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Showing posts from February, 2012

To Be Fast or To Be Fasting: That is the Question.

"It is the emptiness of the cup which makes it useful." --Taoist saying
I imagine that thousands of folks have an ambivalent connection to Lent. It is, for starters, counter-cultural and counter-societal. All this discussion of what we should give up or take away from our daily lives, what we are willing to subtract from the comfort zones we've created (and that we often need), can seem meaningless or counterproductive in the stressful world we occupy. 

Then there is the question of fasting, of subtracting something (something we like very much, as the instructions usually go) from the cornucopia of foodstuffs that surround us in some countries... and subtracting substance in other parts of the world where there is still not enough to eat. In some parts of the world, fasting seems impossible in the face of a poisonous plenty, and in others, impossible due to punishing scarcity.  

Lent and Resentment I used to admire Lent and what it stands for, but I also resented it, especia…

What's in a word? Example, essence, direction

I follow a fascinating blog, Reiter's Block by Jendi Reiter. It is substantive and courageous. In addition to being a working writer / author and working as part of theWinning Writersteam, Jendi blogs about gender prejudice and injustices committed toward the LGBT community.

In a recent post, Jendi links to a Rolling Stonearticle, "One Town's War on Gay Teens."  It's hard to read. It is, in fact, heartbreaking. I encourage you to follow the link above and to read the piece in its entirety. It is well-written and shares a truth that needs facing. The most heartbreaking part, though, is that the bullying comes from the "Christian" community. Let me say that again:  the bullies call themselves Christians.  The bullying ranges from verbal abuse to physical violence. It is perpetrated not only by teenagers, but also by adults.

I understand that, even within one faith community, there can be many different beliefs and opinions, even likes and dislikes. I also…

If Only I Had Found This Book Sooner! :-)

I'm reading a fascinating book on counterfactual thinking, otherwise known as the "if only" thought process. The book is If Only: How to Turn Regret into Opportunity by Neal Roese. It is written in a conversational and easy-to-understand style, yet at the same time introduces the reader to some important concepts and revelatory research.

We all engage in counterfactual thinking, especially when something goes wrong. We play out "if only" scenarios in our head that, unchecked, can turn into an ever-playing, haunting loop of thoughts. "If only I hadn't gone to the store at six o'clock, I wouldn't have been in a car accident..."  "If only I had finished college ..."  "If only I had known that she needed me to stop by ...."

Marie D. Jones has written an informative review of If Only that you can read here.  I am only half-way through the book, but I already know that I will read it more than this one time and can already se…

Best Wishes

Happy Valentine’s Day  Feliz día del amor y de la amistad

Never Call a Pansy a Wimp

The post title is a play on words that can serve as a counterweight to all things "super" on this Super Bowl Sunday. The players will be big and strong. The crowds will be enormous and loud. The commercials will cost millions on millions of dollars. It will all be oh so big and strong. So, I invite you to pause for moment and consider: the pansy.

I planted pansies in my front yard late last October. In about two weeks, the small bed that circles a live oak tree in my yard became vibrant with a palette of violets, purples, purest of whites, and a shade that I would call almost-blue. Through snow and frost, wind and hail, they have continued to bloom. When I open the blinds in the morning, I never cease to be gladdened by the sight of them--soft, colorful flags waving just slightly in whatever breeze may be stirring. Made of such fragile substance, their petals aren't much thicker than a butterfly's wing. And yet their colors are so pure, undiluted, and strong. 

The sigh…