Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Our (Second) September

There is a twilight zone in our hearts that we ourselves cannot see. Even when we know quite a lot about ourselves-our gifts and weaknesses, our ambitions and aspirations, our motives and our drives-large parts of ourselves remain in the shadow of consciousness. This is a very good thing. We will always remain partially hidden to ourselves. Other people, especially those who love us, can often see our twilight zones better than we ourselves can. The way we are seen and understood by others is different from the way we see and understand ourselves. We will never fully know the significance of our presence in the lives of our friends. That's a grace, a grace that calls us not only to humility, but to a deep trust in those who love us. It is the twilight zones of our hearts where true friendships are born.
Henri Nouwen, the anniversary of his death in 1996 was Sunday

On Sunday morning at sunrise, we started a week-long fast for water justice coinciding with the International Day of Peace, the Pope's visit, Yom Kippur and the four-year anniversary of the death of Lindsay's father, Mike Lamont--we are sustained by his spirit.

Our friends Kyle and Lynea Mitchell visited from Cleveland. They are both certified permaculturalists and urban farmers. They taught us that the "weeds" growing in front of our house on Cecil were lambs quarters, greens rich in flavor and nutrition.

We enjoyed a picnic dinner together across the river from Belle Isle...

…and harvested some tomatoes from the neighborhood garden:

We celebrated Sammy's 18th birthday up north in the suburbs at a small lake:

We traveled 90 miles northeast to the shores of Lake Huron to celebrate Tom's birthday, where we got to witness this beautiful storm gathering...

…and, one afternoon, we sat on the beach at Belle Isle.

A couple of months ago a block party broke out to block the eviction of a homeowner on the Eastside. The result:

The same company (Homrich) that is getting paid hundreds of millions of dollars to tear down blight in the city...

…is contracted by the city to shut off water of low-income, long-time residents. Every Wednesday we are trying to find the trucks shutting off water. We are plotting a nonviolent direct action soon. Look for the hashtag: #WheresHomrich

Detroit Future City (DFC) is the multi-million dollar plan crafted by corporations and foundations to re-shape the city. The problem is that decisions are being made to "remove blight" instead of provide "mortgage relief" for Detroiters (with federal monies specifically designated for mortgage relief for those hardest hit by the predatory-lending which led to the mortgage crisis of 2007/2008). The focus is on clearing out the eyesores so that it will be an eye-catching destination for young (mostly white) professionals (born and raised in the suburbs) re-inhabiting the city (that their parents and grandparents left decades ago). Residents who stayed and paid need help keeping their homes and the water on. Instead, a few companies (like Homrich and wealthy developers) are cashing in on the multi-pronged crises visited upon long-time Detroiters by those from on high.

In Northwest Detroit, a church crumbles...

…but water warrior Ann Grimmett (who works with Lindsay at the water hotline) opens up the shuttered Dexter-Elmhurst Rec Center to load gallons of water into our car for delivery to victims of water shut-off.

Meanwhile, a house made of shipping containers is going up in the Corktown neighborhood just two blocks from our church...

…where Ike is a welcoming presence to all.

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