December 16th, 2008

deep sea turtle

Have Yourself a Peace and Justice Christmas!

This comes from Sojourners and is sung to the tune of Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas.   Jim Wallis, the founder of Sojourners, embodies the true words and life of Christ.  

I know that not everyone is aligned with the celebration of Christmas, but holidays at this time honor the return of the light, and Jesus brought forth and represents a beautiful message that has not deserved to be so distorted and maligned.   If this strikes you, sing a little Christmas song or write your own Holiday carol.  That would be fun too!!

Have Yourself a Peace and Justice Christmas

Have yourself a peace and justice Christmas,
Set your heart a-right.
Flee the malls and focus on Christ’s guiding light.

Have yourself a peace and justice Christmas,
Give your time a way.
Share God’s love, And serve “the least of these” today.

Here we are, as we pray for peace,
We’ll live simply and give more.
We care for those far and near to us,
Which brings cheer to us, once more.

God brings down
The haughty from high places,
And lifts up the low.
God cares for the hungry and the humble, so –
Forget the stress and let the peace and justice flow!

bridal veil falls - north carolina

And there is this -

I spoke to Jane this morning and we were both awake from 2:30 on. I think it is difficult at times to absorb what is going on, and sometimes the early morning hours are when I take things like this in.

The weather is very cold here now, and wet. Can people survive outside? How did greed become the creed in this country? How did we allow it to go on so long without oversight or care?

banker's heart

Soften the year!

There is a black granite sculpture by Masayuki Nagare that stands in front of the Bank of America building in SF and is usually called Banker's Heart, rather than the intended Transcendence. I am reminded of it when I read that the Republicans in CA want spending cuts that will come from money that now pays for mental health care for homeless adults and children's health care. What is the purpose of government? Don't we fund government to pay for education and health care for those who can't afford it? They would also cut spending for CA schools. CA is already an embarrassment in what they spend for education.

As the year comes to a close, I think most of us pause to mourn the loss of the old and the welcoming of and appreciation of the new.

We say goodbye and hello.


Ted Kooser

After the funeral, the mourners gather
under the rustling churchyard maples
and talk softly, like clusters of leaves.
White shirt cuffs and collars flash in the shade:
highlights on deep green water.
They came this afternoon to say good-bye,
but now they keep saying hello and hello,
peering into each other's faces,
slow to let of each other's hands.

from Delights and Shadows

space - Hubble - Saturn


Sometimes I suspect I might be getting older and then, I receive my holiday Season's Greetings letter from my good friend Annemarie Roeper and I think how young I still am. She turned 90 this year. She writes:

"In many ways, I've always felt I was standing with one foot in the reality of this world and the other in the eternal unknown of our existence. But I am still fully living in this life. I feel the pain and I feel the joy."

She writes of her second great-grandson born in this country. "He will of course be born in America as an American citizen, with a somewhat predictable future of a life that will be satisfying and constructive. This is a great development for this family that came from Nazi Germany and was slated not to survive."

Her daughter Karen is my good friend. I can't imagine if she were not to have survived.

She continues: "There is a beautiful engraving by Holbein showing Death dancing gracefully and merrily amongst a crowd of people, and it is entitled, "The Dance of Death." I would say that my last year represents the mood of that picture: a great deal of joy, a great deal of activity, and a great deal of loss. At this point, I don't know anyone older than I am.

What puzzles me particularly these last few years is the question of what grows old. I'm noticing, of course, that my body grows old, but my feelings, my desires, my hopes and my wishes seem to be just as they always were. I feel as much love for my family and friends as ever. I still can get attracted to handsome men. I love excitement and conversation, and beauty can make me cry as it always did. I look out at the sunset and it brings tears to my eyes."

A film was made of Annemarie's life, in gratitude.

Oh, my, you can see her on youtube, see an excerpt from the film Across Time and Space.