summer solstice!


Saturday, April 14, 2007

100 Things Contest

On SALT for the spirit, April announced a 100 things Contest!!! At least two other Leah's have posted their lists; I'm Leah of desert spirit's fire, though I'm playing on this far by faith, my testimony blog. None of my lists are ranked, just blogged in whatever order I thought of them. A few are a little contrived, since I wanted to make the April 15 closing date; and, of course, none are complete—I just aimed for totals of 10.

"I have lived.." followed by 10 things

1. within a short walk of urban, suburban and rural beaches
2. in very inner city and very rural areas
3. above a banana warehouse, in Salem, Massachusetts in the Federal style Orne-Prince House (built in 1788) and in a triple decker
4. in three (3) parsonages
5. on foodstamps, handouts and hope
6. here and now in this moment and too much in an unknown future
7. without friends, family or community
8. in the shelter, nurture and provision of the Church
9. in intense pain and with abounding joy
10. baptized: for Jesus Christ and for the world

"I have witnessed..." followed by 10 things

11. Sunset and sunrise
12. Lunchtime in the Central Business District
13. birth and death and birth and death and birth...
14. Jamestown, Virginia - needless to say, as a tourist, since this year marks the settlement's 400th anniversary
15. Promontory Point, Utah - as a tourist, of course!
16. the Mighty Mississipp in at least a dozen places
17. breathtaking cruelties
18. shattered hopes: my own and too many others'
19. overwhelming sorrow: my own and too many others'
20. hope's resurgence: my own and others', as well

"I have heard..." 10 things

21. The Boston Symphony Orchestra in Symphony Hall

and at Tanglewood

22. The Utah Symphony Orchestra in Abravanel Hall

23. Silence
24. [and played] the Christian Müller organ in St. Bavokerk, Haarlem

25. gunfire
26. falling snow
27. hurricanes
28. First light, noonday and last light birdsongs
29. The Mormon Tabernacle Choir in the Salt Lake Tabernacle

30. Lunchtime in the CBD

"I have lost..." 10 things

31. Too many friends
32. Meaning, hope and purpose
33. visions and dreams
34. trust
35. Too many jobs—good ones, bad and nondescript
36. one umbrella
37. one favorite Viyella scarf
38. my credit card
39. two pregnancies
40. my ability to organize much of anything very well—or did I ever have that ability?

"I have found..." 10 things

41. friends in surprising places
42. Hope and energy to make yet another new beginning
43. faithful friendships on the internet – one of the most surprising!
44. More than one $20 bill
45. being bright, educated and skilled does not guarantee anything
46. people often are far less compassionate and far more compassionate than I'd anticipated
47. meaning and purpose help keep you sane, but friends and community keep you alive
48. meaning, purpose and new hope
49. a taste for almost any kind of cuisine, ethnic, ordinary and/or unusual
50. my credit card, in my living room, after reporting it lost and getting the account cancelled

"I love..." 10 things

51. the Church—sometimes more than I love Jesus
52. the sacraments
53. the desert, the city, the seashore
54. worshiping with the larger church (judicatory assemblies, mission festivals...)
55. colorful, well-designed textiles and pottery and stoneware and all such related—outstanding graphic design in general
56. preaching and teaching
57. performing on the piano in public
58. socializing with friends and strangers
59. talking! And listening.
60. casual clothes

"I can..." 10 things

61. play 27 Beethoven Piano Sonatas to public performance level
62. duplicate almost any recipe I've eaten out of my imagination (and a few essential ingredients)
63. parallel park on less than a dime
64. drive a stick shift
65. turn out some astonishing freehand graphic art
66. create sometimes amazing digitized graphic design—thanks, Adobe! "Thank You" to my many software instructors, too.
67. create a mood on the piano
68. play almost any song by ear
69. find the most implausible and improbable excuses and explanations for any human's behavior on the planet
70. mediate any disagreement imaginable

"I loathe..." 10 things

71. Lima Beans
72. being alone anywhere – gives me ultra-major anxiety
73. being misunderstood
74. miscommunications
75. egregious vulgarity
76. ignorance and stupidity
77. dry sandwiches—hey, I'm the mayonnaise queen!
78. lost luggage (happened just once, in Cleveland)
79. dropped calls
80. slow downloads – these last 2 aren't real big deals, just needed to finish the loathe list

