Especially the alto section: an Easter meditation

April 18, 2017

Choir II by Mark Tobey

My Easter reflections this year have been shaped, in part, by Landesman’s Journal: Meditations of a Forest Philosopher, a small book I bought in Patagonia, Arizona, on a bicycle tour in February of this year. The author, Leon Landesman, chose to live the later years of his life in a small cabin located in a forested region close to the Arizona-Mexico border, with only his dog and an occasional passer-by for companionship.

Earlier in his life, Landesman had received a graduate degree in philosophy, and steady reading in a wide range of philosophically oriented books continued to be central to his life. Although antagonistic toward religious belief and practice, Landesman was intellectually invested in matters related to the soul as a metaphysical reality.

In this regard, he writes, “one can only resort to the time-honored reliance on intuition—the intuition that there is a meaning to the creation and development of one’s metaphysical soul and that it does not share the fate of the body. . .But the intuition within me tells me that my soul will return to the ultimate metaphysical source from which it came and enrich its nature” (p. 24).

I use more theological ideas to describe my stance toward reality, including death and that which comes thereafter. Landesman and I, however, have much in common in our reflections upon that which we cannot now know with certainty.

These reflections are too cerebral on Easter day when in churches everywhere the songs and ceremonies are so vibrant, so filled with new life. Christian affirmations that Jesus breaks the power of death and transforms death into a new kind of life renew our joy in living despite the inevitability of dying.

On the morning my wife of 62 years died, near three years ago, I posted a notice on our condominium door: “now singing alto in the choir of angels.” This picture language more accurately embodies the tone of my intuition about death continuing into life than do Landesman’s metaphysical words.

Early this Easter day, I remembered a print that Billie and I bought fifty years ago. Only today have I realized that it portrays that very choir in which she now sings the music of the spheres. Our family was living that year in Seattle. During the spring both Martin Luther King, Jr., and Bobby Kennedy were assassinated. One day we were visiting the Seattle Art Museum and found ourselves drawn to Mark Tobey’s painting, Choir II: gouache on board, 16.5 by 10.5 inches, in deep shades of maroon and gray blending into black. Long, vertical slivers of white outline an abstract design, with suggestions of Asian calligraphy.

When you look closely, the design comes into focus. Seven ranks of choristers stand almost as though each rank is superimposed upon the one beneath it. Scattered through this choir are a few members holding horns—trumpets, I suppose—but to my ear they sound like renaissance recorders made of fine wood. During the last thirty years of her life, Billie expressed the music of her soul by playing these instruments with small groups of friends, first in Indianapolis, then Phoenix, and for the final thirteen years in Vancouver, Washington.

On Easter afternoon I gathered for a festive meal with members of my family in Indianapolis. For our devotions before the feast, I revealed to them the mystery of this print that has been displayed in our family home as far back as any of them can remember. I was the one with tears and a voice breaking so that I could not speak, my grief still very strong, but everyone in the room heard the choir sing, especially the alto section.


Anna Madgigine Jai Kingsley: African Princess, Florida Slave, Plantation Owner

February 20, 2017

By Daniel L. Schafer (University Press of Florida, 2003)

schafer-annaI’ve lived all my life in western and northern sections of the United States where cultural practices of white people like me have restricted people of color. Although I have been aware of discrimination because of race, it has been difficult for me to understand the harsher patterns that existed in southern states—slavery for more than a century and legal segregation for another hundred years.

A winter sojourn on Amelia Island, which is one of several barrier islands between Florida’s northeastern coast and the Atlantic Ocean, is providing the opportunity and incentive to explore several aspects of the history of slavery that is so much a part of the American story.

In 1808 the United States prohibited the importing of slaves, but in East Florida which remained under Spanish sovereignty until 1821, slaves could still be imported and sold. Because of its deep-water port, Fernandina on Amelia Island became the primary location where ships continued to bring slaves who would be smuggled into Georgia and other states where slavery was still the law of the land.

During the years when Spanish law prevailed in East Florida, two types of slavery existed in close proximity and there was an intense struggle over which would prevail. Although the Spanish three-caste system (enslaved black, free black, and white) lost to the Southern States two-caste system (enslaved black and white), the history of this struggle needs to be kept alive.

