Friday, October 24, 2008

Weekly Blog Round-Up

Here are some beautiful photos of small African American churches - "cathedrals" in Chicago, by photographer Dave Jordano. Found on Pruned.

A NYT article in the travel section about staying in monasteries in Europe.

"Yes We Carve" Pumpkins for Obama on youtube.

And in the "big picture," a discussion of the visual impact over course of election of Obama posters & design.

"Let them eat cup cake(s)!" - Kirsten Dunst with a cupcake from the fabulous Sofia Coppola film, Marie Antoinette. I loved that she used 80's music to set many of the scenes. Somehow they worked perfectly. Photo from Cupcakes Take the Cake.

Maureen Dowd on Powell's endorsement of Obama, Muslims in America, and I can't believe I agree with her.

Greenspan recants. Great. What a jerk. This is just like McNamara book finally admitting the mistakes made in Vietnam.

Obama votive candle

A new (to me) goddess site.

A hilarious piece from Larry David about how tough to wait out election from HuffPo.

And as a counterpoint to Larry David, I leave you with a note from my guy, Rob Brezsny on how to get through this election:

Dear Readers,

Before the last U.S. presidential election in 2004, What Is Enlightenment? magazine posed the following query to five religious leaders: "Many people argue that the upcoming presidential election is the most important in our lifetime. Do you agree?"

Four of the respondents said, in effect, "Yes, because George Bush is bad for America and the world."

But the fifth religious leader, Zen Buddhist Jan Chozen Roshi, replied, "I don't know. Our existence is so short, it's like a dust mote in the eye of God. To say that the time in which my dust mote existed was the most important is a self-centered view."

Roshi's wisdom reminded me of an anecdote told by Henry Kissinger, an American politician who was Secretary of State in the 1970s. Kissinger once asked Chinese premier Zhou Enlai what he thought of the French Revolution, which had happened two centuries earlier. "Too soon to tell," Chou answered.

I always like to keep these ideas in mind, even in times of relative peace and calm. But I'm especially fond of focusing on the very big picture when divine chaos is whirling around -- like now. It helps keep me humble, and discourages me from any temptation I might have to believe I know the Whole Truth about anything, let alone about the mysterious long-term processes at work in the evolution of the human race.

There's another factor that makes me cautious about getting embroiled in partisan politics and the narrow-minded hostility that fuels it. One of my main goals in life is to love everyone with passionate intensity -- no exceptions. Not just the people I find beautiful and helpful and interesting and attractive. But also the people I don't like and the people who don't like me and the people I disagree with and the people who can't or won't do anything for me.

In order to become the gorgeous genius I aspire to be, in order to fulfill the unique destiny I came to Earth to embody, I have to hold EVERYONE in my heart with compassion and empathy. As I contemplate how every single part of creation is interconnected, I've got to be aware that the creatures I'm allergic to and inclined to feel alienated from are also part of the great web of life.

That's my spiritual goal; it's essential to awakening my best self and cultivating a connection to Spirit. It's also my selfish goal; it's critical to my physical and mental health. Hatred always sickens me. Love always invigorates me.

Icon of Christ Sophia, by Robert Lentz, from Trinity Stores

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