The jewel in the Vatican crown, the Sistine Chapel (
is home to two of the world’s most famous works of art – Michelangelo’s ceiling frescoes and his
The chapel was originally built for Pope Sixtus IV, after whom it is named, and consecrated on 15 August 1483. It’s a big, barn-like structure, measuring 40.2m long, 13.4m wide and 20.7m high – the same size as the Temple of Solomon – and even pre-Michelangelo it would have been impressive. Its walls had frescoes painted by a crack team of Renaissance artists, including Botticelli, Ghirlandaio, Pinturicchio, Perugino and Luca Signorelli, the vaulted ceiling was coloured to resemble a blue sky with golden stars, and the floor had an inlaid polychrome marble pattern.
However, apart from the wall frescoes and floor, little remains of the original decor, which was sacrificed to make way for Michelangelo’s two masterpieces. The first, the ceiling, was commissioned by Pope Julius II and painted between 1508 and 1512; the second, the spectacular
, was completed almost 30 years later in 1541.
Today Advent begins with the repeated cry: “Watch!” This word appears four times in today’s Gospel. Jesus doesn’t simply say, “Wait for me to come.” Rather, he wants us to actively anticipate his return, to prepare everything to celebrate his arrival!
Perhaps we find ourselves torn between two responses to this command of the Lord. Perhaps lately we have been indifferent toward spiritual realities, worn down by the endless activities and worries that fill our hearts and haunt our thoughts. Jesus’ “Watch!” gently nudges us from our tired sleep and rekindles our enthusiasm in our walk with the Lord. On the other hand, with fewer than thirty “shopping days ’til Christmas,” we may dread the endless check-out lines, traffic snarls, unpredictable weather, and preparations for Christmas parties and gifts. Jesus’ invitation to “Watch!” reassures us: he asks only for a childlike excitement about his love for us that gives our lives meaning.
This chapter is born out of our experience as colleagues attempting to work together across cultures on the subject of culture and ethnicity. We hope that our experience informs the working relationship between professionals and clients, but our main intention in this chapter is to address issues raised in peer-professional working partnerships. We have chosen to speak with our personal voices, sometimes separately and sometimes together, in the hope that this will convey what we think is the value of our experience. The liberty has also been taken of addressing the reader directly from time to time. It is our belief that directness is often an important part of crossing the barriers in transcultural working. Our hindsight learning is boxed up here in the form of recommendations for practice.
In the autumn of 1999 we heard of the conference “Exploring the Unsaid” and decided to present a workshop, expecting it to be along the lines of an intellectual and professional debate on “An invitation to explore institutionalized categories of ethnic and cultural identity with a view to releasing more creative and respectful possibilities”. We wanted to offer something on the cutting edge of practice but found ourselves instead on the dangerously sharp knife-edge of cross-cultural living. Our expectation was that we would have something interesting to say because we were taking a critical look at descriptive categories from two systemically informed, but ethnically distinct, viewpoints. We now think that the journey we undertook in our quest to be true to ourselves while planning the workshop reflects the title of the conference vividly enough to form the main focus of this chapter.
This hour glass-shaped slice of western Idaho is anchored by bustling Boise and the Treasure Valley cities of Nampa and Caldwell on the south, by the inland seaport city of Lewiston on the north. In-between, the fertile fields of the Treasure Valley, named for the earthly treasures growing there in irrigated abundance, give way to an intriguing jumble of sliced by deep valleys. On the west, the Snake River lazes through pungent onion fields and widens to create Brownlee Reservoir before plunging over Hells Canyon Dam into 5,500-foot-deep Hells Canyon, the deepest river gorge in North America.
Across the Seven Devils and 9, 393-foot He Devil Mountain lies Riggins, at 1,800 feet above sea level. North of Riggins is the beautiful Camas Prairie, ancestral home of the Nez Perce.
The Camas Prairie
On the region's eastern edge, the arid foothills above Boise give way to the conifer-forested slopes of the Payette National Forest.
McCall, doing triple duty as year-round resort town, Smokejumper Base and air gateway to the Frank Church-River of No Return Wilderness Area, poses at the foot of gem-like Payette Lake. This region, like much of Idaho, bears the scars of a gold mining boom-bust period that continued well into this century. Folks still pan for gold hereabouts.
Collective bike shops are colorful community centers dedicated to repairing and reviving used bicycles in the service of education, equality, and peace. These vibrant, volunteer-run spaces are not driven by profit motives, so what keeps them going? According to Camille Metcalfe at the Bike Dump, a collective in Winnipeg, Canada, “It’s a space that facilitates cooperation and learning — and friends! A nonthreatening environment which leads to good community building and an encouraging space for people to explore what may have been intimidating otherwise.”
Bikes are the focal point of these thriving social hubs. They are seen as tools for individual empowerment, environmental responsibility, community self-sufficiency, and learning. Collective bike shops share many of the following organizational characteristics:
→ Run or staffed by volunteers
→ Run by consensus decision making
Their typical activities, in addition to fee-based repair services, include the following: