bronze_ribbons: three daffodiles learning left (daffodils)
The subject line is from Alison Luterman's "Telling Your Own Fortune."


Graceland shooting range

Elvis's shooting range, Graceland, Memphis, February 2012


I devoted most of my Saturday was to one of the tulip beds. There is more weeding and digging and hauling to be done -- it is not a large patch of dirt, but I have neglected it for several seasons. This year's shoots are looking scraggly, and I am not feeling confident about the two hollyhock seedlings I have been sheltering with pasta jars, but I shall start more plants after the cleaning and prepping, and spending time outside was my chief priority.

I also stopped by Woodland Wine Merchant for the Saturday tasting. Of today's samples, I liked the Domaine de Fontsainte Gris de Gris (a rosé) the best.

Over at nineveh_uk's DW and LJ, I'm enjoying the discussions about naff hymns and mondegreens and Boredom Increments for wedding singers.
bronze_ribbons: snapshot of me in standing bow (uu: freedom to marry)
[11 March 2007, Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Cookeville]

tree of life and tree of knowledge... )
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 (Default)
I'd rather be reading, but the spreadsheets and slides are due first. So, spreadsheets and slides it will be. But first, lunch: a serving of yogurt, a can of chickpeas, a handful of wheat crackers, some shredded squid, a wodge of cranberry Wensleydale, and three red-bean mochi.

This would be because I circled around the store thinking, "What do I want for lunch..." and then cashed out without realizing I hadn't actually decided. *facepalm*

At this morning's service, Rev. Laurel Cassidy spoke about her work as a "community minister" associated with our congregation - she worked in the medical-mental health field before her ordination in 1997, has since worked as a chaplain at the VA hospital and a local hospice, and is now enrolled in a doctoral program for which she's studying the intersections of public health and religion.

The key thrust of her sermon was on how to relate to other people who are suffering, using depression as her example. To paraphrase: the main thing is to show up, be present, and listen. The thing NOT to do is to inform/remind the person how much they have to be grateful for or that things are not as bad as they think: they are already aware of that. Depression is a disease because the sense of hopelessness is beyond the reach of logic. The main thing for lay people to do is let others know that they are not alone, and if one doesn't have the gift of saying the right thing, simply admitting "I don't know what to say/do, but you matter to me" still counts. And the same holds true for other situations, such as someone grieving over a loved one.

Much to digest.

Other good things:
* it becoming cool enough outside that I needed a shawl this morning.
* my replacement hard drive (yes, again) has iPhoto on it.
* much hugging during coffee hour. Even though it was Labor Day weekend, many of the people I'm closest to were at services anyway, and I got to chat with several new members while working the grocery table.
* colored hanging folders. Yes, this is trivial, but such a nice change from institutional green!
* Hymn #93 ("To Mercy, Pity, Peace and Love") uses the same tune as "Dear Weaver of our Lives' Design"), which is a particular favorite of mine. Lyrics -- meh. But I was still at the church when it rolled around again for second service, so I got to sing it twice.
* Coffee. Mmmmm.
bronze_ribbons: snapshot of me in standing bow (chrysanthemum curve)
Today's New York Times quotes from letters written to Shakespeare's Juliet:



The sisters [compiling a selection of the letters for publication] found that during the nearly 70 years the letters have been arriving, they have become a reflection of the changing times. In 1970, a girl from Montana wrote, "Five years ago I met a Negro boy, William, at Bible camp." They had fallen in love, she explained, but added: "My parents and friends are against us getting married. William and I have separated many times, trying to get over each other."

In 1967, a Louisiana woman wrote that her husband was in Vietnam, and that she had fallen in love with his best friend. And in 1972, a soldier wrote from Vietnam itself: "I am in a bunker. Outside I hear missiles exploding, bullets being fired. I am 22 years old and I'm scared."

More recently, love in its other forbidden forms has begun to show up in the letters. In 2003, a girl wrote, "I am in love with a GIRL, and in India lesbians are never heard of."





