I’ve been living in Barcelona since January which has me newly alive to the wisdom of Dr. Christian Edmondson’s adage, “Decisions create culture.” Somebody’s excellent decisions are alive and signaling around every corner. I’m not just talking infrastructure. I’m talking dress, self-respect, kindness and curiosity in the stares and speech and comportment of strangers, and easily the best-dressed dogs I’ve ever seen. Beauty prepares the heart for justice. And beautiful decisions add up to a beautiful city. Beautiful cities don’t just happen, we might say. It’s a granular process in which people behave beautifully together with others and it all adds up. Where two or more are gathered: politics. Where two or more are gathered kindly: artfulness.
While there’s plenty to grieve and be sad about in terms of my governor and the ruling party of my state legislature deciding to wage a soft civil war on the people of Nashville, I’m also encouraged and energized by all the good decisions that have served me and so many others my whole life long. Being in Barcelona has made me more alive to them and all the more determined to be a part of the righteous scenes, the myriad forms of thoughtfulness, that make Nashville a space of hope and beauty and good humor for so many. I think of my friends, Rich and Julie Modica, of Modfellows Art Gallery and their decision to acquire and open a space for art and awesomeness just down the street from my childhood home. Brave decisions create brave culture. I’m grateful for their risky courage when it comes to making the world safer for art.
I wasn’t surprised at all to see that my old friend Andy Harding is plotting with them this weekend. Kelly Brumfield-Woods is new to me, but I’m eager to see what she’s up to as well. Please consider happening by to support the whole situation and enter into the get-fresh flow—the enlivening discourse—happening on Trousdale.
And if you’re looking for more options in the seeking out of love and industrial -strength thoughtfulness in a dangerous time in Tennessee, consider dropping in on East Brentwood Presbyterian Church for Mission: Joy on Sunday night. John Hilley, Barb Hall, and Edwin Harrison have more on the film here.
There are so many ways to find each other. My friend Iris Dement speaks (or sings) of “Workin on a World.” Here’s another friend, Ann Powers, putting words to Iris’ words on what we’re in for.
May you all find joy and courage in the weeks to come.
Thank you for listening to me.
re: decisions - from family chapel [Torre Girona] to national supercomputing center
The estate on which the chapel was built was once a privately owned residence of the Girona family, whose patriarch was Manuel Girona, a 19th century banker and Mayor of Barcelona. The estate was built in the 1860s and belonged to the Girona family for more than 100 years. It became the property of the Polytechnic University in the 1970s, together with the famous Torre Girona chapel. -
tangential: Mapping Europe’s wind energy resource
Partnership For Advanced Computing in Europe ("PRACE"), international non-profit association
Love this! Building and supporting communities that are diverse and generous is the way to build a beautiful city! Also, how did it come about that you are in Barcelona? Magical!