Friday, July 30, 2010

P.S. On Flesh

After I left the mall suitless but laughing I realized I had slipped into being compulsive about my appearance. I just HAD to LOOK good! Like all lies it enslaved me for a time.

But what looks good in Godde’s eyes? ALL flesh! There is no body suit of skin that is superior or inferior. No way of being in the flesh is better or worse to the divine heart in which and by which we all have our being.

What a difficult love to follow. What a hard breath to take. But what a vital life pulse to keep you alive.

I’m pretty sure Jesus didn’t shop (How much retail would there be in the desert for sandals and loin cloths after all?) I’m also sure I will not resort to a berkah or other tent-like coverup.

However, I do plan to petition Sophia, the feminine face of Godde, to be my personal shopper. I think she’d be good at online shopping too so would help me avoid malls, stores, and fitting rooms altogether.

Looking in my home mirror this morning was, well, as good as it gets for this flesh— a good enough good.

Then I remembered the most lovely flesh hymn I’d ever read. Baby Suggs preached it in Toni Morrison’s novel Beloved. She has no official credential but speaks power to her people in the clearing, telling them about the sacred belovedness of their black flesh.

Here is Baby Suggs’ paeon to the sacrament of human flesh.

"Here, . . . in this place, we flesh; Flesh that weeps, laughs; flesh that dances on bare feet in grass. Love it, love it hard. Yonder they do not love your flesh. They despise it. . . . Love your hands! Love them. Raise them up and kiss them, touch others with them, pat them together, stroke them on your face, ‘cause they don’t love that either. You got to love it, You! And no, they ain’t in love with your mouth. . . . You got to love it. This is flesh that I’m talking about here. Flesh that needs to be loved. Feet that need to rest and to dance, backs that need support; shoulders that need strong arms. . . . More than eyes and feet. More than your life-holding womb and your life-giving private parts, hear em now, love your heart. For this is the prize" [pp. 88-89].

Thursday, July 29, 2010

The Spirituality of Swimsuit Shopping for Seniors—Women

It all started when I noticed what I thought was a spot on my old black bathing suit, the one I'd had for I can’t remember how long, the one with the little diver on its lower left side.

This swim suit has no class. It's not sexy nor is it particularly flattering. It's black, a non-color supposed to be slimming but I doubt this fashion truism. At any rate its main purpose in life right now has been to help me avoid having to buy a new swim suit.

And now my old suit was failing me, had abandoned its mission.

The spot I noticed wasn't a spot. It did not succumb to soap and water laundering or serious scrubbing or soaking. I looked more closely, held the fabric up to the light and sure enough I could see through my little spot. It wasn’t transparent but more like a veil of the kind some brides wear that hints at what’s beneath its lithe folds; or like the veil Moses put over his face so the people would be shielded and not afraid of the divine glory that shone on his face.

(Basically the veil was meant to take the edge off the fullness of the divine presence which most of us couldn’t tolerate for seconds let alone a conversation. TMI as they say today.)

My spot wasn’t this romantic. It was out of place, not supposed to have turned from concealer into partial revealer. My spot was/is a stretch mark, not the silvery kind women get from childbirth but the kind that suddenly let me know truth: elasticized fabric was/is not eternal. It doesn't stay stretchy and snapping back forever—unlike Godde, angels or, as some believe, post mortem souls. My swim suit wasn't going to hold up. I knew the small spot would multiply and....

So now the torture of trying to find a new suit had to begin soon. I thought to get it over with so I snuck  into a large department store where no one would know me (we were traveling) and located the ladies swimwear department. The selection was meager. July. The fall clothing was already on display. but at least there was no one there.

I selected too many suits to carry, none of them very alluring but ones I thought would accomplish what I wanted: not let me swim like Esther Williams but hide the emergent hanging gardens of upper thigh flesh and lower upper arm flesh.

The suits I chose had little skirts or faux skirtlets that brought the base line just over the top of my thighs. The suits I chose looked as if they’d fit tight under the arms so the shoulder straps would allow space enough for my arm to get through but not enough for anything else to hang out.

The fitting room had its usual array of sadisms: mirrors that had no veils or subtlety, soiled carpet on the floor, and pull curtains that left significant gaps on each side for viewing the victim inside. Privacy was out. Luckily no nosy sales woman came to peek asking "How're we doing in there, OK?""

