Tuesday, January 29, 2008
I looked over the UU Blog Award nominations this morning. I confess I nominated myself once - and then I nominated several other people whose writing I admire, and posts that moved me.
Thank you to whoever nominated me.
Thank you to all the UU bloggers who challenge, confuse, entertain, amuse, and provoke me to deeper reflection through this strange and wonderful communication medium.
Friday, January 25, 2008
Wednesday, January 23, 2008
slices placed on the heated griddle
butter side down
Semi-hard white cheese, creamy,
just a little salty:
slices placed on top of the bread
More slices of buttered bread
placed on top of the cheese,
butter side up
Careful – pay attention
Turn at the precise moment
before the golden bottom slice
shades to dark brown
pay closer attention because
now the griddle is really hot
Slip off the griddle
just as the bottom slice
shades to golden perfection
Open sandwich up, carefully – the gooey cheesy filling is hot
Layer in thinly sliced fresh tomatoes
(right from the garden is best,
but in the winter you make do)
Close and eat, grateful
for the farmer
who grew the wheat
to make the hearty bread,
the dairy farmer
who tended the cows
whose pure milk became the cheese,
and the cheesemaker,
who grew the tomatoes,
red jewels of tart sweetness
that taste of sun and good dirt.
that snow still sparkles on the lawn
because this simple meal
prompted summer memories
on this frigid day.
Tuesday, January 22, 2008
The UU Blog Award Nominations are going on this week, and so far I've only seen one blogger post about them (other than UUpdater, who is running the show). I looked over the categories - and I have a fair idea which blogs I want to nominate for "best in class" categories.
But. Single entries? There are so many good posts - too many to remember them all! Last year several bloggers posted "here are my own favorites from my blog" posts, and it really helped jog my memory. Can we please do this again? I'll start with my own favorites from the year, and what a year it was...
Theological Commentary/Religious Writing:
"Dialog with a Christian, Parts I - V": here. The last one is at the top, first at the bottom.
"Experiencing the Divine": here.
"Spirit Speaks, Moves and Manifests": here.
"Is Atheism Non-Belief?": here.
"Passing for Middle Class": here.
"Jesus Camp" (a review): here.
"Spiritual, Not Religious?": here.
"Remembering Brigadoon": here.
"Magical Meanderings of My Mind on Monday": here.
"No Longer a Refuge": here.
"On a Rock?": here.
Poetry (not sure where this fits...):
"Chaplain's Log 1": here.
Monday, January 21, 2008
Friday, January 18, 2008
Well... the DH said "Hey, R is ready - she has her own crowbar!" (It was a Christmas present - one she asked for.)* R laughed, then we talked a bit about their summer service trip to New Orleans. During the week they were there they both participated (with a group) in the gutting of three flood-damaged residences in the lower 9th ward, swinging crowbars to take down drywall, and carrying out furniture and appliances damaged by toxic flood water.
As we talked, DH pointed out that all he'd heard about Clinton and New Orleans is that she has a recovery plan. He said John Edwards and Barack Obama had ventured into the city and done some actual, sleeves-rolled-up work. In comparison, our current president has toured the area in a helicopter.
Now, cynics may say (and they are probably partly right) that Edwards' and Obama's work provided nice photo-ops for their campaigns - and maybe that's what they were really doing. All I've got to say is: At least they got their hands dirty at least once. At least they were up close to flood-damaged residences, and presumably smelled the fumes of the toxic flood water still marinating abandoned possessions.
My 17 year old daughter - along with DH and 40 other youth and adults from two churches - took time out of her summer to work toward Katrina recovery. The least the candidates can do is roll up their sleeves and pitch in.
*Since their trip DH has been a regular at Habitat for Humanity work days, R has recently joined him.
Tuesday, January 15, 2008
How does one with no boots pull oneself up by one's bootstraps?
Why do we care about Paris Hilton, and Britney Spears, and the trainwrecks of their lives?
Speaking of Britney - her name is an anagram of what major religious denomination?
