I got a lot of work to do today.
graphite and cheap ass ballpoint pen in moleskine
I’m really plugging away at my moleskine. For one thing, the Punkzilla needs time alone in my art room every day so that she knows she still reigns supreme as the Art Cat and hasn’t been usurped by the mischievous Bengal (a.k.a. Stinkbat).
Also, my job(s) continue to be all consuming while the temperatures are pressing in the 110s with monsoon clouds building. When I come home from work I am WIPED OUT. I do two Very Important Things each day after work. 1) Play with the cats with Bean. This sometimes lasts for over an hour. We just lounge about and play with the Fur Sharks who are so darn cute. They fill our hearts with JOY! 2) Retreat to my art room with the Punkzilla and fill another set of pages of my moleskine. I do the drawing FAST. I lose myself completely. I come up more relaxed.
I’ve been having a Pink Floyd/classic rock renaissance, so I’ve been drawing to the Pink Floyd channel on Pandora. I need to start playing my uber goth versions of Pink Floyd on the piano again. It’s another thing that makes me happy.
For the record, I’m like on week three or four WITHOUT ANY CAFFEINE AT ALL. I feel so much better all around. Physically better. Emotionally better. My mental clarity is ON. I think caffeine has all kinds of bad inhibitors in it, like filling my body and mind with zillions of irritating road blocks. My internal highways and byways have been cleared out and can breathe again after all those caffeine clogs fucked me up. I’m able to handle stress so much better. I mean, my dad is still in the hospital. My job is off the hook stressful. I’m dealing with the emotional rollercoaster of raising a teenage daughter. Yet, I’m somehow riding the storm fairly calmly.
The other thing I noticed is that MY ART IS OPENING UP. I know it’s probably hard to tell in these little short and fast moleskine drawings, but I can feel myself pushing myself open in art. I’m so relaxed. I still have the energy, the emotion and the process. But I also feel so much more free and able to let myself go. Right now, my BIG art project is to complete this moleskine. When I’m done with it, I’ll have (another) full book of my art. Then I’m going to move onto larger scale work, and the benefits of this (almost) daily practice will pay off in dividends. Just wait and see!
Little short art workouts like this actually accomplish a lot, especially by doing them in a condense period of time with discipline. Yes, I said discipline. Believe it or not, in all this mess of cheap ass ballpoint pens, I have discipline that I follow.
Anyway, kiddo is volunteering as a camp counselor for smaller kids this summer. She’s working at a horse camp that does other animals too (chickens, goats, sheep, pigs, cows, etc) and arts and crafts. It’s been a great experience for Bean. But we do have to get up at the crack of dawn to get her there by 7:30 in the morning. So off I go.
Maybe tomorrow I’ll write a little something on THE PURGE. Trying to keep my blog sort of alive during these mad times.
Xs and Os
Giving the Punkzilla her daily one-on-one in my art room. She loves when I make art, and she's the only Fur Shark allowed to keep me company while I scratch away at my Pen Noise. She's a Pen Noise kittyface, a real fan of the cheap ass ballpoint pen. If other cats try to come in here, Punka gives the Death Glare, and they slink back to from whence they came. Death Glare Art Cat is not sharing her art chair! Dammit.
On Saturday evening I attended the annual spring concert of Perfect Harmony Men’s Chorus, Madison’s gay men’s choir. As I’m sure we’re all going to find out shortly, the theme of the concert couldn’t be more appropriate.
One of the things that made the performance special was that it was scripted with a story about two guys on their present-day odyssey towards marriage. The journey was narrated by a handsome young lesbian dressed in a suit, who spoke with thorough professional aplomb and who, later in the show, officiated at the wedding ceremony. The fictional guys, portrayed by two of the chorus members, were named “Clay” and “Keith” – after two members of the chorus who had passed away some years ago (who were not a couple in real life). Clay was from Georgia and Keith was from Minnesota. After some discussion back and forth, the guys decide on a cross-country trip, headed for Washington state, where they can get married legally.
