[Springboard] THE ARCHIVE OPPORTUNITY
jpc2025 at triad.rr.com
Mon May 25 09:18:32 EDT 2009
Good stuff, Bill and Jaime (and George Walters, et al., with the DC event
outline just before).
The living legacy/living archives is swirling, what with the Chicago
archives plans, DC archives event, OK possibilities, and the ICA Board
strategic thinking event. Sometimes it takes about twenty+ years (Rip Van
Winkle effect, attachment).
Re: living archives, let us not forget Jim & Judi Wiegel are pulling
together colleagues' videoed conversations. I look forward to seeing that,
with popcorn in hand and a long art from conversation afterwards.
From: springboard-bounces at wedgeblade.net
[mailto:springboard-bounces at wedgeblade.net] On Behalf Of
jrvergarajr2031 at aol.com
Sent: Sunday, May 24, 2009 11:31 PM
To: springboard at wedgeblade.net
Subject: Re: [Springboard] THE ARCHIVE OPPORTUNITY
I am sitting on the fourth floor of an apartment building in the city of
Shenyang, Liaoning Province in China, catching up on email (my host
non-resident son's computer - all in Chinese - is finally getting
user-friendly) and Bill Parker's little narrative on archives, a living
legacy, the order dynamic, Greensburg, etc. started shaking the foundations
I live in Saipan now; I went into a radical transition last January during
MLK Day away from the educational challenges, internal contradictions, and
employment comfort of the Public School System, into literally hanging over
the abyss - in this case, over the Marianas Trench which is the deepest
trench in the world to the followers of Alex Trebek - and aiming to join a
Palauan and his Chinese wife to care for a ten-hectare hillside slope as a
demo earthbound friendly farm for our neighborhood and island.
Just delivered a bushcutter and chairsaw that will help us clean part of the
'jungle' three weeks ago, and discovered a patch of Marijuana plants
strategically hidden in a slope. Not of commercial quantity, and though I
do not smoke the stuff, I have been known to support the cause of the hemp
growers and users for many reasons, the discovery gave me pause about our
joint venture. Am in Manchuria to finalize a 'mission of mercy' I undertook
two months ago, and will be out of here by mid-June.
I had adopted a Retreat mode that has brought me on rails to Hardin (Moscow
of the East) in Heilongjiang, a nd Dandong (China's Hang Guo ren - Korea) in
Liaoning, acroos Chao Xian (North Korea), to Dalian (the international port
that Japan and Russia built) later this week, and a final couple of days in
Beijing. [Manchuria (Liaoning, Jilin and Heilongjiang) is not as crowded as
the Fujian river valleys and basins, nor as devastated as the Pearl River
Valley industrial development of Guangzhou-Kowloon-Shenzhen, nor as
cut-throat as the dynamism of the Nanjing-Suzhou-Hangzhou-Shanghai quad, but
the haze in the meadow is no longer steam but smog, and this historic
stomping ground of the Hans, the Mongols, the Manchus, the Slavs, the
Nippons and the Hangguls - rich in natural resources and a diversity of
culture, is headed straight to the Cleveland-Pittsburg axis of
Anyway, dissimilar to GWB's presidential papers parked at my old alma mater
SMU, I am intrigued by the notion of a living legacy process, the leaving
behind of verbal and graphic images and audio-renderings of experiences,
feelings and thoughts as they are occurring, in addition, of course, to
Wayne Marshall's concern that the file cabinets of the Order Archives are
preserved in some accessible format, to capture if we can the marvelous
journey to human communities in Gaia that the covenanted self-concious
community Bill is addressing had undertaken in the tail end of the 20th C.
Suddenly, I am self-consciously thinking Order again!
Might be momentary. I will probably go back and pick up my shovel to
effect20my flower gardens and fruit orchard, goat-chicken-duck-fish farm cum
meditative shack, but I would like to somehow be osmotically, if not
symbiotically, connected to Bill's enthusiasm and OCU's ecological interest.
BTW, our brain waves must be in syn. John Cock's reflection today is on the
Paul Hawken's commencement address to Portland U grads - "You are brilliant,
the Earth is hiring." Ever skeptical of purveyors of hope, Barack's
brilliance and efficacy notwithstanding, I am, however, bouyed when
something on the ground like the Dean of OCU springs up on an otherwise
bleak backdrop, or the numerous Chinese household-size peach orchards along
the Yalu river I saw yesterday, in contrast to the bald hillsides in North
Korea across the river converted into grain fields for Russian vodka to pay
for their fossil fuel requirements, and once again, one's vortex is spun
into many whirlpools again and again.
