"God protected me."
"God saved me."
"God has a plan for me."
Every time I hear these words or words like them, I should simply close my eyes and hold my head in my hands. In this way, I might be able to keep from doing something unseemly - like yelling at the evening TV news over my bowl of soup. "What about everyone else that God didn't help? What about them, fuckstick, what about them?" As you can imagine, acting in such a way serves no real purpose and upsets everyone else in the near vicinity. It's self-indulgent acting out.
It's just that - well - there's this thing - and the thing is this - if there is a God at all - and that's a big "if" - if you spend but five milliseconds looking around the world, you have to come to the conclusion that God is much more complicated and in the end, waaaay more unknowable than we give God credit for with our fawning, greeting card treacle like "God is love. God is great.. God is whatever." or the truly wretched "God saved me. God has a plan for me.. etc"
The wind was blowing a good piece a couple hours ago,
certainly some gale force gusts.
And yet - blessedly -
The power stayed on - only flickering a bit just to make things fun.
The big pines are still upright.
They're doing that sobering dance they do in strong breezes.
I've been up late listening to the wind.
Since this is the first big storm in a while,
I thought it might be good to be on the alert
in case one of the old boys gets tired
and decides that it's time for a nap on the house.
At least it's not snow,
otherwise - things would be looking like this..
Let's play a little bit of Mad Libs today. You know, Mad Libs are those inexpensive paperbacks you can get at CVS or Walgreens. The Mad Lib books have short little stories in them with words left out. Kids can then provide their own words to complete the stories.
Well - it just so happens that a bit of text from a recent Jonathan Capehart editorial in WaPo provides us with a chance to relive our childhood memories.. Mr Capehart no doubt is trying to find some small ray of hope in the ongoing parade of bigotry starring the RCC hierarchy, and so came up with this gem:
OK. So here's what you do. Replace the bolded, italicized, underlined text with your favorite ethnicity, skin color, sexual orientation, whatever and then re-read.
Let's start with "bald white Irish males".
Hilarious right? Zany fun!
Here's the thing though - once you start inserting other groups of people into our Mad Lib, you quickly see what a small thing Francis actually did and that what transpired at the recent synod is not revolutionary at all - but merely more condescending bigoted behavior displayed by spoiled, scared little boys...
While waiting for a photo shoot to begin yesterday, I took out the iPhone and shot some pics through the dirty windows of the office I was in. I don't know what the current occupant of the office thinks of their view - but I thought it was spectacular… the backsides of old buildings.
I have always been drawn to the backsides of things.. those sides of buildings, processes, communities, organizations, mission statements, lives, whatever, that are intentionally kept out of public view. That's where all the interesting, messy, bloody stuff invariably is. The front of things is all smooth, sterile, shiny, modern, maybe even inviting. Fronts are carefully manicured and managed. It's the backside that really lets you know what's going on - bricked up windows, broken pipes dripping God-knows-what, monstrous rusting air conditioners, garbage dumpsters leaking grease, abandoned cars, abandoned dreams, broken glass, broken lives.
It's the backside that tells the most truth - and holds the most possibility for connection - always.
"Touch the earth, love the earth, her plains, her valleys, her hills, and her seas; rest your spirit in her solitary places. For the gifts of life are the earth’s and they are given to all, and they are the songs of birds at daybreak, Orion and the Bear, and the dawn seen over the ocean from the beach."
~ Henry Beston - The Outermost House ~
"The vision of a table at which everyone sits together is one that explodes worlds. It's one that explodes worlds in which some people count and others do not count, in which some people have a right to tables and others do not enjoy that right, in which some people deserve food and others do not deserve to be fed, or deserve to be fed slop as they kneel at animal troughs."
~ William D. Lindsey - Bilgrimage ~
Today at the Cathedral of the Great Wide World, there was no shilly-shallying about with Indian Summer. No humans dared show up wearing brightly colored, late-season swimwear and hauling beach chairs and red coolers filled with sandwiches and frosty soft drinks.
The seasonal moving truck just unloaded.
Fall moved in.
Sister Wind blew offshore at a steady ten knots with gusts nearly twice that. Her efforts made fifty two degrees seem much chillier. The sky was filled with the broken remains of a passing cold front. As they flew out to sea, clouds made dramatic, racing, splashes of light and dark upon the earth.
On a sun-drenched day at the Cathedral, low tide means that the curtain of tears wept by the dunes becomes a vast shimmering mirror for the heavens.
Even a lowly creature like me - broken and earthbound - felt my feet walk the very heights.
All this would have been much more than enough - but there was more.
Scattered about in the tear-covered sand were dozens of sand dollars. These beautiful round skeletons - generous final offerings of congregants long dead - have been a most favorite collectible ever since I was a boy - magic - the very grail of a walk along the sea..
And so - no longer earthbound - I genuflected in the rippling heavens and plucked finely etched circles of magic out of the firmament; ever so gently stowing them in my pocket.
Sarah - A Broad-faced Sac Spider (Trachelas Tranquillus)
Sarah the Sac Spider felt a bit out of place on the back slider shade.
Her preferred hangout during the day is under leaves and bark.
Nevertheless, she was extremely cooperative and stood quite still while I took her picture.
Sarah was backlit because of the sunlight coming through the shade,
so I used the little light on my phone to illuminate her.
The light bothered her and I had to ask her not to squint..
She was very brave and tried to keep all eight of her eyes wide open.
After our photo session, I encouraged her to find a less
conspicuous place to pass the time since not
all human inhabitants of this house were