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Showing posts from July, 2007

A Little Lammas Message

I found yesterday's meeting for worship really satisfying. I had one message for the meeting that felt just great to deliver, and pretty much from the moment I sat down, I felt really carried along by something very strong and good.

Both the message that was for the meeting for worship, and the one that was not (which I'm sharing here)had a theme of trusting in Spirit. The image that Liz Opp wrote about recently, of the difference between entering meeting through the door for "Meeting for Worship" and that for the "Meeting for Good Ideas" kept coming back to me, as did the question of how much (or little) we manage to look to the experience of corporate worship--that the Spirit may be working in someone unexpected, across the room from us, and how important it is not to assume that "if I don't do it, it won't get done," when it comes to vocal ministry in a Quaker context.

But it wasn't until last night, as I heard my friend Beth tel…

The Maine Woods and Simplicity

I'm in Maine for the rest of the week, and though the wonders of technology have made it as far as the beautiful lake where I'm visiting my folks, the only Internet access is dialup. Dialup which is so slow that I literally cannot use my web-based email--with patience, I can open an email and read it, but I believe I could paddle the length of the lake and back before I'd be able to get the "reply to" feature to open and load.

So here I am, having to face how used to feeling busy and important I am, and how little able to slow down and just be I've become. No high-speed Internet! No email! What a scandal! Oh dear oh dear, however shall I live?

More slowly, and that's clearly the trouble. Having been here for less than 48 hours, I'm already itching to gear up--surf my favorite blogs, leave "insightful" comments everywhere, keep up a lively stream of email correspondence (again, so, so insightful!)and top it off with a trip downtown to cru…

Cat's Spiritual Journey, Part VII: Morticia Loves Gomez

All posts in this series:
Part I: Getting (and Losing) That Old Time Religion
Part II: Coming Home
Part III: The Fool's Journey
Part IV: The Underworld
Part V: Seven of Cups
Part VI: A Letter and a Kiss
Part VII: Morticia Loves Gomez
Part VIII: Nora
Part IX: Felicia Hardy and the Tower of Babel
Part X: When Babel Fell
Part XI: Community 2.0
Part XII: This Forgiveness Stuff

Are you married? Are you well married? If you are, perhaps you can understand what I’m not going to be able to explain, though I’m bound to try.

It doesn't matter how I write about the process of ending my first marriage and beginning my second; I'm going to come off badly. And some of that is merited: I made a promise to my first husband, and I did not keep it. The cynical way of putting it would be to say that I found someone I liked better, and I left my husband for another man. That’s not false, exactly. But it makes it sound cavalier and unfeeling, and it wasn't that.

So I could tell you about the pai…

Naked for a Sign

This one's not part of my spiritual journey series, though it reflects on it to some extent...

Yesterday, in meeting for worship, one of our members described having had pointed out to her, on a recent tour of Salem, Massachusetts, the site where a Puritan-era Quaker had chosen to "go naked for a sign"--as a testimony against Puritanism, presumably. That member then asked us, in a quiet, powerful voice, how we make our lives speak.

After settling back into worship, a series of related messages came through. I'll report only on those that spoke to me strongly:

In our modern world, how do we choose words to make ourselves "naked" and vulnerable to one another, and how do we choose words to separate us from one another, to hide us, and to make us safe?

If we must have a name for ourselves as a people, why not "pacifists"?

The practice of "going naked for a sign" goes back to Isaiah, Ch. 20, where Isaiah was directed to do so by God, as a sign…

Cat's Spiritual Journey, Part VI: A Letter and a Kiss

All posts in this series:
Part I: Getting (and Losing) That Old Time Religion
Part II: Coming Home
Part III: The Fool's Journey
Part IV: The Underworld
Part V: Seven of Cups
Part VI: A Letter and a Kiss
Part VII: Morticia Loves Gomez
Part VIII: Nora
Part IX: Felicia Hardy and the Tower of Babel
Part X: When Babel Fell
Part XI: Community 2.0
Part XII: This Forgiveness Stuff

I wish I could convey the essence of a small Pagan gathering, like the one the Church of the Sacred Earth hosted the Samhain of that year. Combining the best features of an elementary school sleepover, a college dormitory bull session, and a Thanksgiving dinner in a large, boisterous family, weekend-long retreats like that are one of my favorite aspects of Pagan life.

Picture, please, a woodstove popping vigorously in one corner of a ramshackle farmhouse. Music plays in the background--maybe a a track from the Libana album, A Circle is Cast--and there is a babble of happy, animated voices coming from every room. Over the k…

Cat's Spiritual Journey, Part V: Seven of Cups

All posts in this series:
Part I: Getting (and Losing) That Old Time Religion
Part II: Coming Home
Part III: The Fool's Journey
Part IV: The Underworld
Part V: Seven of Cups
Part VI: A Letter and a Kiss
Part VII: Morticia Loves Gomez
Part VIII: Nora
Part IX: Felicia Hardy and the Tower of Babel
Part X: When Babel Fell
Part XI: Community 2.0
Part XII: This Forgiveness Stuff

It is somewhat difficult for me to remember the main ritual of the Twilight Covening of 1990. I was only partly there for it...and partly I was in the Otherworld, riding on a big, black horse, curled safe and tight in Herne's warm cloak.

The main ritual of Twilight Covening is always a collaborative affair; clans work together to contribute various elements to it, and the ritual framework is always similar--a journey, a quest, in which the celebrant encounters challenges and overcomes fears and doubts in symbolic form, culminating in a central celebration, something very pretty, with firelight and drums and beautiful rit…

Intermission and Apology

Jan Hoffman says to give messages without preamble or apology, and that's a good discipline, but I'm finding it impossible here... So please bear with me, ladies and gentlemen, while I ask you to bear with me.

Apologies on the long delay for the next post in my spiritual journey series... (If it's not too much hubris to imagine anyone out there cares about that!) Part IV is definately the toughest part to write about: so many things happened in such a short span of time, and continue to be important to who I have become. It's particularly personal material, and some of it still a tad painful. But mostly, I'm really hoping to bring the series in under the length of St. Augustine's Confessions (helping myself to Marshall's humorous analogy) and this one is tough to edit.

It's also hard to balance self-revelation with privacy, and plain speaking with a desire not to have some of the more difficult aspects of the story used against the Pagan community... …