Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Thunderous Real Hugs

My shouts of glee must have woken Lilly, because she raised her head and looked at me quizzically. “What are you so excited about?” she asked, “I thought you were rooting for the Heat.” Lillie is our dog, but she sometimes communicates with me telepathically. And she also has a pretty good understanding of basketball—-for a Labrador.   “I’m not shouting about the game. I’m tickled that they’re showing all the players hugging. Look-—players and coaches from both teams are hugging each other, unabashedly. This never would have happened, even five years ago. Yes, some of them are still a little awkward, the usual “shoulders-only, with a couple manly thumps on the back” type of hugs, but most are full-body embraces. We’re seeing macho ball players give each other *real* hugs. On national TV, like it’s no big deal!” “But it’s not a big deal, is it?” Other than her old-school choices in basketball (she loves the Lakers, which is why we were watching this game in the first place), Lillie is pretty progressive in her politics and morals. “No, it isn’t—-or it shouldn’t be. But it used to be. Men were supposed to be tough, and self-sufficient, and wholly un-emotional. Even the older guys in my men’s group couldn’t give a real hug, fifteen years ago. Now it’s happening, on TV, and people treat it as normal. I’m thrilled.” “Are you crying?” asked Lilly, moving to put her head in my lap, as she often did when I needed consoling. “Yeah, a little bit, but these are tears of happiness. If men are allowed to feel, and to express their emotions with physical embraces, that is a big deal. For men and for our society, that is a step in the right direction. It may eventually lead to us being more peace-able with other countries, and more gentle with our planet. It certainly is the least homophobic thing that I’ve seen on TV in a while. I’m ecstatic!” “Well, I’m happy for you,” Lilly nudged her nose under my hand. “But my team just lost to the stupid Thunder. I could use some consoling. You’re not too macho to give me a belly rub, are you?” (original post at So May We Be)

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Mother's Day Prayer

Let us open ourselves widely to Life, and share a few moments of quiet attention… {silence} We call upon the Hopi Earth-Mother, Tuuwaqatsi, and Cybele, the Magna Mater; we think of Parvati, primal Hindu goddess, mother even of Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva; today, we honor the Green Man, and the Maiden and the Crone, and especially we celebrate the Mother; we call to mind the Venus of Willendorf, carved 25,000 years ago, and we celebrate the ancient and still-present human impulse to respect and honor the Mystery of Creation… we name our gratitude to be alive today, and as well as we are; we are grateful to be gathered among these good people; we llift up those joys & sorrows just mentioned, and those which remain in the silent sanctuaries of our hearts; we note the death of Maurice Sendak; we desire compassion for all those affected by his loss; with the Religious Institute, and its partners around the world, we observe a Rachel Sabbath: we note the hundreds of thousands of women and girls who die every year as a result of preventable complications of pregnancy and childbirth; we desire better maternal healthcare and universal access to family planning; we desire an end to the “mommy wars” as we honor mothers who work outside of the home, and we honor mothers who stay with their children, and we honor those who do some of each; we desire less judgment of *all* people and more compassionate acceptance of who we are and how we live; We desire enough food, and shelter, and peace of mind for all beings this day; we pledge ourselves in pursuit of this goal. Praise for living. So may we be.