The daze is staggering, almost like a Sufi whirl after eight hours of it,
and I am reduced to humming Elie Stock's Stillness Lingers in My Soul once
From: Bill Parker <bparker175 at cox.net>
To: springboard at wedgeblade.net; Colleague Dialogue
<dialogue at wedgeblade.net>; Order Ecumenical Community <oe at wedgeblade.net>
Sent: Sun, 24 May 2009 11:00 pm
Subject: [Springboard] THE ARCHIVE OPPORTUNITY
To the People of the Order,
What I am really excited about is a development with one of the Universities
in town, Oklahoma City University, a Methodist affiliated University. They
have decided that what it means to be educated from that University is that
every student must be aware of the necessity of taking responsibility for
the earth's environment, sustainable development, the ecological realities
they must address, and a lifetime commitment to addressing the systemic
contradictions in sustainability worldwide.
That is bold by itself but the Dean wants to house the OE/EI/ICA archives
for the purposes of research into the details of being an order, seeing what
a group of people did coming from all walks of life, culture, and national
origins to respond to the realities of the 20th Century. There is particular
interest in why and how people like us decided to give all they had for the
sake of what they decided was the appropriate response in their time. When I
reflect on that from a personal viewpoint, I am overwhelmed myself by these
decisions. For example, if I take the money Suzanne made and turned over to
the Order (average $24,000 per year) and the money I did not make because I
worked "in" (average $48,000 per year), the total financial contribution to
the EI/ICA was over $1,000,000 during the years we were in the Order. You
multiply that by the total number of people in the Order, your imagination
gets a clear image of the radical nature of our corporate life. This is not
a minor consideration and it is a profoundly significant contribution from
the People of the Order to the programmatic institutions of EI/ICA. I told
him that getting the archives probably won't happen but perhaps a secured
back-up second copy in a different city from the original archives might be
possible. This is what the "Living Ar chives" is all about.
He was very positive and I thought it would be a discussion we would have
for quite a while before anything happened, if anything would ever happen.
But, he said they wanted to build a green village on the basis of the
reconstruction of Greensburg, KS, you know the town that got totally
destroyed by a tornado not too long ago. This green village would be for
faculty, scholars, and staff living in as an intentional community. There
would be an urban retreat center in the heart of the village that would
reflect the world's religion their practices and symbols. Then there would
be a building established just for the Archives with conferencing and
training capabilities. The Archives would be in a climate and humidity
controlled environment designed for the best preservation practices. He said
these were in the works. In a later meeting, he said the University has
signed off on this and appropriated the money for it. He expects it all to
be built i n two years with a 2 story residential building for the
participants and scholars of the urban retreat center and the program coming
out of the Living Archives to be finished in 5 years. But, he says we don't
have to wait 2 years before we start.
He especially liked the concept of a Living Archive. I described it as a
method for anyone to conduct research into our Archives whereby, rather than
trying to read and figure out the meaning of the 4X4X4 lecture format with
illustrations, we would actually do the course with pedagogues who were
skilled in teaching it as it was taught in the 20th Century. This would not
require weeks or months of re-interpretation as some have done on RSI to get
it into the 21st Century. Neither does it require the invention of a new
program. The stated purpose of the Living Archives is to illustrate what
that particular group of people created to respond to that 20th Century
environment. Then we would build a 21st Century movement by conducting
workshops after the course to articulate what their experience of the course
means to them for the 21st Century. This interest in the People of the Order
and what they did is why I am focused on the Archives. It's not the ICA, nor
EI, though they will benefit from it significantly, that is of interest but
the legacy of that group of people who birthed those programmatic
institutions, and what their spiritual and human journey was, and is.
I have seen no other opportunity like this. JWM's archives are at Wesley
Seminary because of Bishop
Jim's archives going there. But this gives a whole new meaning for JWM's
archives, his Living Archives, his Living Legacy.
As we deliberate on the future of these archives, let the ICA Board, the
Archives Meeting and the rest of us consider this possibility.
Take care of yourselves, for there is a very good reason for you to do so.
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