Friday, July 31, 2009

books....

We are moving our books. Been moving books since yesterday morning.... to implement the last bit of construction....

If I ever buy another book, shoot me.
And today we are supposed to remember Ignatius of Loyola.... Joel, as a former Franciscan, sometimes uses the word 'Jesuit' in a very bad way. He shouldn't do that, I know. He shouldn't call lima beans butter beans, nor call cicada's June bugs.... but he does. I bet he learned it all in one of these damn books.

If I don't finish this book moving this morning, I might as well give up.

From the lectionary for Ignatus (Luke 9:62) Jesus said to him, "No one who puts a hand to the plow and looks back is fit for the kingdom of God."

I'm not looking back. Don't want to be no freakin' pillar of salt neither....
I start vacation today! That's a good thing...

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Life in the city

Last night I walked home in the rain. It was really a wonderful, warm, soft kind of rain. The thunder and lightening were way far away, so there was no fear.... not a huge heavy rain--I was not soaked, just damp.

And a found a June bug, dying, covered with ants. It grieved me. Why is dying so often so full of suffering.... I have a weird fascination with June bugs --they do not live in the west, so they are exotic and unfamiliar to me--like fireflies, which are abundant this year. June bugs may more commonly be called cicadas.... Joel calls them June bugs so I do too. For those who don't know about them--June bugs hatch underground as a kind of grub, then emerge as a thing kinda like an over-grown fly and sing for sex... the cycle takes 14 years....



Yes, when the tree if full of 'em, it's quite a racket, but nothing else sounds quite like it and I really love it....

And I saw a large hawk being chased vigorously by blue jays. Dang they were pissed. And these hornets--they are bigger than hummingbirds, flew right by my head after a June bug. I think they eat them....

I saw six of my dog friends that live locally, out on their walks. Spoke to their people, too.

Saw the homeless man. He has a new bike. Wonder where he found it... He is the kind of homeless type that talks to himself. All the time. And if you interrupt the conversation, it can get dangerous.... but if he talks to you, it's alright. He smiled as I passed. Not quite sure it was me he was smiling at--you know what I mean? Someone had given him something to eat from the corner market and he was really enjoying it. One of us will have to go back later and clean up for him.

Life in the city.

From the lectionary for Wilberforce the English abolitionist (Matthew 25:40)
"And the king will answer them, `Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me.' "

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Not what you do, it's who you already are....

It's hump day --you know, Wednesday, the middle of the week. If one can make it through Wednesday, one can survive until Friday, or something like that.

But hump day is true only for those who don't deal with stuff that sometimes takes a life-time or more, --you know what I mean? And, frankly, what with global warming, guns in national parks, mining on public lands, education, homelessness, poverty and health care --it seems our work will never be done. --like we'll never get to the feast....


(This is Martha --Mary and Jesus in the background.... I'll get there in a minute)

Oh, and I have a prediction --I don't know what the public school system is like in your neck of the woods, but here.... once integration was mandatory, private schools popped up on every corner and public schools and segregation were still one and the same. I have a sinking feeling that something like that is going to happen to health care --a two tier and unequal system, one private and one public. Just sayin'. Unless it becomes mandatory for all, and all receive the same, separate systems will be nothing but unequal.

I just think we should be providing the public with what the public provides for Congress and all those Fed workers.... and if everyone were REQUIRED to attend public schools, how fast do you think they'd get cleaned up...

See? Some work is never done--especially justice work. And this morning's Lectionary is about Martha and Mary. We have always heard this story as related to work, Martha distracted from the "better part" by work. And the contemplatives and mystics in our midst have always taken Mary's side as proof of their work being necessary.

What I know is that I feel incomplete without both --if I don't roll up my sleeves and get up to my elbows every now and then, I get frustrated with the scope of that which I am contemplating. And, if I don't just sits and think and pray often, I get lost and depressed and overwhelmed.

Perhaps this is less about a work/contemplative dichotomy, and other such dualistic set-ups (either-or), and more about knowing when to work and when to be still and open one's heart (both-and). One supports the other, and the other is necessary for both.