Interspersed with narration and dialogue bits telling the story were songs sung by the chorus, selected to fit the moment . These included Freeway of Love, The Longest Time, and Bridge Over Troubled Water. Georgia On My Mind contained a stellar solo by the ever dependable bruinwi
whose sonorous baritone lent the number a lyrical touch. After intermission there was Route 66, Somewhere Over the Rainbow, Get me to the Church On Time (prompted by a highway detour the guys encounter) and concluding with Rhythm of Life (from the Cy Colman musical Sweet Charity).
Some drama was provided by Clay’s mother who calls up her son from Georgia. She thinks the boys are headed for D.C. and at first the guys don’t bother to correct her. Evidently she thinks the boys are merely good friends off on a road trip for fun. Finally, in a later phone conversation, Clay comes clean and tells her they’re headed for the northwest in order to be married. Significant pause. Then mom exclaims “It’s about time!” – thus breaking the tension and granting her blessing.
When the guys reach their destination, they take their vows and our narrator pronounces them married. At this point the chorus sang an exceptionally beautiful and powerful number, Marry Us, from the gay song cycle Naked Man, originally commissioned for the San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus well over a decade ago. Rather than give it a strident tone, PHMC chose to make it a sweet anthem. As they approached the end of the number all the men of the chorus joined hands, and on the final chord they raised their arms in unison. It’s surprising how moving such a simple gesture can be (I understand they devised it spontaneously during rehearsal).
The chorus’ final encore was Sing A Rainbow, with which they traditionally end all their concerts. Usually, bruinwi
steps forward to gesture the words in American Sign, but this time the entire chorus signed the words as they sang - a beautiful way to end an evening well spent.
Riley relaxed yesterday and got used to his new home. He ate a little, used the litterbox (whew), and mostly wandered around the apartment checking everything out. He came over to me quite a few times to be petted and loved. He's going to do well here.
When I went to bed (about 12:45) he got into the litterbox and just started scratching and throwing litter around for like 10 minutes. I don't know what that's all about, but I got up and he wandered away. Then it happened a few more times. Every time I'd get out of bed and call his name, he'd just walk over like nothing was wrong. Maybe he thinks it's his personal sandbox? Well he finally quieted down about 2am and let me get 6 hours of solid sleep. I think he slept in the entryway.
Since he's only on dry food, he didn't wake me up in the morning to be fed. :)
I did wake up to find some little footprints on the kitchen counter. How did his big fat 20 pound butt jump up there? This guy is half panther, I swear. So there is some training to be done, but mostly he is behaving just like a new cat should. The person who gave him up obviously took good care of him, because he's used to lots of cuddles and loving.
How a family of two mums and two kids challenges how the school one of the children attends deals with father's day.
I want to recognise people who do parenting work - whether or not they are afforded the title of parent. I want to thank the people who help us love and parent The Small Person, without deciding in a gendered way that some get honoured today, and some get honoured in May, and some don't get honoured at all. To all those who help us love and celebrate and care for the Small Person, thank you. I feel deeply honoured to have such a village and to be able to nestle the Small Person in our communities. Thank you.
When The Small Person arrived we were given a book called No Matter What
by Debi Gliori - it's a beautiful story of Large and Small, and how Large will always love Small. It is refreshingly not a book about Mothers or Fathers, but a book about a child and an adult who loves and cares for the child. I think of it on days like Father(')s(') day. A day when the majority culture asks us to honour dads. I feel like my Facebook stream has been full of people talking about their dads: People who love and thank their dads, people who were harmed and hurt by their dads, people whose dads have died, people who are not quite dads, but are certainly not mums either, queer and trans people whose dads rejected them, people who use to be dads, and who would very much like to be mums. Father(')s(') day is hard for many of us, no matter where you put the apostrophe.
All day I thought about the movement that calls on people not to identify as allies, but to recognize ally as a verb, and to shows allyship through actions. I feel similar about parenting. Parenting is in the doing, in the tending, in the loving, in the work. I don't believe that there are universal "mothering" tasks or universal "fathering" task, but I am sure children need love, and care, and all manner of other things. As with so many other things I want to be able to recognise the important stuff, the work, the relationships, without gender being front and centre.
