bronze_ribbons: snapshot of me in standing bow (Andy/Roger hug)
David Case: After every major disaster, misguided donations actually worsen the suffering. (Via lifehacker, via [ profile] maribella008.)

On a happier, fandom-related note, the turnout for Hit for Haiti is already looking good (photo was taken c. 9 a.m. Australian time; event's at 2). (And Rafa's mentioning it was Roger's idea twice on his FaceBook wall = Fedal shippers worldwide alight with glee.)
bronze_ribbons: snapshot of me in standing bow (santa pig)
I'm currently piecing together my art contribution to the Penny Experiment, which is raising food for the hungry. (The fandom connection is that I first heard about the project via Hello Kitty Hell. And, for the record, I think the hair on the Lady Gaga Barbie in the Hello Kitty plushie frock is way too tame. ETA: Whoops, skimming fail: it's based on the real LG wearing a real gown.) The experiment blog has been interesting, in part because it documents the evolution of an art/community project, and in part because there's been postcard art to look at every couple of days or so.

There are also several current opportunities to participate, which I think some of you might find worth your time:

* The Penny for Your Thoughts book project (leaving an almost-blank book in a cafe and hoping it eventually returns to you; book 1 was launched into the wild today)

* printing Internet coupons and mailing them to the organizer so he can make the most out of each shopping trip for food to donate ($.42 for $62.67 in groceries!)
bronze_ribbons: snapshot of me in standing bow (snapletoe)
  • Sundown being so early last Friday night meant I was able to light eighth-night candles before my overnight Room in the Inn shift.

  • It was a pretty mellow shift, all things considered. We didn't have time to rustle up a more recent movie, but Bulletproof Monk was stupid fun, and while everyone else slept, I whaled through some copyediting and read volume 2 of Antique Bakery.

  • Sometimes it really is timing: when I first tried reading AB a couple years ago, I couldn't get through more than a couple episodes, and had brought along v2 mainly to give it one last try before putting it in my trade-in pile. This time, though, I was grinning from ear to ear. (It didn't hurt that Recipe 9 is a Christmas story. With croquembouche.)

  • This, of course, means looking at what AB fic there be out there. I am so in love with Omikuji, and Cakemate is soooo cute.

  • !@%#$^ vorpal fic of doom is still !@%#@!% vorpal fic of doom EATING MY HEAD. I have nothing to say about it that isn't profane or blasphemous. Moving on...

  • Picked up some sort of lemon-flavored liquid energy shot from Whole Foods back in the summer, stuck it in the fridge, and promptly forgot about it. Tried it yesterday after naps stopped working. Tasted nasty, but damn if it didn't work. But I think I'll try to return to getting enough sleep and brewing strong tea.

  • Things I'd like to get to today, in addition to billable obligations: reviewing some spots I stumbled over when I was sight-reading this year's Lessons and Carols pieces; prepping for the dinner I'm hosting for my beau-pere's birthday; writing some holiday/New Year notes; working on my Penny Experiment art -- oh, who am I kidding, that's more mountain than I can scale today as it is. (Also, we have houseguests. Fortunately, the BYM has been wholly in charge of that, and they all headed out for breakfast while I was still asleep.) Onward!
  • bronze_ribbons: snapshot of me in standing bow (uu: freedom to marry)
    [As usual, the actual sermon was somewhat different than what's posted below, what with ad-libbing and on-the-fly tweaking, but the general gist is here.]

    "The Poetry of Inconvenience"
    Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Cookeville
    Earth Day sermon

    Today, April 22nd, 2007... )


    * A voicepost of me reading Mary's poem is here.

    * Listened to part of The Splendid Table during the drive home, which included a clip of Jonathan Gold talking about his twelve-year-old daughter's love of Italian squid feasts and about other food writers he admires. He sounds very cool and his "triumph of the proofreader" wisecrack makes me even more inclined to like him.

    * However, catching up with Gold's writing is going to have to wait. The immediate plan: cook lunch (something with mushrooms and chicken), bake dog biscuits, and work on essays until my brain is goo.

    * It's 78 F and sunny here. Here's the start of the Maura Stanton poem ("God's Ode to Creation") that was the meditation text for this morning's service:

    Today's the kind of day when I feel good
    about that dazzling stuff I've made down there,
    everything so mixed up that even lies
    turn out to be the truth...
    bronze_ribbons: snapshot of me in standing bow (uu: freedom to marry)
    This is the sermon I delivered to the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Cookeville this past Sunday. The assigned theme was "Unitarian Universalist Moral Responsibility in our Local Community." The worship chair read Raising the Roof as the "Story for All Ages," and before I spoke, I put on four long, gaudy strands of beads:

    Seven years ago, I celebrated Mardi Gras in New Orleans. )

    ...from deep despair and perished things... )
    bronze_ribbons: snapshot of me in standing bow (uu: freedom to marry)
    "Every day should be World AIDS Day..." - Emma Thompson

    Medecins Sans Frontieres / Doctors Without Borders

    "Time to learn, time to care. . ." - "Somewhere," West Side Story (The original Tony, Larry Kert, died of AIDS-related complications in 1991.)