Mostly, what I see is a liberation for women and all those who by their gender, economy, cultural expectations, whatever --by Jesus saying to Martha, 'dear heart, choose me, --come and sit by me too' --I see barriers around culturally constructed patterns being broken down. The guy who digs ditches, the woman who totes bricks, or slaves in the kitchen, --whomever-- is to have complete access to Jesus.



You know the introductions in the south --and yes, other places as well --but the old, 'what is your name, what do you do, where are you from, who are your people' --in this story, that's all gone. You can cook and clean and even be the youngest little sister who gets the worst and leftover jobs-- our better part is claiming an identity outside of what we 'do' and remembering who we are-- Christ's own forever, beloved of God.

From the lectionary today (Luke 10:38-42) Now as Jesus and his disciples went on their way, he entered a certain village, where a woman named Martha welcomed him into her home. She had a sister named Mary, who sat at the Lord's feet and listened to what he was saying. But Martha was distracted by her many tasks; so she came to him and asked, "Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to do all the work by myself? Tell her then to help me." But the Lord answered her, "Martha, Martha, you are worried and distracted by many things; there is need of only one thing. Mary has chosen the better part, which will not be taken away from her."

So, are you doing anything today?

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Wham

Joel noticed it when he opened the blinds--the light is different outside the window this morning.... I tried to tell him it was just because there were storms moving in, but I secretly think it's because the light really is different. Funny how that happens--I mean the fireflies were out, the June bugs singing, crickets making a racket, the leaves green and rich, the sidewalk still warm to the bare feet when Mr. Witty and I went out just before bed last night.... but this morning, the light is different--late summer. Wham--just like that.

That is how the God's realm is, too, you know. Wham--just like that, it's different. I mean, did the disciples realize it WHILE they were sharing, eating, or only when they were picking up leftovers? --when did they realize the light was different? wham.

From morning prayer (Mark 6:42-43) And all ate and were filled; and they took up twelve baskets full of broken pieces and of the fish.

We are invited to remember J.S. Bach today. Thank you Bach.


Wham!

Monday, July 27, 2009

War, more war, head on platter, prayerbooks and making honey in a different hive

Oh what good news! The Gospel in the morning prayer readings is about John the Baptizer losing his head.... and we remember in our prayers today William Reed Huntington who lived 1838-1909.


I almost didn't think carefully about all that --but the juxtaposition is remarkable. I mean, the murder of a prophet, and then such a bland description of Huntington's life --ordained 1862, helped write the Lambeth Quad., prayerbook revision, d. 1909....

Dang. I mean, Huntington, ordained in the midst of the American Civil War, when the church was split asunder north and south and the mechanization of war burst from the belly of the beast, and then perhaps due to this great strain or some other more romantic/idealistic yearning, we sought unity even with that church perceived as the 'mother church' in the 1880s and hence the origins of Lambeth.... and then he helped revise the prayerbook --which caused schism, --the Reformed Episcopal Church was created because they hated the "new" prayerbook --not to mention the various other imperialistic wars and capitalistic ventures in which our nation engaged, shaping the mind and heart of the west and southwest....

See --the church has always had its messes.... today's is no less so nor more so....

From morning prayer (Mark 6:22-29) When [Herod's] daughter Herodias came in and danced, she pleased Herod and his guests; and the king said to the girl, "Ask me for whatever you wish, and I will give it." And he solemnly swore to her, "Whatever you ask me, I will give you, even half of my kingdom." She went out and said to her mother, "What should I ask for?" She replied, "The head of John the baptizer." Immediately she rushed back to the king and requested, "I want you to give me at once the head of John the Baptist on a platter."

....and we may not think we offer our children the head of someone we despise, but.... I guess, in many ways, we do... it is a wonder we even get a whiff of faith and the Good News of God in Jesus Christ with the nations and institutions we so haply create.

On another note, a blithe note that the good news is always present to us if we but desire it --may I offer Zee Avi, a beautiful little bee making new friends, and, I hope, lotsa honey --no head on a platter, just moving on.... I love her simple, slightly gravelly tone...