The first suit had a full skirt that made me, a short mostly waistless woman of 71 look about 80. The next one as well. The third one I pulled, no hoisted, up and suddenly my boobs popped out one through each arm hole.

Every suit I tried exposed the truth: my flesh isn’t wrinkle-proof and never will be again; I am getting old; my true shape is more like an inverted pear than an hourglass; my utter self-disgust was a sin against the Christian doctrine of God-in-the-flesh, an idea I love.

All of this ugliness tumbled out in tears. I vowed I’d never eat again. I thought of my dear husband and his patience as he sat for what felt like hours outside the ladies fitting rooms. I thought of how he loved my flesh. I thought of how often I had preached about the beauty of the flesh, a house fit for the indwelling divine presence. And now I was a hypocrite.

The Old Testament prophet Elijah suddenly popped into my head. Elijah, sitting alone sulking, feeling like a failure as a prophet, fearful for his life and probably secretly thinking God was all wet as he indulged in a bit of “poor me-itis” And God quietly inquired, “What are you doing here Elijah?”

Enough said.

I laughed through my tears. Godde had not been in my tears this time, though I did hope they might attract a little consolation. Godde hadn’t been in my exasperation, nor my hatred of this foolish store and the whole abusive fashion industry. Godde arrived in my laughter; its lilting generosity lifted me up.

What in the hell WAS I doing here mooning over aging flesh?

I gathered up all my failed suits, hung each one back on its own appropriate hanger, put my flesh back in my shorts and tee, retrieved my beloved, told him my tale, got a hug and a suggestion with a grin that we go back to the motel for a swim.

Honestly I was sleek enough to be a selkie in that little pool with my old black suit!

Friday, July 23, 2010

Nurture and Challenge Your Spirit With Joan Chittister, Part III

More Joan Chittister highlights, provocative enough to keep me blogging. Besides it’s too hot to unpack more post-moving boxes.

-Christianity is the most anthropocentric and androcentric religion of the major faiths. BUT in the West....................(Christianity exiled its feminine mostly to church domestics.)

-We’ve lost touch with Incarnation: divine presence in ALL created things, animals and nature, not just humanity.
-We’ve lost the the Godde of Genesis who declares ALL of it GOOD and says ALL of it requires care, not sovereignty.
-We’ve lost the sacramentality of the universe.
-We’ve lost the awareness of human finiteness and human dependence on everything in nature‚ exclude oil! We have abused our environment with our demand for moreness and our inability to know enoughness.
-We’ve lost the wholeness of biblical story. Genesis 1, the creation story, and Genesis 2, the companionship story, must be read as a whole.
-We’ve forgotten that Adam named and included all the animals. We turned naming into ownership and control. Any of you with children? Do you name them? How much control does that give you? LOL.
-We’ve lost what science and ecofeminism have retrieved: the interrelatedness and interdependence of all people and things. The Christian Church must catch up to the fact that life is a weave not a ladder and that autonomy and rugged individualism are dangerous illusions.
-We’ve lost the omnipresence of Godde, aka the Holy One.
-We’ve lost our femininity and with it our full humanity.
-We’ve lost the Sabbath, the contemplative mind of Godde, as the crown of all creation.
-We’ve lost our Jewish roots. “If you believe that Godde build inequality into creation you are party to the gassing of the next generation of Jews.”

Chittister closed with a wrap-up parable from Buddhism. The Buddha one day asked a notorious bandit if he could pull a branch off a nearby tree. Of course said the bandit, flexing his muscles and strutting toward the tree. Snap! Now, challenged the Buddha, can you put it back? Are you crazy said the bandit. I can’t do that?

Can we do this? Can we teach it, talk it, preach it, write it, live it?

Joan Chittister nurtured us with her humor and her spiritual vitality. She challenged us with not a brand new but a restored vision, a vision in line with feminist values, common sense religious thinking, and an ethic of mutuality in league with a wholistic spirituality grounded in relationship, humility and sacramentality.

Is there hope?

Chittister says that male feminists give her hope that the dream is realizable. We are not the same but differences can be valued as contributing to the whole while we claim our sacred human lives together to build a new world view.

I strongly believe this is and has always been Godde’s work into which we join come-lately but not too lately if we wake up to the task, the ministry of transformation. And we don’t have to ask any more, Is it broken? Or rationalize saying, If it’s not broken don’t fix it? Patriarchy as mindset, domination politics, policy and practice is broken and breaking us. With Godde’s grace working in us that which is enlivening for the common good we can fix it.

