Domestic blitz

Yesterday I emptied the dishwasher, prepped raw veggies, baked buns and cookies and turned down offers of exercise.

I also spoke to Keith’s counsellor on the phone hoping to help straighten out this communication thing we have (not) going on. That went well.

AND I SAW BABY ALEX.  Also baby Ellie, who is so food positive that she makes me howl and her mama Jessica obviously. There is nothing in the world like pulling food from the oven and taking it to your grandson to eat.  Everybody was in a really good mood.

John Caspell would have been 64 years old today.

Walking distance – a consultation with the spirits

Back in my 20’s I read a book or a manifesto or something about how you should walk every inch of the city within a five km radius of your house.  Yesterday I learned to recognize that as wise, yet again, having forgotten it.

Slept over at Mike’s after a wonderful supper of the salmon of wisdom, the preserves of friendship and the taters of sustenance.  A deep, roborative sleep.  Then astonishment, as the whole city was fogged in and we were above it all in the Eyrie, watching it burn off. Then a brekkie of coffee, hash browns, bacon and eggs. We went a-walking in Byrne Creek Ravine park.

The day signs were most impressive; the Trickster appeared, facing the sun. Then three black dogs.  The first two were on leashes; the third was free walking with her owner. Then a Korean family, joking in English and Korean. Then a troupe of dancers rehearsing Chinese opera on the tennis courts.

THEN a dry big-leaf maple leaf, in the shape of a death’s head, lodged against the ivy twining up a snag.

Then the old man.  He came down, down down the steep incline to the water, and as soon as he saw us he BACKED UP THE TRAIL, never taking his eyes off us.  When I saw him later I tried to acknowledge him, but he would not meet my eyes, although twice I caught him staring at me. Most unnerving.

Each leaf swayed and sang; there was a deeper stillness in the plashing of the water; I could feel my brain trying to calculate things, all the tiny incremental movements, as if they could be calculated.  My vision cleared.  It was a wonderful feeling.

As we paused, walking back, looking down at the ravine from the railing on the other side from Edmonds station, a young First Nations family walked by.  The mother was saying to the toddler while the father pushed an infant in a stroller, “You can’t go climb down to the stream! You’ll scratch your bum on the blackberries!”

Safe back at the Eyrie I asked the spirits if they could help me find my family crest. I’m not knowing what to do about the answer.

At first it was all random stuff, a doodle in white letters against my closed eyes; it looked like Kufic script, and then script in no human language.  I was sad, because I could not interpret the dancing, ever shifting letters.

They gave me the bones of a salmon, the curl of a fern, the head of a vulture, a toad, and strange, gap-toothed cogs, fitting into all these things.  Ground and figure were constantly shifting, but it all felt fitting, and as I’m receiving these teachings, I’m thinking, yes, this is right, this is as it should be.  The salmon and the fern are how the land and the sea connect, the head of the vulture is the acknowledgement of the cycle of birth and death, the toad is welcoming the stranger and the orphan, the cog is the knowledge that all things fit, the gaps the incompleteness that comes with being human.  Then the last part.

It was the outline of a subdivision.  I think I know what it means – that I’m a colonial born and bred and living on the land on sufferance, but damn it is NOT what I wanted to hear, and so it is probably the most valuable part of the teaching.

All these things were interwoven.  As I looked at one thing, it turned into something else.  Everything kept shifting; animal faces into letters, into stylized hands and fingers, curving railroad tracks with swaying ties. All rendered in brilliant white, as if the world’s most skilled tagger was drawing it on my sensorium at the speed of light.

At this point, on behalf of Cousin Gerald, I would like to interject, “Wot, no MOOSE?”

I remonstrated with the spirits, who laughed very heartily at my tears (I was weeping pretty much continuously at this point).  A great woman’s voice said, “It’s nothing for you to parade around! You have no family crest! You couldn’t draw it even if you could understand it!” Then, after a pause, as if reconsidering, the same voice said, more quietly, “It will be there when you close your eyes,” and I’m back to myself and Mike’s handing me Kleenex.

It never ceases to amaze me, what’s in my head.  None of this was real, but I assure you, it happened.

Today I’m going to go keep a promise, but this time I get to drive.  Paul and I are going to Nanoose Bay for a restorative justice conference, or at least the part of it he is presenting at.  I had meant to bail, but all things considered I have a few things to tidy up before I get back to writing.  The characters are once again speaking, though. Theo came and sat with me while I was in the forest.

