I've also posted the link on Facebook.
Friday, May 29, 2009
I've also posted the link on Facebook.
Tuesday, May 26, 2009
Terri-Lynn leaves a ten-year-old child with a chronic illness.
Read Doxy's post, "Elegy."
Once we have wept and prayed, or perhaps while we still weep, let's act. Stay tuned. Doxy has one suggestion, but I am sure she and others will follow up.
Here is a clear, persuasive, factual presentation from 1999 on "The Case for Universal Health Care." More recent, and unconnected with the Green Party (to which you will see a reference in the presentation) is the national association Physicians for a National Health Program.* Tolle lege.
* Physicians for a National Health Program is a non-profit research and education organization of 16,000 physicians, medical students and health professionals who support single-payer national health insurance.
Health care is a human right.
I lived in the Boston area for 15 years and for three years a few years before that when I was in divinity school, so I have many dear friends there, from my old church (where I served on staff in my Catholic days and where I continued as a member after leaving the staff to go and work on my first book) and many other places. Those include the Episcopal Church, since the Diocese of Massachusetts and its cathedral are where I got to know the Episcopal Church, though I didn't become an Episcopalian till some years later when I was living in California. The Boston friends now include two of my Ph.D. classmates who got teaching jobs there. So, despite moving away, I have more peeps there rather than fewer. The city doesn't call itself the Hub for nothing.
After that I am headed to Halifax for the annual convention of the CTSA, which I had to skip last year for the first time in 15 years. (CTSA stands for Catholic Theological Society of America.) I've never been to Nova Scotia and I'm excited about the trip, though you don't get to see much during conferences. But I'm arriving in Halifax a bit early and leaving a bit late, so I hope to see the sights. I'll also get to see some of city since I will be staying in altnerate housing (staying at the hotel is so much better during conferences, but I just can't swing it without a roommate or two and I made plans too late to find roomies) and there will be bus rides involved.
Two very nice humans will be taking care of Her Grace the feline bishop while I am away so I am feeling a manageable level of guilt about leaving town so soon after my last trip.
Photo by Paul the BB.
Cross-posted on Facebook with this note:
This city kid is pleased -- and misses urban life. (Don't tell me Greensboro is a city. A city has sidewalks and public transportation.)
Monday, May 25, 2009
* ontology: the study or concept or understanding of being.
** in se: Latin for "in itself" [herself/himself/godself].
If you ponder this passage, you'll see that it is not as dense as it seems at first.
With thanks to FranIAm for drawing my attention to this quote from Catherine Mowry LaCugna's God For Us: The Trinity and Christian Life. (New York: HarperCollins, 1991, [pbk] 1993), 250.
That conversation took place today. Two days ago, on Saturday afternoon, I wrote this Facebook update:
Three friends from East, South, and West strolled on a yacht club boardwalk talking about the mysteries of the Holy Trinity. Srsly. Now we are writing. (Two theological works, one novel.) Tonight: silliness, boogie-ing, pre-nuptial and natal day (the groom's) festivities.
Who knew? Unlike Paul the BB, I am not among the 0.5 percent of preachers who like to preach on Trinity Sunday. Maybe this will change! I did once write a little something on the Trinity, to my own surprise.
I'll be on the road on Trinity Sunday, two weekends from now, so this is a little advance resource -- though there is never an inappropriate time to ponder the mysteries of the Trinity. (Another thing I thought I'd never say.)
Speaking of FranIAm, if you are a liturgical Christian (or perhaps even if you are not), you will like her "Ascension to Pentecost" series.
Or you can just ponder the Rublev icon.
Even in our joy, we do not forget our friends and loved ones who are barred by secular law and religious tradition from making the commitment we are making today. We pray for the day when all couples who wish to enter the covenant of marriage will be able to do so, and we will continue to work for the inclusion of all the baptized in the life and ministry of the church.
Saturday, May 23, 2009
More from one of the reporters on the scene here.
The "theology" label below is because we really did, as the reporter notes, walk by the water discussing the Holy Trinity. Three of us.
Perichoresis at noon and boogying at night. Come to think of it...
And here is a photo of the happy couple (with their permission). Wedding tomorrow. May Godde continue to bless these two good people, their love for each other, and their work in the world.
Photo 1 by Paul the BB. Photo 2 by FranIAm.
Friday, May 22, 2009
Friends of this blog will recognize (or see for the first time) the faces of some notorious bloggers.
L to R:
The not-so-blushing-but-quite-radiant bride, Doxy, whom I know both on blog and IRL (we are both in North Carolina and trouble-mak... er, active in the same Episcopal diocese);
the Canon to the Extraordinary, humble servant to +Maya Pavlova, FBE;
Yes, that is an empty glass of Shiraz. Photo by the Byzigenous Buddhapalian. (Click to enlarge.) For more photos, see his blog and Fran's Facebook page. Peace out.