I am grateful to Chittister’s prophetic mission and person for: no reference to the sexual abuse scandal in her church (too easy a scapegoat for a larger issues); no reference to denominations or any thought of one true church; taking on the risk of a celebrity status for the sake of the prophetic message.

I am grateful for: my own Episcopal Church risking rifts in the Anglican Communion of which it is a part to elect a woman, Katherine Jefferts Schori, as our Presiding Bishop, and consecrate a non-celibate gay man, Gene Robinson, as Bishop of New Hampshire; my Roman Catholic friends some of whom make home sabbaths and some of whom go to Episcopal or Lutheran churches on Sundays but still call themselves Catholic; Roman Catholic women who are getting ordained, excommunicated, and living out their vocations in a variety of non-traditional ways; my sisters and brothers in all faith traditions who are not afraid to explore new ways of telling the story and new ways of doing church; feminist theologians in all traditions.

(P.S. The title of these posts is borrowed. It is the identifying “motto” for St. John’s Episcopal Church in Gloucester, Massachusetts. Apparently in the age of marketing tyranny everyone needs a brand. I’ve seen cattle branding. Not fun. But to be serious I suppose it’s a good exercise for a community, in this case a Christian parish, to come together to attempt to sloganize its particular spirituality and charism. Thank you St. John’s.)

NEWS FLASH: We have a Rabba. She is Sara Hurwitz, the thirty-two year old mother of three children. She is the first woman ordained in American Orthodox Judaism. The ordaining Rabbi is Avi Weiss of Hebrew Institute of Riverdale, New York. In March of last year Weiss ordained Sara and dramatically proclaimed in the presence of witnesses: “The authority of Torah will rest upon your shoulders to spread the knowledge of God throughout the land.” She carries the title Rabbi or Rabba.

It give me chills and thrills. There is hope for a new world view, the story told another way.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Nurture and Challenge Your Spirit with Joan Chittister, Part II

It’s the feast of Mary Magdalene. How appropriate, a woman besmirched for centuries of Christian history as a prostitute (no where in scripture btw!) She was a woman whose reputation was scarred and still is in some circles just because of patriarchal interpretation of her healing by Jesus of “seven demons.” Maybe she had been sexually abused and suffered dissociative disorder? Apparently some male interpreters assumed she was a sexual sinner. A common projection I’d say!

BUT many in the church knew better. Mary Magdalene was declared a saint, a woman identified in John’s gospel as given the call through a vision of the risen Christ to proclaim Jesus’ resurrection to her brothers, a woman restored to dignity by Christian feminist theologians who recognize her as the apostle to the apostles—a prophet in her own right, whose day should be celebrated in all Christian churches and seldom is even if it happen to fall on a Sunday. The beat goes on.

Back to Joan Chittister: highlights.

-In 1827, public use of the microscope allowed people to see what they had always suspected was there but only as locker room talk: THE OVA. Imagine! Heretofore it was thought and taught that seed, read semen, was deposited into women and made life all by itself.

-Men make about 25 million sperm for fertility. Women make about 250 eggs. 25 million sperm to chase one little egg around. And a lot of the little sharpshooters miss the mark! No wonder they want guns.

-But if you think sperm makes life on its own just collect some—somehow— plant it in your back yard and see if anything grows.

-We struggled for years to get the male pronouns out and now they’re putting them back in. “Give ‘em pronouns and they’ll want ordination.” Is this a likely suspected rationale from male hierarchy? (In the Episcopal Church a simple italicizing of he made it inclusive of she. It all depends whose pronoun gets subsumed under whose.)

-It seems that pink and blue souls are flying round out there like balloons—but one of them leaks!

-Medical school shelves are lined with shelves and shelves of books written to prove blacks are inferior, most of it based on facial features.

-Women, made to believe in their own inferiority, have been complicit: It’s always been that way. I’m happy. My husband lets me go out alone.

-Sexism also warps male development. Under the guise of privilege and superiority men are expected to : pay, provide, produce and be perfect. If a man decides to quit his job and try something new or something of his passion, a sexist woman may remind him coyly that her sister’s husband has just bought her a “mc’mansion” somewhere. What do we still tell a boy about crying, about fear, about becoming the little man in the family after a father dies or leaves, about taking care of his sister five years older than he is, about not being in touch with feelings when he’s been trained not to be??

-Mothering became a lifelong vocation and process; fathering a one shot event.