Saturday, July 25, 2009

G'wan. Go to church

I finally figured it out.


Now there was a great deal of grass in the place; so they sat down, about five thousand in all.

And the grass was so deep and so tall, they couldn't see each other, and no one really knew who was eating where and how much --so when it was announced that everyone had been fed.... well, nobody wanted to be rude and say --hey, you missed me.

At least that's the way it always was in my family with 5 brothers and sisters, stray children from the neighborhood, a whole mess of cousins and a plethora of aunts and uncles and grandmothers to the nth degree.

G'wan. Go to church. Maybe there's a different end to the story....

St. James drank a cup full

[The inner conversation---Snark... snort. oh snark... (hush Margaret) --oh I can't... SNARK!]

From the Lectionary for the Feast of Saint James which is today (Matthew 20:20-28) The mother of the sons of Zebedee came to Jesus with her sons, and kneeling before him, she asked a favor of him. And he said to her, "What do you want?" She said to him, "Declare that these two sons of mine will sit, one at your right hand and one at your left, in your kingdom." But Jesus answered, "You do not know what you are asking. Are you able to drink the cup that I am about to drink?" They said to him, "We are able." He said to them, "You will indeed drink my cup, but to sit at my right hand and at my left, this is not mine to grant, but it is for those for whom it has been prepared by my Father."

When the ten heard it, they were angry with the two brothers. But Jesus called them to him and said, "You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones are tyrants over them. It will not be so among you; but whoever wishes to be great among you must be your servant, and whoever wishes to be first among you must be your slave; just as the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life a ransom for many."



St. James got the sword for the Gospel. I got a letter--maybe not for the Gospel, but certainly for my opinion and outspokenness.

So --okay.... the letter is official and on letterhead. It cites Canon law and all that. It is not good news, it is painful news and comes from a place of pain which morphed into Grace.

Yeah. It really did. Grace.

So, I wrote the giver of the letter and asked that I might frame it and hang it in my office (Joel was mortified that I had done so) --that I might use it as an icon of sorts, in my prayer for this Diocese and for the giver. Yeah--okay, I mean every word of that. I do. Yes, I am deliciously irreverent and no lover of authority, while at the same time I am decidedly reverent, and respect authority --does that even make sense? --It does in my life.

Anyway, the giver of the letter said, yes, I could frame and hang the letter, but that I could not hang the letter in my office. So, it's gonna hang in my little prayer place under my Guadalupe Lady in my home. A fine, bright place.

And pray, I will, for this Diocese and for the letter-giver.

Then, this morning, Joel sang me this early Christian hymn. Somehow, in my prayers this morning, it all fits... it just all fits.

Let it be silent,
let the luminous stars not shine,
let the winds and all the noisy rivers die down
and as we hymn the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit,
let all the powers add Amen, Amen.

Empire, praise always, and glory to God,
the sole giver of all good things
Amen, Amen.
(early Christian Hymn, 3rd C.)

Now, I'm looking for a really great frame..... my cup is full to the brim and still very sweet.

And, can I fix my spell check so that it doesn't always highlight "Lectionary" and suggest "reactionary?" --or, perhaps, that one is best where Jesus flang it...!!!

Friday, July 24, 2009

What's love got to do with?

So, did I say that very early yesterday I was awakened from a sound sleep by a young man, not my husband, saying, "Good morning. Sorry about that ma'am!"

Dang. Sorry about what? Dang....

....did I also say we have had a houseful of strapping young men lifting, totting, lugging, plastering, patching, painting.... It took me a minute to figure it all out.... he entered my room ready to work --7am. Not a bad way to start the day, but totally unexpected. Did I say I am so ready for the construction to be done....


So very ready. I am so sick of plaster dust.... that picture above is a part of my bedroom. All my clothes, except those that I took to California with me, are in a heap across my dresser and covered with a sheet. So, in effect, I am still living out of my suitcase. And sleeping in a construction zone.

