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Fall 2021: FIRE

The world is on fire. Portland, Oregon, in the usually cool American Northwest, reached 116 degrees F. yesterday. The Amazon is burning, smog chokes Beijing and Shanghai, and the polar bears are running out of ice.

“We can feel how something essential has changed, a barrier passed,” writes Sufi master Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee to lead off this issue. And yet: “The fires will come again, the land will burn, but we can keep alive this….knowing passed down through generations, held in the old stories long before we forgot to remember, of how civilizations fall apart, and amidst their ashes green shoots appear.”

Those green shoots are woven throughout these pages. Photographer David Ulrich’s autobiographical essay details a long path to awakening within the crucible of life’s suffering. Journalist Lisa Teasley writes of learning what was found, as well as what was lost, in the conflagration that destroyed her Black Beverly Hills home. Parabola editor Tracy Cochran writes of how the fires of World War II presaged generosity and new awareness as well as destruction. Rev. Daniel Aaron Cohen describes the “fire shut up in the bones” of those who worship at the Black church where he preaches, and author/activist Trebbe Johnson relates how she found new life after the fire cremated her beloved husband.

In addition to these and other inspiring essays, our pages feature four stories with startling perspectives on fire, as well as a marvelous poem by scientist-philosopher Keith Buzzell. There is also a timely reflection on UFOs and a recipe for special chocolate chip cookies that become extra special when baked with loving-kindness.

May this Fall 2021 issue of Parabola warm your heart and ignite your inner growth.

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Parabola Magazine Volume 46, Number 3: Fall 2021 FIRE
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