Elaine Klaassen

Spirit and Conscience, columns by Elaine Klaassen

Elaine started at Southside Pride in 1996 selling ads, maintaining the religion calendar and writing articles that eventually became a column called Spirit and Conscience. Since 2011 she has been the paper’s managing editor.

SPIRIT AND CONSCIENCE: Restorative justice: No one is an island, No one stands alone

In “Changing Lenses: A New Focus for Crime & Justice” (published in 1990), Howard Zehr writes that our current criminal justice system fails on three counts: It fails to deter crime, it fails to hold offenders accountable and it fails to meet the needs of victims. The book opens with…

Continue reading

Painting with the camera: JoAnn Verburg at MoMA

We are all angry at our mortality. We don’t like it that our life has a set length to it, AND we don’t like it that we can only be our own selves. One of our big challenges in life is to get away from seeing everything through, or with,…

Continue reading

Contemporary Chinese art: The collection of Pat Hui

Pulse, June 22, 2005 BY MARY ANN VINCENTA An exhilarating collection of two-dimensional works by contemporary Chinese artists will fill the spacious walls of the Katherine Nash Gallery until the end of July. Many pieces are so sublime they give you that bursting-in-your-chest, elevated-to-midair feeling. It is astonishing to see…

Continue reading

Inside Eternity at Artrujillo

Pulse, March 23, 2005 BY MARY ANN VINCENTA The classical and elegant exhibit Inside Eternity challenges our temporal map. It is a library of timeless, floating dreams. The sculptor Natasha Dikarev and the painter Vladimir Dikarev tell us there is a beautiful place to live—for real—outside the stupid and evil…

Continue reading

SPIRIT AND CONSCIENCE: Meditation Liberates

Meditation in prison We step into a grand entrance hall. Shiny large letters high up over the first set of iron gates say “Stillwater MCF.” Shiny woodwork and smooth stone panels delineate the soaring walls. Tiny white and green hexagonal tiles cover the floor of the enormous entry and stretch…

Continue reading

SPIRIT AND CONSCIENCE: Looking for the silver lining in a cloud of frailty

At first glance she appears to be watching TV. Her face is pointed in the direction of the television, but upon closer observation it is apparent she is simply staring at the screen. This is my mother’s first full day in a 24-hour care facility. She sits in her tiny…

Continue reading

SPIRIT AND CONSCIENCE: Peace House … ‘A Place to Belong’

Getting acquainted A lone building stands across the alley from the Dairy Queen in the wasted land at the corner of Portland and Franklin in the Phillips neighborhood. Peace House, as this solitary oasis is called, has been around since October of 1985—long before the corner was empty. From its…

Continue reading

SPIRIT AND CONSCIENCE: Building a family: what it takes

To become a parent is to take a giant step into the great unknown. Parenting is spelunking and bungee jumping all rolled into one. It takes a lot of bravery. And you have to be so open. In giving birth one is literally and physically stretched to the limit. Adopting…

Continue reading

Neighborhood leadership grant awarded to Carei Thomas

There is only one Carei Thomas. He makes more music with two fingers than a lot of people do with 10. Since a crippling illness five years ago, Thomas, a master of musical improvisation, has limited use of individual fingers. He says when he plays the piano “it’s no ‘Flight…

Continue reading