Daily Practice for August 3, 2016

Word:

My cats are insane. We have three cats. One male cat, Tex, and two girl cats, Elizabeth and Hermione. None of them are spring chickens.

Technically, Hermione is Colin's cat and Elizabeth is Kennedy's cat (my sons). We've had Tex for 13 years and the other two came together 10 years ago. They are all rescue cats and had varying degrees of trauma when they arrived.

Elizabeth is a tiny, black cat. She is thirteen years old but still looks like a kitten--there seems to be a perpetual air of innocence around her. She came to us when she was three. As the story goes, she went to the shelter with her litter of kittens and was such a good mama that they gave her two more litters to foster. Then she was done parenting. She is blind in one eye. When we brought her home, she ran into the house and hid underneath the water heater. Timid, innocent, care-taker. Today, she is standing on top of me. The timidity, it comes and goes.

Hermione is a lazy cat. She is ten and a perfect tortie. She might be the princess of the bunch. She was a young cat when she came to us. The shelter did not do a great job with her ovariohysterectomy, so she has an oddly shaped abdomen. She kind of rules the roost. If any crazy is happening, she sits and observes. She and Elizabeth often rest together. Cuddled up and loving each other. Cleaning and caring for each other. Stalking Tex together.

Tex, a tuxedo, is also thirteen. He came to us as a baby so he pre-dates Elizabeth and Hermione by 3 years in our family. When he came into the house, we had a BIG dog. He used to wrap himself around the dogs nose and pretend he was going to take the dog down. Turner, would look at us, bemused.

For 10 years, these three cats have been co-existing in our house. And yet, Tex will still not be on any surface that the two girl cats are on. Unless we are not at home. I've walked in on them all sleeping on my bed. But G*d forbid that they actually all climb up there when I'm present. Just this morning, Tex was cuddled next to me, Elizabeth jumped on the bed--made a wide circle around Tex--and settled down quite a bit away. Tex jumped up, swiped at Elizabeth, and ran away. Uh huh. He is a dork.

I'm beginning to wonder if our political system is not like my cats. If nobody is looking, they will all rest and sit in the same patch. But if anyone sees them, they jump up, swipe at each other, and run back to their corners.

Am I right?

...

Reminder: the Synchroblog event, 100 Thousand Poets for Change, will be occurring on September 24 at The Bardo Group Beguines. Along with live events and a Peacemakers for Change event in Tukwila, WA. Put it on your calendars!

Today's practice brings us music from The Tokens, a poem from William Butler Yeatswisdom from Terry Pratchett, and a photo from Johnny Lai at flickr. Along with readings from the Jewish and Christian lectionaries, the Qur'an, and the Buddhist tradition.   And as always, we have our BIBOLOVE practice from Soyinka Rahim. (BIBO = Breathe In, Breathe Out). Our prayers for this week focus on countries in the Carribbean: Antigua and Barbuda, Bahamas, Barbados, Cuba, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Grenada, Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica, Puerto Rico, St Kitts-Nevis, St Lucia, St Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago.

Onward!

Opening:

biboLet my heart rise up to meet mercy, my voice to meet compassion, my hands to meet action.

BIBOLOVE: Breath In, Breath Out--hmmm

Music:

The Lion Sleeps Tonight by The Tokens

 

Readings:

The Cat and the Moon by William Butler Yeats

THE cat went here and there
And the moon spun round like a top,
And the nearest kin of the moon,
The creeping cat, looked up.
Black Minnaloushe stared at the moon,
For, wander and wail as he would,
The pure cold light in the sky
Troubled his animal blood.
Minnaloushe runs in the grass
Lifting his delicate feet.
Do you dance, Minnaloushe, do you dance?
When two close kindred meet.
What better than call a dance?
Maybe the moon may learn,
Tired of that courtly fashion,
A new dance turn.
Minnaloushe creeps through the grass
From moonlit place to place,
The sacred moon overhead
Has taken a new phase.
Does Minnaloushe know that his pupils
Will pass from change to change,
And that from round to crescent,
From crescent to round they range?
Minnaloushe creeps through the grass
Alone, important and wise,
And lifts to the changing moon
His changing eyes.

Sacred Text

Jewish Daily Reading: Daily Study from Chabad

Christian Daily Reading: Revised Common Lectionary Daily Reading

Muslim Daily Reading: Daily Verse from The Only Quran

Buddhist Daily Reading: Daily Zen

Please bring your own sacred readings to the daily pattern. If there is something else you'd like to see, let me know!

Sacred Quotable

“In ancient times cats were worshipped as gods; they have not forgotten this.”
― Terry Pratchett

Prayers:

Weekly prayer focus comes from the World Council of Churches prayer cycle. We know the world needs to be surrounded with prayer and positive thought. This allows us to work through the world country by country. We focus on one set of countries per week with the same prayer, lifting them up.

Focus countries: The Caribbean: Antigua and Barbuda, Bahamas, Barbados, Cuba, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Grenada, Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica, Puerto Rico, St Kitts-Nevis, St Lucia, St Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago

Let us pray.

We know that we fail to live up to being makers of peace. Let us bring in rather than push out, be invitational rather than confrontational--seeing signs of life while decrying the desecration of hope.

For signs of hope and peace, we pray for

  • The Caribbean Council of Churches and all Faith Communities
  • Warm seas and idyllic beaches.
  • Calypso, reggae, plena, merengue, salsa, and all the new rhythms being created in these lands.
  • Pepperpot stew, cou-cou, bananas, sweet potatoes, conch.
  • Patois, Creole, Srana, Bajan and other languages which fill these islands with meaning.

For the oppressed and weary, we pray for

  • Political stability and ethical, honest leadership from those in power.
  • Improved economic status for all peoples.
  • An end to exploitation and oppression based on race, religion or rank.
  • Faith community leadership, ecumenism, and tolerance.
  • Improved health for all.
  • Those affected by hurricanes and floods.

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.

Lord’s Prayer:

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.

Photo by Johnny Lai (CC BY)
Photo by Johnny Lai
(CC BY)

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