Friday, October 30, 2009

Extra Insight

I went to Ray's funeral today. It was a "good" one, by my standards. I thought the priest's homily was excellent, a good reminder about forgiveness. And helpful for me in my continuing struggle with another friend's death.

Anyways, I was reading my horoscope from Rob Brezsny for this week, and thought I'd share, it's very appropriate for me right now:

I hope you won't merely wander around the frontier. I hope you'll undertake a meticulous yet expansive exploration of that virgin territory. Here are some tips on how to proceed: 1. Formulate specific questions about what you're looking for. 2. Develop a hypothesis for the experiments you want to carry out. 3. Ignore what doesn't interest you and pounce only on what stirs your fascination. Halloween costume suggestion: an alien anthropologist visiting Earth from another planet; a time-traveler from the future who's doing a documentary on this historical moment; a religious pilgrim who's keeping a detailed journal.
I am listening to "Personal Jesus" right now as I type..... synchronicity??

P.S. Don't forget it's Daylight Savings time this weekend - Fall Back!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

This Weekend, Folks

I was just wondering when it was time to reset the clocks, and now I know. h/t Jennifer. :)

Monday, October 19, 2009

Moxie's post for Ray

Moxie's post today really moved me, so I'm going to quote some of it here:

Someone I loved and lost once told me, "It's no trick for God to work through someone perfect. The more broken you are, the more God shows his glory by shining through you." Whether you believe in a guiding force or not, the universe creates imperfection. You in all your weakness are exactly what we need.

Please stay. Even if you don't know how. Just keep getting up in the morning. Eat what you can. Drink water. Go to bed, even if you can't sleep. Go outside and turn your face to the sun. If you can, do this with Teresa for 3 minutes a few times a day. And tell someone how you feel. A friend. A stranger. Leave it in the comments here.

Don't go.

This post is for my friend Ray, who went.

My friend Moxie posted the above about our mutual friend Ray. Moxie is a fabulous woman, and fierce friend. What I love most about her blog posts is that she is thoughtful AND includes CONCRETE advice for how to get through the rough patches (see above).

At my college we had this comment board at the dining halls where you could put up suggestions or comments or whatever on napkins - often the closest piece of paper to hand while in the dining hall. I don't remember when I started doing this, but after reading many awful and negative flame wars on the napkin notes, I decided to ONLY post positive napkin notes. Like, "thanks for the yummy vegan chocolate cake, who knew it could be so delicious!?" I'm all about the positive feedback - life's too short not to tell people when they're doing a good job, or even "just" keepin' on keepin' on. I feel like I'm continuing the "napkin notes of life."

One of the things that sucks about death is that no matter what: you never know if people read the positive napkin notes, or whether they believed they were about them. But Moxie's quotation above is wonderful:

"It's no trick for God to work through someone perfect. The more broken you are, the more God shows his glory by shining through you."
Hang in there Moxie, and all who grieve for Ray. And all who struggle just to make it through.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Cool Grannies & Fifinella

"During World War II, a select group of young women pilots became pioneers, heroes, and role models...They were the Women Airforce Service Pilots, WASP, the first women in history trained to fly American military aircraft."

My friend's grandmother was one of these women.

"This official mascot was designed by Walt Disney for a proposed film (from Roahl Dahl's book, "The Gremlins". During WWII, the WASP asked for permission to use her as the official mascot and the Disney Company generously agreed. Official Fifinella 'went to war' and was worn in the form of patches. Some were leather, some were cloth...worn on WASP flight jackets."
She recently got a "Fifinella" tattoo. I'm not a tattoo gal, myslef, but this is SO awesome. I'm going to tell my daughters this story.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Blog Action Day [] is the first large-scale grassroots global campaign against climate change. Its supporters include leading scientists, the governments of 92 countries, and a huge variety of environmental, health, development and religious NGOs. All
agree that current atmospheric levels of CO2 -- 390 parts per million -- are causing damage to the planet and to its most vulnerable people, and that government action at the United Nations Copenhagen climate conference is required to bring the earth's carbon level swiftly down to 350 ppm.

What is 350? 350 is the number that leading scientists say is the safe upper limit for carbon dioxide in our atmosphere. Scientists measure carbon dioxide in "parts per million" (ppm), so 350 ppm is the number humanity needs to get below as soon as possible to avoid runaway climate change. To get there, we need a different kind of PPM -- a "people powered movement" that is made of of people like you in every corner of the planet.
Go to for more info.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Autumn Meme etc.