And to think--I must be getting old, because we have never hired anyone to do this kind of work for us..... we've always done it ourselves. Oh well. One of the benefits of growing older is that I know I am more deeply loved, and perhaps I can love and be loved, be faithful in ways unimagined before.

Today is the day for Thomas a Kempis who wrote: Love feels no burden, thinks nothing of trouble, attempts what is above its strength, pleads no excuse of impossibility; for it thinks all things lawful for itself, and all things possible.

Not bad Thomas. Me thinks you must have had a true love at some point to be able to think like that.

As to matters of faith, which is also love --think about it, this was in morning prayer (Philippians 4:4-9) Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice. Let your gentleness be known to everyone. The Lord is near. Do not worry about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Finally, beloved, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is pleasing, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence and if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. Keep on doing the things that you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, and the God of peace will be with you.


All y'all. Have a lovely day. And yeah--just in case you think I' m being somewhat all too mushy...

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Mr. Witty hates cincture bondage

Dogs are probably smarter than people. Certainly, pigs ARE smarter than people. I have biblical proof:

From morning prayer (Mark 5:11-13) Now there on the hillside a great herd of swine was feeding; and the unclean spirits [in the man] begged him, "Send us into the swine; let us enter them." So he gave them permission. And the unclean spirits came out [of the man] and entered the swine; and the herd, numbering about two thousand, rushed down the steep bank into the sea, and were drowned in the sea.


Given the choice, people will consent to being inhabited by unclean spirits; pigs will not.

First--the people Jesus was ministering to were not Jews, obviously. They had pigs! Secondly, this story in Mark is juxtaposed this morning with the story in Acts of the big fight between the bigwigs in the early church about circumcision--that one is saved by the physical act of cutting the flesh; and Peter says, (Acts 15:9-10) "...and in cleansing their hearts by faith he has made no distinction between them and us. Now therefore why are you putting God to the test by placing on the neck of the disciples a yoke that neither our ancestors nor we have been able to bear?"

Sigh.....

Alright. I'll just say it. Point one: Anyone who doesn't throw their lot in with apparently not-so-wise pig-eaters and the uncircumcised --outlaws inside and out, just doesn't get it. Obviously, it is not just our mind nor our bodies that make us pure or lovers of God. Point two: ....and then Jesus tells the man who had the legions of bad spirits the pigs rejected that he is to stay in his village and tell of all the good things God has done for him.... a man who had spent his life exiled to the cemetery, madly busting the chains and bonds which the people had put on him to try to control him and make him well ...a man who single-handedly ruined the local economy by driving all the livestock to drink ....what do you think that village is gonna do to that man the minute Jesus leaves in his boat?

I have erased what else I am thinking eighteen times now; I think I better stop here.

I was stuck at work last night because Mr. Witty was with me and I really wanted to go home, but I did not have a leash with me and my beloved had the car.... so I took my cincture from my alb and made a leash --Mr. Witty hated it, and I walked through the neighborhood in my white dog collar and black shirt with my dog hating me on the other end of a long white rope with extra knots in it --now who is looking the fool --and my beloved was late in picking me up because he had taken one of those street-corner beggars to the Mediterranean Deli on Main Street for some dinner. I, of course, then ate left-overs for dinner....

Life is good that way.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

The dance at the still center

It's Mary Magdalene's Day! The apostle to the apostles.

I cannot imagine the courage it must have taken to do what she did ---to go to tend the dead, become ritually taboo, and in the midst of becoming "unclean" realize life. I love that. The ultimate koan. And as far as we know, she didn't go do any of those "get clean" rituals before she went on her mission to the guys, back at the house safe and clean, to tell of life, real life, messy out of the tomb forever life.... That's quite some "bad" dance, Mary.


Yes, I for one am very grateful for the women who have called out with song and loud voices over the ages --the mighty shall be made low, God is with the lowly, the regular guys, the unpowerful --and tell it to the thrones of this world.

