Friday, February 19, 2010

Spring! Where are you?

"Bread feeds the body, indeed, but flowers feed also the soul." ~The Koran

This post is a round up of sorts. I am getting tired of Winter, as are many of my East Coast friends. We've had a lot of snow, and it's all frozen and yucky now. I can't get my car in and out of my parking space without getting stuck, which bugs me, seeing as how I'm a New Englander and all. Yesterday as I was walking around, I felt that Spring was in the air - I could FEEL it. But today, it's blustery and cold out. I've been thinking of all those Daffodils under the snow and ice, and how GLAD I will be to see them bloom.

I'm also dreaming about our recent trip to the UK and how beautiful and green it was in Cornwall in December! Part of that trip included an amazing tour of Westminster Abbey, where we saw the tomb of Eleanor of Castile [image]. She sounds like an awesome lady, impressive that her husband (Edward I of England) had crosses erected for each place her body stopped on the journey back to London after her death. There was a beautiful stained glass window of Eleanor and Lady Margaret up in the rafters of the Abbey.

And of special note, I had a stunning conversation w/La Segunda recently which I will recount here:

me: I love you.
La S.: Why did you say that?
me: Well, we were quiet, and I wanted to tell you how I felt.
La S.: Well, I think you should say, "we're alive, we're happy, and we love each other."


[image from: Idle Speculations]

Monday, February 15, 2010

Lent 2010

It's almost Lent, and I just started to think about what my practice will be for Lent this year. As you know, Lent is my favorite time in the church calendar. I like the reflective nature of it, and the drama of Palm Sunday just can't be beat - so moving. Anyway, the customs around Lent are described at wikipedia:

There are traditionally forty days in Lent which are marked by fasting, both from foods and festivities, and by other acts of penance. The three traditional practices to be taken up with renewed vigour during Lent are prayer (justice towards God), fasting (justice towards self), and almsgiving (justice towards neighbour). Today, some people give up a vice of theirs, add something that will bring them closer to God, and often give the time or money spent doing that to charitable purposes or organizations.[8]

I wasn't coming up with anything inspiring, until I took a look at a friend's post on SoulPancake. You should check it out too. It's kind of more of a meme than a Lenten practice, but this is what I'll do:

Now, the opportunity: Draw on your innate creativity and make a collage that represents your soul over the past year.

No one else can tell your story like you can. Here are some guidelines to help you get started:

1. Make a list of your highlights, low points, and learning experiences of 2009.
2. Find some old magazines, bits of paper, small objects or photos and cut out the images/words that resonate with the experiences on your list.
3. Layer the images and words and attach them to a surface (using glue, wire, tape—whatever).
4. Upload your collage here and tell us how it felt to tell your story using art.

Can you muster the courage to share the life of your mind, soul, and emotions?

So, I'm going to do that project. And, I'm going to continue to work on prayer, because I'm starting to feel like it's really effective! I'm not sure yet on the fasting.... I don't think I can handle a Facebook fast, but I will probably focus on eating better. For the "almsgiving" mentioned above, I am still working on raising money for Haiti.

On a similar note, I just got a link from another friend about facing "mid-life" and how to cope with change. That the lived life means facing change, and the fear involved.... it's a thought provoking article, especially coming ahead of my BIG birthday coming up.

Image from religious imagery in culture

Friday, February 5, 2010

My Big Birthday Idea

Hey All,

So, I'm turning the big 4-Oh next month. Yes, that's right, 40 years old. And in honor of my big day, I've set up a fund-raising site for Partners in Health, an organization that does amazing health work around the world, but also has been on the ground in Haiti for over 20 years.

My birthday wish is to raise some money for them so they can continue their health programs. Please go check out my page!

Thank you!

"God gives us humans everything we need to flourish, but he’s not the one who’s supposed to divvy up the loot. . . You want to see where Christ crucified abides today? Go to where the poor are suffering and fighting back, and that’s where He is. " - Paul Farmer, Partners in Health Co-Founder, quoted in Mountains Beyond Mountains: The Quest of Dr. Paul Farmer, A Man Who Would Cure the World, by Tracy Kidder