Peace in the Pool

Normally when I write about the Peace I find in the pool, it’s all about me — the water, the rhythm, the quiet.

But yesterday’s Peace was brought to us by a 92-year-old Hungarian emigré.

It’s one of those decisions I juggle. Do I speak to people I don’t know when I’m wearing a few ounces of nylon. It’s a vulnerability thing. I once had a woman introduced to me, who decided based on the introduction what my politics were and why she abhorred them, and i thought, what? I’m in my happy place and you’re going off? blah.

But, my natural curiosity makes me susceptible. And in this case, it was a lovely contact.

We who whine often don’t stop to think about why this place is valuable. We often spend more time whining than making things even better. Because truth to tell, if you travel at all or live abroad, you realize how many things are good here…

So why not work to make them better. Wringing our hands never did much to make things work…

and then, after Monsieur L’Emigré climbs out, my other favorite nonagenarian dropped into the pool. Another political conversation ensued.

What a delightful world we live in.

Peace is waiting to be picked up and celebrated. It’s in our hands.

And, along those lines did you vote? Because Peace is in our hands, and it’s lucky we are that’s so.


Reading, Peace, Reading

When I was a tender seminarian I heard William Sloan Coffin (recently retired as minister at Riverside Church in NYC and formerly the Yale chaplain who started Clergy and Laity Concern during the the VietNam War) speak about being involved with what’s going on in the world.

Coffin talked about the importance of being involved. At the end someone stood up and said, great for you, you’re on the speaker circuit… You blow in, blow up and blow outta town (ah you gotta love a hall full of ministers!).

Coffin admired the hit and then asked… how many of you have read a book on something other than ministry? How many of you have read a serious book this year. Less than 25% raised their hands.

And he said, yeah… no excuse for that. That’s part of your ministry.

I admit his seeds fell on fertile ground. I love reading. And I believe it’s important. And I’m lucky that the UUs feel it’s important and that my congregation agrees. And so I take this time very seriously and stuff my brain — with things that pertain to what we’re up to and to what I think I and all of us might need to think of. And with things that are going on and we can’t help but look at. There’s so much to wonder about. So much hard (reading) work to do.

So reading. I find Peace in it. In its turn it stirs me to look for Peace. It’s a cycle I’m lucky to be able to indulge. Just a couple weeks of stuffing ahead, and then look out world! I’m back! Wake up world! Time to step up!


Courage and Peace and Lunacy

To be courageous is always a bit lunatic, isn’t it? To dare to do something that is outside our comfort zone. Luckily it’s the Ripe Garden Moon and it’s full of comfort for when we do the crazy courageous things.

It’s funny what supports us in courage. In the case of my friend, she relied on simple good manners to carry her up and over.

In my case, I just didn’t want to have an unmatched set. And really, everyone else had forgotten I made a mistake and even if they were holding it against me, who cares? It’s my life I want to have organized, nothing to do with anyone else. (so who’s my harshest critic, right, me). So I could just do what I needed to do.

Things happen that need to be dealt with. Sometimes they’re fairly small things. Sometimes they’re big and horrible. But we do what we have to… or at least what we can of what we have to. We step up and do the hard work.

And that is just that…

A certain kind of Peace comes in doing what needs to be done. In doing the right thing. In daring. We like ourselves when we dare for things that matter.  so, let’s shall we, let’s Peace.


Thunder Moon Rumbles Demand Peace

Gay Marriage and a continuation of horrific painful death penalties. Fair housing and denials of climate change. ACA and massacres. Life is unsettled.

The Thunder Moon rumbles.

The question is, what are we going to do about it?

How are you and I going to weigh in? What thread will we unravel? Racism, injustice, unequal access, automatic weapons, climate change, the death penalty, economic justice. Pick one, pick any one.

Peace is waiting for us to step up. Let us do so — by the light of the silvery Moon. Because it is time. Because it is our work to do.


Tears in Paradise, Act for Peace

Two days home from a workshop on Undoing Racism, taught by the People’s Institute for Survival and Beyond, I wake up to the news of the death of nine Black people by a white gunman. They were shot at church in a Bible Study.

I’d already sent out the day’s musing about how we who live in Paradise don’t make room for everyone, don’t insist that Paradise is abundant. And then this, proof.

It could be one crazy guy except we tolerate crazy white guys doing this. This is a thing. This is a trend. This is a movement. White people killing bunches of Black and Brown people. Will his religion be on trial the way the Boston Marathon’s religion was? Will we (finally) wonder what it is in White culture that causes so many to go so wrong? Because it’s about time we do.

And in all the pictures of the aftermath, people kneeling in prayer, people holding hands in prayer, not a white face in the picture. “And I didn’t hear nobody pray.” And oh right, I didn’t hear anyone say, there is an epidemic of white exceptionalism and it’s killing our neighbors. But it’s true. I didn’t see anyone say, “I’m so sorry. I’m so sorry.”

Ramadan starts today. Maybe while our Muslim sisters and brothers are refraining and reflecting, we might do the same.

I’m sure that some people like those in the AME church would be grateful to wake up in Not Hell. But Paradise is possible, if we understand the need to throw open the Garden gates and welcome the world. Do we believe in Life?

It’s time to wake up, step up, show up for Peace. It’s time to redefine and transform Paradise. Each and every one of us is needed for this hard and precious work.