A few weeks ago I received a request from a parent, neither a mum nor a dad who was trying to respond to an invitation to hir child's daycare's "Father's Day Picnic". The parent asked me for help in crafting an answer. I'm sharing this here to help encourage schools, day cares and children's programs to think about how they celebrate all children, and make sure all families feel recognised and celebrated.Different parents and different schools are using different ways of making these days more inclusive of all families. I’m aware of people doing the following:
Many places are receptive to the idea that these days can be hard for many children. It’s often helpful to remind a school that some children have had a parent die, or may be estranged from one or more of their parents. Some families never get recognised by these days (foster families, families where people other than parents are raising children) and that recognising Mothers’ and Fathers’ day can be traumatic for some children and erasing of some families. My tactic here is to remind the institution that you are not just in this for your family, but also for a wider number of people. They need to think about not just how they can make your family welcome (although they should) but also about how they help families learn about each other and celebrate all families.
- Knowing a child’s family structure and then sending “the appropriate” invitations. If a child has more than one mum or more than one dad, making sure they have enough craft supplies to make a gift for each of gifts are being made. Some LGB families will really like this, as it means two mums or two dads can be recognised. This still assumes that there are “mum”s and “dad”s in all children’s lives. Because some LGB people really struggle to be recognised as parents this can be really affirming.
- Using inclusive language for both the Fathers’ Day and Mother’s Day events (“celebrating care givers”, “celebrating all families”, “celebrating parents”). Celebrate both, on both days, making both non-gender specific.
- Expanding both Mothers’ and Fathers’ days as gendered days, but more inclusively “celebrating moms, aunts, grandmothers and all the caring women in a child’s life” or “celebrating dads, uncles, grandfathers and all the caring men in a child’s life”.
- Having the children create un-branded gifts for their caregivers for both days. The Small Person's first day care did this, and we received painted bird houses that say things like “Happy Day” or “Happy June 8".
- Picking a date between Mothers’ and Fathers’ day and creating an event then. This could mean children brainstorm all the words they use for the people they live with who love them. This can be a powerful way of learning how different families name parenting roles, and who is significant to a child. The Small Person's first day care also did this. Our Small Person apparently had the longest list in the class, and made a great many cards.
- Recognise neither. This makes these days like many other days, ones you can choose to celebrate at home, or not, it means there is no special pressure on families in the school/centre/group.
- Add in a celebration of Family Equality Day / Family Visibility Day (http://www.internationalfamilyequalityday.org)
I don't think there is a single right answer. I don't think celebrating Mother's and Father's days in unexamined ways is appropriate, but I do think there is room to think about what will best meet the needs of the children and families involved.
Yesterday people also shared these with me, as further ways to re-think these days:How two different men, both of whom are sperm donors think about their roles and fathers day
Why baby why?
graphite, cheap ass ballpoint pen, prismacolor in moleskine
Yep, it's another VERY FAST moleskine drawing. These are my workouts and my project. I love the way a Moleskine feels when it's all filled with the weight of black ink. Off I go to run in the HOT desert night.
Just got back from visiting my dad (my stepdad who raised me) in the nursing home. He was watching golf on the TV. A commercial with ironworkers came on, and he perked up and smiled: "Take a look at that. They have them all tied up three ways from Sundays." I asked, "Didn't they tie you up when you were working?" He said, "Hell, I didn't even wear a hardhat when I first started." Then he asked with pride, "Did your mom tell you that the union sent me my 60 year pin?" He counted on his fingers. "It's only been 58 years, so I don't know what the hell they're doing." He paused then added, "Well there's maybe only three ironworkers my age left anyway." I told him to hurry up and get his ass out of that bed so we can watch the last episode of Boardwalk Empire. He said, "I'll get my ass somewhere."
The sun is speckled with dirt.
I haven’t washed
the windows in months.
I stand at the kitchen
sink. I’m on the third round
in thirty minutes. Plates, glasses,
cups and frying pans
line the counters in piles. Where does all this
shit come from? When I was a kid
you’d never find a dirty
dish anywhere except
in the dishwasher or in my hands
washing them. It was a matter of order
and I was the little soldier
charged to keep it.