“I was not a philosophical person, and now I am.  At first I was angry, because I did not need to think about what it all means.  I was happy to move around in the space my people occupy, which is life and death and reproduction, and possibly looking at beautiful things. Then I was angry, because all my previous understanding was not wrong, just too small. I had thought myself as big as I needed to be.  But since I got philosophy I can only think of myself in relation to others, and that makes me angriest of all, for I don’t like most Sixers and hate most humans, and now I am stuck with them all, and I really don’t have the temperament for a philosopher.”

Poor Theo.  There’s nothing worse for a hard-core narcissist than waking up one morning and finding out you’re too small.

Meltingly grateful to Mike for his most restorative and sacred hospitality.

I’d also like to thank mOm for her bracing phone calls of late.

Tom U. is back working with Mike again, isn’t that wonderful? One half of the lunch bunch is back together.

Meeping

I meeped at Chipper for a while yesterday and she expertly diagnosed my problem and helped me get back on the rails. I’ve been sessile for a couple of days but I’ll be back to writing today. For background, coming up on 2nd anniversary of breaking my arm and losing the shop, so that’s probably feeding into the other issues.

I have a strong cup of coffee beside me and Jeff’s making more.

PLUTO FLYBY!!!! SO HAPPY.

I finally went on a trip through the Stargate with Jack O’Neill last night.  Woke up with a big smile on my face, with his strictures ringing in my ears.

LATER

Buster just climbed the dead tree in the back yard.  I could barely see him through the blinds.  Wilde kittye!!!

the casting game

Of course, having designed the books to be turned into a tv series (well, I did, right from the outset and if not a tv series then some other form of episodic televised joy), I get to play the casting game.

George.  I have not run across the actor who could play George. Andrew Scott is fairly close to him in body type, shape and sizewise, but he’s not quite eastern European looking enough. Think a more hooked nose and higher cheekbones.

Kima.  Kima would mostly be a voiced character.  Some skinny young thing who’s a dancer could play her on the rare occasions (mostly in the first book) that she’s bipedal.

Michel.  Ditto, alas.  If he ever settles on an appearance he could be played by a Big Scary Bald Black Dude, since that’s the human form he likes best, kinda.

Raven.  Unknown Canadian actor. She’s fat, so it would be a plum role for a qualified lassie.  (No older than 25).

Jesse.  Unknown actor from anywhere, since his physical qualifications are going to be tough. (Jesse is big, tall, dirty blond, pumps iron and does not take steroids). Jesse’s the same age as Raven, give or take three months.

Grandmother.  Sue Sparlin. After seeing my friend in Lost in Yonkers, playing the evil old grandmother, I went, yup, that’s her (both for the performance and for her grip on the accent).  I know for a fact that she would be deliciously narcissistic and crunchily fun, and she would be able to portray confusion and dismay with more than enough style. Photo credit her daughter Aura McKay.

Avtar, Winnie and the Tornado: All unknown actors. Avtar is subcontinent extraction (and furry), Winnie is Chinese and Caucasian, and the Tornado is (obvs) a loud and interesting blend.  Vancouver is a town full of marriages and liaisons between every ethnicity on earth, so I thought it would be good to show one.

Brendan: Just about any competent actor in his 30’s could manage Brendan, but a 9/10ths scale model of Chris Pratt with the gut back on and some acne pitting would do the job.

Ruby, either Michelle Thrush or Columpa Bobb.

Gwen the publicist.  Maggie Gyllenhall. Hands down.

Farah Jalali.  Well of COURSE I WANT ARCHIE PANJABI but I think Rekha Sharma (who played the assistant in BSG and is a local) would do better than well. Actually now I think of it she’d be awesome.

 

892 words yesterday .4 hours. 319 words today so far.

I went downstairs, Jeff’s watching F1, and I say “Monaco?” because I like guessing which track it is before I sit down, and I was right.  First, you look for the palm trees…. then you look at the architecture.

Mask acne

Cpap again, woke up with two painful active zits on my face. How delightful!  But I woke up at 6 instead of 2 and had a delightful nightmare – I don’t normally remember my dreams – about hanging around with a family and having my racial prejudice demonstrated to me and then going to another location and having a different kind of racial prejudice demonstrated to me, and then realizing that the dream was probably just as much about class as race.  I’m not describing the dream even though it was extremely detailed, it’s just too embarrassing.  Fortunately at the end my girlfriend Carrie showed up, found the item that had fallen out of my purse into a tourist trap with no railings, and despite her fear of the ghastly, ricketty, bannister-less stairs, rescued me from the darkest portion of the interior.  What a thing it is to have friends!

