Last week on Thursday, I had to go in for a biopsy. I've been with bated breath for the results. And it's in! I'm clear. Even though I knew this was the 99% possibility, that 1% possibility was sitting in the back of my mind ready to claw itself out at any moment. When I was able to shut the door on the 1%, the tears came. I was ridiculously emotional for an event that essentially never happened. I am grateful to all on Facebook and in life (Molly Fraser!) who celebrated with me.
Tonight starts the beginning of our Pacific Northwest Reconciling Ministries Retreat at Lazy F. We are going to be a small but mighty group focusing on restorative justice in the world. To honor this, I start with music by Ani Difranco, a poem from Terrance Hayes, and wisdom from Gwendolyn Brooks along with scripture from several traditions. I have also been reading the devotional from Reconciling Ministries Network. Today, Tyler Sitt speaks of hope. He reminds me that ultimately, love has won.
"There is nothing that any power can do... no empire to be built, no weapon to be invented, no war to be fought. Love wins...and that simply cannot be stripped, shot, or beaten out of us."
Of course, nobody wants to experience the stripping, shooting, or beating. So we can dial that back a bit. Yesterday, I was involved with a "difficult conversation" about race on Facebook in a private group. I thought it was fantastically civil conversation with differing opinions. But someone reported one of the posts as bullying. As the dust settled, it was not bullying. But it does go to show how people will try to silence others in disagreement rather than to sit in the discomfort of not agreeing or in the discomfort of having to change your view. In the end, in that conversation, even though people's thoughts and expressions caused discomfort, Love won.
#itstime for Love to win a little bit more. Go! Be uncomfortable.
PS: I will be off-line through Sunday.
Let my heart rise up to meet mercy, my voice to meet compassion, my hands to meet action.
BIBO: Breath In, Breath Out--yum!!
Subdivision by Ani Difranco
So we're led by denial like lambs to the slaughter
Serving empires of style and carbonated sugar water
And the old farm road's a four-lane that leads to the mall
And my dreams are all guillotines waiting to fall
And I wonder then, what it will take for my country to rise
First we admit our mistakes and then we open our eyes
'Til nation's last taker succumbs to one last dumb decision
And America, the beautiful is just one big subdivision
Snow for Wallace Stevens by Terrance Hayes
No one living a snowed-in life
can sleep without a blindfold.
Light is the lion that comes down to drink.
I know tink and tank and tunk-a-tunk-tunk
holds nearly the same sound as a bottle.
Drink and drank and drunk-a-drunk-drunk,
light is the lion that comes down.
This song is for the wise man who avenges
by building his city in snow.
For his decorations in a nigger cemetery.
How, with pipes of winter
lining his cognition, does someone learn
to bring a sentence to its knees?
Who is not more than his limitations?
Who is not the blood in a wine barrel
and the wine as well? I too, having lost faith
in language, have placed my faith in language.
Thus, I have a capacity for love without
forgiveness. This song is for my foe,
the clean-shaven, gray-suited, gray patron
of Hartford, the emperor of whiteness
blue as a body made of snow.
Hayes, Terrance (2010-03-30). Lighthead (Poets, Penguin) Penguin Publishing Group.
For full, typed-out scripture, follow this link
Quran Surah 2.178-185
Daily Buddhism Reading
Please bring your own sacred readings to the daily pattern. If there is something else you'd like to see, let me know!
“We are each other's harvest; we are each other's business; we are each other's magnitude and bond.” ― Gwendolyn Brooks
For the oppressed and weary
Especially for #blacklivesmatter and
for the LGBTQIAP community.
For signs of despair and violence,
for women in S. Sudan who have been raped in lieu of wages
for farmers who need access to seeds in Sub-Saharan Africa
for Syria, with more than 250,000 killed and displacing over half the population
for US victims of gun violence in the last 72 hours,
283 incidents, 62 killed, 171 injured
For signs of hope and peace,
for the freeing of Shahbaz Taseer in Pakistan, freed after five years as a hostage
for the Yellowstone grizzlies now leaving the endangered species list
for a new cancer treatment discovery from MIT, Harvard and University College London
for businesses like KFC that stand up to bigotry
For Andorra, Austria, Liechtenstein, Monaco, San Marino, and Switzerland
For those who suffer, are homeless, or are sick
For those we love, those we hate and those we are indifferent to
For the transformation from ME to WE
Let peace prevail on earth.
So may it be.
Translation by Neil Douglas Klotz, Sufi
O Birther! Creator of the Cosmos,
Focus your light within us— make it useful:
Create your reign of unity now-
Your one desire then acts with ours,
as in all light, so in all forms.
Grant what we need each day in bread and insight.
Loose the cords of mistakes binding us,
as we release the strands we hold
of others’ guilt.
Don’t let surface things delude us,
But free us from what holds us back.
From you is born all ruling will,
the power and the life to do,
the song that beautifies all,
from age to age it renews.
Truly— power to these statements—
may they be the ground from which all
my actions grow: Amen.
