Postcards from Babylon (Book Cover Design)

Cover_InHand.jpg

A long-time favorite author of mine, Brian Zahnd, is releasing a really important book soon, and I have had the immense honor of designing the cover! The book is called Postcards from Babylon: The Church in American Exile, and it is set to release in January 2019. Stay tuned for more details and fun stuff like a giveaways :)

Gandhi

Another piece in my icon series is complete. Gandhi's life, words, and wisdom are truly a valuable and needed gift to humanity. Ironically, a stigma is placed on Gandhi in some Christian circles, which deeply grieves me. Gandhi was deeply influenced by Jesus and devoted to embodying His way of being in the world...so much so that he adopted a daily practice of reading the Sermon on the Mount and has written that, "Jesus was the most active resister known perhaps to history. This was non-violence par excellence" (Gandhi on Nonviolence, p. 55). Though Gandhi claimed no one particular religion solely as his, I wonder if in many ways––especially in terms of nonviolent resistance, peacemaking, care for the poor, communal unity and equality, renouncing of empire and worldly power, and the study/embodying of Jesus' words and practice––if Gandhi looked more like a Jesus-follower in the world than many of us modern-day Christians do. At the very least, I see value rather than danger in learning his story and hope that more folks might come to share that perspective as well.

What you see in the illustrated icon:

  • Gandhi pictured in the white, homespun cloth that eventually became the only clothing that he wore (and made for himself) as part of a protest to British rule in India in which he encouraged the Indian people to wear no foreign textiles.
  • His hands in the namaste position with which he consistently greeted others. Namaste literally translates as "I bow to you." It is also rumored that when Albert Einstein asked Gandhi what exactly his greeting meant, he explained it as follows: “I honor the place in you where the entire universe resides. I honor the place in you of light, love, truth, peace and wisdom. I honor the place in you where, when you are in that place, and I am in that place, there is only one of us.”
  • Waves of salt water in the background that symbolize the water of the Arabian Sea where Gandhi led people in the Salt March of 1930. This was an active, nonviolent protest against the British salt monopoly in colonial India and an essential part of the revolution that led to independence for India being granted in 1947.

If you're unfamiliar with Ghandi or just curious to learn more, here are a few good places to do that:

GANDHI   was released as a major motion picture in 1982 and won 8 Academy Awards. This may be the best way to get a vivid, holistic picture of Gandhi's life and to get an introduction to his wisdom and practices. There are many options for online viewing of this movie. Don't be intimidated by its length...there's an intermission, and it's well-worth your time.

GANDHI was released as a major motion picture in 1982 and won 8 Academy Awards. This may be the best way to get a vivid, holistic picture of Gandhi's life and to get an introduction to his wisdom and practices. There are many options for online viewing of this movie. Don't be intimidated by its length...there's an intermission, and it's well-worth your time.

Gandhi on Nonviolence   (Edited by Thomas Merton) is full of quotes from Gandhi's writings and speeches as well as commentary by the Trappist monk Thomas Merton.

Gandhi on Nonviolence (Edited by Thomas Merton) is full of quotes from Gandhi's writings and speeches as well as commentary by the Trappist monk Thomas Merton.

I haven't read this one yet, but it's on the "read ASAP" list.  Gandhi's autobiography  is widely renowned reading...sure to inspire, instruct, and encourage.

I haven't read this one yet, but it's on the "read ASAP" list. Gandhi's autobiography is widely renowned reading...sure to inspire, instruct, and encourage.


MLK, Jr. Icon

In honor of Dr. King's courageous and invaluable contributions to our society and as a personal commitment to continuing the work of realizing his dreams for our lives, I made this new graphic icon to share with you today.

Also, below is a far-too-small collection of Dr. King's words in hopes that we might reflect on them honestly today. And that in our reflection, we might be moved to act in some way. Maybe this year more than many in our recent history, I think it is clear that we have a long way to go in making Dr. King's dreams a reality. So may we be challenged and emboldened by his example, and may we be the "creative, dedicated" ones who help this hurting world to get better, little by little...

I hereby pledge myself – my person and my body – to nonviolence, peace, and justice for all people everywhere.

Therefore I will keep the following commandments:

I will meditate daily on the teachings and life of Jesus.
I will remember always that the nonviolent movement seeks justice and reconciliation – not victory.
I will walk and talk in the manner of love, for God is love.
I will pray daily to be used by God in order that all people might be free.
I will sacrifice personal wishes in order that all people might be free.
I will observe with both friend and foe the ordinary rules of courtesy.
I will seek to perform regular service for others and for the world.
I will refrain from violence of fist, tongue, or heart.
I will strive to be in good spiritual and bodily health.
I will listen with respect to those who love and teach me.
— MLK, Jr. (Pledge of Non-Violence, 1963)
As my sufferings mounted I soon realized that there were two ways in which I could respond...either to react with bitterness or seek to transform the suffering into a creative force.
— MLK, Jr.
Almost always the creative, dedicated minority has made the world better.
— MLK, Jr.
God never intended for one group of people to live in superfluous inordinate wealth, while others live in abject deadening poverty.”
— MLK, Jr.
We must use time creatively in the knowledge that the time is always ripe to do right.
— MLK, Jr.
Every man must decide whether he will walk in the light of creative altruism or in the darkness of destructive selfishness.
— MLK, Jr.
Our only hope today lies in our ability to recapture the revolutionary spirit and go out into a sometimes hostile world declaring eternal hostility to poverty, racism, and militarism.
— MLK, Jr.
Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly.
— MLK, Jr. (Letter From Birmingham Jail)
Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly. I can never be what I ought to be until you are what you ought to be. This is the interrelated structure of reality.
— MLK, Jr.
I refuse to accept the view that mankind is so tragically bound to the starless midnight of racism and war that the bright daybreak of peace and brotherhood can never become a reality. . . I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word.
— MLK, Jr.

Christmas: The Weary World Rejoices

by Sarah Duet, 12/25/14

by Sarah Duet, 12/25/14

I've been thinking a lot about Mary & Joseph this Christmas. About what it might have been like to pause in their journey...with so much behind them & still so much ahead of them...to celebrate a moment so special, yet surely still so difficult. To see & embody a fulfilled promise like that, while undoubtedly full also of questions about what was actually happening. Weary and tired from travel and labor. 

I'm realizing that Christmas is indeed a time of both weariness and joy, while people feel one or the other of those realities more fully on any given year. We are a weary world, and we have reason to rejoice.

Here's to remembering we're not alone in our weariness, and to taking time today to choose joy & gratitude where we can.

Merry Christmas, friends. Peace.

-sd.

Album Art: December Cinema Vol. 1 by Matt Kidd

Recent album artwork I made for Matt Kidd's Christmas EP.

Recent album artwork I made for Matt Kidd's Christmas EP.

I had the distinct privilege of working with one of my favorite artists recently to design the album artwork for his new Christmas EP. Matt Kidd recently released December Cinema, Vol. 1, a beautiful ambient-instrumental collection of 5 traditional Christmas songs: 

  1. The First Noel
  2. Oh Come, Emmanuel
  3. What Child is This?
  4. God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen
  5. Silent Night

You can grab 2 of the tracks for free on Noisetrade or find the project in its entirety on iTunes, Bandcamp, and Spotify.

Get yourself a little Christmas present and add some new tracks to your holiday playlist this week? Matt was wonderful to work with, and I'd love for you to both support him and get to appreciate these songs.