Monday, November 28, 2011

Advent 2011

I've figured out what I'm going to do for my Advent practice. In addition to buying less STUFF, I'm going to read the Gospels of Mark and Luke to follow the story of Jesus' birth. If I get ambitious, I may even add in some Isaiah, to get some of the literary references that are made in the Gospels. There are some churches that suggest readings for every day, and put out pamphlets and stuff, and so I'm going to follow one of those as a guide.

I also have some ideas for some drawings that have been bubbling up to the surface of my mind, which I need to get on paper. I got the idea for this last Lent - and it was AWESOME!

I blogged about these people before, but the Advent Conspiracy people are at it again. Keep up the great work!!! Love it. I plan to give a number of gifts that are donations this year, instead of Stuff Gifts.

May you enjoy a meaningful Advent!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011


I am thankful and grateful for so much in my life.

With the state of the world today, I am especially glad for images like this one. May Peace Prevail.

Happy Thanksgiving, All!

Friday, November 18, 2011

Music from Syon Abbey, and Thankfulness

I got a chance to sing in a performance of medieval chants last night. It was a great experience. I didn't feel nervous at all. And the music was, as my fellow singing friend put it, "beautiful in the beautiful parts." So true. It looks like we will make a recording sometime in January 2012. Very Exciting! Here's part of the write up from the Facebook event announcement:

Syon, once located just outside of London, no longer exists. But from 1415 until 1539, it was one of the wealthiest, largest, and most important monasteries in England, home to 60 nuns and 25 monks. In Syon, the nuns ran nearly everything, including the monks who worshiped with them.

The chants in this performance were supposedly dictated to St Bridget of Sweden (d. 1373) by an angel, and haven't been heard or recorded outside the cloister since their creation over 600 years ago. This performance will combine a number of pieces from both the men's and the women's choir, providing -- in miniature -- a glimpse into the musical lives of this fascinating space.
Next Thursday will be Thanksgiving in the US. I am very grateful for so much in my life. I thought this idea from "SoulPancake" was Fantastic! A Gratitude Shout-Out! Check it out!

Friday, November 11, 2011

Vigilante Gardening

Now that the growing season is almost over, I found this heartwarming story of a "vigilante gardener" in Brooklyn, NY. The video is worth a look. One of those, "wow, Serendipity is Alive and Well" stories. I especially appreciate the connection to the Armenian Catholic church. I spent some time with Armenian Catholics back in college, and let me tell you, they would certainly appreciate a good fresh salsa. I ate better at that church than any other church I've visited, and that's saying something.

I also love the John Wesley quotation at the end. Keep up the great work, Vigilante!

“Do all the good you can. By all the means you can. In all the ways you can. In all the places you can. At all the times you can. To all the people you can. As long as ever you can.”
John Wesley

Monday, November 7, 2011

Religious Art in the News? Judith Butler

I always love it when I see spontaneous religious art! This piece was seen on the Bryn Mawr College campus where Judith Butler is scheduled to give three talks this month, full story here.

I vaguely remember reading her work when I studied Post-Modern theory during my Anthropology days, which honestly, I would rather forget (the theory part). However, now that I'm in another degree program, the idea of gender performance is coming up a lot.

She also spoke recently at the Occupy Wall Street site, and I was impressed:

In October 2011, Butler attended Occupy Wall Street and, in reference to calls for clarification of the protesters' demands, said, "People have asked, so what are the demands? What are the demands all of these people are making? Either they say there are no demands and that leaves your critics confused, or they say that the demands for social equality and economic justice are impossible demands. And the impossible demands, they say, are just not practical. If hope is an impossible demand, then we demand the impossible — that the right to shelter, food and employment are impossible demands, then we demand the impossible. If it is impossible to demand that those who profit from the recession redistribute their wealth and cease their greed, then yes, we demand the impossible."

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Day of the Dead

Here I am, wishing you a belated Day of the Dead. I spent some time yesterday on All Souls Day, thinking about my beloved departed friends and family. My grandmothers were in heavy rotation in my memories. As was my friend James.

I have started a tradition of celebrating the Day of the Dead with a big Mexican Feast and invite friends for the fiesta. Here's what I'm thinking of for the menu:
Jicama Salad
Sweet & Smokey Black Beans
Red Chile Pork
Corn off the cob
sweet potato enchiladas or quesadillas (could use a mole sauce on this)

Ask people to bring:
green salad

mocha cake
tembleque (coconut pudding)
[might try a cinnamon cake w/Mexican Chocolate frosting]
Or I guess I could make cinnamon sugar skull cookies and decorate them w/icing??

I plan to decorate with apples and pomegranates, and if there are any marigolds still blooming, I'll pick some. I hope to find a bunch of candles and have them lit, since it is "Candletime."

More beautiful photos of Day of the Dead altars in the Mission district of San Francisco can be found here.