    UUA press release

    UU Global AIDS Coalition

    I am living. I remember you.

    In memory of Thomas Peck and others, and in honor of Mary Early-Zald and others.
    bronze_ribbons: snapshot of me in standing bow (uu: freedom to marry)
    Prayer for Perspective

    When I last checked, the votes for the "marriage = 1 man + 1 woman" amendment to my state constitution totaled:

    YES 1,407,717
    NO 322,575

    I've been reminding myself that some of my Unitarian abolitionist forebears must have felt like this: the percentages will be reversed someday -- possibly even within my lifetime, give or take a few generations -- but it's painful how so many people don't get how grossly unfair they're being to their neighbors and kin on this matter.

    On the determinedly positive side, at least 19% of the vote was against the amendment. That's more than some people would expect ("1 in 5 Tennesseans favor marriage equality!" It's tempting to go make some heads spin, as it were...). My own precinct voted 3 to 1 against it on Election Day (816 voters), which was not a surprise but cheering nonetheless (and the totals may be even higher, since that ratio doesn't factor in ballots cast during the "early voting" period).

    So. Much work to do. There will always be more work to do.

    This country's growing pluralism is a blessing - one that the founders of this country could never have imagined but for which they prepared fertile ground by writing their egalitarian ideals into our foundational documents. What we should be doing in this country is continuing to expand the circle of those we include in the promises made in our Constitution. And I believe that despite the backlash we see every time the circle is widened, it never really shrinks back to where it was before.

    And also:

    We are a gentle and generous people. But let us not forget our anger. May it fuel not only our commitment to compassion but also our commitment to make fundamental changes. Our vision of the Beloved Community must stand against a vision that would allow the privilege of the few to be accepted as just and even holy. Our religious vision must again and again ask the Gospel question "Who is my neighbor" and strive always to include more and more of us as we intone the words that gave birth to this nation, "We the people..."

    We are, and we should be, both a gentle, and an angry people.
      - Bill Sinkford -- from a pastoral letter on Katrina, but it applies to many other things as well
    bronze_ribbons: snapshot of me in standing bow (uu: freedom to marry)

    assigned theme: "Moral Authority – Religious vs. Secular: Are moral issues more or less justified if based on religious authority?"

    the homily )
    bronze_ribbons: snapshot of me in standing bow (feather)
    Apparently what my brain really wanted was for [ profile] mrissa to prompt me to write a poem (via the art-about-your-friends meme), because that's what it ended up focusing on as I planted the lilies of the valley this afternoon.

    So here it is, first draft. I fancy I can revise it into something publishable, hence the locked entry. [ETA: Decided to unlock it and leave it here.]

    Dear M'ris

    Before I could bake tomorrow's bread )

    ~ Peg
    bronze_ribbons: snapshot of me in standing bow (Default)
    Something nice to see: Japanese convenience stores paying attention to the needs of older customers.
    bronze_ribbons: snapshot of me in standing bow (uu: freedom to marry)
    This morning's services at my church featured our annual Water Communion ritual, which also functions as the traditional "ingathering" of the congregation as families and students return from summer vacations and tours, and church leaders gear up for fall activities. This morning was spectacular -- funny, moving, and vibrant. The choir and staff all made a point of wearing blues and greens, and the chalice table was covered with a turquoise cloth arranged to look like a wave in mid-crest. The lay leader was one of the senior high school students, and a drummer and bassist added color to some of the songs.

    some of the highlights and joys )

    The coffee hour between the two services was good as well -- after the first benediction, a retired UU minister (whom the youth have cast as Dumbledore in their upcoming Hogwarts' Ball -- he has the twinkliest eyes) and I lingered outside, discussing our projects and our ongoing attempts to harmonize theology, practice, and logic. I then chatted with the RE director about programming/culture/activism/education (for the two of us, all four topics are intimately interwoven) and a fellow artist about the activities of our respective guilds, purchased a banana and a Rice Krispies treat from the food table (a fundraiser for Mountain camp scholarships), listened in on a couple of moms talk about the transition from parenting high-schoolers to enjoying empty-nesting, relayed a compliment to the fundraising chair (and was encouraged to think about selling my cards at this year's harvest fair), checked in with the lay leader with whom I'm switching shifts next month, checked in with the new coordinator of grocery certificate sales, and hugged various folks.