Anna Madgigine Jai Kingsley was a central figure in this period of American history. She was born in Senegal in 1793 into a family of the ruling class and captured and enslaved by a rival African ethnic group in 1806. She was one of a shipload of slaves bought by an American slaver and transported to Havanna. Thirteen years of age, she was purchased by Zephaniah Kingsley, Jr., who was himself active in the transatlantic slave trade and a major plantation owner in Florida.

During the next five years, she gave birth to three children whom Kingsley fathered. He claimed them as his family and in 1811 granted Anna and her children their freedom. For the next thirty-seven years, Kingsley referred to her as his wife and “lived openly with her and their mixed-race children” (Schafer, p. 25). During much of this time, Kingsley also cohabited with other enslaved teenaged women, openly acknowledged their children as his own, and granted them freedom, too.

Kingsley appointed Anna as overseer of Laurel Hill, his large plantation on Fort George Island about thirty miles south of Fernandina and she directed operations during his frequent and long absences. She organized slave quarters and managed affairs in ways that were similar to those she had experienced among her own people in Senegal.

slave-quarters

After Spain ceded East Florida to the United States, the freedom and security of Kingsley’s African and mixed-race family were severely threatened. American law did not recognize their free status or their rights to inherit and own property. They constantly faced the threat of being sold again into slavery.

In order to secure their safety, Kingsley bought large holdings in the Republic of Haiti, then a free black country, and in 1836 moved his large and complex family moved to this safe location. In 1843, Kingsley died in New York at the age of seventy-eight. Anna was fifty. Three years later, she decided to return to Florida where her husband had retained large holdings.

As struggles over slavery, states rights, and southern sovereignty continued, her life became more difficult. Until her death in 1870, she was surrounded by her large, mixed race family and lived as a free woman. The war had wiped out her holdings and she “resided with one of her daughters, bereft of resources save a loving family” (Schafer, p. 111). She is buried in an unmarked grave in Clifton Cemetery in the Jacksonville suburb Arlington.

One of Anna’s great grand-daughters married A. L. Lewis, founder of the Afro-American Life Insurance Company and of American Beach on Amelia Island, a community where African Americans in the segregated South would have access to the beach.

The history of this era is complex, and an impressive body of scholarly literature is emerging to help us understand it. I am grateful for the slender biography of Anna Kingsley that historian Daniel L. Schafer has written. In easily understood language he describes the slavery patterns already existing in Africa, outlines the transatlantic slave trade, explains the economic and political conflicts in the United States that led to the Civil War, and pieces together the life story of Anna Madgigine Jai Kingsley.

His narrative is only 131 pages long, followed by another twenty pages of notes, bibliography, and index.  Schafer’s exhaustive, scholarly research is clear, but because his focus is the life story of a remarkable woman, the book is alive and deeply moving. In 2013 he published a much longer, more technical biography, Zephaniah Kingsley, Jr. and the Atlantic Slave Trade (University Press of Florida, 2013).


Bicycling on Amelia Island: the Franklintown church and cemetery

February 10, 2017

a1a

Florida’s North Coast Highway A1A is one of the nation’s most scenic roads. As it runs through the southern half of Amelia Island, in the northeastern tip of the state, it has much to offer a contemplative cyclotourist. The two-lane highway has well-marked bike lanes, in addition to a bike trail for recreational cyclists. Up-scale residential communities and resorts flourish on both sides of the highway, but the roadway itself is tree-lined, protected from the wind, and restful.

This little stretch of coastal highway also provides the opportunity to delve into the continuing interaction of race, religion, and money in the development of American culture. Part of that story is kept alive by Franklintown United Methodist Church on Lewis Street just west of A1A and four miles north of the bridge over Nassau Sound.

The story begins in 1790 when the Robert Harrison family came to the southern tip of Amelia Island and in 1796 received a 600-acre land grant from the Spanish government. Two related families acquired neighboring grants. Each plantation owned slaves, as many as one hundred, to raise crops of rice, cattle, corn, and sea island cotton.

In his 1939 account of old families and plantations of Nassau County, recorded in the WPA Federal Writers’ Program, J. J. G. Cooper wrote that the Harrison plantation had a machine that separated the seed from cotton. His presumption, based on what people told him, was that the planters had learned about this machine from Eli Whitney who had travelled on nearby Cumberland Island in 1790 or 1792.