Yesterday I ate junk food, watched tv, had a bath and stayed in bed. I think this morning I’ll get up and walk around the block and then make coffee when I get back.

Katie said she had a delightful time at Gadget House and Alex is in fine form.  Both the kids were good travellers after three months.

I can do hero pushups too, but the damned dog won’t leave me alone.

 

 

Haunting

I find this haunting. Someone has tried to reconstruct Babylonian song.

Yesterday I saw Sue in Little Women the Musical.  Unfortunately the book was not as good as the actors and musicians.  Fortunately I was able to argue my points with the actors afterwards without being dishonest or unkind, and it widened into a broader discussion of the challenges and rewards of musical theatre.  Ten years ago I would have said, Oh it was great, it was great.  Now I have the brains to respect people enough to be honest and the social intelligence to be honest without being a cad.

It was in Granville Island.  I had half an hour to Christmas shop.  I got an Alexosaurus (stuffed T Rex) and a kazoo.  Strangely, that is what I wanted.  I have rarely had a briefer and more pleasant Christmas shop.  The weather was crisply glorious and I likely won’t get to Granville Island again until Tammy comes.

Jeff and I walked to IHOP and back for breakfast.  It was very pleasant.

I think Riddle Number II is a cloud.  What do you think?

Work on the trilogy continues. Kima is pregnant – with more than 100 zygotes  by three fathers of two different morphs. This presents any number of social, emotional, physiological and ‘race’ issues.

I had a pleasant recent conversation with Dave JD.  He has joined the ranks of the unemployed.  I tried to get Facetime to reduce the expense of talking to him and repeated and lengthy attempts to purchase it were fruitless.  I really loathe anything to do with Apple customer service.  When I want an Android app or book I press a button, and free or not, it appears on my phone in about five minutes.  (I’m still on the first chapter of the Piketty book -if anyone wants to mock me… go ahead).

I can’t really deal with heeled shoes any more so I took two pairs of Fluevogs into church yesterday (the bus DIDN’T COME at 10:03, or even five minutes earlier according to the guy I ran into so I was 25 minutes late for church, screw you translink).  Anyway the teenaged co-congregant who had admired my steampunky shoes got about 300 dollars worth of footgear in a little bag, and if I did nothing else yesterday I made her very happy.  Her socks MATCHED the second pair of shoes, in a most gratifying way.

How do you detect an extrasolar planet? With objects found in hardware stores and Nikon lenses and software and a little something something to remove blur.

Yesterday morning I awoke to a dream in which Hitler’s mustache was crawling up my door frame.  I woke up for real and spent a disoriented couple of seconds looking for it.  Very odd, and not a little disturbing.

Breakfast of writing champions! Peanut butter cookies warm from the oven and fair trade coffee with real cream.  Ha!

We think Autumn may be knocked up.  It’s always something.

Increments

Sandra posted a pic I sent her of the Chanterelle mushrooms; it’s at the FAQ part of her site. I am also thinking of her these days; a mutual acquaintance is a professional German translator so maybe since all of her best customers are German tourists we can get her site translated.

I am getting fairly nasty arthritis pain and loss of mobility in my finger joints; practicing each day does not improve it, but I’ll lose all my skillz if I don’t keep on it. I’ve been practicing almost every day for a year now and everybody including me can tell. Bless Interfilk for sending me to Georgia! I had such a good time. I’ve got Conflikt 8 to look forward to… I’ve never missed one!

Paul took me walking in Oakalla (otherwise known as Deer Lake Park) yesterday. It was a simply gorgeous day, and we saw a green frog sitting up in one of the little ponds next to the walkway. Thanks be, they’ve put in a portable potty in the parking lot on the Royal Oak side, I sure needed it as I was exiting the walk. Then back to Geekhaus for beers on the back deck. Paul brought jello! it was a welcome respite from the heat. I got the ceiling fan fired up in my room and it’s been much more pleasant sleeping… most mornings these past two weeks I’ve woken up collared in sweat, bleaugh. I swapped parsley salad and nuts for the jello.

This morning I’ll be off to a late breakfast with my friend Sue.