I found this meme on the blog The Kitchen Door [thanks Charlotte for the link!] I love her "Prayer Request Wednesday" feature - check it out! Anyways, to the meme:

1. Share a Fall memory.
Of course jumping in a pile of leaves that my dad raked. Walking outside in the crisp air. Beautiful blue skies, orange leaves blowing in the breeze. Apple picking and eating. Waking up warm and cozy in bed.

2. Your favorite Fall clothes--(past or present)?
Warm sweaters. A gift from a friend of hand-me-down oxblood leather boots that go great with all my plaid skirts. Woolly tights.

3. Share a campfire story, song, experience...etc.
Not really a campfire song, but my college has a tradition of singing Greek hymns outside in candlelight in November. It's beautiful and haunting and amazing.

4. What is your favorite thing about this time of year?
I used to hate this time of year because I would always catch a cold that would last all winter. And I hated being cold all winter, with the snow and dreariness and all. But I have come to really appreciate fall for the beautiful season that it is. The colors and crispness of it all is overwhelming some days. In my household, everyone but me has their birthday in the fall, so it makes it a time of celebration. Plus we host Thanksgiving, and who doesn't love Halloween? I also think All Soul's Day is one of the most beautiful ideas out there, and so I try to create a WASPified Dia de los Muertos, if you can picture that. I plan to take the photos of the family members that have died and put them on the dining room table w/candles and then cook a big Mexican feast. Yummy.

5. What changes are you anticipating in your life, your church, the season changes and winter approaches?
I am considering what becoming a chaplain would mean for me. How I would do it, how much schooling I would need, how I would do it w/my current life situation, etc. While I remember that my daughters are growing each and every day. I don't want to let that slip by in a cloud of busyness - where I don't recognize their awesomeness. [I didn't sign up for Moxie's Release the Yelling class, but hope to when I have more time/less insanity in my schedule.....]

Bonus: What food says "AUTUMN" at your house? Recipes always appreciated.
Pumpkin pie. I use the recipe on the Libby's can. It's the best.

* 3/4 cup granulated sugar
* 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
* 1/2 teaspoon salt
* 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
* 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
* 2 large eggs
* 1 can (15 oz.) LIBBY'S® 100% Pure Pumpkin
* 1 can (12 fl. oz.) NESTLÉ® CARNATION® Evaporated Milk
* 1 unbaked 9-inch (4-cup volume) deep-dish pie shell
* Whipped cream (optional)

Friday, October 9, 2009

For the Weekend

True Faith by New Order

WOW: That Rob Brezsny!
"Tenderness and rot / share a border," writes the U.S. Poet Laureate Kay Ryan in one of her poems. "And rot is an / aggressive neighbor / whose iridescence / keeps creeping over." Your job in the coming week, Pisces, is to reinforce that border -- with a triple-thick wall, if necessary -- so that the rot cannot possibly ooze over and infect tenderness. It is especially important right now that the sweet, deep intimacy you dole out and stimulate will not get corrupted by falseness or sentimentality. I urge you to stir up the smartest affection you have ever created.
That's my horoscope for this week. Whew.

Have a good weekend, All!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Religious Art in the News


Religious art in the news! I read about this first on the Huffington Post, which got the news from Mother Jones. The artist Jon McNaughton and his painting, "One Nation Under God" was "above the fold" on the Huffington Post this morning.

I finally got to the artist's website to take a look but wasn't able to use the roll-over feature to identify the people in the painting - I think it's overwhelmed by hits.

I don't agree with McNaughton's politics, and I'm always a little suspicious when artists try to conflate religion and politics - but it happens a lot. He's chosen a scene which he is hoping will visually spread his beliefs. That's what I like about religious art - the use of symbols to get ideas across.

He's heavy handed in this case, and McNaughton uses words to describe the message of the image, which also waters it down (imo). The painting feels pedantic to me. I don't think it's as successful as other political uses of the image of Jesus because of all his explication.

But, it's exciting to see religious art make news!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Klimt for a beautiful Fall day

What a beautiful image. Just perfect for a gorgeous fall day.

As many of you know, I am truly inspired by Terry's blog Idle Speculations (where this image is from). You gotta check it out if you like Christian religious art. Lots of research goes into each post. As ever, keep up the great work, Terry!

Friday, October 2, 2009

Cool Architectural Idea

I don't know if this really counts as religious art, but it certainly is a cool idea. bldgblog featured the work of Yousef Al-Mehdari, an architecture student as part of an upcoming exhibition at the dreamspace gallery in London.

The work reminds me of the Alhambra, in Spain - gorgeous. And, since I've seen the "anatomy" exhibit of Dr. Gunther Von Haagens' "Bodyworlds," I can appreciate the link bldgblog is making. As ever, keep up the great work!

The inscription reads - "There is no other help than the help that comes from God, the clement and merciful One."