Those of you with a spiritual practice, do send prayers, good vibrations, incantations, and meditations of healing to my godson Robbie (aka Lopi) who was assaulted and robbed yesterday and is in hospital bruised and with broken leg.
This was in Greensboro, just before I left town. In cheerier news, I have arrived at destination and have begun frolicking with friends. A quiet afternoon of writing now. More frolicking this evening.
Please pray also for Robbie's attackers.
Thursday, May 21, 2009
Meanwhile, Donald Schell has two lovely pieces in the Daily Episcopalian (link above) called "Making Saints." Ann Fontaine will have an essay up about Ascension this weekend. Enjoy.
Blessed Feast of the Ascension today!
Monday, May 18, 2009
Note: The bishop is currently napping, but the Canon to the Extraordinary, who is posting this note, is not doing so because she slept almost all morning. This exempts one from napping in the afternoon, though in cases of major necessity one can make exemptions to the exemption.
Grace, peace, and purrs to you from the Right Reverend and Right Honorable Maya Pavlova, Feline Bishop Extraordinaire. Now go and have a nap. Or two.
Sunday, May 17, 2009
This sermon is the Sunday worship follow-up to this and this.
I have two words in response: wow and amen.
Music for the occasion: Four movements from the same piece (Bach's Magnificat) from which I posted in the last two updates on Cecilia.
This is out of order since it is the 2d movement, but it is appropriate: Et exsultavit.
And the next two movements: Quia respexit and (especially) Omnes generationes.
And this, the 11th movement: Sic locutus.
Friday, May 15, 2009
In the course of hatching a rough draft, I have remembered once again one of my favorite books from childhood, one which I reread many times as a young adult and which my parents had to give away or leave behind during a major move. I cannot hope to track down that very copy of the book but in these days of the World Wide Web it is possible to find a book that has long been out of print. Every so often I search for it on the internet.
Lo and behold, after two and a half pages of writing I began poking around for the first time in months, and I found not only copies of the book available for sale but confirmation that the book was in fact the one I loved in the form of a picture of the book cover! The first few copies I saw online had either no picture of a cover or a very different picture from the edition I remember. So here is a picture of my beloved book. At some point I will order a copy for myself, or perhaps I will wait till my next trip to France or ask a friend to get it for me. I really want to read the book again but I am just happy it still exists somewhere.
By the way, the book is full of wonderful fables and legends and tales: how certain streets in Paris got their name, what a fortune-teller said to one of the Medici queens (two Medici women married French kings), who built what when, and how the city got its start. That part is not fable but historical fact. It is through this book that I learned about the Parisii, the tribe that gave Paris its name. Paris was a city of boat people, clustered on a few islands that were later consolidated into the two islands we know at the heart of the city. The Romans, of course, took over the islands when they conquered Gaul, did a lot of building, and named the city Lutetia (Lutèce in French), though some sources say that the city's name was already Lutetia by the time the Romans conquered it in 52 BCE. Bits of Roman amphitheatre and baths survive, but the Parisii came first and it is their name that endures.
The book is also chock-full of stories of the saints, and I still remember them: Denis, martyred (on what became known as Mons Martyrium, later abridged to Montmartre) and carrying his head in his hands all the way to what is now the town of St. Denis, where a basilica commemorates him; Geneviève the shepherd girl, praying away the Huns; and others, but those two especially.
Interesting how stories pour out of us when we are ready, or sometimes long after we were ready. I should have known by the grumpy mood of the last few days that I was cooking several pieces of writing. Reports and other mundane word processing stood at the doorway and blocked them. I must get back to those duty-bound words, but now I know what was ready to come forth, and there will be no stopping it.
I am glad he has written it. He is a good man. I was distressed at the way his former relationship got compared to the cases of abuse that were happening at the same time; he's no child abuser. He did something stupid, but that's not the same thing as being an abuser.
The Catholic Herald, Milwaukee's diocesan newspaper, has a context-setting article about the book.
Rembert and I met in the 1980s* and I consider him my friend. There is already media buzz about the book and there will be more. Let's read the book before making up our minds.
*In the context of work on the Catholic bishop's pastoral letter on economic justice.
A 7 p.m. postscript: It turns out there was an article in the NY Times today here.
Things have gone well so far. The congregation loves and knows Cecilia and appreciates what a good pastor she is. This is guiding the congregation's response.
There will be tough times ahead since the denomination to which Cecilia and her congregation belong is one that does not allow out lesbian and gay people to pastor. Pray for Cecilia, for her Beloved, for the congregation, and for the church, that the love of Christ may lead and surround them, that Godde may remind them daily that they are beloved and created by Godde, that the Spirit may guide and sustain them.