At the time of the Civil War, the Harrison plantation had grown to 1,000 acres. Union army soldiers swept through the region in 1862, freeing the slaves, but the Harrison family deeded small tracts on the southern edge of the plantation to slaves who remained loyal to the family. Others moved a little to the north and established the community of Franklintown.

frank-placque

In 1880 Trinity Methodist Episcopal Church, an African American congregation in Fernandina Beach, the town on the northern part of Amelia Island, organized Franklintown Chapel. Eight years later, Gabriel Means, an ex-slave and Union army soldier, and his wife Edith Drummond Means donated land to the church. In 1892 a small frame building was constructed. In 1949, it was demolished because of highway A1A construction and a new frame church was built.

In 1935 a small group of black businessmen from Jacksonville established American Beach, a residential community with beach access. Their purpose was to provide a place on the ocean for African Americans who could not enjoy public beaches in the segregated south. It was just north of Franklintown and for the next thirty years these two communities lived side by side.

In 1972 a company based on Hilton Head Island bought much of Franklintown and took the initial steps to establish an elaborate ocean-fronting resort and luxury condominiums. The church had to move and was relocated on Lewis Street, near A1A in the northern portion of American Beach. A new brick chapel was constructed and the 1949 frame building was relocated to the new site and serves as the church’s fellowship hall. I am puzzled by the sign posted on this building that refers to the Franklintown Episcopal Methodist Church, which reverses the order of Methodist and Episcopal from the normal title used through history by Methodists in this country.

cem-2I have not yet learned the earlier location of this church, but I have found the original Franklintown cemetery, which is located in Plantation Point, a gated community just south of Lewis Street. On a cul-de-sac of $500,000 homes, there is one vacant lot that provides access to the cemetery. Most of the graves are unmarked, but the purpose of this tiny tract of land is made clear by those that are still identified. I was especially moved by the grave of Ola A. Williams, September 12, 1879 — August 15, 1991.

In her book The Shrinking Sands of an African American Beach, Annette McCollough Myers describes challenges facing American Beach (and Franklintown) because of the influx of wealthy people, most of them white and from other parts of the nation. The people I see while cycling through Franklintown are just like me, white and alien to the territory. Realty reports online describe Franklintown as one of the wealthiest communities in the nation.

Perhaps because of the wealth, there also is despair. I talked briefly with one old African American man sitting in the shade near a convenience grocery on A1A, within sight of the church. He sat with his back to the road, staring at the ground, munching on chips from a ripped open bag. His speech was difficult to understand, but over and over again he repeated this simple refrain: “I want to go, but I don’t want to kill myself.”

Myers, Annette McCollough. The Shrinking Sands of an African American Beach, Second Edition (Jacksonville, FL: High-Pitched Hum Publications, 2011). This book describes the history of American Beach from the 1980s through the early 2000s.


Using the church to reform society

January 27, 2017

Presences: A Bishop’s Life in the City, by Paul Moore (New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 1997)

moore-paulSoon after the forced integration of Central High School in Little Rock, Arkansas, leaders of Christ Church Cathedral in Indianapolis averted a crisis over race and religion.  I learned about this congregational case study from a sermon preached in January, 2017, by Stephen Carlsen, the current dean and rector, and read the full detail in the memoir of Paul Moore who had been the Cathedral’s dean and rector at that time. Although it happened sixty years ago, this episode in church politics continues to be instructive for people interested in the relationship of race and religion in America.

Moore was born into a wealthy New York family in 1919, reared in luxury, and educated at prestigious St. Paul’s School. This school, Moore writes, “instilled faith in a god who looked favorably on gentlemen and demanded no shift in social values from the status quo. . .This religion had a touch of Calvinism to it, a tendency to believe that worldly success and position were blessings given to those who deserved them.” People so blessed “were obliged, in return, to give service and leadership to your community and be a steward of the wealth you had inherited or earned because of your advantages.” They were taught to give generously to their communities and the institutions that helped the poor. “Social change to eliminate poverty, however, was thought to be dangerously liberal.” You could give money to a settlement house for black people but efforts to break the color barrier in your neighborhood would probably lead to your being criticized or ostracized (27).

After graduation from Yale and heroic service in the Marines during World War II, Moore experienced a deepening of his faith and enrolled in General Theological Seminary in New York City to prepare for the priesthood in the Episcopal Church. While in seminary, he and some of his classmates ministered among poor people, many of them people of color, in neighborhoods close to the campus. Following graduation, he and three or four others were appointed to a long-established but declining Episcopal church in Jersey City located in a neighborhood with many poor people who were struggling to survive. Some of them were drawn to the church which found new strength.

