Inner Reflections is one of the most striking calendars on the market, garnering more industry awards for design and printing than any other calendar. Inner Reflections has gained a reputation as one of the most stunning and beautiful Inspirational Engagement Calendars available. Inspiring quotations from Paramahansa Yogananda are magically blended with images from the worlds top nature photographers. With annual print runs of over 50,000 in all languages, Inner Reflections continues year after year to be a best-selling engagement calendar.
Carnival, Politics, and Musical Engagement in Haiti
Author: Rebecca Hope Dirksen
Pubpsher: Oxford University Press
Richly ethnographic and a compelling read, After the Dance, the Drums Are Heavy is a study of carnival, politics, and the musical engagement of ordinary citizens and celebrity musicians in contemporary Haiti. The book explores how the self-declared president of konpa Sweet Micky (Michel Martelly) rose to the nation's highest office while methodically crafting a political product inherently entangled with his musical product. It offers deep historical perspective on the characteristics of carnivalesque verbal play-and the performative skillset of the artist (Sweet Micky) who dominated carnival for more than a decade-including vulgarities and polemics. Yet there has been profound resistance to this brand of politics led by many other high-profile artists, including Matyas and Jòj, Brothers Posse, Boukman Eksperyans, and RAM. These groups have each released popular carnival songs that have contributed to the public's discussions on what civic participation and citizenship in Haiti can and should be. Drawing on more than a decade and a half of ethnographic research, Rebecca Dirksen presents an in-depth consideration of politically and socially engaged music and what these expressions mean for the Haitian population in the face of challenging political and economic circumstances. After the Dance, the Drums Are Heavy centers the voices of Haitian musicians and regular citizens by extensively sharing interviews and detailed analyses of musical performance in the context of contemporary events well beyond the musical realm.
Parker J. Palmer On the Brink of Everything Grace, Gravity, and Getting Old From beloved and bestselling author Parker J. Palmer (Let Your Life Speak, The Courage to Teach, Healing the Heart of Democracy) comes a brave and beautiful book of reflections on eight decades of life and work. Reframing aging as “a passage of discovery and engagement,” Palmer says, “Old is just another word for nothing left to lose, a time to take bigger risks on behalf of the common good.” On the Brink of Everything is not a “guide to” or “handbook for” getting old. Instead, it's Palmer turning the prism of insight on his experience as a way of encouraging readers to do the same with theirs. In elegant prose and lyrical poetry, he offers a set of meditations on the meanings of one's life, past, present, and future. “The laws of nature that dictate the sunset dictate our demise,” Palmer writes. “But how we travel the arc between our own sunrise and sundown is ours to choose: will it be denial, defiance, or collaboration?” With gravity and levity, compassion and chutzpah, Palmer writes about cultivating a robust inner and outer life, a sense of meaning and purpose amid pain as well as joy, and the intergenerational relations that enhance the lives of young and old alike. Here's a book not only for elders but also for those younger folks we call “old souls.” And this book sings! It includes three songs by Palmer's longtime friend and colleague, singer-songwriter Carrie Newcomer, written in response to themes in the book. At the download site for the songs, Palmer and Newcomer hope to engage readers in an ongoing conversation about what Howard Thurman called “the growing edge” of our personal and public lives. Ultimately, Palmer sees age as a precious gift: “The fact that I've come this far makes me one of the lucky ones.” Surprised by the fact that he likes being old, he writes, “Welcome to the brink of everything. It takes a lifetime to get here, but the stunning view and the wake-up breeze in your face make it worth the trip.”
In his two previous books translated into English, Patience with God and Night of the Confessor, best-selling Czech author and theologian Tomáš Halík focused on the relationship between faith and hope. Now, in I Want You to Be, Halík examines the connection between faith and love, meditating on a statement attributed to St. Augustine—amo, volo ut sis, “I love you: I want you to be”—and its importance for contemporary Christian practice. Halík suggests that because God is not an object, love for him must be expressed through love of human beings. He calls for Christians to avoid isolating themselves from secular modernity and recommends instead that they embrace an active and loving engagement with nonbelievers through acts of servitude. At the same time, Halík critiques the drive for mere material success and suggests that love must become more than a private virtue in contemporary society. I Want You to Be considers the future of Western society, with its strong division between Christian and secular traditions, and recommends that Christians think of themselves as partners with nonbelievers. Halik’s distinctive style is to present profound insights on religious themes in an accessible way to a lay audience. As in previous books, this volume links spiritual and theological/philosophical topics with a tentative diagnosis of our times. This is theology written on one’s knees; Halik is as much a spiritual writer as a theologian. I Want You to Be will interest both general and scholarly readers interested in questions of secularism and Christianity in modern life.