I am remembering also what many lesbian, bisexual, and gay friends have told me -- that coming out is not a one-time event but a process, and that coming out happens many times over time. Still, this event for Cecilia is perhaps the most important. She came out to close friends, to her children, and more recently to her father (see follow-up with her dad here) and to a few colleagues before telling the congregation.
Some music for the occasion, following up on the music selection from the previous post on Cecilia's coming out. Same piece, different movement, one of the most powerful.
Once again, this reinforces the message of the essay by Howard Zinn that I keep quoting to people, over and over until my face turns blue. I'll keep quoting it and telling people to read it. And re-read it. And act in consequence.
I love our President. And he's a politician. And we are the people. Be the people, all y'all. The active, vigilant people.
Thursday, May 14, 2009
Tuesday, May 12, 2009
At the time of the last update, Deenie had taken a turn for the worse and had surgery on her face to remove a cancerous growth which had made it hard for her to speak. I asked for your prayers.
Deenie got better. The friend who is keeping folks updated wrote an e-mail ten days ago titled "Deenie regaining strength: miracle or just moxie?" It read, in part,
***Whatever it is, your prayers must have packed a wallop. For those of you who didn't know (...) Deenie is now at [name of rehab center]. She's so much better ...
***The swelling in her face from the last operation has gone down, the stitches are out, and the scar, well, it's there, but not really disfiguring. Her hair has grown back since the brain surgery. The pain is under control. She's able to use a walker to get to the bathroom, she's getting speech and physical therapy, and she's eating real food again (not exactly home cooking at this institution, but it's acceptable). However, the tumors in her left thigh are growing very fast. That's the rough part. Apparently it's a rare development in a type of soft-tissue cancer that is usually slow-growing and which she probably had for years without realizing it.
Today, our friend wrote:
***Deenie is going home tomorrow (Wed. May 13). Between her neighbors and her friends, plus an aide several hours a day, it seems she'll be able to manage.
Deenie will die soon. She knows it. She is also living well. I worried during most of this year that I would not see her alive again, but the academic year is over, I am going to visit my parents in Boston in a couple of weeks, and I will have time to go to and visit my old friend. With her strength and Godde's grace, I will be able to see her and spend some time with her.
Dear Prayer Posse, please pray that Deenie will live well in the coming weeks, that she will have good care and be comfortable, and that she will continue in her tenacity and clarity. Hospice workers say that people often die the way they have lived, and Deenie has always been a woman of spirit and strength. May she continue with courage and peace as long as she remains in this life.
Picture: Hough's Neck, Quincy, Massachusetts, frozen ocean.
This first request is for my friend and colleague in ministry, Cecilia. She is a member of a different church from mine, one that could impose serious sanctions on her and her ministry for coming out as a lesbian. She has been blogging for quite some time at Closeted Pastor. She did not start blogging with the conscious intention of coming out. Those of us who commented and joined her circle of conversation did not urge her either toward staying in the closet or toward leaving it. We accompanied Cecilia. In her time and Godde's time she made the decision to come out, and tomorrow she will come out to her congregation's governing board, and Thursday to her congregation.
Please accompany Cecilia in prayer if you feel moved to do so. I pray for her, in thanksgiving for her deeply pastoral ministry and for her courage, for her Beloved, and for her church. She is peaceful and has prayed through this decision. If only the Church in all its manifestations were as loving as Jesus, we would have nothing to fear. But even with fear, we have with us an Advocate. In Godde's Holy Spirit, which is the Spirit of Jesus, we go forth.
As a straight ally, I pray that I will keep faith with my lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgendered friends and that I will not step back from standing with them as they bravely go forth, wanting only to live and love as Godde created and called them. Pray for Cecilia. Pray for the Church.
Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, "At the Moulin Rouge: Two Women Waltzing"
Monday, May 11, 2009
Saturday, May 9, 2009
Eyes look a bit strange due to camera flash. Otherwise, it's our +Maya. One leap from floor to counter, another leap from counter to top of fridge, quicker than a flash.
Click to enlarge and see detail.
In that second one, she looks as if she might be asleep, but she's grooming herself. Note the paw behind the folded ear. Click to enlarge and see detail.
Thursday, May 7, 2009
I am grading papers (grades are due first thing in the morning, no late grades allowed) and feeling all kinds of deadline pressure but taking a break to go out to dinner with two wonderful men who love each other. Life is good.
(That's the back terrace of the restaurant. Click to enlarge.)
Wednesday, May 6, 2009
So let's have some fun with this, and let me ask you all:
What was the hardest age for you to reach?
What was your best birthday? (So far. You have some other good ones ahead, G*d willing.)
What was the most difficult birthday you've ever had? Why?
What is your favorite thing to do (or not to do) on your birthday?
What is your favorite thing about birthdays?
Do the approach and day of your birthday evoke particular memories? Smells? Tastes? Feelings?
Birthdays: love 'em, hate 'em, ignore 'em? None of the above?
