So much seems off course—climate crisis, Ukraine war, rising fascism, depleted energy for resisting—where do we find fuel to keep up the struggle for change? In the pages of this issue glimmer hopes, stars in dark nights, dreams—alongside outrage, compassion, and the fire that makes us all (as Youssef Alaoui says early in this issue). That star-sun-moon fire—the Holy Spirit to some, the light of Creation to others, stardust to many, Enlightenment shining forth for still others—this spirit moves us all to love, to care for our siblings and cousins, to awaken and rise up from ashes of despair and sing our songs.
Citing the story of Rip Van Winkle, Dr. King points out that a little noticed sign in the story is of great importance. When he goes up to the mountains to sleep, it shows King George III; when he comes down it shows George Washington. The change leaves him feeling lost and confused, not knowing the world. Rip Van Winkle slept through a revolution that changed that world. King warns that too many people are sleeping through three revolutions—technological change, weapons of mass destruction, and the social revolution of human rights.
While Dr. King talks about how in 1968 the geological world had shrunk and time quickened through modern jet travel, how our word balanced on the brink of nuclear destruction, but also how a great outcry for freedom was being heard around the globe. He reminds us that our neighbors had become global, not just down the street. That we had to care for our neighbors everywhere there was oppression and injustice.
What a year 2020 has been: global pandemic, international instabilities, U.S. election turmoil. So much. We here at The BeZine have suffered a personal loss, as well, with the passing of G Jamie Dedes, our Founding Editor and Editor-in-Chief emerita. Jamie led us with light, gentleness, and love.
Jamie may be gone, but her light shines on in her influence and inspiration, which we at The BeZine honor and mark. John Anstie, one of our core team of contributors, has curated a collection of tributes, eulogies, and elegies for this issue, in a section “for Jamie…”, where writers and artists from all over the world have joined us in remembering Jamie. This section also includes some of her writing and artwork.
Some of her photographs are also sprinkled throughout the rest of the issue, as well, as we continue the project that is The BeZine in Jamie’s name and spirit. The theme for this month, Life of the Spirit, chosen for this issue by her over a year ago, was especially close to her heart. She wanted to be sure that each year The BeZine would focus on this important aspect of our lives, activism, and work. Spirituality is the linchpin that holds together the other three themes of the year: Peace, Sustainability, and Social Justice.
So, read about and be inspired by Jamie and by Life of the Spirit as interpreted by artists and writers around the world.