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February 2023 Culture Care Newsletter

  • Posted: February 23, 2023

Hidden roots work in hidden ways; unless you dig around to find them, you may never see them until they have sprouted and you have done or said something cruel that shocks you. … If you don’t deal with your wrath through forgiveness, wrath can make you a wraith, turning you slowly but surely into a restless spirit, into someone who’s controlled by the past, someone who’s haunted.” — Timothy Keller, Forgive

A Note From International Arts Movement

Here in D.C., we’ve been having unseasonably warm weather. We’ve had to 80 degree days already in February, with several more on the horizon. On the one hand, as the days get longer and warmer, I am grateful for the chance to welcome spring with open arms. On the other, I feel like we may be missing out on the opportunity to fully appreciate winter as a season, with all its encouragement to hibernate and lean into the dark, cold days. 

For me, the desire to lean into winter comes more from a place of emotional wellbeing than anything else. In the midst of dark season, the winter feels like an appropriate season to match my mood. Despite the fact that sunshine (and its accompanying Vitamin D) would surely do wonders to clear the fog in my head, it feels more appropriate to simply luxuriate in the dark, cold moments. 

It’s an apt metaphor: in moments where we find ourselves most in need of light, we seek out darkness. And in moments where we most need stillness, we seem to gravitate toward things that our loud and busy. We are terrible at knowing ourselves and terrible at sensing what we need. 

What a gift it is, then, to be in community with people who are willing to point us in the correct direction and guide us to what we actually need, rather than what we want. To be in community is to be a part of a map, in some ways, with a built in compass. It has the capacity to steer and to guide when we turn to it. I am grateful to be in a season of life where I have kind people guiding me closer to the light and where I am learning to embrace what I need, rather than what I want. 

A Note From Makoto Fujimura, Founder of IAM Culture Care

Haejin and I returned from our journey to Mumbai, our annual trip to visit our partners, and I was also able to visit the Mumbai Art Festival organized by St+at India. Located in the fishing ports of Mumbai, and the curators intentionally placed art that resonates with the pungent aroma. One collective, Trespassers (IG _trespassers) created a surround murals honoring the local fishing culture, with a critique of modern development” that is a kaleidoscope landscape of people and animals, boats and objects of all kinds” (from exhibit description). On one panel, a woman with her hand cut off is portrayed, an allusion to horrific treatment of Dalit class (the lowest caste) in the past. She stands yet dignified in her beautiful blue sari, a reality of resilience we have found throughout our trip from visiting a family in the slums to spending time with the children Sahase Embers that we have journeyed with in the past years. I’ve found, in the darkest realms, extraordinary beauty that inspires me to create my own future art.

Art can honor the humanity present in all corners of life, expose the past atrocities and elevate our future journeys. During our visit, Haejin and I were also able to provide Kintsugi Experience with the group of VIP’s of select elites of Mumbai, and then with the rescued mother (who has been so transformed from our last trip that I didn’t even recognize her!) on the same trip. Kintsugi-Peace making journey continues thus to navigate the gaps in society, providing a consistent message of peace through Making to all peoples.

Yours for Culture Care, 

Mako from Mumbai

Web Links

  • Enrollment in the humanities is in decline across the country and several colleges have gone so far as to eliminate the liberal arts all together. But what does this mean for the future of the mind? 
  • What happens when we write and speak is something holy.” Paul J. Pastor writes about the crisis of language that our society is currently facing. He argues that the way forward requires that we learn to recognize and fall in love with the power of words. 
  • Lenten book recommendations.
  • In a time of declining religiosity,” Derek Thompson writes, rich Americans seemed to turn to their career to fill the spiritual vacuum at the center of their life.”
  • In response to the rise of AI, David Brooks prompts students to consider: Which classes will give me the skills that machines will not replicate, making me more distinctly human?”
  • A message for humanities majors.