Thursday, September 24, 2009

Valerie Elverton Dixon, Interview #85

Name: Valerie Elverton Dixon

Where you live: East St. Louis, Illinois

Vocation or Avocation: I am a scholar and a writer.

Two favorite books:
Against Ethics by John D. Caputo is one of my favorite books. I appreciate his literary style of writing philosophy.
Shake Loose My Skin: New and Selected Poems by Sonia Sanchez is also one of my favorites. Sonia Sanchez writes poems aflame with a passion for justice. She also writes tender poems of love that are warm-glowing, long-burning embers.

Two favorite songs:
Amazing Grace
Any version
Everything Must Change It reminds me that wounded hearts do heal and mysteries do unfold.

Why you are interested in spirituality:
I do not know why I am interested in spirituality. It is a mystery that has yet to unfold. My best guess is that I believe that our spiritual self is the eternal self, the part of us that will stay with people and the world long after the body dies. It is the part of us that will return to God.

Favorite quote:
“Take nothing for granted; take everything as possible.” ---
Katherine Dunham, an anthropologist, dancer and choreographer

Favorite Web Sites:
God’s Politics
On Faith

Tikkun Daily Blog
I publish at all of these sites. I especially appreciate the dedicated efforts of my colleagues at God’s Politics, On Faith and Tikkun Daily Blog. They are working hard to develop this aspect of new media to bring thinking to the public discourse that is engaging and that sees matters of faith and spirituality as vital to public policy decision making."
My hero:
My hero is a shero. She is Ida B. Wells Barnett (1862-1931) Barnett was a teacher, journalist, suffragist, wife, mother and relentless fighter for social justice, most especially the end of lynching.

A spiritual lesson you hope to learn:
The problem is not learning the various spiritual lessons. Many of us know the basic teachings of the great spiritual leaders. The problem is living the lessons. The lesson that is a challenge for me to live at the moment is to do my work with faith and with integrity, trusting that the
outcome will be righteous and just.

A place in the world where you feel spiritually “connected”:
I feel spiritually connected in communal worship. I enjoy church. I love singing, praying, laughing, crying, witnessing to the goodness of God with others. I gain strength and encouragement from a good sermon and from the music ministry. I like to look around me and see people from infants to elders in community giving praise and thanksgiving to an awesome God who is love.

I invite everyone to visit my web site: You may read
my essays and lectures there. I hope to publish the site in book form next year. Please leave us your e-mail address so that we may alert you when I have posted something new. Thanks.