I folded my stepdad’s jockey shorts
in perfect thirds. First the left side, then
the right, then pulled the crotch
up to center. They were big
as parachutes. If only I’d tied
strings to them and flew
away. To this day
I fold my own underpants exactly the same
way. As if it mattered. As if balling
things up and shoving
them in a drawer isn’t
an option. I have shut
a lot of things in drawers. Say the empty
place in my stomach I feel this Father’s Day
because my stepfather is lying half dead
in a hospital and my real father Al died
before I could know him. My childhood
albums are filled with empty
spaces where pictures of Al should be
and aren't. Today is Father’s
Day. I clean the kitchen and bake
my daughter biscuits. It is the
21st century. Everyone seems to have a photo
to share. In this one, a father pushes
his girl on a swing. In another a man
stands over his son working
on a model airplane. Fathers look up
from desks and across birthday cakes.
They hold their babies and play
baseball. It’s all so
captured on film. My album
turns up empty. I only have
the stories I’ve been told and the smudge
of a single memory. The after image
of Al’s back when he walked away from me.
His body a silent hulk as he slipped
into darkness. I was sorting
buttons under the table at my grandmother’s
house the day he opened
the door and saw me.
He turned his back
so quickly he turned
to shadow. After that I only knew
him from the things
he sent my grandmother fresh
off the trucks. Microwave
ovens, console TVs, an 8 track
stereo. Somewhere in Las Vegas
Al’s rotten liver has turned
to dust. Somewhere in the Sierras
soil is stained with the blood
of his kills. Somewhere in San Francisco
the stuffed heads of elk
hang on a thrift store wall. Al’s eyes
stare out of the dead heads like dull
marbles or spent bullets. His favorite game was
Russian roulette. One bullet
six chambers. His favorite drink
whisky. Whisky in his coffee for breakfast.
Whisky with a salami sandwich for lunch. Whisky
all day every day until it killed him at age 51.
Rumor was he murdered his third wife.
Suicide with his police revolver. His own
mother said he was not
a nice man. She sucked
on a Bel Air and said I was better off
not knowing him. But he is
half my gene pool. I pour over photo albums
looking for traces of him outside
the corners. My mother holds me
in her lap. Her hair dyed
a garish yellow because Al wanted
my Italian mom to look like Kim
Novak. Instead she looks like a mud
puddle someone pissed in.
My grandfather holds me on his knee.
I’m a little pink bundle shrouded
in cigarette smoke and bad focus.
The man behind the camera is Al.
The man in front of the camera never is.
Across town my stepfather lies in the hospital.
His hulking body has been there for weeks now.
He shrinks by the day but is still
enormous. I will bring him
a photo of my daughter for Father’s Day. I will tell him
how I’m fixing my leaking bathtub all by myself
because he showed me how
to use tools. He will be proud. I will say nothing
of the bruised memories he left on my body
or the hole his best friend Al
left inside me. In three weeks, I will turn
51, the age Al was when he died.
I will take all the memories I don’t have of him
wad them into a ball and burn them in the desert.
I will photograph his ashes as daylight falls
behind the mountains. Everything will splinter
in the sun’s flare when I fill the hole
inside me with the hush
of hot wind and distant
thunder. When I write a song from the sound
light makes when it breaks.
Ladies and Gentlemen, Children of all ages! Allow me to introduce a dear friend of mine, Jill Schultz, who I have known for years and watched develop as a writer. I've seen this, her first novel at many stages and even offered a word of advice and encouragement here and there. So I'm very pleased to have her here today to promote her lovely book, Angel On The Ropes.
Genre: science fiction novel, standalone, ages: adult.
287 pp. * 108K
Tell us about your book.
In a nutshell, it's Cirque colliding with a Quaker Underground Railroad.
Amandine Sand is a dazzling trapeze artist who leads a dangerous double life. She has a life-threatening secret: she's one of the spotted humans wrongly accused of being a plague carrier. These "leopards" are hunted by zealots to protect their offworld colony from the scourge. Despite this threat, Amandine spends her days guiding other leopards to an underground shelter run by the pacifist Seekers. At night, she soars on the trapeze, the one place she feels free and gloriously alive.