In 1958 Moore moved to Indianapolis to serve as dean and rector of Christ Church Cathedral on Monument Circle, succeeding John Craine who had been elected bishop coadjutor of the diocese. The Moore family, including seven children (two more were born later) moved into the house provided by the church, “a large, pretentious neo-Tudor mansion, set back from the still-fashionable Washington Boulevard by a well-tended lawn and shade trees.” The children attended public schools, including Shortridge High School where my children were  students more than a decade later. Moore describes Indianapolis as patriotic and its people as “polite, but not overly friendly.” Heeding Bishop Craine’s advice, he decided “to take it easy with the congregation. I realized most of them were conservative—socially, liturgically, and politically. In Jersey City, the more radical your views and actions, the better the people liked it. The opposite was true in Indianapolis” (141–3).

Christ Church had about seven hundred members, but only two were black, the principal of the segregated black high school and his wife. One of the cathedral clergy befriended three black children who attended its Sunday School and the 9:00 o’clock service with “the younger, more liberal families” (151). They asked to be baptized; in keeping with the church’s established practice, the baptisms took place at the 11:00 o’clock service. At least twenty black adults were gathered around the font. About a month later, the vestry, the congregation’s governing body, set up a retreat with their pastor. He soon discovered that the purpose was to register their discontent that “these nigras” had been there and to insist that this practice should not continue. Read more: using-the-church-to-reform-society


Religion and race in America

December 20, 2016

Blacks and Whites in Christian America: How Racial Discrimination Shapes Religious Convictions, by Jason E. Shelton and Michael O. Emerson (New York University Press, 2012).

shelton-emersonThe oft-repeated statement that 11:00 o’clock on Sunday morning is the most segregated hour in America can be understood in at least three ways: people, both black and white, like to go to church with people like themselves; white racism has forced black Christians to establish their own churches; and other theological and historical factors continue to shape belief and practice of African American Christians.

Blacks and Whites in Christian America gives support for all three explanation. As a white Christian, I’m interested in this study because I need to understand and overcome my own prejudice and privilege and change my ways of life.

Another reason for my interest is my work through the years on behalf of Christian unity. During a forty-year period ending in 2002, the major unity effort in the United States was the Consultation on Church Union. Three predominantly African-American churches were full participants alongside six predominantly white denominations.

The Consultation defined racism as a theological problem and made serious efforts to overcome the denominational separations that kept the participating churches distinct. When the Consultation concluded its work, these denominations continued as separate bodies, perhaps closer to one another than they had been, but with none of the causes of division, including race, significantly overcome.

Shelton and Emerson are sociologists rather than historians or theologians and therefore used empirical studies of religious practices and ideas, giving major attention to black and white church goers. They interviewed selected groups of church goers and studied published treatments of their topic, featuring James H. Cone (both his writings and interviews).

Early in the book the authors narrow the focus of attention: “… for our most specific comparisons, we restrict our analyses to black Protestants and white evangelicals—whose common heritages derive from the Great Awakening of previous centuries of American life” (p. 12). Throughout the book, however, they appear to use white protestant and white evangelical interchangeably, which can lead to confusion about their analyses.

A major feature of this book is the identification of five “building blocks of black Protestant faith.” These they identify as (1) Experiential building block, (2) Survival building block, (3) Mystery building block, (4) Miraculous building block, and (5) Justice building block (pp. 8–9).

Four features of their exposition stand out for me: First, the role of black churches as places where American blacks experience themselves and relate to one another in their full humanity despite slavery and segregation; second, the continuation of characteristics from African religion, in a way analogous to how Native American religion was embraced in Spanish Catholicism in the Southwest and Mexico; third, struggles to understand and obey the Bible as literal truth despite what seem to be contrasting understandings derived from science and history; and fourth, substantial agreement of black Protestants and white Evangelicals on the central beliefs of the Christian faith as articulated in the Apostles’ Creed.