For the lectionary for Mary, one such voice sings out (Judith 9:11-13) At the very time when the evening incense was being offered in the house of God in Jerusalem, Judith cried out to the Lord with a loud voice, and said, "Your strength does not depend on numbers, nor your might on the powerful. But you are the God of the lowly, helper of the oppressed, upholder of the weak, protector of the forsaken, savior of those without hope."

It is the fulfillment, the perfection of that weakness, forsaken-ness, hopelessness, that we see God-of-all-life, born and held in the arms of a woman at his birth and tended by women at his death. Hardly a warrior cult. A cult of the powerless....

However, powerless does not mean passive or unmoving. In reading the Gospel for today I was struck by how many times Mary had to move from where she was to where she had to be to see what was next --from standing before the tomb to bending down, turning around --and then turning again, holding on, letting go, returning... (John 20:11-18) Mary stood weeping outside the tomb. As she wept, she bent over to look into the tomb; and she saw two angels in white, sitting where the body of Jesus had been lying, one at the head and the other at the feet. They said to her, "Woman, why are you weeping?" She said to them, "They have taken away my Lord, and I do not know where they have laid him." When she had said this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, but she did not know that it was Jesus. Jesus said to her, "Woman, why are you weeping? Whom are you looking for?" Supposing him to be the gardener, she said to him, "Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have laid him, and I will take him away." Jesus said to her, "Mary!" She turned and said to him in Hebrew, "Rabbouni!" (which means Teacher). Jesus said to her, "Do not hold on to me, because I have not yet ascended to the Father. But go to my brothers and say to them, `I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.'" Mary Magdalene went and announced to the disciples, "I have seen the Lord"; and she told them that he had said these things to her.

Knowing what a punner John is, I looked it up to make sure --the turning around she does is entirely physical --it is not the "repenting" kind of turning around, the 180 degree turn of the heart and mind... it is turning, bending, and turning again, almost spinning like a top. No, probably more like a dance.... like Mariam at the side of the sea.

And people with power know it --sure they do. So laws and customs, fears and prejudice are created, fomented and sustained to reinforce power and powerlessness. And just like the full veiling of women in parts of this world, the powerless--the unclean, the untouchables are cloaked and veiled, silenced, disallowed from full participation in the world....

And two things can happen--one either takes on the cloak and veil, hiding and dismantling one's own humanity, or the cloak and veil--the powerlessness can become subterfuge, the undermining of power itself. Like human flesh and blood becoming divine. Like death itself undoing death. It's ridiculous, until it's done.

Turning, bending, and turning again, almost spinning. The dance at the still center of the movement of life. Like the sound of one hand clapping. Like a fish seeing water. Like a man walking on water. Like the dispossessed coming home. Like the possessed tasting liberation. Like the dead being fully alive.....

Mary, bend and turn and turn again for us--tell us again the truth, the good news.... and I am entirely grateful for your witness.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Warning: Snarky woman laughing because of the Gospel

Thus begins morning prayer today: Thus says the high and lofty One who inhabits eternity, whose name is Holy, "I dwell in the high and holy place and also with the one who has a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble and to revive the heart of the contrite. (Isaiah 57:15)

Oh man... that's the call to worship... the scriptural Collect... I'm starting to laugh! Not the nervous kind of "whew" laugh, but a real belly laugh. --Once, in California, there was a warrant out for my arrest --a big mis-understanding, truly. I had given a car to my priest to give away to someone in need because I was headed off to New York to get married, but I signed the pink slip in the wrong place so it was never registered properly, the car was in an accident, and as I was the last official holder, I got the trouble... and real trouble it was. At first I was really scared; then, after several months, I was really proud... you know, arrested, tried, found guilty --and all the time, I knew better.... maybe you have to have been born in Berkeley to be proud of stuff like that.

Morning prayer has moved me quickly to that spot.... started with a giggle, and then it just got worse and worse!

(Mark 4:21-25) He said to them, "Is a lamp brought in to be put under the bushel basket, or under the bed, and not on the lampstand? For there is nothing hidden, except to be disclosed; nor is anything secret, except to come to light. Let anyone with ears to hear listen!" And he said to them, "Pay attention to what you hear; the measure you give will be the measure you get, and still more will be given you."