When the persecution of leopards explodes into widespread violence, the Seekers are overwhelmed and demand more of her time. But her circus is teetering toward bankruptcy and desperately needs her, too. In the midst of this, she falls in love (because it's the worst possible time, so naturally, that's when it happens). But if her trust is misplaced and sheís unmasked, everyone she lovesóand everything sheís fought forócould crash.
To survive, Amandine has to draw upon everything sheís learned from the circus and Seekers, and summon the courage to reveal her true colors. But can a pacifist defend her violent enemies to stop a civil war? And can this very reluctant angel fly beyond her limits to save her life, her love, and her world?
You went behind-the-scenes at Cirque du Soleil. What interesting thing wouldn't we guess about them?
Even their laundry room is memorable! Many of their costumes have delicate parts that have to air-dry, such as masks, hats, and evening gloves. They were lined up on shelves and draped over laundry bins, with industrial-sized fans blowing on them. It was a riot of color and sequins. While this was motivated by the same need that inspires some of us to drape bras over radiators, I was really struck by this unexpected mix of the surreal and the mundane.
The two main characters are bisexual, but you don't make a big deal of it. How are readers reacting?
Love is love. If they'd been straight, no one would comment on the de facto acceptance of their sexuality. Course, I'm preaching to the choir here. : ) So far, only a few readers have commented on the characters' orientations with most saying they found the low-key depiction refreshing. One reviewer felt I needed to explain why the protag wasn't straight. Even though I expected that, it's still hard.
And you're giving away books!
Yes, two autographed paperbacks. The contest runs through June 22 on GoodReads and is open to readers worldwide. So if you live on St. Helena Island and win, I'll be digging in the couch cushions for spare change to cover the postage. : ) Sign up here: http://www.goodreads.com/giveaway/show/51989-angel-on-the-ropes
You just did the world's coolest book launch.
On June 1st, I literally launched the book--from 30 feet up, on a trapeze. It just seemed like such a natural, since my main character is a trapeze artist. I couldn't resist the word play offered by the phrase "book launch."
One of the professional trapezists who helped me (Peter Gold) hosted the event at his outdoor flying trapeze rig. We offered free flying trapeze lessons to the public, followed by a book reading and Q&A. I'm really proud that I managed to launch the book because I'm petrified of heights.
Where can readers buy the book?
The ebook is available worldwide from all the usual online suspects. You can get the paperback from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and RiverRead Books (www.RiverRead.com). That's my local indie bookstore; they handle autographed copies.
When I dropped The Small Person off at school the other morning there were already three children in princess dresses playing in a castle they had built out of giant bricks. The Small Person did a basic inspection of what was happening; in the pop-up tent, what was going on with the world map puzzle, and decided that the castle was where it was at. He clambered in.
"Hey!" said the Lead Princess, "We're playing a princess game, and if you want to play you have to be a princess too."
"Okay." said The Small Person, and he promptly went over to the dress-up rack and selected a small suit jacket. He put it on and came over to ask me to help him with the buttons. I helped and he went back to the castle.
I don't remember exactly what the Lead Princess said, but it was clear that in her estimation, what The Small Person was wearing was not sufficiently princessy enough. She told the small person that he needed to put on a dress. All the classic ball gowns were already in use, so she suggested the cheongsam. The Small Person came back over to me. "I picked the wrong thing." He said somewhat mournfully. "Would you help me put this on?" he asked, passing me the cheongsam. I did.
The Small Person in the cheongsam went back over to the castle and joined in with the other three princesses. Peace reigned in the realm.
I went off to work thinking:
1) I'm glad that who got to be a princess was not defined by a child's genitals.
The Lead Princess' initial invitation was that, a genuine invitation.
2) This is obviously a somewhat regular occurrence. The Small Person was totally fine with the idea of putting on a dress, and none of his classmates saw this as notable in anyway. I'm glad that at this daycare who gets to wear a dress is not defined by a child's genitals.
3) The Lead Princess, a child who identifies as a girl, felt quite comfortable asserting her royal authority - the game did not need to change because a boy had arrived, and The Small Person did not challenge that. I was glad that everyone was comfortable with a girl being in charge.
4) My child listened to and cooperated with others!