"I hope..." 10 things

81. for the UCC, ELCA and PC(USA) – all church bodies trying to contain more diversity than any human institution can hold – an ability to live and thrive with an exceedingly rich mixture under the sovereignty of Jesus Christ.
82. for a tomorrow for everyone
83. for Jubilee Justice for the world
84. for peace in our time
85. to learn the remaining 5 Beethoven piano Sonatas
86. faithfully to discern God's current call to me
87. to find a community that celebrates my gifts!
88. to help God change the world
89. to shed tears of sorrow and cry tears of joy again
90. to shed this anxiety

"I am trying..." 10 things

91. to forget
92. to remember
93. to be my own best friend
94. to pray more often with greater trust
95. to simply read – not study – scripture far more frequently
96. to be a friend to many
97. to learn to be alone with myself
98. to salvage a life consonant with my education, skills and experiences.
99. to make a difference in the world and in the world of the Church
100. to be faithful to God's call for my life

Friday, April 13, 2007

Friday 5: Dental Edition

this far by faith: Friday Five Dental Edition, by ReverendMother:

1. Are you a regular patron of dentists' offices? Or, do you go
a) faithfully, as long as you have insurance, or
b) every few years or so, whether you need it or not, or
c) dentist? what is this "dentist" thing you speak of?

Used to be a), no matter what (probably didn't inherit exactly great teeth, and given that my first trip to the dentist happened in late 3rd grade, those trips were essentials), although I had dental insurance only for a short spell; this days...well, whenever I think I maybe have a few extra $$$, like a lot of residents of this state of Alta California, I head south to Tijuana, in the state of Baja California.

2. Whatever became of your wisdom teeth?

Still have three of them, unlike a one-time colleague who had "all 8" of his extracted on the same day!

3. Favorite thing to eat that's BAAAAAD for your teeth.

Nothing much—never have liked chewy sweets that tend to stick in your teeth, so I'll mention I do like ultra-rich high end desserts, and since I don't usually have an opportunity to brush immediately afterwards, that qualifies as a BAAAAAAAAD (that could be worse).

4. Ever had oral surgery? Commiserate with me.

Not technically, I guess—just a bunch of crowns.

5. "I'd rather have a root canal than eat lima beans." Hey, not really! It's relatively early and my imagination's not yet in high gear!

Bonus: Does your dentist recommend Trident?

None ever have.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Check out this blog!

It's rare that I link to other blogs (other than the RevGals), but this afternoon for the first time in ages I visited Rowland Croucher's Victoria_Concordia_Crescit and discovered Living with Ambiguity. He quotes Kenneth Leach:
The essential difference between orthodox Christianity and the various heretical systems is that orthodoxy is rooted in paradox. Heretics, as Irenaeus saw, reject paradox in favour of a false clarity and precision. But true faith can only grow and mature if it includes the elements of paradox and creative doubt. Hence the insistence of orthodoxy that God cannot be known by the mind, but is known in the obscurity of faith, in the way of ignorance, in the darkness. Such doubt is not the enemy of faith but an essential element within it. For faith in God does not bring the false peace of answered questions and resolved paradoxes. Rather, it can be seen as a process of 'unceasing interrogation'.
Wonderfully expressed--check out this entire blog and, for that matter THE entire blog!

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Ramsey Canyon Preserve

nature conservancy bookmarkLate this morning we drove south toward growing, increasingly dynamic Sierra Vista to The Nature Conservancy's amazing Ramsey Canyon Preserve.

Some notes from the site:
Ramsey Canyon, located within the Upper San Pedro River Basin in southeastern Arizona, is renowned for its outstanding scenic beauty and the diversity of its plant and animal life. This diversity—including such highlights as the occurrence of up to 14 species of hummingbirds—is the result of a unique interplay of geology, biogeography, topography, and climate.

Southeastern Arizona is an ecological crossroads, where the Sierra Madre of Mexico, the Rocky Mountains, and the Sonoran and Chihuahuan deserts all come together. The abrupt rise of mountains like the Huachucas from the surrounding arid grasslands creates "sky islands" harboring rare species and communities of plants and animals. This combination of factors gives Ramsey Canyon Preserve its tremendous variety of plant and animal life, including such southwestern specialties as the lemon lily, ridge-nosed rattlesnake, lesser long-nosed bat, elegant trogon, and berylline and white-eared hummingbirds.

