hustling

Feb. 8th, 2015 01:24 pm
zirconium: of blue bicycle in front of Blue Bicycle Books, Charleston (blue bicycle rear)
This afternoon's main project is getting ready for this evening's Heartbreak Happy Hour at the Stone Fox -- I'm one of the performers.

The years I've spent drafting sermons (and numerous other speeches for church) mean that I now have a pretty good sense of how many words = ten minutes of material. Which I found myself grateful for this past week, what with trying to bounce back from the flu while going back to work and staying on schedule on a commission and so on. It was nice to know that ten minutes of material isn't actually that many words and that I could knock it out in a day if I couldn't carve out the time any earlier. (But what actually happened was that I started writing it in my head two minutes after receiving the invitation, and sketched it various lines and points in my Workflowy during the rest of the week before slicing and knotting it all together the past two days.)

Coincidentally, two of the hymns in this morning's church service were ones I selected for a service I led a decade or so ago. One was "When Shall We Learn," which is Carl Flentge Schalk's setting of a poem by Auden:


When shall we learn, what should be clear as day,
we cannot choose what we are free to love?
We are created with and from the world
to suffer with and by it day by day.

For through our lively traffic all the day,
in my own person I am forced to know
how much must be forgotten out of love,
how much must be forgiven, even love.

Or else we make a scarecrow of the day,
loose ends and jumble of our common world;
or else our changing flesh can never know
there must be sorrow if there can be love.


The other is "Creative Love, Our Thanks We Give," a William DeWitt Hyde poem adapted by Beth Ide, and set to "Truth from Above" with harmony by Vaughan Williams:



Creative love, our thanks we give
that this, our world is incomplete . . .

Since what we choose is what we are,
and what we love we yet shall be,
the goal may ever shine afar--
the will to reach it makes us free.


Also at church: an adorable mop of a service dog, who snuggled into its owner's shoulder for a while during the sermon:

service dog

After church, I ran an errand and picked up Chinese carryout. There was an invisible fortune cookie in the bag...

invisible fortune cookie

... and this advice in one of the corporeal cookies:

Business is a lot like playing tennis; if you don't serve well, you lose.





From the speculative writing/publishing realm:

  • Sue Burke and several other very experienced translators want to bring castles in Spain to you -- specifically Castles in Spain, a bilingual anthology they're raising funds for via Indiegogo.


  • If you're a Science Fiction Poetry Association member, you have one week left to nominate your favorite 2014 poems for Rhysling Awards. I have both long and short poems eligible this year [downloadable at http://sfpoetry.com/ra/eligible/PegDuthie2014.rtf] . . .


  • How to Live on Other Planets is available for pre-order. The list of contributors is fierce, y'all.
  • zirconium: photo of bell tower seen on a walk to the Acropolis (athens bell tower)
    At church today, the conversations included...

  • a friend telling me during coffee hour that she wants Stephen Paulus's The Road Home played at her memorial service


  • another friend telling me during morning songs that she wants Jason Shelton's Morning Has Come played at her memorial service


  • plans for a veteran's birthday gathering


  • The topics also included:

  • the college selection, application, and financing process. The child in question is planning to major in marine biology.


  • grant applications (i.e., chatting with the head of a lab)


  • completing albums (the chief's daughter is a musician)


  • Wendell Berry. My hiking partner and her husband went to hear him at a fundraiser last weekend.


  • blue-eyed grass


  • vegan food


  • a riff on Richard III in a recent cartoon


  • In other news, I'm about to head to session 5 of my yoga studio's thirty-day challenge. (I had an earlier class on my calendar -- and slept right through my alarm. Whoops.) And, I'm seeing zinnia seedlings in the pots on my deck. Wheeee!
    zirconium: Unitarian Universalist chalice with pink triangle as base (rainbow chalice)
    At the start of the service, the choir sang Ysaye Barnwell's arrangement of Kahlil Gibran's "On Children":



    Your children are not your children
    They are the sons and daughters of life's longing for itself
    They come through you but they are not from you
    And though they are with you they belong not to you

    You can give them your love but not your thoughts
    For they have their own thoughts
    You may house their bodies but not their souls
    For the souls dwell in a place of tomorrow
    Which you cannot visit
    Not even in your dreams

    You can strive to be like them
    But you cannot make them just like you


    Rev. Gail preached about family and community, and how individuals possess both the desire to belong and the desire for freedom -- the challenge being as a family member (by blood or by choice) to nurture the people we love in such a way that they also feel free to be themselves.

