"Imagine you can disagree without someone being wrong."
It's the third Sunday in Advent, and in the bulletin in church today there were some suggestions for loving our neighbors (and everyone else) as well as we do ourselves, that came from the Presiding Bishop. This tip is particularly useful for me on the Haines Borough Assembly, and no doubt will prove to be very helpful over the holidays (and everyday these days) for you, too.
The other night, as I watched the primary school Christmas concert in the Chilkat Center, when all the children in grades K-4 in our town were on the stage in that one place, all together, singing for us, I suddenly was afraid. Afraid something terrible might happen to those beloved children, including three of my grandchildren.
I have been on vacation is all, cycling in Tucson with Chip for a week. On day three I said, "I feel guilty-- no borough meetings, no blogs, hardly any emails-- nothing but riding bikes in the sunshine, eating good food, soaking in the hot tub, and sleeping.. I mean, we aren't doing anything. I'm not even walking the dogs."
"It's called a vacation," Chip said. (That's my wise man.)
It is Monday and it feels like Monday.
Up at five, still cold and lots of snow, the fire was out, the puppy peed on the rug, my drip cup of coffee imploded when the filter broke and hot wet grounds spilled all over the counter, and then after braving the roads and dodging the plows, the pool was closed because a pipe burst.
I am so grumpy. I figured I'd spread the gloom.
Typing this made me laugh.
Therefore encourage one another and build up each other. --St. Paul
I once tried to write a column for Woman's Day titled "Decorating with Dead Animals" but the idea was rejected. I think the editor thought I was joking. I never intended to display animal antlers, horns, hides, and even a head, in my home. I argued successfully against it for a few years, before I lost that battle. I did love Sagamore Hill, Teddy Roosevelt's Oyster Bay home, and visited often as a child, and it was full of trophies from his hunts. The umbrella stand was an elephant's foot, as I recall. But that was then, and this is now, and we are not Roosevelts.
"The issue is not whether to stand firm or compromise but how to express our firmness. When we express it with poise rather than rudeness, not only are we truer to our better selves, but we infuse our dissent with a power it wouldn't have otherwise. To brawl is human. To be civil works."- P.M.Forni from Choosing Civility: The Twenty Five Rules of Considerate Conduct
Poet Mary Oliver says praying, writing, creating, living your life in a meaningful, courageous, and as with most writers, a public way-- we stick our hearts out-- doesn't have to be the "blue iris" and that "a few small stones" will do. As a gatherer of rocks and pebbles, heart shaped mostly, but lately I've been drawn to the round dark shale stones with a circle of quartz that looks as if someone drew them on with chalk, I love that line: a few small stones. I could do worse than rub a few pebbles together as "a doorway into thanks" for the privledge of having you read what I write.