In this episode, Alana and Marcus introduce the vision of The Ferment and introduce ourselves from opposite shores of a prehistoric lake. Then we ring in the coming New Year with Alana’s musical take on Tennyson’s achingly beautiful Ring Out Wild Bells. We couldn’t think of a better way to name our tender hopes and fierce longings to “Ring in…the larger heart, the kindlier hand; / Ring out the darkness of the land, / Ring in the Christ that is to be.”
We made some references in our conversation that you may want to follow up on. Here are some notes to get you started:
- Wendell Berry – the war economy vs the peaceable economy. Berry discusses this in Thoughts in the Presence of Fear, an essay he wrote in the aftermath of 9/11.
- Walter Brueggemann – The Prophetic Imagination
- Alfred Lord Tennyson – In Memoriam. An epic poem of 133 “cantos.” Alana composed music for canto 106, “Ring Out, Wild Bells,” which she performs at the close of this episode.
- Jamie Howison – God’s Mind in that Music. Jamie is a priest in Winnipeg who serves up good spiritual food on an open table, saint benedict’s table, to be specific.
- Belden Lane – The Solace of Fierce Landscapes
- René Girard – Very influential for us at The Ferment, especially for Marcus and Matt, who identify as “Girardians.” For starters, check out I See Satan Fall Like Lightning.
- Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove – Upcoming guest on The Ferment. Co-founder of Rutba House, colleague of Rev. William Barber II in Repairers of the Breach.
- David Cayley – Upcoming guest on The Ferment. Author and radio producer. A treasure trove of his work is available at davidcayley.com.
- James Finley – Co-conspirator with Alana on two recent albums, Point Vierge and Sanctuary. Depth psychologist, Merton scholar and spiritual teacher.
- Thomas Merton – Trappist monk, contemplative writer and master teacher. Managed to build a bridge to Eastern mysticism and provide a leading voice to the anti-war movement from the seclusion of his hermitage in rural Kentucky at Gethsemani Abbey.
- Lake Agassiz – At the end of the last glacial age, a lot of water built up at the southern edge of the ice mountains that covered what is now Manitoba, while the northern mass of ice blocked the outflow to what is now Hudson’s Bay. Alana lives on the escarpment that was the western shore of the old lake, while Marcus lives near the Agassiz Forest on the old eastern shore. Matt and Samantha live in Winnipeg in the Red River Valley, the bottom of the old lake. We are all happy to be keeping our heads above water for the time being.
- Ploughshares Community Farm – an intentional Christian agrarian community that is home to Marcus and his family, and some other fine folks.