Why 'The Prose To Poetry' Tour?
"Poetry doesn’t so much tell us something we never knew as bring into recognition what is latent, forgotten, overlooked, or suppressed”
- Eugene Peterson
In January this year I was invited by Festival One to share about both living a life and spirituality of poetry and the balance between cynicism and mysticism. I had thought that there would be a small group of people who resonated with the content of the two seminars but I was wrong. A large group of people turned up to each seminar keen to be involved in chewing out the concepts and engaging in public conversation around the beauty of our spirituality. I stood around for hours afterward talking hearing their stories of transition, heartbreak and flourishing as they explored life with God.
As I came home reflecting on the sense of relief it seemed to bring to have this conversation in public together, I started thinking more seriously about finding a way to give more expression to this as a community of people. Prior to the Festival I'd begun playing with the idea of a living room tour and after sharing it with those who attended my seminars and sensing their keenness to keep the conversation going I decided to push the nerves aside and give it a go.
This tour is not meant to be about me or Commoners Communion, though it's clearly the engine making it possible for me to reach out like this. It's meant to be about us. It's about finding a new way to rebuild after a long season of cynicism and deconstruction. A healthy process that we needed to loosen the noose of cultural aspects of faith and to find new language to express what's taking place today. This tour is about gathering around something, a shared future, a new hope, an energized optimism. There is nothing wrong with deconstruction, it's healthy and needed, but on the other side of that we need to find healthy tools to reconstruct with.
I hope that the discussion of poetry, art and beauty can help be something of a seedbed, a starter for finding a new way to talk to one another. I don't have all the answers but if we can find God to be beautiful again then at least we can find the hope to make our lives beautiful, to accept the 'other', to forgive the people and institutions that have hurt us, and to provide a space of life and healing for a longing world to gather to.
If you're in a great place spiritually then I hope this tour will wrap around and embolden that. If you're at rock bottom and holding on by a thread then my prayer is that these evenings will give you something to grapple onto in the storm, a map to navigate the wide open space that can provide some tentative hope in the interim. If you don't consider yourself spiritual and Jesus is obscure or even offensive to you, then I hope these nights could show you the more tender side of God, a beautiful one.
Hopefully, there's something in these nights for everyone.
Here's to a hopeful future, together.
For more information on the tour visit commonerscommunion.com/prosetopoetrytour
For more details on the tour visit commonerscommunion.com/prosetopoetrytour. If you'd like to host a show in your town or city get in touch - firstname.lastname@example.org.