A spring-fed stream, northeast orientation, and high canyon walls provide Ramsey Canyon with a moist, cool environment unusual in the desert Southwest. Water-loving plants such as sycamores, maples, and columbines line the banks of Ramsey Creek, often growing within a few feet of cacti, yucca, and agaves. Communities ranging from semi-desert grassland to pine-fir forest are found within the vicinity of Ramsey Canyon Preserve.

Ramsey Canyon and the Upper San Pedro River Basin are situated within the Apache Highlands ecoregion, which encompasses central and southeastern Arizona, southwest New Mexico, and the northern Sierra Madre of Mexico. These programs are part of a science-based ecoregional approach to conservation in which the Conservancy works across broad landscapes with many private and public partners, sharing resources and knowledge to expedite the protection of species and habitats throughout the state.

Together, The Nature Conservancy works with partners to achieve much greater success than any one entity working independently. Multiple partners also ensure a broader perspective and more enduring conservation solutions.
As contrasted with (here's my Southern Arizona Travelogue) two years ago, this time we got some updated trail guides—adult's and kid's versions. I'd like to quote some from both, but that'll have to wait until I have a little time to sift through and select some of the most interesting stuff.

lisa walraven bird
At Boundless Gallery I bought this glorious bird card by Lisa K. Walraven; the self-titled site listed on the back of the card wasn't live when I tried.

Returning to Tucson through Sierra Vista, we stopped for late lunch at a McDonald's characteristically decorated with southwestern desert textiles and metalwork.

Saturday, April 07, 2007

Holy Week 2007 Chronology

A few months ago I blogged that I wanted to make this now past winter as much of a time of hibernation as possible, which didn't happen to the extent I'd hoped, but as I commented on a friend's blog, at least it was more quiet and reflective than it would have been without that intention. Now I'm moving into my next plan: an inwardly reflective spring. Are there parallel words to estivation and hibernation for the seasons of spring and fall? Gotta research that one! Lent means spring; beginning on Ash Wednesday, for six weeks we observe the season of Lent, starting during the darker, colder winter, to prepare to celebrate the supreme festival of life, Easter. From this March, 2005 blog:
Easter received its name from the Goddess of Fertility, and Easter is calendared according to the full moon and the spring equinox. Easter and spring bring to us the sight and the smell of fresh grass, rising again to visible life; in the ancient symbol of Easter eggs we find the paradox of a world hidden within a world; we have the power of grain gathered from all the ends of the earth, planted, harvested, shaped, baked and risen into leavened Easter loaves, coming to the Table of Living Bread to which Jesus Christ welcomes us, arriving at the communion Table as a whole loaf and then sacramentally broken in response to Jesus' command to us, finally distributed, shared among us and transforming us, as in the Name of the One both Crucified and Risen we become salt, leaven and bread for the world, as with our living we claim both the cross of Good Friday and the empty tomb of Easter dawn!
For the third year in a row, I was pianist for daily noon Eucharist.


Noon Eucharist

Prelude: Sinfonia No. 11 in G minor, 1723 - BWV 797 | J.S. Bach
Opening Hymn: At the Name of Jesus
Closing Hymn: Jesus, Thy Boundless Love to Me
Postlude: Lamb of God | Twila Paris

...followed by an afternoon trip across the mesa to Target--I'll photograph and post later the pair of golden yellow plates I got in what's sometimes the $1.00 section at the front of the store ($2.50 this time), and Payless Shoes, where I bought a couple pairs of footgear:

At the shopping center I ran into a couple of people from Third Overflow Church! I haven't been there for ages, and it was wonderful to have a chance to talk for a few. I miss that community so much, and hope to get more opps there really soon.


Noon Eucharist

Prelude: Partita No. 1 in B-flat Major, 1726 - BWV 825 | J.S. Bach
Praeludium, "Moderato"; Menuet I, II: "Allegretto"
Opening Hymn: Jesus Walked this Lonesome Valley
Closing Hymn: When I Survey the Wondrous Cross
Postlude: I Love You, Lord | Laurie Klein

After worship, off to lunch at the local Subway for one of my favorites, Oven Roasted Chicken Breast plus bacon and lots of tasty veggies and condiments. Lunch included a fun discussion about N.T. Wright's Theology Snacks in contrast to the more robust and complete Full Meal.