Weird dream

Last night I dreamed I went to the house of the man of my dreams and met all 8 of his roommates, pronounced the mess in his house at least 85 percent worse than mine, was introduced to an extremely large and disturbing mechanized sex toy, the configuration of which was like nothing I had ever heard of or imagined, (pleasant anticipation of adult entertainment was replaced with a mounting sense of unease and horror), after which I was given access to a passageway which gave on to my own room at this house, which was empty except for the dresser and the bed, and which disgorged a live rat-kinkajou cross  *I went to the internet, and yes, it DID look like a cross between a rat and a kinkajou, I was right the first time* and a dead hummingbird, which attracted Miss Margot’s immediate attention and which freaked me out in the dream no end because it’s one of the symbols of my parents’ happy household and it was obviously symbolic because as disgusting as my housekeeping is it does not admit of dead chordates.  We posted a lost notice for the critter, since it was obviously not mine, had a very large nude cuddle pile, including with roommates to whom I had not actually been introduced, after which I discovered that all my bags were missing and I was not actually expected to ever get dressed again.  Consciousness beckoned and I returned to it with relief.

Who cares what I dream?

It doesn’t mean anything.  But last night Lady Miss Banjola grabbed an overly officious and magically short security guard by the ear and lectured him, which caused him to GO ROGUE and investigate her grandparents’ garage.  Lady Miss B appeared and berated him some more, this time with crunchy swears and him running away to his SUV. Before I could learn what was going on, the scene shifted indoors to a Las Vegas style hotel, and she ditched me at what I assumed was a science fiction convention, because Seanan McGuire shimmied by in a dress of such surpassing sparkle and slinkiness that I was forced to rub my eyes.  I wish I hadn’t, when I removed my fists from my eyes, she was gone, and I was sitting at a table of quite possibly the strangest and least competent MARKETING people I had ever seen.  Not even beer could save me; I woke up.

 

On another subject, Margot slept with me at least until I woke up two hours ago with my eyes streaming and my throat sore.  Yes, the con crud hath landed.

A collection of asides regarding the UU Hymnal readings

There are 317 readings in the UU hymnal, designed to provide words of wisdom, comfort, exhortation, prophecy and joy apposite to the occasions which present themselves at church.  Which, candidly, is a panoply of human life.

Sticklers notice: I will be using UU and Unitarian interchangeably. It’s inaccurate and kicks church history in tender parts, but ainsi soit-il.

As a lengthy aside, I purchased a copy of the hymnal and gave it to my cheerfully atheist mOm, as she is the designated driver and provider of editorial content for the crafty circle of elderwomen she remains connected to at the retirement home (which was the last home of her mother-in-law).  (My folks are still, praise evidence based medicine & competent ambulance attendants, in their own home.) As such she must occasionally find words for occasions, and I thought I’d minister to her by providing her with some very nice quotations.  I also wanted her to be able to find lyrics and words to follow along from Orders of Service I provided her with from time to time when I delivered homilies (see list to the left).

Although she has declared herself permanently disinclined to religiosity, however friendly a face it may present to atheism, I keep hoping that she’ll wake up one morning and declare for Unitarianism, like 16th century Hungary.  (I must hasten to add that my mOm is not as big as Hungary, although she contains multitudes). Given that my pOp blew out of the Anglican church the day he was confirmed – to make his mother happy, may she rest in the comfort of Denny’s presence for all eternity in a specially constructed atheist heaven – I can only imagine my father attending church after a stroke which destroyed both frontal lobes, his hearing and his taste buds, and at this point my imagination reels at the prospect of my mother ever darkening a church door in Victoria unless I was presenting.

I’m sure she’ll quirk an eyebrow when she reads that, but I’ve tried not to be a pest in my conversion attempts and she’s been very patient with me.

Aside aside, the hymnal is full of great quotes.  Roughly half of them were written by Unitarians, and the rest come from an array of holy books, atheists, agnostics, pagans, Christians and poets.  It is a collection of words useful when depth of emotion overwhelms our capacity to frame a spoken response, or when we’re feeling lazy.