Bawaaaaa!!!! Oh man --Oh God --you are so funny! Really!!!!
Oh, who new morning prayer would send me over the top!!!!!!!

Laughing--what a wicked sense of humor our God has.... !!!! HAAAAAA!!!!

The Gospel always turns things on its head.
Maybe --oh dear, never mind.... HAAAAAAA!!!!!!

I'm confident this might not make much sense.... but let those who have snark enough laugh with me... HAAAA!!!!!

Monday, July 20, 2009

"I cannot get up and give you anything...." --but maybe with persistence....

O God, whose Spirit guides us into all truth and makes us free: Strengthen and sustain us as you did your servants Elizabeth, Amelia, Sojourner, and Harriet. Give us vision and courage to stand against oppression and injustice and all that works against the glorious liberty to which you call all your children; through Jesus Christ our Savior, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

So, I'm home --at long last!

But in my absence, the basement flooded. Twice. And half the house is gone in back because we are replacing siding and enclosing porch.... so, the house is chaos. But it still feels good to be home.

Yesterday, after a long nap--I should never take naps--I was awakened by the phone ringing. My beloved brings me the phone and it's my bishop. He's hopping angry. Says, --I will see you in my office tomorrow at 2. He's mad about my GC blog, LeftFrontCenter....

Guess I won't have to write that letter I wanted to write him....

In a strange way, it is a relief that today we are asked to remember four mighty fine women, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Amelia Bloomer, Sojourner Truth and Harriet Ross Tubman. I wonder why they have to pile them all together in a heap instead of giving each their own day like the boys get... I guess I don't really have to answer that, do I? And ain't I a woman?

All of the scripture for today is good, read it here.

Here is the gospel (Luke 11:5-10) Jesus said to his disciples, "Suppose one of you has a friend, and you go to him at midnight and say to him, `Friend, lend me three loaves of bread; for a friend of mine has arrived, and I have nothing to set before him.' And he answers from within, `Do not bother me; the door has already been locked, and my children are with me in bed; I cannot get up and give you anything.' I tell you, even though he will not get up and give him anything because he is his friend, at least because of his persistence he will get up and give him whatever he needs. "So I say to you, Ask, and it will be given you; search, and you will find; knock, and the door will be opened for you. For everyone who asks receives, and everyone who searches finds, and for everyone who knocks, the door will be opened."

So, I'm knocking and asking... please pray that I will either keep my mouth shut and just hear him out, or that I will be given the words to say....

Saturday, July 18, 2009

G'wan. Go to church

Help Jesus and the disciples find the way to or away from the crowd. You choose.


Honestly--I think there's only one way, and it's always TO the crowd, or so it seems. Remember, that when you hang out with Jesus, everything is never what you expect, and glory is not finding what you think you need, but what you really need. Or what someone else really needs....

Or something like that. G'wan. Go to church. Deal with it.

No place like home....

I'm home.

Kissed beloved. Kissed by beloved. Kissed dog. Kissed by dog.
Slept....
All is well.
amen.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Saturday before it all begins.....

This was my Saturday. From this day until July 17 I will be posting at LeftFrontCenter.

In the meantime, I was learning to use our little camera.... All these images get large if you click on them. We went to downtown LA and saw the Disney Music Hall --couldn't go inside because it was closed for the holiday... but the outside was mindblowing.... I decided it is a fascinating structure, but probably won't make real good ruins.... just a heap.




Then we went to the Roman cathedral, which is just a few blocks away. It was stunning. There are two shrines to Our Lady of Guadalupe, one is outside and the other is inside and contains a remnant of the Guadalupe shroud. There was a lot of crying and praying going on at both Guadalupe sites, so I didn't take pictures. I have a little shrine to Our Lady of Guadalupe in our kitchen--as all native Californians should.... but these were magnificent. That is Our Lady over the main entrance.