All of that was great. I could have left it there and celebrated both the daycare and the children there, saving my worries for something else. As a professional overthinker of gender though, I was concerned about the idea that princesses have to wear dresses. To be clear, the problem is not femininity - the problem is that femininity is compulsory for princesses. If my Small Person felt like a princess in his suit jacket, I want him to be a princess in a suit jacket - right along with the princesses in the dresses. I wondered if there were some princess books I could share with the school that would model different ways of being princesses.
Truth be told, I'm not a fan of princesses - kings, queens and princes either. Monarchies are really not my cup of tea. I've never been a fan of hereditary authority, wealth being concentrated, "divine right", state control and all that. I also strive for language that is gender inclusive, and the words we have for royalty fail. I find myself torn between wanting picture books with titles like "Peasant Uprising" or "Creating a Socialist Utopia" you know, in a non-didactic kind of way, and wanting to challenge princess stereotypes.
In my book collection I pulled out the following, all of which I like, and all of which challenge the idea that all princesses must
be hyper feminine:Dangerously Ever Afte
r,The Princess Knight
,The Paperbag Princess
,The Red Wolf
That seemed like a short list, so I hopped over to the very fabulous A Mighty Girl
to check out their princess offerings
Please leave in the comments both suggestions of books you like that challenge the notion that "all princesses must be hyper feminine" and that challenge monarchies.
A little later I realized that both I and the Lead Princess were focusing on appearances. The princesses in their ball gowns had built the damn castle. They were not helpless, and there was no compulsory heterosexuality - nobody was waiting on some prince on a white charger. They were not confined by stereotypes of a princess is - it just looked that way os you only focused on their clothing, and perhaps I as an adult needed to worry less about what they were wearing and pay more attention to what they were doing. Ultimately, that's the lesson I want to both deliver and embody - words and actions matter far more than appearances, and girls are far more than their clothing. Thanks kids.
Music to accompany this post - Meg Braun's Tomboy Princess
The most famous sermon ever preached was the Sermon on the Mount. Everyone knows it, especially the parts that begin "Blessed Be." Whether you went to Sunday School or Hebrew School or just hung out in the schoolyard, the Beatitudes are part of the Canon of Western Civilization. </span>Christians point to them as containing instructions for how to live a good life. Some call them evidence of Jesus’ divine wisdom. Even non-believers cite them when speaking of Jesus as a moral teacher.
In his book Mere Christianity
, C.S. Lewis wrote, “I am trying here to prevent anyone saying the really foolish thing that people often say about Him: 'I'm ready to accept Jesus as a great moral teacher, but I don't accept His claim to be God.’”
I think Lewis was right: it would be a really foolish thing to say that Jesus was a great moral teacher. The Beatitudes are little more than a collection of old platitudes, useless advice, and bad moral instruction. It is only the smoke of generations of incense and flickering candles that give it the patina of great wisdom. Let’s read the words themselves. Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted.
Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth.
Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.
The first four lines tell the listener what he already knows: Life sucks, especially if you’re poor and beaten down and powerless. But there’ll be pie in the sky by and by when you die. Why this empty assertion should be believed tells us much about wishful thinking, but nothing about how to live your life, unless you’re a groveling masochist. Jesus could have summarized by saying, “Surely the afterlife must be wondrous, for see! No one ever wants to come back!” Still, the wealthy and powerful have always loved these verses. A song from Leonard Bernstein’s Mass
puts it nicely:
God said it’s good to be poor.
Good men must not be secure.
So if we steal from you,
It’s just to help you stay pure.
On to the next three lines:Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy.
Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God.
Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.
These are plonking platitudes, taught by parents since the dawn of civilization. Don’t get me wrong: Mercy, peace, and purity are excellent things. I commend them to you. But are you the sort of person who practices these virtues because they’re good, or because you hope to get rewarded for it later? Do you have any moral character of your own, or are you just sucking up to an authority figure? I read these lines as, “If you play nicely with your sister and share your toys, there’ll be ice-cream tonight.”
The final three lines are the worst of the lot:Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness' sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake.
Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.
