Regular Columnists

Ed Felien

Elaine Klaassen

SPIRIT AND CONSCIENCE: Anishinaabe man crafts unique spiritual path

In 1986, Nick Boswell walked into a used-book store and picked up an old copy of the Koran. He thought, “Oh, here’s something to give my brother to reform him.” Once he started reading, though, he knew the message was for him. It astounded him, hit the nail on the…

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Meditation on disappointment

Southside Pride and Pulse, August 2007 What do you do with enormous disappointment? What do you do when you just couldn’t have something you really, really wanted. I don’t know. Rarely do I take big leaps—mostly to avoid disappointment, I suppose. But this time, since “I’m not getting any younger,…

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SPIRIT AND CONSCIENCE: ‘A Family Torn Apart’ by Justina D. Neufeld

The book “A Family Torn Apart” is a heart-rending and heart-pounding story. The narrator relates in first person what happens when war and political forces that have nothing whatsoever to do with people who are just trying to live their lives, grow their crops, celebrate their holidays and love their…

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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…

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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,…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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