My minister's installation ceremony took place yesterday. The opening hymns (both in Singing the Journey) included Peter Mayer's Blue Boat Home and Harry Belafonte's Turn the World Around (such a happy song! See here for a photo and clip from the Muppet episode); the anthems included a flowing new setting of Be Thou My Vision (Gail's favorite hymn), and the charge to the minister opened with "We three friends from New England are..." (composed by her former study group partners in Boston).

What's uppermost in my mind at the moment, however, is the quote on which Eunice Benton (the Mid-South District Executive) based her "charge to the congregation." By popular Unitarian Universalist writer Robert Fulghum:


To be human is to be religious.
To be religious is to be mindful.
To be mindful is to pay attention.
To pay attention is to sanctify existence.


It ain't necessarily so, of course. But for someone somewhat obsessed with how and when and what drives other people to bear witness? Yes. Yes, it is.
bronze_ribbons: snapshot of me in standing bow (Default)
  • Saw the birdhouses for this year's Birdhouse Thing (fundraiser for a local music school) on my way to the bookstore last night. This being Tennessee, there was a Johnny Cash house and one with "SEE ROCK CITY" emblazoned on the roof, but the one that delighted me most? Mary Mirabelli's "Hawkwarts" -- complete with oriental carpet and dragon-eggs in planters on either side of the fireplace. There's a photo at the site gallery (five up, three from the left) but it doesn't show off the detail. Alack.


  • Happened to be in Franklin when one of the church carillons started chiming out hymns. I recognized "Abide With Me," "Holy Holy Holy," "Joyful Joyful We Adore Thee," and "O God Our Help in Ages Past," and there were a couple more I didn't.


  • Sampling a sweet potato truffle at the Cocoa Tree.


  • Matchbox 20's cover of "Time After Time" (thanks, [livejournal.com profile] qe2!)


  • Vienna Teng's Harbor (downloadable from her website. Thanks to [livejournal.com profile] gramarye1971 and [livejournal.com profile] nsmom for introducing me to her work via "Eric's Song.")


  • John Hiatt and Freedy Johnston are damned good songwriters. (This is hardly news, of course, but I'd not tried to write out charts to their songs before now. Understanding the niftiness of a piece of music = excited mechaieh.)

  • Revenge of the Shoes, episode 3: the left sole of my red pumps fell completely off while I was sauntering around in Franklin. I might have been distraught if I'd paid more than $3 for them, but as things were, I just laughed my head off.


  • April income stream shaping up. Now to resume churning away at March's...
  • bronze_ribbons: snapshot of me in standing bow (Default)
    I'm succumbing to the urge to schedule "Just As Long As I Have Breath" in the service about Joseph Priestley...
    bronze_ribbons: snapshot of me in standing bow (feather)
    I have insomnia, I have no shame, and I'd promised to send more details about my Thanksgiving sermon to the worship committee in question by this morning... so I'm stealing my own subtitle to [livejournal.com profile] placet for my sermon title, that's how shameless I am (and because I am fascinated by the concept of gratitude and how/if/whether people wrestle with what they anticipate/expect/believe vs. what actually transpires -- and because, driving home at midnight, I'd locked into how that fits in with yet another somewhich-or-other I need to outline, and because given how many other discussions are going on around the blogosphere at any given time on neediness and feedback and reciprocity and recognition and such, I'm inclined to believe I'm far from alone in pondering the slippery beast).

    And, speaking of 'Placet'.... )

    Yes, yes, I'm babbling... )

    service details )

    Here's McTigue' s benediction:


    May the light around us guide our footsteps,
    and hold us fast to the best and most righteous that we seek.

    May the darkness around us nurture our dreams,
    and give us rest so that we may give ourselves to the work of our world.

    Let us seek to remember the wholeness of our lives,
    the weaving of light and shadow in this great and astonishing dance in which we move.
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