Rather than cooperating with your fellow human beings, you should try to be persecuted and reviled. The more people hate you, the greater your reward after you die (see promise of pie in the sky above). This is how fanatics are made. This is what divides people into sects and factions. This is how people are moved to blow up buses and fly planes into buildings. Like Robert Bentley, the Governor of Alabama, said, “..if you’re a Christian and if you’re saved, and the Holy Spirit lives within you just like the Holy Spirit lives within me, then you know what that makes? It makes you and me brothers. ... So anybody here today who has not accepted Jesus Christ as their savior, I’m telling you, you’re not my brother...”.
All men are not your brothers, only the ones who believe exactly as you do. But it’s OK, because any perceived persecution means you must be particularly blessed. Even here in America, where Christianity is the majority religion and there’s a church on every other street corner, the very existence of atheism is regarded by the faithful as persecution.
No, there is nothing here that could be called great moral teaching. Speaking as someone who has stood at the pulpit and preached, it’s not even a good sermon. It’s just been proclaimed in reverent tones for so many Sundays that it's become part of the church furnishings, like the stained glass and the brass candlesticks. No one is really paying attention. What Christians actually hear is this: Blessed are ye. Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven. Amen.
And in the meantime, there’s coffee and cookies in the fellowship hall after service.
God said it’s good to be meek.
And so we are, once a week.
It may not mean a lot,
But oh, it’s terribly chic.
All the guest singers did 3 songs with the all-star band. Hers were Fever (Peggy Lee), Sweet Dreams (Eurrythmics), and of course, I Want Candy.
Today is the second day of the annual Coleman Hawkins Jazz Festival
. It is a really vibrant and exciting tribute to one of St. Joe's most proudly-claimed native sons. My friend Pedro is on the board and has done a fine job of getting the word out and representing the Coleman Hawkins Jazz Society.
It's also the grand opening of Spark Farm Park (with sculpture)
, which almost beggars description. Megan and Json live in an old firehouse with training tower, just down the hill. They raise all kinds of good food and are largely responsible for Goode Food Delivered
, a beautiful local CSA and farm co-op, along with Goode Acres farm in Wathena, KS across the river. They have incredible outdoor art, agriculture exhibits and ecosystems, and plan a permaculture urban food park sort of thing. And you thought this stuff
only happens in places like Seattle!
Police Log for this week is a gas…
Wednesday, June 12
At 7:47 a.m., police responded to a parking complaint on Pleasant Street.
At 7:51 a.m., a spent .45 round was discovered on Lime Street.
At 10:00 a.m., police responded to a noise complaint on Creesy Street.
At 10:36 a.m., a Broughton Road resident called police to report losing their wallet.
At 10:46 a.m., police responded to a parking complaint on Rockaway Street.
At 10:49 a.m., an Abbot View resident entered the police station to discuss a domestic issue.
At 11:48 a.m., a resident entered the police station to turn over a bank card found on Pleasant Street.
At 12:03 p.m., a woman on Green Street called police to report that someone slashed the convertible roof of her BMW. Responding officers determined that it didn't appear to be the result of vandalism.
At 12:38 p.m., a man called police to report that his radio wasn't working and he needed a lift back to the dock. Very obscure, this one. I think that the man was on the harbour but, alternatively, he could just have been too lazy to call the dock with his telephone.
At 1:45 pm., police and fire units responded to a report of an MBTA bus into a utility pole at the intersection of Elm and Curtis streets. The pole ultimately had to be replaced.
At 1:47 p.m., an Evans Road woman called police to report that her neighbor had just shoved her dog when it ran onto her porch. "Shoved her dog"? When the dog was trespassing? At least she didn't kick it.
At 5:45 p.m., police responded to a report of a man "yelling things at a softball team" on Pleasant Street. Go TEAM!
At 8:27 p.m., police conducted a well-being check on Lincoln Avenue.
Thursday, June 13
At 1:44 a.m., police responded to a burglar alarm on Washington Street.
At 2:45 a.m., a Jersey Street man called police to report that he had some kind of oxygen-eating gas in his house and didn't know where it was from. Oxygen-eating gas? Could it have been last night's church bean supper?
At 6:43 a.m., police responded to a burglar alarm on Widger Road.