Unitarianism is a religion which has dodged liturgy, ducked canon, rejected creed and flattened hierarchy for so long that it has come to be defined (by outsiders) as offering a kind of nebbish-y nebulous feelgood question-of-sin-dodging heathenism, mocking Christianity with its vintage Orders of Service but spitting on Jesus and trampling the Bible underfoot in the ultimate glorification of apostasy.  Neither of which we do.  We revere Jesus and continue to draw both comfort and sermon ideas from the Bible.  We do not worship Jesus or take the Bible literally.  Right there we sacrifice the right to call ourselves Christians, but I guess it’s legit if we call ourselves Protestants, cause we’re still protesting everything we can.  As we are able.

I prefer to think of Unitarianism as being evidence based religion.  Yeah, I know, it sounds like a contradiction in terms, but I think I can at least provoke some discussion on the matter.

In the course of human events, and rather earlier than everybody else, Unitarians became convinced that black people (and other POCs) and women were persons, which meant that they had to change the organization to accommodate them as full members, and anoint them as worthy of the ministry. So it was that the first woman ordained in the US, the highly remarkable Olympia Brown, was ordained in 1863 (probably not coincidentally during the budding of the women’s rights movement coexistent with abolitionism during the Civil War) and so it was that one of the charter members of the Gloucester MA church was a free black man. (No date available at press time, but it was at least 50 years before the Civil War.)

How long did it take science to catch up?  Cheezy Pete, check out the UNESCO declaration.  Whoopsy, the scientists gathered themselves up after the carnage and frenzy and sacrifice and heroism of WWII to declare race to have no scientific basis.  (Whether women are human beings remains an open question on sizable chunks of this old world.  Count me as a believer.)

Unitarians had thrown their hearts over THAT fence more than a century earlier, even if we’ve done a shitty job of being integrated since (and that will be ANOTHER rant).  So when I say that Unitarians are an evidence based religion, it’s to say that we came to a decision, as an organization, that we can’t fear science any more than we fear the light of the sun or the silence of our sanctuary.  (We can always bring sunscreen and wear headphones). We WILL KEEP THROWING OUR HEARTS OVER THAT FENCE.  And science, sapientia, Sophia, will keep catching up with us, and showing that when we love, when we work for justice, when we instill inquiry and lovingkindness in our children, when we speak truth to power, science will come along and provide evidence, and tools, and confirmation, even it comes later.  We trust the dawning future because it’s always been there for us. Always.  That’s what being in the vanguard of religion means.  The past is awesome and we love poking around in it but children are starving now, and we look to a future in which that can be made impossible.

When Montreal congregations put themselves at hideous risk by providing contraception and abortion information to women in the 60s, it was before the laws changed. When Unitarians put themselves at hideous risk hiding fleeing slaves, it was before the laws changed.  And the laws changed in part because of us, because AT EVERY STAGE of liberalization of laws regarding human rights, in both the US and Canada, Unitarians have been in there preaching, marching, organizing, lobbying and in general kicking ass, taking names, and staying up late putting stamps on newsletters.

Thank you for your patience thus far.  Back to the hymnal.

The readings are divided into groups, roughly, words which are plug and play with the Order of Service, words apt to or from our Living Tradition, and words for special occasions.  There’s everybody from Maya Angelou to Israel Zangwill  in there.

Here begins the drunkard’s walk.  In most cases the quote will be a partial one from the reading, just for flavour, and also to maintain some kind of distance in terms of legal right to reprint.  I can quote for commentary but just dumping the whole reading is disrespectful.

Reading 420, Annie Dillard: We are here to abet creation and to witness to it.

Tangential comment: Annie Dillard is one of the most amazing writers in the English language.  The fact that she quoted Dorothy Dunnett in one of her works will be amusing to at least one of my blog readers.

Reading 429, William F. Schultz: Come into this place of peace and let its silence heal your spirit.

Reading 435, Kathleen McTigue: We come together this morning to remind one another to rest for a moment on the forming edge of our lives.

The line “the forming edge of our lives” hits that sweet spot of brevity, accuracy and power which characterizes many of my favourite readings from the hymnal.

Reading 440, Phillip Hewett (minister emeritus of UCV and one of the finest theologians and preachers of our faith in Canada and whose participation in Rev Thorne’s Rite of Ordination was one of the high points…): Let us labor in hope for the dawning of a new day without hatred, violence, and injustice.

Amen, venerable Phillip.  (This is a joke which someone who attended the Ordination might find amusing).

Reading 441, Jacob Trapp (I’d provide a link regarding this remarkable UU preacher but the best one goes to a PDF of his eulogy): Worship is kindred fire within our hearts; it moves through deeds of kindness and through acts of love.

