important, magnificent really, and their details are worthy to be recorded. This is how writers must think, this is how we must sit down with pen in hand. We were here; we are human beings; this is how we lived. Let it be known, the earth passed before us. Our details are important. Otherwise, if they are not, we can drop a bomb and it doesn't matter. . . Recording the details of our lives is a stance against bombs with their mass ability to kill, against too much speed and efficiency." Natalie Goldberg.

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