Friday, January 25, 2008

where are the men?

The UUMeN Steering Council debated "where are the men?" at our annual winter meeting last week, hosted by the good people of the River of GrassUU congregation. In our (and most Protestant, and probably Catholic) churches, in our universities and medical schools, fewer and fewer men are participating. A possible explanation is that contemporary men are feeling a bit of an identity crisis. We know we want/need to grow beyond old stereotypical roles, but we are having trouble defining a "mature masculinity" for the 21st century. Just like Feminism has gone through several waves, so will masculine identity change and grow. Masculinism is one possibility, but what should/will/might be our religiously liberal approach?

Suggestions for poems, readings, stories, or other worship elements addressing the issue are welcome!

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

psalm 121 a la Mitchell

Psalm 121
translated by Stephen Mitchell

I look deep into my heart,
to the core where wisdom arises.
Wisdom comes from the Unnamable
and unifies heaven and earth.
The Unnamable is always with you,
shining from the depths of your heart.
His peace will keep you untroubled
even in the greatest pain.
When you find him present within you,
you find truth at every moment.
He will guard you from all wrongdoing;
he will guide your feet on his path.
He will temper your youth with patience;
he will crown your old age with fulfillment.
And dying, you will leave your body
as effortlessly as a sigh.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

go buckeyes

LSU beat Ohio State last night, and made it look easy. The loss by my favorite team stings, but I will continue to cheer for them. And the fun we friends had, watching the game; and phoning my family, and making this appetizer, is part of the good side of sport.

Friday, January 04, 2008

resolution on portable dog homes

Our dog, Lillie, made a New Year’s Resolution to start sleeping in a doggie bed this year, and no longer spend each night in a “portable dog home,” as the manufacturers of the crate advertise it. We have been trying to get her to sleep outside the crate for a while, because it sat in front of the closet, restricting access to our clothing and threatening the wellbeing of our toes. But each time we’d tried, she wandered and paced the room, and chewed things to relieve her anxiety. Poor dog, she needed the safety of her crate (dogs and their ancestors have lived in small dens for millennia; this is a modern equivalent). Lillie also practiced sleeping outside of a crate at “Noah’s Ark,” where she boarded when we traveled. She ate a whole package of friendship bread there, and a pair of glasses, a leather motorcycle cap and almost broke an heirloom cookie jar.

Lillie didn’t “resolve” to sleep outside the crate, she just did it. We (and the patient folks at Noah’s Ark) kept trying, and she finally grew out of it. The same is true for me: when I have given up bad habits, it was less because I resolved to do so, and more because I grew out of them. All of my habits have served me at one time or another; they were important to my survival at some point. Years later, they may no longer provide that benefit-—they may even be “bad” for me-—so I seek more adaptive, better habits. Resolutions can make me more aware of my behavior, and they can give me the practice I need to someday, maybe, grow out of that bad habit that I no longer need.

Thus do I resolve to eat better in 2008, and beyond.