Saturday, March 25, 2006


My soul magnifies the Lord,
And my spirit rejoices in God my Savior.
For He has regarded the low estate of His handmaiden,
For behold, henceforth all generations shall call me blessed.
For He who is mighty has done great things for me, and holy is His name.
And His mercy is on those who fear Him from generation to generation.
He has shown strength with His arm:
He has scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts.
He has put down the mighty from their thrones,
and exalted those of low degree.
He has filled the hungry with good things;
and the rich He has sent empty away.
He has helped His servant Israel, in remembrance of His mercy;
As He spoke to our fathers, to Abraham and to His posterity forever.

Friday, March 24, 2006

RevGal Friday Five

Popping back into blog world with a little fluff courtesy of the RevGals: Name five things that would be in a store that is All About You.

Okay, it would be a light, sunny space with comfy couches and lots of:

1. Books
2. Food, or food preperation items (I remember my visit to a Penzey's store quite well)
3. Textiles (clothes, coverlets, decorative objects, yardage)
4. Cats (curled up with me under the textiles as I was reading, no doubt)
5. Mexican folk art, esp. objects of devotion

Life has been ... interesting. Most of it not in good ways, but I am grateful for my sweet little kitty and my various communities.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

temporary break in the storm

The weather has been unaccountably fierce for early March in this part of the world. On Friday there was snow just above sealevel, by UC (and not the hilly bits either). There was also a fierce hailstorm.

I missed getting snowed or hailed on but was exhausted from all the adrenaline at work (continued prayers for the situation appreciated ... want to start looking for a job that is not quite as nutty).

I had a doctor's appointment so was out and home early. I got to the post office at about five to five to send off the IRS stuff. Then I went home and collapsed.

On Saturday the sun was shining. I helped polish brass at the church and then took a nap in the sun and did nothing much for the rest of the day. (I didn't know what to do with myself.) On Sunday I did not go to morning service because I was planning to go to evening service. I showered, I cleaned, I did my laundry, I replaced the light bulbs, I made truffles and lemon bars for the reception, and I showed up at church shortly after four.

The services were great (including our "alt liturgy" communion, which I wasn't sure about ... it was lovely to see the chapel rearranged, and in different light) and people said all sorts of nice things about me because I had brought the truffles ;). I was, if not exactly recharged, satisfied when I went home at about nine.

Yesterday was a non-adrenaline day at work, which is helping with the recovery efforts. Today will be a very busy one, but the break in the action was appreciated.

(It's raining again. I wish I could send some Arizona/TX/OK/NM way. We're getting yours.)


Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Round 'em up

I have a couple of tags to respond to, and my dear but extremely naughty Maggie has been tagged by those handsome doodle boys Whistle and Fish over at St. Casserole, but those will have to wait.

I wanted to get some of the Ash Wednesday round-up off my mind. There's been a lot on my mind with the IRS and work, work, work (I got overwhelmed today at lunchtime and cried for about five minutes before I started Using the Tools), but there was much beautiful in the blog world. It helped make up for arriving at church very, very late indeed and missing the Litany et. al.

Milton of Don't Eat Alone writes about discovering the rhythms of the liturgical seasons, and more. He's also doing more or less daily writing for Lent. Charlotte Bob says check it out.

Milton's friend Gordon the Real Live Preacher shows that even Babtists can get the ash-oil ratio Just Right. Don't forget the lemons,

This is the sermon I heard.

Karen posted some Eliot and her meditations on the day. (I took the test. 4.2 planets. Urp.)

For Emily, Ash Wednesday was a day when life echoed liturgy. (In different ways than it did for me, but it was pretty spectacular.)

LutheranChik has a post and then shows a bonus shot of her church in in Lent.

Sister Mary Hasta is doing a lot of thinking about Lent.

I probably missed someone, because it's been so busy.

Friday, March 03, 2006

Dust you are ...

Ash Wednesday was a challenging day for me. The weirdness at work continues still, with an underlying layer of High Anxiety, and my minimal food consumption didn't make me spiritual, just hungry and cranky (especially on a very energetic day at the office). So I was feeling miserable, all right, but not sure that it was for the "right reasons".

Late in the afternoon I did a brief peek into the Ship of Fools Forums. We are going through one of those community moments; a woman who joined us early in the year turned out to have a stage 4 brain tumor, and was basically let out of the hospital to die in peace at home (being a resident of the UK where they do civilized things like that). Something someone had posted at the end of that thread really set off the waterworks (quietly because I was at my desk). I was at loose ends when driving home until I decided to just push the waterworks by listening to "Fields of Gold" and "Over the Rainbow" from the Eva Cassidy CD that is in my car player. I got home drained, ate a light supper, washed my face, and toodled off to the church.

The familiar rhythms of setting up (and the seasonal task of putting a lot of the fancy decorations away in the closet) helped rearrange my brain cells to some extent (and, as always, I get to hear the choir do their final practice ... bonus!). I was delighted to see J. who has been absent from church and our EFM class for weeks due to a bout with pneumonia (and some bad side effects from the meds) and also pleased to see Chris and had a brief chat. But the service itself did calm the storm in a number of ways. First off, it was A-Okay for me to have a somber face, so I just rolled with it. Second, there was a lot of sober silence, in places that we don't usually have a lot of silence, and that worked for me just fine. Of course this was punctuated (St. Spike's being what it is) by some UTTERLY STUNNING choral music. The motet on Psalm 51 was an excellent opportunity to sit and contemplate. I spent time on my knees, I spent time just leaning back in the pew.

Several of my cohorts showed up (actually, I wasn't on the schedule officially either; it was a good example of teamwork) which was useful as we needed to do another big sanctuary change for a funeral (to emphasize the "dust we are" even more) on Friday. Again, the rhythms of work are useful; wash the dishes, fold the linens, get the gloves on and haul the Paschal candle out from the closet, make sure the cat isn't in the church proper, and turn out the lights.

I find that what I "take away" from my participation in public worship is musical as often as not. We sang "Great is thy faithfulness" the day after I got my narsty letter from the IRS, which was a very moving experience at the time (it sure reminded me of my Methodist childhood!) and the echoes did pop up occasionally during that very dark week afterwards to comfort me. I've definitely been hearing that motet the last couple of days.

I was in an improved frame of mind the next day. Had a useful discussion with the therapist about directions forward in the work weirdness and zoomed in and out of sleep at my acupuncturists, sending my prayers to Maia (the dying woman) during my more lucid periods. I went straight to bed afterwards, but when I woke up this morning and checked in, I learned that she had fallen unconscious the night before. It will probably be a matter of days.

Updated Saturday am: Maia died last night, surrounded by her partner Al and many friends. She lived and worked all over the world; in Bosnia investigating war crimes (she was a forensic sociologist and criminoligist by trade) and working on reconciliation, in Israel and Palestine building bridges, in Sri Lanka (don't know the details but there's plenty of opportunity for reconciliation work there!) and I don't know what else. She will be missed.

Rest eternal grant unto her, O Lord, and light perpetual shine upon her.