Friday, May 20, 2011
Friday Five: Words
“So my suggestion for today's Friday Five is to write about 5 words you really like. Please explain why you have chosen each word, in such ways as:
It is a
• description or attribute of yourself
• activity you enjoy
• word that is spelled or pronounced in an interesting way
• passion of yours
• word that brings you hope, peace, or comfort
• word you like to repeat or sing”
Ok, Jan, you have thrown down the gauntlet. Oh Oh. The Texas skies have just opened up. And there is a bit of hail with the rain—not an unusual occurrence but the cats think it is. Now at least, I don’t have to water the lawn.
1. INTEGRITY: This is the most important word I know for a clergy person, for a LGBT person, for a Christian, for me. When I was young I lived in a household in which to cover the family dysfunction we lied regularly. My parents to each other, and I lied as a regular course because the punishment for any mistake never fit the deed. But when I became a Christian, I knew I had to change that. But I continued to lie about who I was. I permitted myself that because I understood that God and I were OK, but it was not OK to be attracted to the same sex in the Church. Finally when Bishop Gene Robinson had to wear a flak jacket to his own consecration, I knew I had to own who I was. It cost me my congregation and my relationship with my diocese for almost 10 years, but I have known an integration within myself that is so good and so holy. What I saw in my diocese at that time was a bishop who lied with great alacrity to cover his butt. I watched him turn a once vibrant diocese into dust because of his unwillingness to look at his lack of integrity. And I swore to myself that I would never again allow that kind of ‘stinking thinking’ to manipulate me. It is a discipline that requires attention for me as I preach, as I teach, as I just chat with my friends. It also requires a willingness to be dead honest with myself in my confessions and review of the day before I go to bed each night. Integrity is not an easy way to live, but I can, before Christ, do no other.
FLY FISHING: I do love to fly fish. It is a wonderful sport. I began ff (not Friday five) before the movie “A River Runs Through It” came out. So I remember the sport before it became so commercialized and you could go to a farmer’s house and ask permission to fish his stretch of a stream for a part of your catch. The meditative casting motion and the cool trickle of a stream put one in harmony with Creation. I became a Catch and Release fisherwoman many years ago knowing that wild fish are too precious to kill. I tied my own flies and became fairly conscious of the kinds of bugs that fish eat. I found it just as exciting to look under rocks to find the insects so I could go home and imitate them at the vise. I was afraid that I had lost all that when we moved to TX because trout are not common here. But just yesterday I found an article on fly fishing in the Gulf of Mexico for sea trout and red fish. Whoopee!
3. CALLIOPE: I remember calliopes as a child when the circus came to town. But when I lived in New Orleans I found that that you pronounced the word “Kally-Ope” and since it was one of the major streets in town ( along with Terp-si-cor—Terpsichore to anyone who had studied Greek) I have to remember how to pronounce the word each time I read it.
4. JUSTICE: I have been passionate about so many things in my life; I am sort of enjoying being a bit more sanguine in my retirement. But I have always been passionate about justice. I seem to be hard-wired about that. I have stuck my neck out on so many justice issues that I am lucky to have a head. But I could not have lived my life any other way.
RAIN: Returning to Texas after being gone for 40 years has reminded me of how precious rain is. The downpour that we got as I began this FF has freshened the air. The cats are now exploring new smells on the patio and puddles of fresher water than is in their dish. One forgets how much rain means to a people of a parched land. It is part of the Resurrection of life. After a spring of range fires out west of town, the thunderstorms that frightened our neighbors in California are greeted here with joy. Now the dove hoo-hoo and the mockingbirds trill and sweet breezes blow. I am sure, though, that any of you living in the Mississippi valley would not appreciate this.
BONUS: This week I attended a celebration of new ministry in which we used a lot of Taize music during the service. The repetition of phrases with a church filled with people who were able to sing in harmony was so healing and wonderful. Music goes so far beyond words for me. There is something holy that resonates in my whole body when I make music. It has always been in music that I have understood the Divine in my life. Even as a small child, the act of music making was so much more than performance. There was a connection with the world and beyond. And so I do not worry about what words I sing—I know that all music I make is union with all I recognize as God.