This is where the reserve Sacrament rests.... stunning --enter through the doors, walk up a small incline, and there is a hidden chapel which welcomes you in prayerful dignity. The large bronze pillars (they are hinged and can open) to the left of the cross is where the bread and wine are reserved.


This is the main nave of the cathedral --the baptismal font is very deep and has stairs in the form of a cross which descend and ascend. Each corner of black marble has a basin which has water flowing into the main part of the font. Baptismal oil lives in a glass case nearby. For perspective, the Paschal candle is about 12 inches wide. The cross, which stands behind the altar way way down in front is nearly life size. The altar is about 8x8 feet and is two feet thick --red marble. All the signs are there. Available. Neutral. It seems to me this place would really come alive when it is full of people. Otherwise it is very contemplative and restful.


Then we went to Olivera Street --an open air market in an old part of town. People were singing and dancing. It was fun. And Colorful.


Family drank Mexican chocolate--with cinnamon and chile spices. I ate mole and flan.


This place was too active in prayer to take pictures.... it would have been an Anglo invasion if we had done so. Most amazing dead Jesus statue I have ever seen. Laid out as a corpse in a coffin like structure with his privates covered with a sequin clothe.... whole thing surrounded and drenched in fresh flowers.


If you look carefully, you can see the plantains in the tree (like bananas). Growing in the median in the parking lot. It sure isn't Richmond!

Getty



I think the Getty is probably one of the most exciting museums I have ever been to. Sitting on top of a hill in west LA, views of the ocean and the mountains--and breathtaking architecture and art to boot. I could have stood in front of the El Greco and cried for a while more than I did. Also saw a medieval fresco with a gaggle of rainbow colored winged angels.... of course they were rainbow colored....


Fascinating gardens and water and texture and rock and color. In such stark contrast to what it housed. But it worked. And it worked in a place which creates labels and trends so self-consciously, but dismisses and dismantles and annihilates them as quickly.... post modern architecture and pre-modern art.... it worked.


This is my beloved nephew and his fiance. They are both working on their PhDs at UCLA. In history. We are standing watching the sun go down over the Pacific. It is a relief to stand and look at the ocean and put my right hand out and know it is pointing north..... I get dizzy at the Atlantic shore.... 'cause north is to the left.... anyway, beloved nephew and lovely woman came up from San Diego for the day to visit and play. We went and ate at the beach in Santa Monica. It was wonderful. Then we drove back to Anaheim and walked around the Disney shops.


This is the shopping crowd at 11PM.... it was more crowded than a NY subway... but much happier! Early today, 1,000 persons took their oaths of citizenship --were sworn in as new citizens of the United States of America-- in Disneyland. Right in front of the fake blue Sleeping Beauty castle in the center of Disneyland. I kid you not.

Getty. Disneyland. True love. In California.
Off to bed now.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

I have arrived

and am setting up a temporary encampment.
Funny to see the palm trees outside the window. Took a walk--had forgotten about the cockroaches here --loose on the streets.

Disneyland sets off humongus fireworks about 10PM.... vewy skewy.

The air is so dry!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Travelling prayers.....

It is pouring. Lightening. Thunder. Mr. Witty is huddled close to me in my bed. I am shaking my head--in disbelief. Of course, it is today that they tore the siding off the back of the house, and it is a raw mess, exposed.... downspout gone.... I am not even beginning to look for leaks.

I will probably already be on the road by the time you read this --headed to Anaheim. Thursday afternoon my sister will meet me at the airport, and then we will hit the town! If you hear of two wild women in southern CA--well, you know who it is.

I ask your continued prayers for my beloved. He is stable, but it still tweaks a little to leave him....

I am remembering in my prayers Annette and Angela. They lost their beautiful and faithful dog, Lucky, on Wednesday. Lucky was rescued from a ditch --I think 13 years ago. They gave her and shared with her a wonderful life.

I am mindful that Ms. Conroy is going to the doctor, Thursday.

I pray for those who have been hurt, maligned and rejected by the church.
I pray for the church as it approaches the time of GC.

Oh, and I'm not real keen on airplane travel.... just sayin'.