“We make our decisions, and then our decisions turn around and make us.” — F.W. Boreham
A Note From International Arts Movement
I don’t know what it looks like where you are, but every time I walk out of my front door I am struck by the beauty of fall. Each day, the leaves look different. It seems impossible that they could be more breathtaking, and then they are. I’m struck every fall by the unabashed beauty that nature offers. Perhaps more than any other season, fall feels like a breath of fresh air. The humidity is gone, the leaves turn, and we look forward to the promise of the holidays. For many years, the fall signaled the start of a new semester, fresh pencils, and clean notebook paper. Now, it means pumpkins, visits to wineries with friends, and fires in the backyard.
This year, in particular, though, things feel a little different. No matter where you’re reading this, I imagine your summer looked far different than you ever imagined, and that your fall will likely look similar. So many of us are grappling with broken dreams, lost expectations, and the disappointment of things not going the way we wanted to. We are living in the shadow of brokenness – seen in countless ways throughout our everyday lives. Whether through the division of political parties or the destruction of the virus, we are all suffering in one way or another.
For the entire time that I’ve known Mako (nearly three years), he has encouraged those around him to embrace the practice of culture care, rather than culture wars. Never has there been a moment in my own life where that idea is more poignant and applicable than now. As we usher in the beauty of fall, let each leaf and its incredible colors be a daily reminder that to love our neighbor well and to honor the life we have been given, we must first embrace what we know to be good and true and beautiful.
A Note From Makoto Fujimura, Founder of IAM Culture Care
Kintsugi Academy has launched and is now in the process of training the trainees. Since the kits are very limited at this point (the special New Urushi, based on cashew rather than highly toxic poison sumac as the traditional Japan lacquer is, is only made by one person connected with Kintsugi Master Nakamura, so we are figuring out a production of this unique, authentic new Japan lacquer), we have decided to focus on creating a list of potential trainers/leaders in various geographic locations, and at the same time developing several of the Fellows and others as “teachers of leaders” toward Culture Care.
At the same time, we have been developing a regular podcast “Culture Care: Light Through the Cracks” with my co-host Brianna Kinsman (Fujimura Fellow). Unlike other podcasts, these conversations embedded in “soundscapes” are labor intensive, layered and collaborative, taking several weeks between episodes and it is designed for us to slow down. We hope that in the future Kintsugi workshops, these episodes can welcome and be the backdrop to our journey into our fractures to “mend to make New”. But even now, with a few episodes (latest an exclusive interview with the poet Christian Wiman), you will get a sense of being at the table, so do take a listen. The trailer for the Kintsugi Academy is available via my YouTube site.
In these uncertain, still-quarantined days, with the US election looming for many of us, Culture Care movement is a vital link to social, and hospitable culture that we long to be part of. Kintsugi Academy workshops in the future will be a way for all of us to connect and share in small groups. Our staff and volunteers are hard at work to create such a welcoming table for all. Both the Academy and the podcasts are our “fruit” launched as we experience our shut-down year. As Brianna closed out the last podcast (she writes her own benediction for each episode): “May your unknowing give you language for unnecessary joy. May your words be like a home-place to fellow travelers who walk this road.
- My new book Art & Faith: A Theology of Making (Yale Press, Jan 5 2021 release) is now available for pre-order through Amazon. Please contact Joe at firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to bulk order for your groups.
- If you are interested in being trained as a Kintsugi Academy leader, Please contact Joe at email@example.com Also, Kintsugi Guinea Pig t‑shirts are now available from him as well.
- Vote early and Vote!
- Suggestion: Listen to each episode of our podcasts several times. You will start to hear the hidden unveiling of thoughts, ideas and auditory experiences that you will miss the first time. And do support us on Patreon!
Yours for Culture Care,
Notes From The Road
Pete Candler is a writer in Asheville, North Carolina. His current project is a literary-photographic quest along the backroads of southern and personal history in search of the stories that shape us more than we thought. Read and see more at adeepersouth.com.
In March 2019, I had the rare opportunity to go inside the historic Perry County Jail in Marion, Alabama with poet, playwright, lawyer, and activist Billie Jean Young. A native of Choctaw County and now a professor at Judson College, Young has been leading an effort to transform the jail into a museum and theater space. My photo-essay on the past and future of the jail — featuring a video interview with Prof. Young— was recently published at Southern Cultures. Read, watch, and see the photos.
- Mako participated in a discussion about the Psalms in collaboration with Duke Chapel, which is available for viewing here!
- John Piper ponders the implications of the 2020 Election in his most recent article.
- Theology of making experts consider the implications of new technology.
- Take a peek into Mako’s writing process…
- Michael Wear discusses faith, politics and public life with renowned thinker Miroslav Volf.
- Art and imagination at the border.
Header Image: “The American People Series #18: The Flag Is Bleeding”, 1967, oil on canvas