One of NPR's Great Reads of 2018 An unforgettable portrait of one of the most inspiring historical figures of the twentieth century, published on the centenary of his birth. Arrested in 1962 as South Africa’s apartheid regime intensified its brutal campaign against political opponents, forty-four-year-old lawyer and African National Congress activist Nelson Mandela had no idea that he would spend the next twenty-seven years in jail. During his 10,052 days of incarceration, the future leader of South Africa wrote a multitude of letters to unyielding prison authorities, fellow activists, government officials, and, most memorably, to his courageous wife, Winnie, and his five children. Now, 255 of these letters, many of which have never been published, provide exceptional insight into how Mandela maintained his inner spirits while living in almost complete isolation, and how he engaged with an outside world that became increasingly outraged by his plight. Organized chronologically and divided by the four venues in which he was held as a sentenced prisoner, The Prison Letters of Nelson Mandela begins in Pretoria Local Prison, where Mandela was held following his 1962 trial. In 1964, Mandela was taken to Robben Island Prison, where a stark existence was lightened only by visits and letters from family. After eighteen years, Mandela was transferred to Pollsmoor Prison, a large complex outside of Cape Town with beds and better food, but where he and four of his comrades were confined to a rooftop cell, apart from the rest of the prison population. Finally, Mandela was taken to Victor Verster Prison in 1988, where he was held until his release on February 11, 1990. With accompanying facsimiles of some of his actual letters, this landmark volume reveals how Mandela, a lawyer by training, advocated for prisoners’ human rights. It reveals him to be a loving father, who wrote to his daughter, “I sometimes wish science could invent miracles and make my daughter get her missing birthday cards and have the pleasure of knowing that her Pa loves her,” aware that photos and letters he sent had simply disappeared. More painful still are the letters written in 1969, when Mandela—forbidden from attending the funerals of his mother and his son Thembi—was reduced to consoling family members through correspondence. Yet, what emerges most powerfully is Mandela’s unfaltering optimism: “Honour belongs to those who never forsake the truth even when things seem dark & grim, who try over and & over again, who are never discouraged by insults, humiliation & even defeat.” Whether providing unwavering support to his also-imprisoned wife or outlining a human-rights philosophy that resonates today, The Prison Letters of Nelson Mandela reveals the heroism of a man who refused to compromise his moral values in the face of extraordinary punishment. Ultimately, these letters position Mandela as one of the most inspiring figures of the twentieth century. From The Prison Letters of Nelson Mandela “A new world will be won not by those who stand at a distance with their arms folded, but by those who are in the arena, whose garments are torn by storms & whose bodies are maimed in the course of contest.” “I am convinced that floods of personal disaster can never drown a determined revolutionary nor can the cumulus of misery that accompanies tragedy suffocate him.” “My respect for human beings is based, not on the colour of a man’s skin nor authority he may wield, but purely on merit.” “A good pen can also remind us of the happiest moments in our lives, bring noble ideas into our dens, our blood & our souls. It can turn tragedy into hope & victory.”
Daily, thousands of women and men respond to short Silver Disobedience® essays posted on an assortment of social media accounts. Not with a mere thumbs-up: Dian's passionate readers share extensive personal responses, stories and gratitude for her heartfelt candor about deep feelings, thoughts, fears, problems and doubts to which so many seem to closely relate. As a "she-ro" to many, and as one who is said to be grounded in the common sense of being real, Dian offers comforting, challenging and practical advice. Her warmth, relatable stories and overall receptive tone encourage readers to contemplate their own ideas and explorations of age and aging. "Silver Disobedients¿," as her followers proudly call themselves, asked for this collection of daily essays that can be carried, highlighted, read and reread anytime and anywhere, and left close by for meditation. This book is for all seeking to make life and relationships with ourselves and others work with greater love. It recognizes and embraces our common humanity and challenges, and helps each reader to call forth the inner strength, resilience and courage we might have forgotten we had.A playbook for living and loving agelessly, these essays or meditations, as some call them, remain timelessly relevant for all at any and every phase of life.