-Philosopher John Stuart Mill said women could be educated yes but to preserve the social order and maintain social standards set by men. There went educational policy and curricula were organized for women to study tatting, scripture, homemaking and the like. Why? Because they thought/taught that too much learning could render a woman sterile. (Pedagogy designed to keep ‘em barefoot and pregnant—and powerless.)

- The transformation of patriarchal thought is not about male-bashing or even blaming. True feminism is not about male-bashing either.

-Telling the story in another way is about the reconciliation of theology, science, ecology and feminism. It is about cooperation and re-rooting ourselves in a new world view. To become wholly human must be a wholly human endeavor with each and all involved wholeheartedly.

Final installment tomorrow.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Nurture and Challenge Your Spirit With Joan Chittister: Part I

Hundreds of excited, chattering women poured out of the lecture hall at Regis College last Monday, and headed like lemings for the ladies room.

Inspired by the prophetic call they had just heard from Sister Joan Chittister, O.S.B., prophet not yet martyred, the women, seeing the usual long line stretching out from the door of their gendered destination, spilled over and flooded the men’s room without hesitation.

We had been told we needed to create a new world, because patriarchy was killing all of us and our planet. And we had heard that we needed to cooperate in order to do this effectively, men and women together—no blaming or shaming.

Women flooding the men’s room made me chuckle. How many times have I stood in long lines watching men next door whip in, pee and whip out—no line? What was wrong with female bladders, or was it the hauling up and down of our clothing instead of a simple zip zip?

But this day the unabashed action of women seemed to me not to be about either bladder desperation or long-awaited revenge or even, god forbid, the famous organ envy Freud made part of the female psyche. No, this felt like a sign of spiritual empowerment—eagerness to abandon rigid and divisive categories for the sake of a gospel of interconnectedness, inclusion and mutuality.

As we all filed happily into the stalls-with-doors, one woman suddenly gave a little shriek and lifted her event program to the side of her face while gesturing with her pointy finger. I glanced over to see a man standing at a urinal. (Now who the heck invented such insults to male modesty?) The woman made a giggly half-hearted attempt to stop the territorial invasion but the women kept coming, undaunted.

Now perhaps I should tell you more about the instigator. Joan Chittister is a Benedictine nun, member of the order of the Benedictine sisters in Erie, PA. She is also a prolific author and sought after speaker. She, or better said Godde’s Spirit through her, invited this revolution. Chittister’s talk was titled “God, Women and the World: Telling the Story Another Way.”

The event was sponsored by Sacred Threads, an organization of spiritual companioning for women through programs and gatherings for education, sharing and re-imagining.

Chittister, after disclaiming a “too effulgent” introduction, requested house lights so she could see her audience:mostly women, mostly edging into aging, likely mostly Roman Catholic, and all white—alas, but why not? We whities have been both fodder, enablers, and chief benefactors of patriarchal policy, the target for Chittister’s demand for justice.

I have spelled Godde in the Christian feminist way throughout. I don’t know how Joan Chittister would spell it but I know she loves Godde by whatever name. I have put quotation marks around her own exact words and parentheses around mine where possible.

Gazing out at hundreds of faces Chittister told us that this event began as an invitation to come to a coffee break affair with about thirty women. “This is the largest coffee break in history!” I suspect, however, that the original idea inflated after the inviters heard how much this might cost and also how important it was that this message reach large crowds. (Today’s prophets may get silenced but so far their voices continue to reach droves as the, Roman Catholic at least, hierarchy implodes.) Sacred Threads responded, did the good work of promotion, and we grew.

I can not do justice to the hour and a half talk, packed with humor, resource and stats, so I will give highlights I loved. Some of them might not be absolutely correctly noted in spite of my compulsive note taking. Sacred Threads will make a DVD of this talk available for lending purposes, and it will also be available through Joan Chittister's company Benetvision.

In a way Chittister’s ideas were not new to me nor certainly is feminist theology and ecofeminism, but it was lovely to hear such a big celebrity voice in religion asking:

"How can one be a Christian and not a feminist?"

-The creativity required for big change calls for making right hand turns from the left lane—regularly.

-Saints see just what everyone else sees, but see it differently, according to Jonathan Edwards.

-It’s time to make the connections between male-dominated disciplines like theology, philosophy, science, psychology, sociology, education, et. al. that have conspired to make patriarchy successful, ie. it’s no accident that two-thirds of the world’s poor are women. IT’S POLICY.