I have to believe that the authors are correct in their assertions that systems of white privilege and prejudice are still in place, thus continuing to disadvantage black people. Shelton and Emerson help us understand a second difference that exists between most black Americans and most white Americans (but especially among white Evangelicals), which is that black Christians support the necessity of structural changes, including legislation, that have to continue so that American society will tear down the systems and structures that continue to impede black people in American life, whereas white evangelicals are strongly opposed to these measures.

One more conclusion, which the authors state tentatively, is that blacks and whites may be “drifting toward a consensus … about the causes of racial equality.” There is a growing tendency among black and white Americans to “attribute racial inequality to motivational individualism” rather than to the inheritance of segregation (p. 206).

Rightly, Shelton and Emerson remind us of Dr. King’s admonition that since structures of evil do not crumble on their own we must continue the hard work of breaking them down and building a new unity. Although the authors don’t say so, it should be clear that the burden of responsibility rests upon white Americans.

The findings and insights reported in this book are going to help me as I continue my efforts to further the unity of black and white Christians. The line of argument sometimes seemed to waver, but persistent readers will be able to find their way as the exposition unfolds. Shelton teaches at the University of Texas at Arlington and Emerson at Rice University.

 

 

 


Politics and race in a Mid-Western city

December 14, 2016

Polite Protest: The Political Economy of Race in Indianapolis, 1920–1970, by Richard B. Pierce (Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press, 2005).

pierceMy first direct encounter with structural racism in America occurred in 1961 when I began my thirty-three-year career at Christian Theological Seminary in Indianapolis. In earlier years I had lived in the Pacific Northwest and the San Joaquin Valley of California where there was only a small presence of African Americans.

Indianapolis, however, was a different kind of place. One of the first northern cities to develop a significant percentage of black residents, Indianapolis had a mixed record of interaction between the dominant white society and the black population.

My family and I came to the city at a time when the struggle between these two cultural groups was reaching a major climax. We were involved primarily at two points: our decision to buy a house and live in the recently integrated Butler-Tarkington neighborhood, and the determination to have our children attend the assigned public schools, which included Shortridge High School where black students were an approximate two-thirds majority.

Hoping that the city was moving past its racist history, my wife and I participated in organizations and activities that fostered better patterns of interracial relations in the city. With many others, we were ambivalent about Unigov, the 1970 amalgamation of city and county governments that gave increased political and economic power to white, suburban, and conservative Republican voters and effectively constricted efforts of black people who were moving toward equality.

Not until my recent return to Indianapolis after a twenty-one-year, post-retirement sojourn in western America, have I come to understand my earlier years in the city. My teacher has been Richard B. Pierce, Ph.D., who teaches at the University of Notre Dame and specializes in African American, urban, and civil rights areas of study.

His 2005 book, Polite Protest, is a thoroughly researched, sharply focused, lucid, and persuasive analysis of actions by the African American community during an important half century. Black people sought to balance two purposes: preserve the standing and levels of participation that they already enjoyed, which were generally superior to those that blacks experienced in other northern cities; and press for more complete participation in Indianapolis life.

Pierce labels the result “polite protest.” Instead of using aggressive methods, including demands and demonstrations, African American leaders sought to form coalitions with groups, including many white leaders, that would try to negotiate improved relations between the dominant while society and the tightly controlled black citizenry.

Pierce describes this half century (1920–1970) by examining segregation in schools, housing, and employment. He calls attention to the Klan’s ascendancy in Indianapolis during the 1920s and describes the creation of a segregated school system at that time. He explains the processes used to restrict housing opportunities, including the establishing of coalitions, such as the Capitol Avenue Protective Association, that at one time tried to keep the street on which our family later lived free from black incursions.

Inherited racially shaped structures of segregation were part of the ongoing problem. More important, however, were the explicit and on-going racist attitudes and practices with which the white citizenry resisted the polite protests of their black neighbors and co-workers.

The climax was Unigov, a political unification of city and county governments, that built a political fence around the old city that has now endured for nearly half a century.

Although polite is Pierce’s word to describe the tactical approach of black activities in former years, it may also be used to characterize the actions of white people in later years. Instead of aggressive segregation to control the black population, white people especially in the suburban margins could do it with quiet, political containment.

This book helps me understand the cultural world that I lived in for so many years. I am better able to see the structural racism that has shaped everyone’s life and provided continuing privilege to white people. It was easier for me to escape the burdens of serious poverty during my childhood years because I was white than it would have been if I were black. It has been more difficult for me to acknowledge the racism that is part of my inner life. Reading Pierce’s book is helping me do that, too.

