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The Properties of Perpetual Light
September 14, 2021 @ 6:30 pm – 7:30 pm EDT
The Properties of Perpetual Light: Julian Aguon and Chantilly Mers in poetry, practice and prayer
Thank you for joining us September 14, 2021 at 6:30 pm ET for an evening of story-telling, poetry and practice with Guam-born indigenous rights/environmental lawyer and poet/author Julian Aguon and Pasifika minister, justice educator, and Indigenous circle-keeper, Chantilly Mers. Watch the recording, here, and read “To Hell With Drowning“, an article Julian wrote in The Atlantic that he calls “the most important things I’ve ever written”. “For people living in Oceania,” he begins, “climate change is the fight of our lives, and we need more than science to win. We need stories.”
Chantilly and Kavitha Rao led practice sessions grounded in Julian’s book, The Practice of Perpetual Light, over three Fall Fridays (September 24 / October 1 / October 8, 2021 from 3-4 pm ET.
The struggles for self determination of the native and non-self governing peoples of the Pacific islands as a result of US colonial and military expansion are intimately linked to our reckoning around the climate and other catastrophes of our time. As we carve out time to share poetry and prayer, we offer a call, as Junot Diaz says, “not only for justice but for a brand-new covenant with our world”.
Read more about Julian’s latest book, The Properties of Perpetual Light, here.
A breathtaking book and I mean it—this book took my breath away. The Properties of Perpetual Light is so alive with passion, wisdom and heart, you can almost feel its pulse. A call not only for justice but for a brand-new covenant with our world.—Junot Díaz, author of The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, Winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction
Continue in practice with us!
For three Fridays beginning September 24, 2021, from 3:00-4:00 pm ET (September 24 / October 1 / October 8 / 2021), we will pause to ponder and practice what author Julian Aguon calls the role of the activist-writer, which is “the work of bearing witness, wrestling with the questions of one’s day, [and] telling children the truth.”
Each week we will listen to the quiet poetry and prose of his book, The Properties of Perpetual Light, feel the heartbreak and enchantment of Micronesia, and bear witness to the quiet truth within ourselves and Earth.
Kavitha Rao and Chantilly Mers will guide us in gentle practices and openhearted conversation. Getting a copy of the book is wonderful but not necessary to join.
“I did not know I needed this book until it had me in its embrace like the oldest and dearest of friends, from the very first page. Overflowing with warmth and wisdom and defying all categorization, The Properties of Perpetual Light is philosophy, poetry, memoir, history and self-help for humanity. With bottomless love for his people and place, Aguon guides us through a portal to the Pacific, sharing deep insights earned from life on the existential knife’s edge.” —Naomi Klein, Senior Correspondent at The Intercept and author of The Shock Doctrine and This Changes Everything
A powerful, beautiful book. Its fierce love—of the land, the ocean, the elders and the ancestors—warms the heart and moves the spirit.”—Alice Walker, author of The Color Purple, Winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction
Julian Aguon is an indigenous human rights lawyer and writer from Guam and the author of the acclaimed new book, The Properties of Perpetual Light. He is the visionary behind Blue Ocean Law, a progressive firm that works at the intersection of Indigenous rights and environmental justice. He serves on the Global Advisory Council of Progressive International—a global collective that launched in May 2020 to mobilize progressive forces around the world behind a shared vision of social justice. Julian is a lover of the sea and people with sea secrets in their eyes.
Chantilly Mers-Pickett is a Pasifka minister, justice educator, and Indigenous circle-keeper. Born and raised in Maui, Hawaii, a daughter of immigrants, she moved to New York City to study Theology and the Arts at Union Theological Seminary. Today she co-leads a gentle faith community, Common Ground Church, in Manhattan and collaborates with What’s Next Now? a team of racial equity consultants. She is passionate about reclaiming ordinary spaces for emergence and radical togetherness. A learner of living systems, permaculture, and Indigenous wisdom, Chantilly lives and tends a garden in Bloomfield, NJ (Lenape Land) with her multigenerational ‘ohana made up of her parents, spouse, two daughters, and their 7 tropical plants.