Friday, May 30, 2008

Sticks and stones ...

I've been reading and thinking lately about eco-theology, a topic I've just become aware of, though it may have been around for years.

J. and I consider ourselves environmentalists-in-the-making. We recycle everything. Last month I recycled the gas/electric bill before I paid it (this was the source of much hilarity when I had to call them up and ask for the amount due). Last year, when the plight of the honeybee was in the news, J. called our lawn-care company and had them eliminate anything non-organic from their applications to our lawn (so now we have weeds; oh well; I'm the one who wants to turn the front lawn into a meadow anyway!). But we have miles to go before we make any impact, if we ever do!

So I've been reading Thomas Berry, who echoes my feeling that everything belongs, and that we and the earth and all its inhabitants are all interconnected. I could quote from every page of Evening Thoughts (but I won't, so I'll still have some friends left!). I cannot even begin to select a quotation from this book. Reading it was a marvelous experience. Go and buy it right now!

This may be the right time to talk about rocks. Years before I read Iris Murdoch's The Green Knight, I was bringing home rocks and stones from my travels. Mine don't move around on the shelf, unlike those in Murdoch's book, but they all seem to be individuals. And certainly they are all unique, like all humans. I would feel a real loss if any of them were gone.

Well, there you go. We all have our secrets! I like the solid feel of rocks in my palm. One fits perfectly in my hand while I say prayers at night. It makes me feel some elemental connection with places I've been, with people I've known, with God. Eventually I forget which rocks represent which places, and I think that's probably a good thing.

So I recommend rocks and stones as a way of connecting -- go collect some! And may yours move around on the shelf!

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Diet Report

Sigh.

After almost 4 months on this diet, I have managed to lose .....

(Drum roll, please) ....

12 pounds.

OK, it's 12 pounds I didn't need. And if I stopped having a couple of glasses of wine in the evening, it would be more. Maybe.

What I really want is a

HUGE BOWL OF PASTA!

and a

WHOLE BAG OF POTATO CHIPS!

But that's not happening. I shall continue with Lean Cuisine frozen dinners. My husband is enormously proud of me.

Because he doesn't see me sneaking peanut butter!

Friday, May 16, 2008

Three cheers for the California Supreme Court!

Cheering for anything a typical Supreme Court does is not a normal reaction of mine, but there you go!

California rocks!

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Taking the long, calm view

I will freely admit that taking the long view is not something I'm good at. When I see an injustice, I want it fixed --- right now. And since we know God's time is not necessarily our time, I am often left waiting, with empty hands.

But after finishing Bishop Gene Robinson's new book, In the Eye of the Storm, I feel a deep sense of calm and peace about the turmoil we Anglicans find ourselves in, even if I think I know what to do to fix it -- right now. The exclusion of GLBT folks may not end right now, but it will surely end. After all, we have been through this before:

Our Anglican difficulties today aren't really new. They're just a new chapter in a very old conflict that started a couple of thousand years ago, and the Holy spirit has been there in the midst of every battle, large and small. People often ask me when this infighting will end. My response is always a rather pessimistic "never." Because just as soon as we make some serious progress on the gay and lesbian issue, God will point out somebody else we've been overlooking, just as God pointed out that we'd been excluding women and people of color and those who are differently abled. Remember that a lot of people said we didn't need to build handicapped access ramps because we didn't have anybody in wheelchairs. But when we built the ramps we had disabled people coming out of the woodwork. God won't be finished with us until we do what God wants, which is to embrace all of God's children. It's just that simple. (p. 161-162).

Not that it will be easy, or even linear. Bishop Robinson points out that we should expect reversals along with progress. But, even in the face of events like the 2006 General Convention, which I personally found extremely disappointing, we need to maintain a feeling of hope:

In the end I believe that the Holy Spirit shows up in the formal deliberations of the church and its councils. To the degree that we open ourselves to that Spirit, we do God's work. When we are too frightened to do the right thing, we sometimes do the wrong thing. Through it all the Spirit of God does not abandon us, but rather keeps coming back to inspire us and to lead us into all truth. (p. 166)

These are inspiring words from an inspiring man. Not only is the the best exposition I have read lately of the need for full inclusiveness, but it has made me hopeful for the first time in a long time.

Now if I could just be more patient ...

Monday, May 12, 2008

And De-Skunked!!!

As I write, our daughter, M., whose nose is not as tolerant as mine, is de-skunking Amber with some substance she purchased at Petsmart. This process will culminate in a shower for Amber (in my shower). I have to admit I'm smiling as I imagine my slender, petite daughter wrestling a 50 pound dog into the shower. I hope I still have an intact bathroom to come home to!

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Skunked!!!

J. called me on his cell phone from the nearby woods, where he had taken the three dogs to run.

"Amber got skunked!"

'OK, how is she?" I asked.

"She wiped her face on my pants," he said.

"Well, her eyes were burning," I suggested. "How is she now?"

"She's rolling in the dirt," he replied. "What should we do?"

"Not much, necessarily," I replied. "We'll leave her outside for awhile. Maybe bathe her in peroxide. Let's see how she is when you get home,"

Of course, he was unconvinced, not realizing that dogs have been skunked for thousands (if not millions) of years.

When they got home, Amber was mostly herself (aside from smelling a little funky). Skunk smell has never bothered me much -- it's a sign that I'm (finally) in the country. I took J's jeans and proceeded to the basement, to put them in the wash.

And all the time I was thinking, "You weenie! What's a little skunk smell among friends?"

He's the country boy, I'm the suburban hothouse flower -- go figure!