America continues to change, as Jason E. Shelton and Michael O. Emerson acknowledge in their 2012 book Blacks and Whites in Christian America. Americans of both races may gradually be moving toward a new consensus in which “majorities of both black and white Americans will attribute racial inequality to motivational individualism” rather than to the historical residue of personal and structural racism (p. 206). Polite protest may work better in the future than it has in the past, but there still is hard work to do.


Ancient rock art and modern spirituality

December 9, 2016

Hidden Thunder: Rock Art of the Upper Midwest, by Geri Schrab and Robert F. Boszhardt (State Historical Society of Wisconsin, 2016)

hidden-thunderAmerican religion began long before the Spanish missions in Florida and the Southwest or the Pilgrims and Puritans of New England. As archaeologist Robert F. Boszhardt shows, it can be traced back some 14,000 years in the rock art that can still be seen in the Upper Midwest. Yet, as water color artist Geri Schrab affirms, the Spirit that inspired the ancient ones still “flows through all life’s invisible veins” (90).

The primary focus of the book that scientist and artist have created is the Wisconsin Dells, an unglaciated region in the southeast part of the state and close to glacial Lake Wisconsin. Although the existence of Native American rock art had been known much earlier, serious attention was not given to it  until the early 1980s.

During the relatively short period since then, explorers, scientists, artists, and native peoples have identified nearly 200 sites in the Upper Midwest where ancient rock art exists. Much work has been done to inventory, interpret, portray, and protect this art. Because it is subject to vandalism, the locations of most sites are not reported to the public.

Hidden Thunder is unique in the way it portrays and interprets this art. The coauthors have chosen twelve sites and each writer contributes an essay describing their experiences with these locations and their ancient treasures. Interspersed throughout the volume are viewpoints contributed by members of the nations whose ancestors created the art.

As archaeologist, Boszhardt describes what scientists are learning about these locations, the art, and the peoples who created these paintings and carvings. He also describes how people today are desecrating some of these sites. His photographs appear throughout the book.

In her essays artist Schrab describes the emotional and spiritual dimensions of her experience with these ancient images and the caves and rock walls where they can be viewed. She gives attention to interpretations by social scientists and native peoples, but more important is the time she spends at each site.

As she senses the ambiance of each place, Schrab becomes aware of the spirit that she encounters there. Only then can she withdraw to her studio and create her own artistically enhanced portrayals of this art. Many of her images appear in the book.

Some people today describe themselves as being spiritual but not religious. When asked to say more, however, some of these same people often give only vague comments about experiencing god in nature.

Artist Schrab, however, confesses a deeper sense of communion with Spirit. In her essay on Roche-A-Cri State Park in Adams County, Wisconsin, she describes Spirit as “that tantalizing, sparkly, sticky, divine substance we can’t pin down but that flows through all life’s invisible veins” (90).

Describing her experiences in Tainter Cave in Crawford County, Wisconsin, she reports that here she has “a rare opportunity to immerse myself, sync my heartbeat to that of Mother Earth, and glean information that I hoped would translate to watercolor on paper back at my studio” (171).

Later in this essay she continues: “Entering Tainter Cave, facing my fears and working through them, seems analogous to my entire journey through rock art. I leave the comfort of my middle-class life to venture into the unfamiliar, risking missteps along the way, hoping to bring back spiritual riches” (175).

A few weeks ago, I was reading personal correspondence in which John Muir describes his experiences in nature, in Wisconsin and in Yosemite Valley. Although he says nothing about rock art, he expresses sentiments similar to Schrab’s as he describes the way that divinity seems to infuse the natural world, in the flow of water, the wild power of wind, the womb-like character of mountain glens, and the intricate texture of ferns and lichens.

In his biography of the young John Muir, Steven J. Holmes writes that earlier in his wanderings Muir had described God “as a landscape gardener whose power and love consists in protecting and caring for the things of the world.” Later, however, “Muir understood divine presence as existing in and through the world itself: ‘The warm blood of God through all the geologic days of volcanic fire & through all the glacial winters great & small, flows through these mountain granites, flows through these frozen streams, flows through trees living or fallen, flows through death itself’” (The Young John Muir, 237).

The naturalist long ago and artist in our own time have much to teach all of us we seek to become more spiritual.