Reading 447, Albert Schweitzer (who likely doesn’t need an introduction):  At times our own light goes out and is rekindled by a spark from another person.

I think this reading, which is for the chalice lighting at the commencement of the service, for the annunciation of sacred space, is part of Beacon’s DNA.

Reading 457, Edward Everett Hale. This I think may be Peggy’s favourite reading from the hymnal, I could be wrong. It sure is one of mine.  I quote it in its entirety:  I am only one, but still I am one.  I cannot do everything, but still I can do something.  And because I cannot do everything, I will not refuse to do the something that I can do.

Reading 462, Paul Robeson: The song of freedom must prevail.

Reading 463, Adrienne Rich: My heart is moved by all I cannot save.

Reading 470, Leonard Mason: We affirm a continuing hope that out of every tragedy the spirits of individuals shall rise to build a better world.

Reading 471, L. Griswold Williams: Love is the doctrine of this church, the quest of truth is its sacrament, and service is its prayer.

What admirable concision.

Reading 477, Vivian Pomeroy: Forbid that we should feel superior to others when we are only more shielded, and may we encourage the secret struggle of every person.

Reading 483, Wendell Berry, who should need no introduction unless you’ve been hiding in a hedge these last 30 years: I come into the peace of wild things who do not tax their lives with forethought of grief.

Reading 543, Greta Crosby (a Unitarian minister): Winter is a table set with ice and starlight.

Reading 492, W.E.B. Du Bois, quoted in its entirety: The prayer of our souls is a petition for persistence; not for the one good deed, or single thought, but deed on deed, and thought on thought, until day calling unto day shall make a life worth living.

Reading 496, Harry Meserve: From arrogance, pompousness, and from thinking ourselves more important than we are, may some saving sense of humor liberate us.

Hey, I do what I can.

Reading 504, e.e. cummings: i thank You God for this most amazing/day: for the leaping greenly spirits of trees and a blue true dream of sky, and for everything which is natural which is infinite which is yes

Long term Beacon members will remember Rev Ev using this often in services, and how wonderful that was, his delivery always being a support to the meaning….

Reading 526, Inuit Shaman Uvavnuk: The sky and the strong wind have moved the spirit inside me till I am carried away trembling with joy.

Reading 530, Robert T. Weston: Out of the stars we have come, up from time.

Reading 557, David H. Eaton: Our destiny: from unknown to unknown.  May we have the faith to accept this mystery and build upon its everlasting truth.

Reading 560, Dorothy Day: No one has a right to sit down and feel hopeless.  There’s too much work to do.

Reading 561, Margaret Mead: Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed it’s the only thing that ever has.  (I recollect Peggy has this up on the wall in her house.)

Reading 566, Francis David adapted by Richard Fewkes: Sanctified reason is the lantern of faith.

Reading 579, Frederick Douglass: The limits of tyrants are prescribed by the endurance of those whom they oppress.

Reading 592, William Ellery Channing (my all time fave historical Unitarian even if he was a well intentioned racist – hey, we all have our cognitive cross to bear): I call that mind free which sets no bounds to its love, which, wherever they are seen, delights in virtue and sympathizes with suffering.

Also Reading 652: The great end in religious instruction is not to stamp our minds upon the young, but to stir up their own.

Reading 603, Lao-Tse: And whether we dispassionately see to the core of life, or passionately see the surface, the core and the surface are essentially the same.

Reading 637, Robert Eller-Isaacs: For each time that our greed has blinded us to the needs of others, we forgive ourselves and each other; we begin again in love.

Reading 649, Antoine de St-Exupéry: Love, like a carefully loaded ship, crosses the gulf between the generations.

Reading 657, Sophia Lyon Fahs: Some beliefs are like blinders, shutting off the power to choose one’s own direction; other beliefs are like gateways opening wide vistas for exploration.

Reading 663, Margaret Starkey: We make a holiday, the rituals varied as the hopes of humanity, the reasons as obscure as an ancient solar festival, as clear as joy on one small face.

Reading 671, John Milton: If the waters of truth flow not in a perpetual progression, they sicken into a muddy pool of conformity and tradition.

Word.

Reading 681, adapted from Gaelic Runes (and another favourite of Peggy’s): Deep peace of the running wave to you.

It’s a benediction I sometimes write or say to people suffering loss.

