Friday, May 18, 2007

On a Blog of Extraordinary Quality, "Baha'i Epistolary": The astonishments of life as a Bahá'í

Flamenco dancer, uploaded on September 24, 2006 by 45street on flickr

A Baha'i blog of the most extraordinary quality is Ismael Velasco's Baha'i Epistolary, which he describes as "reflections written in the midst of conversation about the astonishments of life as a Bahá'í." Every word on its pages glisten with wonder, deep personal insights, and devotion to the Cause of Baha'u'llah.

This dear soul is not afraid to approach any subject. He has, for, example, focused on these issues of great import involving the Baha'i communuity: culture, due process, growth, the institute process, intimacy, mass teaching, Native Americans, non-core activities, prejudice, racism, and Ruhi. He also addresses the social-political issues of political activism and homosexuality. Under the heading of spirituality, he addresses failure, grace, martyrdom, and vulnerability.

Canaries, Uploaded on October 13, 2006 by oscarromulus on flickr
Baha'i Epistolary deserves readership from thoughtful souls in all parts of the world. I love, too, that this blog comes to us from the Canary Islands, evoking both a lovely image and metaphor. Here is Ismael's "About Me" and his blog description. -gw

Ismael Velasco
Tenerife, Canary Islands,
What can I say? I'm a Mexican cosmopolite, an aspiring Bahá'í, a writer, poet, essayist; tentative Bahá'í scholar in the areas of history and scripture principally; a social and economic development professional specializing in social exclusion, action research and participatory democracy/user involvement; a social entrepreneur; a budding arts producer; professional translator; a guitar dabbler and former hot-dog seller (best in the island). I have two stunning daughters, aged 7 and 10 at the time of writing (Ana-Sofía and Lucía respectively). I love music, of all kinds, but my heart snapped when I encountered flamenco as lived by the gyspsies of Spain, and am determined to dance it well enough for a passing gypsy to laugh only a little when I torture a bulería. Without prayer, I would not survive. No exaggeration. I think life is beautiful, and very, very hard. My heart is prey to love, perhaps to excess, and the figure of Bahá'u'lláh fills me with longing, and makes a great, soul deep love well up in me toward the Universal House of Justice. I have no clue whatsoever about how I'll make good before I go. Wish me luck.

Bahá'í Epistolary:
These are reflections written in the midst of conversation about the astonishments of life as a Bahá'í. A collection of efforts to hear and answer beyond words the questions and responses of another soul - a vulnerable yet sincere epistolary seeking truth, hoping to resonate in this space with other yearnings and astonishments amidst our ever diverse and ever approximate responses to the immensity of life itself. It is humbly dedicated to the Universal House of Justice. - Ismael Velasco

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