- According to an essay by Lynn White, the Judaeo-Christian ethic justifies domination policies and thought, not just for humanity but for nature and animals. For example, water is there for my use therefore I can dam it. Animals can be used to research for cosmetics. And in Genesis, the earlier-written story about human sin and hubris in Genesis 2 was placed second, while the grand and beloved later-written Creation story in Genesis 1, “In the beginning.......”, was placed first. Why? It glorifies rank ordering. (The created order is policy disguised as poetry.) We are carefully taught to think in superior and inferior categories.

-Life is not a ladder but a weave, a process of changes. (Quakers call the process unfoldment.) But man (understood but NOT written to include woman) ends up as the crowning glory and gets to dominate nature. Now the Caribbean Sea is being raped, just like so many women in their own homes continue to be raped with the idea that the marriage bond is really bondage. (Latter is my addition as someone who has worked to try to prevent and educate about domestic violence, a clear product of a patriarchal world view. )

-On the creation of Eve: Ezer kenegdo which appears 30 times in scripture is never translated “a helpmate fit for man, Adam" except in Genesis 2:18. What a great ecclesiastical scam. The Hebrew words mean “a power equal to Adam.” How different does that sound from a helpmate FIT for Adam? (No wonder we women have trouble getting ordained!) Does no one notice that there could not have been an Adam without an Eve?

-As to the rib: Adam is ha adam, Hebrew meaning the stuff of humanity. Not until Eve is created do they become full human beings called Adam and Eve. Note!

-The patriarchal world view is sinfully partial, incomplete. “We are thinking with half the human mind and it shows.”

-”Everything written about us was written without us. And they call it theology!” The “us” would include women, Native Americans, African Americans, aborigenes, homosexuals, Iraquis, on and on.

-Science came along to support theology’s platform. Galileo wasn’t arrested for his science but for his theology. “They never even looked in his telescope!”

Read more Chittister wisdom tomorrow on this blog site.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Transitions: Holy Fodder

Transitions are holy fodder.

Think big, like the French revolution, poverty and squalor being fodder for new life en masse. Without this fodder they would never have stormed the Bastille (an event remembered today, July 14) demanding political change, liberation and food.

It was a revolution and a resurrection distinguished by violence, desperation and marked by cries for liberté, fraternité and egalité—spiritual basics of communal health.

Think small, like not being able to locate your favorite hanging hoop earrings buried in the chaos of cartons it’s too hot to unpack. Can I live like this for some time and find my soul without my order, my structures? Chaos has been fodder for finding deeper harmony, letting go of my usual need to get it all organized so I won’t feel stressed.

Can there be roses with a trellis? For a while they rise up indeed!

Fodder at its root is from the German word for food, but fodder can mean anything that primes your pump, gets your juices going, provokes explosions like cannon fodder, or helps you look elsewhere for manageability, finding it in surprising places like laughter, your husband’s voice, a squirrel dancing from limb to limb.

Transition is a low key word for all this but when you’re in one, which can be almost daily for some people, it can be fodder for defeatism or for choosing life in the midst—and everything in between.

Transition times are between times, times when you are so disoriented that you make space for Godde to enter your fret and chaos in spite of yourself.

Transitions are times for soul work, because things come up from the depths. Ideas you aren’t even thinking about just arise from spirit, the depth dimension of your psyche. I call this the voice of Godde within because it is not my own voice; it always provides wisdom I have never thought of; it leads me to choose to see things or live things in a new way; and finally it gives me hope.

And, as St. Paul says, hope never disappoints.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Images of Spiritual Empowerment: A Walk in the Park

When we moved from our neighborhood in Gloucester I knew I would miss the children, their squealy squawky voices at play or at war in the driveway sand pile across the street. Or the older children with the same voices playing street hockey or hide and seek in the bushes below our window.

I worried that in the city we would be too adultified.

No need to worry. We live in N. Cambridge near many parks where children and elders and middlers walk, run, play, rest, sit under trees and read, nurse babies on a bench and occasionally pass by and entertain briefly with one-sided invective on cell phones.

(Have you noticed the versatility of the F word? It can be a noun, verb, adjective or adverb. It can also be used to punctuate—period, comma the occasional semicolon to pause and emphasize the non-dangling participle gerundish rest of the run-on sentence.)

This morning I took a walk in our park, Danehy Park. I walked on a stained glass sidewalk, which is better than bleeding my head on a stained glass ceiling trying to establish gender justice in the Church.

