Saturday, October 28, 2006

Cultural context

My neighbor scored free tickets to an Indian dance performance over at the Lincoln, so I and his partner walked over to enjoy colorful costumes and dancing.
The first half was the local dance troupe just dancing. No story that was being told just dancing. I made up my own story, which was this was a girl gang of Indian dancers who were competing with the Irish step dancing gang. Then there was the out of town troupe, and it started off well then went downhill in a sari.
It began with a fellow on stage then down the aisle came the dancers with one fellow dressed as the Elephant god, whose name escapes me, on the shoulders of the male dancers. The story, yay elephant god! That I could figure out. The rest of it was three stories. One taking place in an ancient time, a story probably familiar to Indians or Hindus, but lost on me and my Jewish companions. The MC did sort of go over the story and it's history but I'm sorry, I had no friggin clue what the feck was going on. Something about a nasty rumor against the queen and her going through adversity. Yeah.... I'm sure if I was more familiar with the Sunday school version of the story I could better appreciate the alternative view and interpretation of the story, but no. While this was going on, on stage, the boys were nodding off. We escaped after the first story.
The other problem was the hand signals and gestures. This is also based in culture, which I couldn't interpret either. I could tell that the gestures meant something. Some were universal like sadness, crying, grief, NO!, and pregnancy. The rest, don't know and that was frustrating.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

October Grace

Dear Lord in Heaven
Thank you for the bounty of green tomatoes
that sit all over the house.
Thank you for the two tomatoes that did ripen.
I delight in joy,
receiving your gifts of one red and one green/yellow stripy tomato
Thank you for the sun and the rain and a good harvest of cilantro,
which with the tomatoes and a few things in the pantry allow me to
make tabbouleh.
The taste of it is out this world and the colorful sight
is a delight to the eyes.
Thank you,

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Walking in the garden

They heard the sound of the Lord G'd walking in the garden at the time of the evening breeze, and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord G'd among the trees of the garden.
--Genesis 3:8

In today's adult class we had Dr. Kathleen H. Staudt, and because she is a new (to me) lecturer in the series I'm holding off any general impressions I have of her. I will say that she has the same bad habit I do of going off on a tangent, breaking up the rhythm and thought of something. I guess it will be after several lectures when I can start to trust this new lecturer. Anyway, her topic (I guess as I don't have the schedule in front of me) was the Laity or Verna Dozier Explains All.
Near the end she read one of her poems, and it had a lot of visual language in it so it was best appreciated with one staring off in the distance. It takes place the moment before Genesis 3:9 ("But the Lord G'd called to the man, and said to him, "Where are you?") when G'd is walking in the garden about to meet up with Adam & Eve. Dr. Staudt imagines in the poem G'd looking forward to seeing them and wondering when they will come to notice all the joys of creation like the sea crashing on the shore. It reminded me so much of the way parents talk about their really young children who see the world with the new eyes of discovery, making things pleasing to the Lord. As a parent maddeningly happy with some craft their 5 year old made. This image held until there was a part of creating more humans, the discovery of flesh on flesh, creating flesh. I guess this was the go forth and multiply part (Genesis 1:28). This was the human family part where there was mankind united by flesh making new and different humans that are united to their parents. There was the joy of G'd reflecting on knowing (like being really good friends with) all these new humans, and being in their hearts? Then the poem ends with "Oh my beloved ones, what is this that you have done."

Friday, October 20, 2006

Eye Candy

Recently a very handsome man has been sitting near my regular pew.
He could have been attending for months, years even and I would never have noticed him, if he sat on the other side of the church. Ewan McGreggor could have been attending my church but if he plopped his cute butt on the other side of the church, never would notice him. It's not a big church but my focus is very limited when mass is going on, if it isn't between where I'm sitting and the celebrant, I don't see it.
Anyway, when I do go (I alternate between the church of the gay lawyer and the church of the really really blond people) I look forward to seeing the back of handsome guy's head. It has been a thrill thus far.
No, I'll just keep it to admiring G'd's work in the male form from afar. One, I've done pretty. Pretty was tall, muscular and handsome and I wanted to kill him in his sleep. BL made a good point when she said you (the girl) have to be the pretty one in the relationship. Second, if the church had a beauty contest, I sure as heck wouldn't even place in the top 20. Maybe at the other church I'd be in the 17-19 range, in the summer when all the college kids are away. In other words, based on appearances he's out of my league. Besides, I tend to favor the geekier guys, they are cute, in their own weird geeky way.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

From this week's reading

Mark 10:17-23
As he was setting out on a journey, a man ran up and knelt before him, and asked him, ‘Good Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?’ Jesus said to him, ‘Why do you call me good? No one is good but God alone. You know the commandments: “You shall not murder; You shall not commit adultery; You shall not steal; You shall not bear false witness; You shall not defraud; Honour your father and mother.” ’ He said to him, ‘Teacher, I have kept all these since my youth.’ Jesus, looking at him, loved him and said, ‘You lack one thing; go, sell what you own, and give the money* to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; then come, follow me.’ When he heard this, he was shocked and went away grieving, for he had many possessions.

...and no one to help him pack it all.

If I ran into our Lord the Christ and he said Mari sell everything you own and follow me. Sadly I'd probably grieve too because I've been trying to pack all the crap I have in the basement to give to charity, but it just ain't happening. I have a small corner devoted to stuff that needs to go to Goodwill or the Salvation Army. There is more stuff in the house that I plan to give away later but it's so friggin heavy and unweildy.
Where did all this come from? Okay 1/2 from IKEA. When I left my parents' house I had 1 suitcase. When I moved out of my apartment at UF it took 2 trips in the Volvo station wagon to move it all. When I moved from the Logan Circle apartment, that was about several trips in a pickup truck to go 1/2 a mile. About 1/2 of what I own, I don't need, so why do I have it? How do I get rid of it?

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Worst sermon evah!

Enough time has passed that I can post this, because I can't tell you what day this happened, but I do remember who gave the sermon and thus which church, so I'm not saying which church (and I attend 2) so that it could have been anyone.....

One Sunday one of the seminarians gave the worst sermon I have ever heard. The topic? No clue. The sermon had no direction and no point, it was the essence of the word 'uninspiring'. It was so bad that my first thought was, "is it wrong to heckle the seminarian?" I wanted to yell "YOU SUCK!" Yet, it would have been un-Episcopalian, and un-Christian. I pondered throwing some of the fruit I bought at the farmer's market at the seminarian. But I throw like a girl and more than likely would have hit the old woman in the 2nd row. It was bad.
I wasn't the only one who thought so. I noticed that some people decided to ignore the whole thing and have whispered conversations during the homily.
Praise the Lord that homilies tend to be short.
I think I have been spoiled with good homilies. I listen to Episcopalian (St. George's in Leeds, UK), Lutheran (Bethel Lutheran in Cupertino, CA) and Catholic (BustedHalocast, & Technopriest) homilies in podcasts and they are inspiring and good. It is just when encountering one so bad, I just had a violent reaction to it.

Saturday, October 14, 2006


Dear Lord in Heaven, save me from my own bad habits. AMEN.