How do you feel about age and aging?
How (if at all) does your congregation (or spiritual circle, or whatever your community of meaning and celebration is) celebrate or honor its members' birthdays?
What did your family do about birthdays when you were growing up?
Do you have "mortality moments" on your birthday? Do you invariably feel grateful? Both? Neither?
Do you tell people your age? Why or why not?
Do you take the day off on your birthdays? Why or why not?
If you do, what do you do (or not do)?
Have you ever spent a birthday alone? Do you prefer spending your birthday alone?
Do you broadcast your birthday or prefer not to mention it?
Do you have particular rituals on your birthday?
What do you think of birthday parties?
What do you think of surprise parties?
At what time of year were you born? How has this affected your birthdays?
What is (are) your culture(s) of origin? How do you think this affects your attitude toward birthdays?
How does the culture in which you now live affect your birthday and your attitude toward birthdays?
Does your religious or spiritual practice affect your birthday practice(s) and your attitude towards birthdays?
Do you feel differently about other people's birthdays and your own?
Do you have trouble remembering your loved ones' birthdays? Do you keep a birthday book?
Tell the truth now: do you celebrate your pets' birthdays?
I suppose I should ask what your favorite birthday present has been, but that is an afterthought. I don't think I've ever really remembered specific birthday presents as much as I have where I was or with whom I was or what I did. Or what I ate. But that may be me.
I do remember and treasure a few specific birthday presents - e.g. I still have the present my best friend from college gave me on my 20th birthday and I have a few noteworthy birthday memories, not all of which are suitable for a family blog.
Feel free to ask your own questions about the birthday thang, too.
Use the "Comments" section below. Answer any or all of the above, as you please.
As MadPriest would say: Off you go, then.
P.S. I'm turning 57. Tomorrow. Pretty nondescript, except for the fact that it is the only time I will ever turn 57 on 5/7. And of course people have already started making Heinz 57 Varieties jokes. Which doesn't really go very far with someone like me who likes homemade salad dressing and doesn't like or eat hot dogs. Not that ketchup isn't sometimes necessary.
Tuesday, May 5, 2009
Our friend Kirkepiscatoid, who is not only an Episcopalian, as her nom de blog indicates, but also an MD pathologist (not to be confused with pathological) who trains and thus grades medical students, had a suggestion I cannot resist posting. It is, as it were, part of the core curriculum of grading music.
Enjoy. And note the brass players tapping their feet to the rhythm!
If you're one of my Facebook friends, you will probably see more links to grading music on FB as the evening continues. Or you can just go to my update from last night and see some suggestions and links already present.
P.S. Kirkepiscatoid is also a thoughtful blogger on matters spiritual and temporal, so you might want to check out her blog.
Monday, May 4, 2009
Today is my maternal grandfather's birthday. He died two months before I turned eight years old and I still remember him fondly. We were always close and I think of him often. When my mother visited him during his dying days (we were living in different countries so it was a big trip for her, from France back to New York, leaving her husband who was working two jobs and her two children during the school year) he once said to her, during one of their conversations, "How I wish I could see Jane when she has grown into a young woman."
I like to think that he has seen me somehow and that he is with me, watching and giving me courage.
I wrote about him and posted a picture of him two years ago.
As I noted then, today is also the birthday of one of my cousins (we are almost twins; my birthday is three days after hers, same year of birth - we were our grandfather's birthday presents) and of Nephew the Elder, who is 39!!! (I can hardly believe that, but since Brother of Acts of Hope is 66, it must be true.)
My grandfather's name was William. My grandmother called him Will. Everyone else called him Bill, including his grandchildren.
I miss him.
Meanwhile, I posted the following update on Facebook this morning:
Jane Redmont is extremely very cranky, adding to the to-do list, about to deal with the bureaucracy, and not amused. Gazing at the irises in bloom as much as possible, drinking Assam tea, and looking forward to the Women's Studies dinner tonight. Hoping to check off two major items on the to-do list by lunchtime. Organizing graded and ungraded student papers in stacks. In despair over the state of grammar and punctuation.
Saturday, May 2, 2009
Friday, May 1, 2009
I just didn't have anything new to say about it.
I do have lilies of the valley in my garden, though.
What's the connection between labor and lilies? See my post of two years ago. (A follow-up on this.)
A little bonus on Haymarket and May Day from the Encyclopedia of Chicago History.
Photo: The Haymarket Memorial, Chicago. (Erected only in 2004!)
Note: if anyone can figure out the meaning of this song, let me know. JT has all kinds of cryptic, poetic songs, and this is one of them. It may well be that to let them be evocative is the best approach, but sometimes there are stories behind the songs.
Picture from now, because middle-aged men are much more sexy than younger ones.
And a bonus: JT's first appearance on network TV! Great song. Mellow out, folks, it's Friday.