(thanks to UUJeff)
Why have we elongated adolescence to the extent we have? In other words, why aren't young adults being adults these days? I don't recommend it, but I was married at 19, and I didn't expect my parents to house, clothe, or feed me past high school.
In this information age, why do people who write untrue and unkind emails, which then get forwarded around and around the internet, think people won't check the facts for themselves?
Why is it good business to break promises to workers?
When will people learn the difference between "insight" and "incite?" Meditation might bring one insight. Offering Wiis at a phenomenal low price, then being unable to meet consumer demand, may incite a riot.
And, really - Dance War? Dancing with the Stars was fun, Dance War not so much... (I like Bruno in smaller doses.)
You're the Shanghai Transrapid!
Obsessed with magnets and the general study of physics,
people have often accused you of being a little nerdy. This time it's paid
big dividends, however, as you've proven that something others only
speculated about can be done. Rather than trying to reinvent the wheel,
you've come up with something creative and yet simple and practical. Taking
a brief break from science, you are sometimes known to meditate as well,
achieving slight levitation when you really focus.
Take the Trains and Railroads Quiz
at RMI Miniature Railroads.
Thursday, January 10, 2008
Wednesday, January 09, 2008
Monday, January 07, 2008
I'm at an intensive class for the week - tonight it's raining like crazy & I have the mother AND father of all headaches. But - I had to see what my favorite cartoon penguin was up to before medicating myself (one Tylenol PM ought to do) and putting myself to bed...
I laughed! Check it out: Opus
Friday, January 04, 2008
While listening to Sen. Obama's speech from last night, I started wondering if he's read any of Vaclav Havel's essays. Havel - political dissident, playwright, political prisoner ... and the first democratically elected president of the Czech Republic after communism fell. He knew something about hope, too. I've used the following as a reading in services - Havel has long been a hero in this household.
“Either we have hope within us or we don’t; it is a dimension of the soul, and it’s not essentially dependent on some particular observation of the world or estimate of the situation. Hope is … an orientation of the spirit, an orientation of the heart; it transcends the world that is immediately experienced… An individual may affirm or deny that his hope is so rooted, but this does nothing to change my conviction.
Hope, in this deep and powerful sense, is not the same as joy that things are going well, or willingness to invest in enterprises that are obviously headed for early success, but rather, an ability to work for something because it is good, not just because it stands a chance to succeed. The more (adverse) the situation in which we demonstrate hope, the deeper that hope is. Hope is definitely not the same thing as optimism. It is not the conviction that something will turn out well, but the certainty that something makes sense, regardless of how it turns out.”
from: The Politics of Hope, by Vaclav Havel
Thursday, January 03, 2008
On the wall is one of those signs that has plastic movable letters that form a message, below a fixed heading of "Today's Special." Obviously, it's meant to advertise a menu selection. Instead, it reads (w/o the rainbow photo - that's mine): Welcome to
I like it, too. The snarky side of me wonders, a la Douglas Adams, "Where is this Heaven place anyway?" But the side of me that is very human and very tender is thinking, "How wonderful."
Heaven - not just the place where G-d and the angels live. Heaven - a place where one experiences love and acceptance, a place to bring one's fears and sorrows and be comforted; a place to bring one's joy and wonder and have them celebrated; a place to laugh, to cry, to celebrate the best times of your life, and to fall on the ground in misery and grief; a place to bring one's questions and doubts and find companions to join in the search for answers and faith - affirming and challenging as necessary.
Heaven, for me, is most often found in my own home - with my dear spouse who has been with me in peak experiences of joy as well as the deepest valley of grief. Sometimes it's found with close friends - my chosen sibling - a women's circle.
I have this idea that it should also be found at church. One of the most popular hymns in our hymnal sings of exactly this experience: # 354, "We Laugh, We Cry," (often called "Credo.") Hmm... I think this will make it's way into words for this Sunday's service, which is half-written.
Heaven - I'd like to be there. But now - I have a ton of writing to do!
Happy New Year everyone!