Creative Courant: Newsletter #39

What a big week last week was! I’ve had Democrats and Republicans alike tell me of their relief that the US has a new administration.

A good friend of mine who works in international development texted me last week and said, “we won’t be able to heal without reconciliation, I’ve seen this so many times in other countries.”  She’s right. When I honeymooned in South Africa, I marveled how, only ten years after the end of aparthied, the effects of Nelson Mandela’s truth and reconciliation efforts were so poignant.  An ex-prisoner of Robben Island, where many political prisoners including Mandela were detained, gave us a tour of the prison and told us what it was like to be there day to day.  

He then told us how during the reconciliation period, he invited his former prison guard to his house for dinner with his family.  The strength of charachter and deep forgiveness that had to happen between those two men was inspired by a leader who embodied the same.

Listening to Amanda Gorman recite her poem “The Hill We Climb” at the inauguration was a reminder of how words matter, that beauty can heal and we can exist in a tension of shadow and light and make a choice:

Let the globe, if nothing else, say this is true,
that even as we grieved, we grew,
that even as we hurt, we hoped,
that even as we tired, we tried,
that we'll forever be tied together, victorious.
Not because we will never again know defeat,
but because we will never again sow division

I’ve been lucky enough to attend several inauguration ceremonies and early last week as I was planning this letter, I remembered how inspired I was by hearing Maya Angelou (a St. Louis native, by the way!) recite her poem “When the Caged Bird Sings” so had asked my team to research the role the arts had played in other inauguration ceremonies and administrations. Little did I know the power of another poem, completed after the insurrection January 6, that would usher in a new era for our country.

I’m late again with this letter, but hopefully you’ll find what we’ve curated for you juicy and interesting.

Have a great week and ‘talk’ to you Friday.




Things to Do Around the World


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