Reading 698, with which I close.  Wayne B. Arnason: Take courage friends.  The way is often hard, the path is never clear, and the stakes are very high. Take courage. For deep down, there is another truth: You are not alone.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Katie and I had the same dream

ROFL.

It was opening day.  The layout and the location of the restaurant was completely different; we had kids running around, a lot of extra space, and we had no cash register.  It was a complete zoo.  Katie and I were laughing our asses off as we traded notes.  No, it wasn’t an identical dream, but close enough.

Just over a week now.  I’m hip deep in church stuff and going straight back to it once I hit send.

Gay schlafen

The newest character in Midnite Moving can be sent to sleep for a couple of hours by saying gay schlafen, which is go to sleep in Yiddish.  Which is the kind of thing that happens when two people who are alien mad scientists who shouldn’t be having or raising children decide “I’ma risk it”.  And don’t you wish you had THAT app.

Awoke far too early this morning.  (boring SG1 reference) Amanda Tapping tweeted about her Bouvier, George, who’s 120 lbs of lapdog, and whose gas rivals that of Christopher Judge.  These are the kinds of things I find teddibly amusing, which is as much as you need to know about the compos of my mentis these days.

I am arguing with myself this morning as to whether I really want to go to an all day church event about growth.  I think it’s a waste of money, but I am curious about how this expensive Unitarian boffin – who just so happens to be the establishing minister for the church – is going to fire us up.  I don’t want to go, as I am afraid I will ‘air my views’ in a ‘less than respectful or helpful way’.  Maybe I should.  Teach the controversy and all.

The waste of money part comes from the notion that growth comes from being an attractive church.  Our Religious Education program, which is the magnet which draws young adults with children to the church, is fanTAStic in terms of curriculum and staff . no srsly . but badly housed.  I mean, really badly housed.  The space we’re renting doesn’t suit and most parents come in and see it and recoil in horror.  We have tried to get this ameliorated but we DON’T OWN THE BUILDING, and of course unless every elder in the congregation drops dead and leaves his or her entire estate to the church, we never will own a building either.  On the basis of my conversations with other churches this not having a building ain’t a bad thing.  Church buildings get older than human beings eventually and there’s nothing like remediating asbestos tiles and leaky roofs and recalcitrant dragon-furnaces to put a damper on Sunday worship and cast a pall of gloom over the Board.

As it is, we can do church anywhere, with despatch and aplomb.  We’d hate to move again, but we will if we have to, and church will continue no matter what.

Looks like Katie’s buying a restaurant.  She’s seen it done right and done wrong, and I’m sure she’ll be fine.  We do NOT have big plans.  We have small ones.  I am going to be the silent partner and biscotti baker, which I am very happy about, since I will finally have a space close to my house which is exactly what I want for baking biscotti, and the way the law works anything that’s baked there must be sold there in at least some quantity so it’s not a factory.  I’ll be making a deposit on Monday (she’s at work even though it’s a stat) and Katie and I already have an immense list of things to work through.  I want her energy and intelligence to be rewarded.  Keith expressed reservations, interestingly, but I think he may be experiencing jealousy.  Which reminds me, now I really DO have to change my will, so Keith and Katie get a more equitable share, and so Paul is no longer the executor.

We’re not planning on making any money for most of the first year, start up date April Fools (and you should have seen Katie’s face as we set the date).  The easiest thing for me to do is to think about the money as being lost.  Out of the gate.  Something about this feels right though, there’s a weird ‘this will be okay’ vibe.

The Treasurer problem I had has been resolved.  I crashed the chart of accounts somehow in Simply Accounting and reasoned my way out of the problem with a few adjustments. Now it’s time to MAKE RECEIPTS FOR ALL THE DONORS.  It is a finite problem with a deadline, and it’s all good.

And your choice of one veggie entree….

In a spectacular outburst of insanity, I may buy a takeout/café.  It’s in a part of Edmonds that is very dead for restaurants, but in about three months the new rec/community center will open and there will actually be more traffic.  I’ll be talking to the current owner on Monday.  It’s a really good deal for the kitchen equipment though… looks like it’s all going for about 30 cents on the dollar.

I HIGHLY RECOMMEND The Impossible, but not if you’re scared to drown.  The lead child actor, Tom Holland, is so good that it is obvious he will have a long and illustrious career, and Naomi Watts and Ewen McGregor are simply wonderful as the parents. It’s about the Boxing Day tsunami.