May Peace Prevail on Earth. Amen. So mote it be.
"Amen" means "may it be so."
"May peace prevail on earth." is an addition inspired by Michael Dickel
BIBOLove is an addition attributed to the work of Soyinka Rahim, InterPlay practice, BIBOLove
The Voice version
10 Son of man, you must tell the people of Israel, “You keep saying, ‘Our crimes and sins are weighing us down! We are rotting away! How can we live?’” 11 Tell them, “As I live,” says the Eternal Lord, “I don’t enjoy watching the wicked die; I want the wicked to stop doing what they’re doing and live! Repent! Turn from your wicked ways. Why would you choose to die instead of live, people of Israel?”
12 Son of man, tell your people, “The righteousness of the righteous won’t save him on the day he breaks My law, and the wickedness of the wicked won’t cause him to stumble and fall if he turns away from his wickedness. The righteous is not able to depend on his former right actions to save him when he decides to sin. 13 If I assure life to the one who does what is right, but he depends on his reputation for doing right and ends up sinning, then none of his former right actions will be remembered or tallied in his favor. He will surely die because of his sins. 14 If I tell the wicked, ‘You are certainly going to die,’ but he turns from his wicked path and chooses to be honest and do what is right,15 if he gives back a debtor’s collateral, if he returns what he has stolen, if he lives by the laws that offer true life and abandons his evil ways; then he will certainly live. He will escape death. 16 Not one of his former sins will be remembered and tallied against him. He has lived by what is right and true, and he will certainly live.”
The Voice version
15 The seventh messenger sounded his trumpet, and great voices in heaven confessed:
Voices from Heaven: The kingdom of the world has given way to the kingdom of our Lord
and of His Anointed One.
He will reign throughout the ages.
16 Then the twenty-four elders, who sit before God on their thrones, fell prostrate and worshiped God.
17 24 Elders: We give You thanks, Lord God, the All Powerful,
who is and who was.
For You have wielded Your great power
and have begun Your reign.
18 The nations have raged against You,
but Your wrath has finally come.
It is now time to judge all of the dead,
To give a just reward to Your servants, the prophets,
and to the saints and all who honor Your name,
both the small and the great,
And to destroy those who cause destruction to the earth.
19 Then God’s temple in heaven was opened up, and His covenant chest could be seen within His temple. Lightning flashed all around. Noises and thunder rumbled. The earth trembled. Heavy hailstones fell from the sky.
The Voice version
A song for those journeying to worship.
1 From the depths of disaster I appeal to You, O Eternal One:
2 Lord, hear my cry!
Attune Your ears to my humble prayer!
3 If You, Eternal One, recorded each offense,
Lord, who on earth could stand innocent?
4 But with You forgiveness exists;
that’s why true respect of You might flow.
5 So I wait for the Eternal—my soul awaits rescue—
and I put my hope in His transforming word.
6 My soul waits for the Lord to break into the world
more than night watchmen expect the break of day,
even more than night watchmen expect the break of day.
7 O Israel, ground your hope in the Eternal.
For in the Eternal lives the most loyal love,
and with Him comes the most abundant redemption.
8 He will ransom Israel
from all the sinful acts that stole you away.
Quran Surah 2.178-185
from Quran: A Simple English Translation
178 Believers, retribution is prescribed for you in cases of murder: the free man for the free man, the slave for the slave, the female for the female. If the offender is granted some remission by the heir of the slain person, the agreed penalty should be equitably exacted and should be discharged in a handsome manner. This is an alleviation from your Lord and an act of grace. He who transgresses after this shall have a painful punishment. 179 In [this law of] retribution there is life for you, O people of understanding, so that perhaps you will be mindful of God. 180 It is prescribed that when death approaches any of you and he is leaving behind wealth, he shall make a will in favour of his parents and relatives equitably. This is a duty for all who fear God. 181 Anyone who alters it once he has heard it shall be accountable for his crime. Surely, God is all hearing and all knowing.
183 Believers, fasting has been prescribed for you, just as it was prescribed for those before you, so that you may guard yourselves against evil. 184 Fast for a specified number of days, but if any one among you is ill or on a journey, let him fast the same number of days later. For those who can fast only with extreme difficulty, there is a way to compensate— the feeding of a needy person. But he who does good of his own accord shall be well rewarded; but to fast is better for you, if you only knew. 185 The month of Ramadan is the month when the Quran was sent down as guidance for mankind with clear proofs of guidance and the criterion by which to distinguish right from wrong. Therefore, whoever of you is present in that month, let him fast; but he who is ill or on a journey shall fast a similar number of days later on. God desires ease for you, not hardship. He desires you to fast the whole month, so that you may glorify Him for His having guided you and so that you may be grateful to Him.
Daily Buddhism Reading
from Modern Buddhism: The Path of Compassion and Wisdom
Prayers for Meditation: Generating the Four Immeasurables
May everyone be happy,
May everyone be free from misery,
May no one ever be separated from their happiness,
May everyone have equanimity, free from hatred and attachment.