    Midway through the sermon, she stated that the largest category of households in the United States consists of people who live alone, which was true of our congregation -- and that the majority of that group at FUUN live alone by choice. She quoted a member of the congregation who had said to her, "I'm looking for someone to date -- but there's NO WAY I'm looking for someone to marry!" This was greeted with a wave of laughter -- and a heartfelt "Amen!" bellowed from the middle of the sanctuary, which triggered a second wave of laughter.




    Maybe ten years ago, a group at church performed another Sweet Honey in the Rock piece, "No Mirrors in My Nana's House." This animated version of it (Chris Raschka illustrations) is a joy:

    zirconium: photo of bell tower seen on a walk to the Acropolis (athens bell tower)
    Church:

    * the pleasure of wearing a favorite dress on an ordinary Sunday
    * a violist with the Nashville Symphony/Alias played a Bach courante (from suite #6) after the call to worship, as well as harmony on the hymns and a Faure pavane during the offertory. Lovely stuff.
    * the Story for All Ages was about Henry Bergh, a Unitarian who founded the ASPCA.
    * the meditation was "Avalokiteshvara Dharani," a Buddhist chant.
    * our church placed first in this year's AIDS walk, raising $18,200. Wow!

    My original plan was to spend the afternoon at my easel, but tiredness took over, so I ended up sacking out on the sofa. For dinner, I made a variation of Melissa Clark's crispy tofu recipe:

    crispy tofu with long beans

    (I didn't have peanut oil, so I used sesame. The shiitake mushrooms weren't soft enough by the time I started cooking, so I skipped them. Instead of pork, I cooked half of the long beans I picked up at Shreeji's yesterday. Instead of chicken broth, I used water. Instead of saving the green parts of the scallions for garnish, I mixed them in with the soy and mirin and dumped them into the pan at the same time. And I tossed in a spoonful of minced garlic because I felt like it.)

    [Clark won't mind. One of the themes of In the Kitchen with a Good Appetite is how she and her mother seldom follow recipes as written. :-) ]

    I also broiled two chicken breasts and made a quick sauce for it by combining orange juice and mustard. Some of it blended with the soy-mirin-garlic glaze on my plate, and that tasted really good, so I might try that combo on purpose later this week. (The Turnip Truck had some aging tofu on sale today...)
    zirconium: Unitarian Universalist chalice with pink triangle as base (rainbow chalice)
    The annual national convention of the Unitarian Universalist Association was this past weekend.

    The business included choosing the denomination's Study/Action issue for 2012-2016. To give you some context, the one for 2008-2012 was Ethical Eating, the one in progress is Immigration as a Moral Issue. These are not the only issues UUs are studying or acting on, of course, but the issues selected for Study/Action receive additional attention and resources -- ministers are encouraged to preach about them, educators are encouraged to offer classes and lead discussions, study guides are created, and so on.

    The news from Phoenix is that Reproductive Justice will be the next Study/Action issue. The proposal submitted by the sponsoring congregations is here.

    ...I happened to spend a sizable chunk of yesterday evening copyediting a study of so-called pro-life judicial activism. And my state legislature continues to embarrass the saner people in Tennessee with its relentless cultivation of ignorance. And the reports from Michigan and elsewhere have me feeling more angry and more weary. So I'm taking comfort in this news of my denomination renewing and expanding its efforts to support "the right of all women to have children, not to have children, and to raise their children in safe and healthy environments."

    http://www.uua.org/reproductive/index.shtml
    http://www.uua.org/reproductive/action/index.shtml (includes click-to-send-letters links)
    https://www.uua.org/reproductive/action/200096.shtml (congregational resources, multiple levels + ages)

    Easter eve

    Apr. 8th, 2012 12:13 am
    zirconium: photo of bell tower seen on a walk to the Acropolis (athens bell tower)
    Rehearsing...

    Easter eve

    with lily-of-the-valley breaks:

    taking time to see and sniff the muguets
    zirconium: Photo of cat snoozing on motorcycle on a sunny day in Jersualem's Old City. (cat on moto)
    After visiting the Acropolis, last October, Saz and I walked back toward and through the Plaka. On our way down, we encountered a poem:

    on a church wall in Athens

    We later spotted it on several other buildings in Athens, but in this first instance, it had been spraypainted onto the wall of the Church of St. Elisseos. It's that square just to the right of the green door:

    my big sis peering up the street

    If I hadn't seen it up close -- were I looking at this picture for the first time -- I'd be assuming that the square was a metal screen or decorative cutout within the wall.

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