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Friday, September 26, 2008

appleseed 5

Johnny Appleseed
♪ ♫ ♫ ♪ Oh, the Lord is good to me
and so I thank the Lord
for bringing me the things I need
the sun and the rain and the appleseed
the Lord is good to me
Amen, amen, amen, amen, amen! ♫ ♫ ♪ ♫

this is Johnny Appleseed day, so Singing Owl brings us today's 5 in his honor. part of his bio includes:
September 26, 1774 was his birthday. "Johnny Appleseed" (John Chapman) is one of America's great legends. He was a nurseryman who started out planting trees in western New York and Pennsylvania, but he was among those who were captivated by the movement west across the continent.

As Johnny traveled west (at that time, the "West" was places like Ohio, Michigan, Indiana, and Illinois) he planted apple trees and sold trees to settlers. With every apple tree that was planted, the legend grew. A devout Christian, he was known to preach during his travels.
1. I'll pick a pair of favorite apple dishes: the harder to make apple dumplings wrapped in flaky piecrust and perfectly seasoned with more nutmeg and less cinnamon and also, easier to make apple cobbler, with either from-scratch biscuit or bisquick topping. I especially love heavy cream on the dumplings, vanilla ice cream on the cobbler, but a shot of whole milk is an okay stand-in.

2. back in the Intermountain West (the real west, by even today's standards!) I participated in a ceremonial tree-planting (one of those events that gave us a spot and a soundbyte on the late evening news), but I don't recall the why of it...

3. roaming around the countryside wouldn't exactly be the first choice of adventure for this city-girl, but if God called me to do so, I could preach and pray a little, display some design and get some commissions as well as play a few piano recitals.

4. two on the historical legend front, as well: Johann Sebastian Bach and Martin Luther. We have a lot of factual info about both of them, but there's a ton of hearsay we can't tease out from their realities.

5. when I'm trying to get cheerful, praise songs such as "Shout to the Lord" and related are wonderful; if I feel really despondent, a symphony by Beethoven brings back perspective in a heartbeat.

Monday, September 22, 2008

poetry party 24

To introduce Abbey of the Arts poetry party: equinox edition Christine observes, "Today is the autumnal equinox, a time when the sun rests above the equator and day and night are divided equally. It heralds in a season filled with change and the brilliant beauty of death. I invite you to write your own ode to autumn. What are the gifts, challenges, and invitations for you in the days ahead?"


invitation to poetry icon

[...BLUEBERRIES!!! was my first thought about Christine's pic...great colors and contrast!]

starting out with equal parts
day and night
with leaves falling
colors richening
and differently scented air
autumn eases into cooler longer nights
for better dreaming

creation winters in sleep
until on the other side
spring bursts open
splendid in resurrection liberty
reborn in greater wisdom
and overflowing depth

so instead of sadness
over another sorrowful summer
I'm ready to welcome
a season of settled quiet
and excited to anticipate
next summer's festivities!

Friday, September 19, 2008

autumnal equinox 5

(north of the equator) fall equinox Friday 5 on the revgals

for this September Friday, Songbird suggests, "tell us five favorite things about fall."

1) A fragrance: Thanksgiving dinner baking in the oven with scents of onion, celery, sage and turkey permeating the house

2) A color: I'll pick a palette of 3...
plum
camel
indigo
3) An item of clothing: corduroy anything

4) An activity: walking on a tourist-less beach when the weather is cool but not too chilly or otherwise intemperate

5) A special day: Thanksgiving Day USA

Friday, September 12, 2008

back to school 5

back to school friday 5 on the revgals site

Mother Laura lines out this week's 5:

1. No one in this house is going back to school this year.

2. Until a couple of really good HS teachers (I also had a couple of fine art teachers in elementary school), I was close to indifferent about school in general, but at least I didn't detest it, so when some good teachers and interesting subjects showed up, I was rarin' to go. But I always enjoyed getting a few new clothes for back to school and I always was particularly interested in that season's special colors (styles, too), though I hated the end of warm summer weather.

3. No historical rituals for the Autumn New Year. And now? My last really formal educational course of study was design school a few years ago, but we began in January and attended classes 25 hours a week for 9 months until mid-October, making it an interesting back-to school time, since it wasn't exactly a 2nd semester beginning. I enjoy putting away summer clothes and getting out the ones I wear only in the cooler weather, but that's about the extent of any fall ritual.

4. My answer to (2) about new fall colors and styles works for this one, too.

5. My best year of school...depends...but getting a 2nd undergrad degree probably was the most exciting time in school because I was old enough to be highly intentional enough about getting a solid background in the social and behavioral sciences in order to be well-prepared for seminary.

Thanks, Laura! I was delighted to find F5 online in time to post before going to bed. I haven't been blogging at all, so I very much appreciate having a ritual way to stay connected with Friday 5, which I almost never miss.

Friday, September 05, 2008

5 about vulnerability

RevGals vulnerability Friday 5

Sally introduces today's Friday 5:
It seems almost crass to post a Friday 5 after Mary-Beth's last post and prayer request for our dear Gannet Girl and her family (many prayers arising from here, needless to say). So I hope that folk will take this in the spirit with which it is offered; that of continuing prayer and concern tempered by the knowledge that we are called both to weep and to rejoice with our communities.

I have recently been reading a book entitled Jesus wept, it is all about vulnerability in leadership. The authors speak of how Jesus shared his earthly frustrations and vulnerabilities with a select group of people. To some he was the charismatic leader and teacher, to others words of wisdom were opened and explained and some frustrations shared, to his "inner circle" of friends: Peter, James and John, he was most fully himself, and in all of these things he was open to God.

So I bring you this weeks Friday 5:
1. Is vulnerability something that comes easily to you, or are you a private person?
Less and less easily every day, though despite being people-seeking and people-craving, I've always been what you refer to as "a private person," for whatever reasons.

2. How important is it to keep up a professional persona in work/ ministry?
In front of any audience (in the chancel, greeting people in the narthex after worship, at council/session/vestry, community meetings) very majorly ultra extremely so. Other, less public settings are on a case-by-case basis.

3. Masks, a form of self protection discuss...
A healthy person does not and will not spill their guts right away to everyone they meet as soon as they meet them, though on the other hand, if someone cannot ever reach a stage of basic trust and openness with anyone, that's not healthy, either. Again, time and place. Masks are essential to healthy functioning, but you gotta know when and where to unmask gradually and what parts to reveal. And I'll say no one (except Jesus) ever did it right all the time.

4. Who knows you warts and all?
No one whatsoever any more.

5. Share a book, a prayer, a piece of music, a poem or a person that touches the deep place in your soul, and calls you to be who you are most authentically.
Dozens and dozens! Here's a quote from one of the most so, Robin Williams' "Don't Let me Come Home a Stranger..."

When the ties no longer bind, Lord save me from this darkest fear
Don't let me come home a stranger
I couldn't stand to be a stranger
In this place so far from home, they know my name but they don't know me
They hear my voice, they see my face; but they can lay no claim on me...

Though I wouldn't exactly say that song calls me to be my most authentic self, too many times I've believed I was returning to a kind of home and discovered otherwise. Last night I finally realized the best strategy for right now is to start acting like I'm brand new in town and to begin introducing myself and reaching out once again.