A very special day

a mystical möbius — curating facts, ideas, text, and media to create a contemplative space.



Series process

We have 29 installments in our “[UMC] getting unstuck” series (cf., beginning here; reset here & here; and most recent here), Please check-out the series. 

This week, another brief diversion 

So, no ongoing “[UMC] getting unstuck” series piece again this week as I write regarding my appreciation for January 15. 


January 15, 1996 …. Emily’s annual ‘growth-chart’ portrait (age 4)

My joy

First, and foremost, January 15 is especially significant for me, because it is the birthday of my wonderful daughter, Emily. It was three weeks after Christmas when the most amazing gift ever arrived into the world — and life would never be the same. That it was thirty-one years ago now seems impossible. The one thing that I do know for sure: I couldn’t possibly be more proud of my daughter! She is a caring human being. In this increasingly shambolic, dehumanizing and often cruel world, caring is no mean feat, by my reckoning.

So, January 15 is special, because it speaks directly to my joy.

My passion 

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s primary ministry was located at the intersection of Love and Justice. Well, perhaps it’s better to say he preached that those factors were supposed to meet in a society. Sadly, in too many areas of American life and all too frequently, the two never meet. Dr. King identified that reality as something wrong/unacceptable in America. 

If chaos and cruelty are somehow not part of your personal experience right now, then good on you. However, one need look no further than the news media on one’s phone to find plenty of human suffering. Not all, but a good bit of what we hear as “news” is pretty grim from a human standpoint. We get ‘comfortably numb.’ For me, Martin Luther King, Jr. Day is an annual appeal for us to care. 

So, January 15 is special, because it speaks directly to my passion.



Opening a contemplative space

I’ve curated some resources that I hope can cultivate some related growth. My input is minimal. The idea this time is for you to engage with the podcast materials, digital audio and digital print stories as you are able. It’s a pre-packaged opportunity to grow that is ready to go. Perhaps you could make these resources a part of your spiritual journey for a season?

Let’ go

This first link tells some amazing stories about Dr. King.

For instance, it recounts how King’s turn from focusing solely on race and civil rights toward building a multi-racial coalition through the Poor People’s Campaign while linking it to the anti-war movement was tantamount to signing his own death warrant; and why King makes that turn toward an even broader coalition to resist the Vietnam War. If you can find time for only one podcast, please make it this first link:

King Stories” — Listen to “King Stories: A Radio Documentary

These podcasts and digital print stories variously approach the topic from many different angles. Enjoy!

Code SwitchListen to “The Road To The Promise Land, 50 Years Later”

1A” — Listen to “The Mothers Who Raised Martin Luther King Jr., Malcolm X and James Baldwin”

Throughline Listen to Bayard Rustin: The Man Behind the March on Washington” 

“Rustin imagined how nonviolent civil resistance could be used to dismantle segregation in the United States. He organized around the idea for years and eventually introduced it to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. But his identity as a gay man made him a target, obscured his rightful status and made him feel forced to choose, again and again, which aspect of his identity was most important.” [see here]

“NPR politics” — Listen to The Docket: The Rise And Fall Of The Voting Rights Act Of 1965″

Radio Boston” — Listen to “Boston pastors reflect on MLK’s legacy, ‘radical love’ and striving for a better world”

“He’s making commentary about the Vietnam War that people are saying, ‘Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa. You can talk about hoses and you can talk about dogs, but don’t talk about the military industrial complex,’ right?” Rev. Mariama White-Hammond [see here]

Life Kit” — Listen to “‘Not Racist’ Is Not Enough: Putting In The Work To Be Anti-Racist

The TakeawayListen to “A.I. More Racist Than I?

The Record— Read Memphis Blues: From the week of Martin Luther King Jr.’s death, some lessons from the charts

NPR All Things ConsideredListen to “King’s Legacy Remembered At Memorial”

NPR Weekend Edition SundayListen to “A March For Jobs In Martin Luther King’s Name”

NPR Morning EditionListen to “Lost King Speech To Be Heard After 50 Years”

Tell Me More About Black HistoryListen to MLK Speech On Vietnam Gripped Washington”


Emily’s growth-chart portrait (age 3)


January 15

Happy Birthday Emily!!! — for me, your day is about joy.

Happy Birthday MLK, Jr.! — for me, your day is about passion.

Happy Birthday Jane!! — [Jane? Well, that’s another (related) story.]


“The Way BacK” by Jane Booth

Next week: [UMC] extremism in spotlight. [this post (3-min. read) + media-links] 

Your thoughts? 


One thought on “A very special day

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