Friday, December 07, 2007

Pot-luck readings

We held a pot-luck at our Hillsdale Book Club meeting Thursday night. The dishes were readings, not plates of food.

Joan had bitter poems from Guantanamo (What happened to habeas corpus?)

Dick brought a book about peak oil (We have reached the peak)

Rick (We have two Ricks) brought a biography of Jane Addams of Hull House. (As a child she had a vision of a large settlement house set among the hovels of the poor. She lived out her vision.)

Dianna had a hearty issue of “Yes!” magazine (stories about peace and the environment)

I brought a copy of “The Sun.” (I shared mystical quotations from the aphoristic “Sunbeams” section. Example: “Eternity is not something that begins after you are dead. It is going on all the time.” Charlotte Perkins Gilman.)

So we shared these morsels and talked about their flavor and content. The brief readings led us to talk about where we should place our energies. Then it was on to what it means to be informed, then, oddly, to a trio of “St Peter jokes,” and finally to what our group should do with itself in the coming year.

Our origins go back to the peace walks we began in the early days of the Hillsdale Farmers Market, Next we evolved into Hillsdale Votes!, a local voter registration drive, and finally, following the disheartening 2004 election, into the book club, where we began licking our wounds by reading “What’s the Matter with Kansas?”

Now, on the brink of a new election year, it is time to transform ourselves again, but we agreed it was too soon to decide how.

We are reading Thom Hartmann’s “Cracking the Code” for next month. Subtitled “How to Win Hearts, Change Minds, and Restore America's Original Vision,” it may provide direction.

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