On Thursday, my family gathered around a table so filled with plenties of food, of laughter, of love, that all I could do was pray that as we gather around this country, justice and compassion might arise from many such tables. That our love for each other, our willingness to share with each other, how we have learned over decades to be more honest with each other…that all of these might extend beyond the walls of our houses, the walls of our communities, and spread across the continent like butter on a Parker House roll.
It isn’t easy to write about gratitude, in the face of Ferguson, in the acknowledged history of Thanksgiving itself, our nation’s grounding in racism, exploitation, genocide.
This is my first year writing for Patheos Pagan, and my stumbling early steps have been supported by the work of so many other writers in this community that to single any out feels a little odd. The Patheos Pagan front page is a great place to poke around for a while, when you have some time.
Among all the thoughtful and passionate voices, here are ten I am especially grateful for at the moment, in no particular order. Many of these writers have more than one blog or website online, and several of them have books as well. The links I provide are specific to Patheos Pagan but I encourage you to search for their work in other places as well:
Christine Hoff Kraemer and Yvonne Aburrow, my mates here in Sermons, whose enthusiasm and scholarship I aspire to, and who—amazingly, generously—offered me this platform.
John Beckett, Under the Ancient Oaks, whose willingness to engage and inform with reasoned and reasonable discourse always teaches me something.
Crystal Blanton, one of the authors at Daughters of Eve. I learn from her, among other things, how to braid the roles of mother, witness, and religious seeker together in my life.
Rhyd Wildermuth, one of the authors at A Sense of Place, whose passions and politics are rooted in the ecstatic experience of the visionary in a way that speaks very deeply to me.
Niki Whiting, A Witch’s Ashram, whose sheer energy and intellectual acumen are balanced by her sense of fun and delight.
Cat Chapin-Bishop, Quaker Pagan Reflections, whose writing always appealed to me for its balance between ecstatic vision and calm reflection. Her recent willingness to engage racism in act and word inspire me to do better myself.
Alyxander Folmer, who writes Wyrd Words every other Thursday for the Agora column, whose friendly and humorous posts were some of the first words that helped me believe I could maybe do this thing.
John Halstead, The Allergic Pagan, whose intellectual gifts are balanced by his willingness to talk about his own history and the path(s) that have brought him to this place.
Finally, most recently, Nornoriel Lokason, Ride the Spiral, whose work as advocate does not take away from his willingness to engage with and welcome dialogue with enthusiastic newbies like myself.
All of these writers have been lights to me this year. They help me understand how to root my spiritual quest for personal meaning, understanding, and justice-making, both in words and in the world we are part of. I have learned much, for which I am profoundly grateful.
Patheos is a multi-faith site, with channels for everyone from Evangelicals to Atheists. I encourage any reader to click around and read a bit. The diversity and liveliness of the voices is a richness for our 21st century times.
And, importantly, thanks to you, readers who have gifted my words with your attention this year. Your comments and responses, here on the blog and in person when I see you, mean a great deal, and the time you spend with my words moves me. May we continue to find our way forward, together or apart, on the paths before us.