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thePhilBritton. Posts

On Peace and Protest

I gotta riff a little bit on the events today.

This morning, Melinda joined the throng downtown at the Women’s March.  I’ve never seen that many people assembled in protest in Marquette.  Maybe a few dozen at most, but when I drove by (honking with a raised fist, thoroughly embarrassing my daughter), there were hundreds.  It was an awesome sight.

I met her in town, transferred kids, and then I went to a meeting convened by the MI Roundtable for Diversity and Inclusion.  The session focused on laying the foundation for building a hub for their work in the UP.  The project is called the Race2Equity Statewide Coalition, and it’s currently based in Flint, Detroit, Benton Harbor, and the UP.  The meeting was a great time of sharing, listening, and learning.

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What Happened in Hartford

Abraham Lateiner of

My name is Phil Britton, and I fight for the freedom to live out my values of love, justice, and tenacity.  I fight for my freedom, because I cannot be free unless we are all free.  I am a student of my brother and sister.  I am not confused.  I feel fear of having too small a voice, but I will speak anyway.

No post has clogged up my creative flow as much as this one.  I’ve tried to pull what happened in Hartford out of the record my synapses created several times, but I kept getting stuck.  I think I wanted my voice to be coherent, authoritative, wise, convincing, or at least like I knew what in the hell I was talking about.  Unfortunately, those things only come with time, with active processing, reworking, testing, and mistakes.  So, my friends, here goes.  Here is me, slogging my way to a slow and stumbling woke.

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Today is Epiphany.  Some context: Epiphany is a Christian high holy day, similar to Christmas and Easter, and also kicks off the season of Epiphany, which lasts until Lent.  The word “Epiphany” means a sudden realization or perception, and, depending on which tradition you ask, refers to either the Magi visiting young Jesus, or his baptism.  Either way it’s basically a day commemorating the revealing that this brown, middle-eastern peasant is the one the seasons of Advent and Christmas have had us expecting.

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The Morning After

Early Tuesday morning, Donald Trump became our president-elect.  It was shocking, and it feels like an Orwellian nightmare.  My Twitter feed Wednesday morning was full of so much pain.  “Vote for the platform, not the person” leaves a bitter taste in the mouth when said person ran an openly racist, xenophobic, misogynistic, bigoted campaign.

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Three Things I’ve Learned in Three Decades

On Monday, I turned 30.

It’s kind of bizarre to think about.  In a lot of ways, I’m more than ready to leave my 20s behind.  30 feels like the final transition into full-on adulthood.  Then there’s also the melancholy recognition of time passing and all that.  But rather than write about my current state of navel-gazing, I thought I’d boil down three decades of experience into a few short riffs.  Here’s what I’ve learned thus far in my journey.

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At the Table with “Science Mike” McHargue


Ever read a book and have that feeling that someone else is telling your story?  You find yourself saying over and over again “No way, me too!” or “I thought I was the only one who thought that!”  Mike McHargue’s brand-sparkly-new book Finding God in the Waves did that for me, and I’m sure does that same for those who long for a faith that has room to breathe in open air of science and mystery.

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Autumn and Existential Anxiety

(Phil Britton, Creative Commons)
(Phil Britton, Creative Commons)


My absolute least favorite time of year is the transition from summer to fall.  There’s always been a melancholy associated with it, the ending of summer, returning to school, growing up.  Seeing summer friends less often.  Underneath it all lies a current of knowing everything has an end to it.


Saltless Ocean


I’ve grown up on the shores of Lake Superior.  For nearly two decades, I’ve never lived more than a mile or two from this glorious body of water.  Summers in high school were spent on the beach and in the water as much as possible.  There’s just something about the rhythm of the waves, the grit of sand in your clothes/hair/bed/food, the gazing across an endless horizon shared with Canada; these things center me. 

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Meditate on these things

“…whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things.” ~Philippians 4:8

I’ve been getting Seth Godin’s daily blog in my inbox for at least 4 or 5 years.  Usually only a handful of sentences, they’re always inspiring and thought-provoking.  They’ve had a major influence on the way I think, but a couple months ago he wrote a blog that showed how it’s had that influence: 

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Minimalism Riff

“Minimalism is a lifestyle that helps people question what things add value to their lives. By clearing the clutter from life’s path, we can all make room for the most important aspects of life: health, relationships, passion, growth, and contribution.”
~The Minimalists

I adopted minimalism as a philosophy several years ago, but only really started engaging with it in the last year or so.  I’m a pretty complex person (Enneagram 7, Multipotentialite), so it’s really easy for me to accumulate, because “what if…?”  Minimalism is my check against that, the necessary tension that keeps things in balance, but even more then that I view minimalism as what keeps me nimble enough to be so diverse in my interests.  If I were weighed down with a glut of frick, I wouldn’t be able to change directions very easily. 

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