Eliacin Rosario-Cruz

Abrazando Esperanzas

Month: April 2007 (page 1 of 2)

I’m out – Drinking Piña Coladas

I’m out drinking  piña coladas y Medallas. I’m also taking a vacation from this blog for the next 2 weeks.

Check out some interesting voices on my blogroll. Scroll down and click like crazy.

Peace.

Swimming in known waters

As Ruben Blades would say “Todos vuelven a la tierra en que naciero, al embrujo incomparable de su sol.” I am returning – for about 2 weeks – back to Puerto Rico.

I moved to Washington in 2005. The decision to move here was a well thought one.  We moved here looking for a change of life. After 10+ years of religious work in Puerto Rico, I got totally burned out. Coming to Washington gave me a new fresh start. My wife’s family lives here, which means this would give my kids an opportunity to be with the other set of grandparents. I’m happy in Seattle. But it is not home.

In 2006 I went back to PR during a family emergency.  It was then when I realized how much of an stranger I am here in Seattle, and how uncomfortable I feel at times. In spite of it’s claim to be a progressive city, Seattle is an extremely segregated city.  Niceness is another of the issues “Seattle-lites” are proud of. But it is that niceness and that false sense of progressiveness that keep many issues, including racial identity and prejudice out of the conversation. Many in this place have fall for the myth of “we have arrived” – race is not an issue anymore.

Returning to Puerto Rico, was like swimming in known waters. It gave me the freedom to be myself again without questioning people’s reactions, interaction and thoughts toward me as a stranger. Back at home I am not a stranger, I am not welcome in paternalistic ways. I do not access the table to gather the crumbs.

I am so looking forward been back.

“an American manifesto”

Steve Taylor, known by his book Out of Bounds Church, has a short but very incisive comment about the new emerging church book, An Emerging Manifesto.

You can read his comment here – an American manifesto

I guess the feeling of “colonialism and post-colonialism” in this context is not only felt in outside the USA. It is well felt here inside “the empire” as well. As I said in my comment to Steve’s post, the voices of women in the emerging movement is beginning to be heard, but still the “movement” feels very much testosterone driven. Also as a brown man of African and Taino/Arawak descendants, I look around and I only see a few people like me in the emerging gatherings, the emerging blogs and the emerging publications. Also to my disappointment, the prophetic voice of justice and reconciliation that people of color can bring to the conversation is even smaller.

But I am hopeful that diversity will be taken serious enough to go through the painful and slow process of mutual invitation and inclusion instead of just mere “tokenism.”

Holy Kwik-E-Mart

No my friend, the church is not like a Kwik-E-Mart or a Seven Eleven. I’m glad you love Her (the church) and want to be of service to Her, but you shouldn’t pack and leave every time things are not to your liking. Do not treat Her like your old girlfriends of the past. The church is not a gym, the one you join when you get your jeans are tight, but stop going in a week or so to follow the newest celebrity diet.  I mean let’s be honest, She is not perfect but niether are you.

Take a time to examine your motives next time you think of stating your own church franchise.

commodification

One of my struggles as a photographer interested in street photography and photojournalism is the temptation to objectify people for the sake of art.  There is a fine line, which is very easy to cross, between using the camera to tell the truth about pain and suffering and ignoring a persons dignity in order to make an interesting photo.

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art via Banksy

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