On this sidewalk bits of colored glass are embedded into the pavement shining up at me as I walked. The path circles an athletic field with a track for running in a more intense way than my amble.

This sidewalk I thought is perfect image! For a woman like me and many others who have and still are getting stitches in their head from bumping up against invisible ceilings.

This stained glass sidewalk lifted me up, supported me. It didn’t resist my steps but gave me solid undergirding. To walk this path you need sneakers or wheels not stilts or wings. This is an image than ceilings designed to exclude the powerless and protect the powerful.

I walked on the stained glass path with hope for a just future as it extended out before me glittering, inviting, beckoning. It's an image of grounded power an image of outstretch not stopcold.

As I strode along I saw a little girl maybe four on a mini big wheel. She was happiness in the flesh, in the lead followed by her father. She pedaled with verve and squealed with joy as she took her little vehicle racing down the hill and into the water geysers for a bath. I suddenly got the spirituality of transport, the transcendent joy of pedaling, riding horseback, driving, piloting, traveling a track or just plain flying along in your Nikes.

I remembered my own children’s Big Wheel glory days. I understood the early fascination and awe a car of one’s own evokes in most young ones. My ten year old granddaughter has already picked hers out.

It’s like the power of the Holy: a tremendous, irresistible force—a power fraught with both danger and mystery. A power that enhances your own power and also lifts you beyond yourself to greater heights. Not for the faint of heart.

Finally, I settled by the majestic Willow trees, giants that suck water from deep earthen wells, draw it up into the heights and them weep it out returning it to the earth from whence it came.
Take and give back

Another power image. This image is of a power that is shared, taken and given over and over for mutual nourishment. It represents the power of loving connection, the power of relationship.

When I returned home to kneel before my home altar I thanked God for divinity:children, cars, trees, feet and stained glass sidewalks.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Spiritual Coping

You think I’m going to say pray, pray and then pray some more. I am—sort of.

First agree to stop talking about the fact that you’re moving and you’ve now moved. You’re in. All your stuff is in with you but you can’t find any of it so you find one thing that make chaos seem orderly and focus on it.
(Keep talking to yourself. Safer than talking to your spouse who will always listen, support and understand, then lovingly try to tell you things you already know, things only prayer, patience and the Godde within can remedy.))

I found two things.

The first was the eggs. They were where they were supposed to be, nestled in their cardboard carton on their very own designated shelf in the brand new still clean fridge.

Two of them fried would be delicious but where is their pan? Never mind. These aren’t just any old eggs.

They are laid by “the girls,” chickens parented by a beautiful lesbian couple who gave us the special eggs as a retirement gift. Each egg has a message on it neatly written in black indelible pen. Here are some of the messages: Enjoy retirement. We will miss you.Try me.Thanks for all you’ve given. Fry me. Feel ALL the feelings :) :( You will be forever in our hearts.

Now that’s prayer! You don’t need a pan now. You can’t eat these prayers just yet.

The second thing my traveling eye fell upon was a book we picked up in the best bookstore in the world
Porter Square Books. And it’s in our new ‘hood.

The book is called The Complete Psalms: The Book of Prayer Songs in a New Translation It’s by Pamela Greenberg with a Foreword by Susannah Heschel.

In her introduction Greenberg writes that this translation was an "impulse of shiru l’Adonai shir chadash, the imperative to sing to God a new song." Just what I needed. I’m singing a new song every day now and the Psalter contains every song the human heart can sing—all of it soul-true and all of it offered to Godde.

So I sing a prayer one a day whether it meets my mood or not. That’s no matter because it is not for me but for Godde.

Heschel in her Foreword speaks of her father Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel, great Jewish scholar and man of prayer who said: “The beginning of prayer is praise. The power of worship is song. to worship is to join the cosmos in praising God.

The wise Rabbi also said: “To live without prayer is to live without God, to live without a soul . . . To pray is to take notice of the wonder, to regain a sense of mystery that animates all beings, the divine margin in all attainments. Prayer is our humble answer to the inconceivable surprise of living.”

Today the eye of my soul caught this phrase from Psalm 66: “Go and look at the works of the Creator.”

So I do. Then I look back at the chaotic surround of post moving and see that Lo! the coffee pot is perking away and the pot is full of the healthfully decaffeinated brew of coping—best with honey consumed in the sun’s morning light.