Noon Eucharist

Prelude: Partita No. 3 in A minor, 1726 - BWV 827 | J.S. Bach
Fantasy: "Allegro Moderato"; Sarabande: "Andantino con Moto"
Opening Hymn: Fairest Lord Jesus
Closing Hymn: When Israel was in Egypt's Land
Postlude: Holy Ground | Geron Davis, 1979; © 1983 Meadowgreen Music

I spent a lot of time thinking about Left Right in the City Church, since this was the first Wednesday of Lent I wouldn't be there.


Noon Eucharist

Prelude: French Suite No. 4 in E-flat Major, 1722 - BWV 815 | J.S. Bach
Allemande, "Allegro Moderato"; Sarabande, "Andantino"; Gavotte, "Scherzando"; Air, "Un Poco Allegro"
Opening Hymn: Go to Dark Gethsemane
Closing Hymn: Wondrous Love
Postlude: Song After Sundown | Randall Thompson

During the footwashing portion of the evening Maundy Thursday liturgy at Old Condo Shadows Church, I was sitting with Lorella (no surprise), and told her I needed minor foot surgery and wouldn't get my feet washed in public. Lorella asked me, "Would you let Jesus wash your feet?" Then, on the RevGals, I discovered someone had blogged, "Have you let Jesus wash your feet? Would you..." I'm not sure! Scott prayed my Eucharistic Prayer.


My blog readers probably realize liturgy is among my passions, and I actually know something about liturgy, too! Historically and logically, the Church's practice long has been no Holy Communion between Maundy Thursday and the first eucharist of Easter (though the Anglican and Roman Catholic communions reserve the Sacrament); the final liturgy of the Triduum, the Great Vigil of Easter, whether observed Saturday evening for convenience or after midnight thus becomes the occasion for the glorious first Eucharist of Easter. Whatever, we decided to be a little less than purist, and on Good Friday, too, we feasted on the Bread of Life and the Cup of Salvation.

Noon Eucharist

Prelude: WTC Book 1: Prelude and Fugue No. 14 in F-sharp minor, 1722 - BWV 859 | J.S. Bach
Opening Hymn: Alas! And Did My Savior Bleed?
Closing Hymn: Were You There?

After Friday's worship I finally walked and prayed the Stations of the Cross. Pat had put together a wonderful group of suggested reflections and prayers and I'd intended to blog a little about them, but I don't have the paper he prepared here with me, so maybe later!

I used to love the now apparently defunct tv show, Starting Over House, though I probably watched all of five or six episodes. On one of the segments they talked about masks, though I'm not sure they actually used the word mask...; over these too many years, I've frequently considered self-revelation in terms of how much, how soon, where and how. On the show the experts said hey, masks are fine for a while and certainly necessary at times. For how long, in how many places have I carefully hid my abilities, education and experience? Too, too many!


This morning I finally boarded one of Southwest's Boeing 737's and flew into Tucson during the day for the first time ever! Coming into the city in the evening is like arriving at a private airport, but Saturday daytime, Tucson felt and looked like a real city, so just imagined how it'd be on a weekday!

I met Tigar in person...

Tigar 05 March 2007

The lectionary code on my theology and bible study blogs displayed some of the Easter Vigil lections, but there are altogether too many to fit in the specified table width (ended with "Ez" of Ezekiel!), so here they are from textweek:

Genesis 1:1 - 2:4a; 7:1-5, 11-18; 8:6-18; 9:8-13; 22:1-18
Exodus 14:10-31; 15:20-21
Baruch 3:9-15, 32 - 4:4
Isaiah 55:1-11; 54:5-14; 4:2-6
Ezekiel 36:24-28; 37:1-14
Zephaniah 3:14-20
Proverbs 8:1-8; 19-21; 9:4b-6
Psalm 136:1-9, 23-26; Psalm 46; Psalm 16
Exodus 15:1b-13, 17-18
Psalm 30; Psalm 19
Isaiah 12:2-6
Psalm 42 and 43; Psalm 143; Psalm 98; Psalm 114
Romans 6:3-11
Matthew 28:1-10

Almost Easter!