    Next time I'm feeling morose about whatever, I need to remember this.
    bronze_ribbons: snapshot of me in standing bow (uu: freedom to marry)
    This litany was written by my minister, the Reverend Gail Seavey. It was read at our water communion services this morning in place of our usual "Joys and Concerns" ritual, with the minister and the Religious Education director alternating lines, and adding several more specific to our community ("In this sanctuary sits a man who sees the flowers in memory of his father...").

    One of the lay ministers lit a candle for each line, and the pianist played throughout. The refrain was a Taize tune sung by the congregation ("De Noche," #1034 in Singing the Journey). This is posted here with her permission.

    In this sanctuary... )

    The congregation murmured dozens of names as the lay minister lit the final candle, and then sang the refrain once more. The minister concluded with the following "pastoral prayer and affirmation":

    Let us tenderly care for each person we meet as though they carry the inarticulate cries of the greatest joy and most profound sorrow in their heart, for indeed, they do. Blessed be and amen.
    bronze_ribbons: snapshot of me in standing bow (uu: freedom to marry)
    Special thanks to [ profile] nigita, both for the permission to quote her and for the discussion that prompted me to schedule this topic.

    Hyphens and Acronyms )
    bronze_ribbons: snapshot of me in standing bow (Default)
    From an article on Carolyn Forché:

    In 1987, Forche moved back to the United States. While her husband had to be away, she and her young son, Sean, took a small apartment in Provincetown, Mass. A friend, poet Daniel Simko, lived nearby. "He was upset that I wasn't writing ... and he said, `I'll take Sean for two hours every afternoon.... I'll take him out in the carriage, I'll take him to the beach.... but you have to promise to write poetry while I'm gone...."' And knowing she might succumb to the impulse to clean or shop during these respites, he added "And I want to see the pages when I get back here with him."

    From Forché's "Return":

    ...Your problem is not your life as it is
    in America, not that your hands, as you
    tell me, are tied to do something. It is
    that you were born to an island of greed
    and grace where you have this sense
    of yourself as apart from others. It is
    not your right to feel powerless. Better
    people than you were powerless.

    [Full poem can be found online here -- mind, within a rant by someone who hates it. *shrug* What can I say? These lines spoke to me.]
    bronze_ribbons: snapshot of me in standing bow (uu: freedom to marry)
    Jawole Willa Jo Zollar, in Queens: Portraits of Black Women and Their Fabulous Hair (which I'd happened upon at my library's New Book Shelf):

    In doing these dance pieces, I've learned that every man, woman, and child has a hair story regardless of race. Hair is a big part of how we define ourselves and other people make assumptions about us based on our hair.

    At our "Hair Parties," an outgrowth of the research process for "Hair Stories," I talked to men and women, but mostly women, about their hair issues. And what I learned was that when we brought people together to talk about hair, we always ended up talking about issues of race, class, and gender. But if I had brought a group of people together and said we're going to talk about race, class, and gender we would get, "Oh, God! Not that again." No one would want to come. But doing it within the framework of hair, it leads to identity.

    Three excerpts from the 25-page report by a UUA Special Review Commission (March 2006) about problematic incidents at General Assembly 2005:

    What we have learned... )
    Elizabeth Bear:

    ...of course I'm not colorblind. I can't pretend to be. I don't wish to be. What I wish is that we could find a way to be equal, to share out cultural heritages while still encompassing them. Which is why I get tangled in the whole cultural appropriation issue; because there's so much richness out there, and I don't think it's wrong for me to want to touch and understand the culture of Ethiopia or Hawaii any more than it is to want to touch that of Ukraine. There is a difference between a melting pot (that old, suspect image) and a chorus.
    bronze_ribbons: snapshot of me in standing bow (uu: freedom to marry)
    Holy haloumi -- how is it already near the end of May? I am feeling daunted by the mounds of paperwork and laundry that need to be dealt with, and I don't know where my writing mojo went, but it sure wasn't around when I was drafting/outlining my sermon on "Bearing Witness for the Earth." (Fortunately, the god of extemporization saw fit to be present.)

    The sources I cited or consulted included:

  • Umbra on why "organic [food] isn't expensive, conventional is unrealistically cheap." Link via [ profile] jlundberg, who observes that "peak oil, which, when it hits, will make the price of conventionally-grown food skyrocket." [Link to Matt Savinar's site my choice.]

  • The website for the new documentary on Al Gore's crusade against global warming, An Inconvenient Truth, and assessments of the positive and negative reactions to the film. After the service, a visitor I had first met at Christmas walked up to me, beaming. It turns out she's one of Gore's cousins.

  • Unitarian Universalist efforts to study and act upon issues relating to global warming, as well as general environmental concerns.

  • The New York Times's special section on The Business of Green from last Sunday (May 17).

  • The other highlights of the weekend have included lunch with one friend and coffee with another, making spinach pesto, grooving along to the Xtension Chords' Instrumentally Challenged, and reading the first volume of Tokyo Babylon.

    Eyes not staying open. Time for bed.


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