Today I’m thankful for Presiding Bishop Michael Curry.
In the small chance you’d missed the news, there was a royal wedding on Saturday. A lot of positive press is being given to Bishop Michael Curry. He is the primate of the Episcopal Church of the United States, the U.S. branch of the Anglican Communion.
I’ve mentioned before that my relationship with religion is complex and I lean agnostic. I sing in the choir of a local Anglican church because 1) they have the best music in town, and 2) I need to sing like I need to breathe. Both are necessary. I’m also attached to the Anglican forms even if I doubt the substance.
I truly respect, and honestly like, Bishop Curry. His ecclesial history is a little like my own. We both come from rather rambunctious evangelical traditions and have adopted the (in my HUMBLE opinion, blatant sarcasm) more graceful forms of Anglicanism. He is learned, and gentle, and one hell of a preacher. I’m not nostalgic for the tradition I was formed in, but every now and then you just need a tent revival. He knows that, and brought it all the way to Westminster Abbey. That is worth celebrating.
This video does not belong to me. All rights belong to the rights holder(s).
Source: BBC News
Today I’m thankful for small periods of perfection.
I was having a particularly trying day at work last week. I left at midday to get food. I mostly needed to get out of the building. It was utterly perfect, for me, as soon as I stepped through the door. A light rain had just started and the smell was intoxicating, especially mixed with the greenery around. There’s a church on the other side of the road and their bell started ringing. It was still and exquisite. For about five seconds. As I rounded the building I heard a hard-of-hearing colleague on a call. They are lovely, but notably loud. They’d agree with the sentiment. I laughed harder than I’ve laughed in a while at the sheer absurdity of it. It was I needed, when I needed it.
It’s probably privileged, but today I’m thankful I have such a variety of meatless foods to enjoy.
I’ve mentioned I suffered an autoimmune issue around Christmas. One of the things I learned as a result is that I’m allergic to some dairy products. I’d happily consumed them to that point without any issues. Now, I break out into hives (urticaria) and my throat swells. I guess that life is always change. I miss cheese very much.
I’ve been meatless for almost a year, for health and ethical reasons. Given the new dairy issue I’m seriously considering veganism. I’m fortunate that it’s simpler than it’s really ever been. I’m not limited to sad “cheese” and wooden biscuits. I’ve had a cheesecake for my birthday since I was five. If I can’t have that anymore I damn well need to find a tasty alternative. The search is on!
Today I’m thankful for occasional chances to live slowly.
Today is Ash Wednesday. I’m ambivalent toward formal religion and lean agnostic. Even so, I sing in the choir of a local Anglican church. Singing is like breathing to me. I need both to live. I attend most Sundays because we sing at set points through the entire service. I don’t believe in the metaphysical aspects but I still find beauty in the rituals, and consider “seeking justice and loving mercy” a worthy idea.
I honestly love the liturgical calendar. I’m struck by the idea that every day is a feast honoring someone. Every day becomes a celebration. Dividing the year into various “-tides” that reflect the cycle of seasons feels far less artificial to me than worrying about quarterly goals. I don’t suffer from misguided nostalgia in thinking the past was “purer” because survival required so much more effort. I do wonder whether we’ve compartmentalized and subdivided our lives so much as to be pointless.
I don’t sacrifice anything for Lent. That would mean abiding by proscriptions I just don’t believe. I do try to use the season to live an examined life. I don’t have any grand final insights. I write what I see. I probably won’t be an objectively better person by Easter but I will be reminded that what I do has consequences for good or ill. I don’t think knowing that is ever a bad thing.
Today I’m thankful for my ridiculous dog, and that my thumbs still mostly work.
The week of Christmas I suffered a fairly significant autoimmune flare. I was barely mobile for most of the week and I’ve still got some lingering effects. My thumbs don’t fully bend anymore. And fatigue only seems like a sorry excuse to shirk obligations when you haven’t experienced sleeping heavily for 11 hours to wake up feeling like you’ve been on a three day binge. It can continue for weeks. If a person claims fatigue it may be there is an underlying issue they don’t feel like disclosing. Perhaps give them the benefit of the doubt.
On a happier topic, my sister’s former dog is settling into my home beautifully. She’s really starting to feel like my dog. She is the most ridiculous dog but very sweet. She has preferences and isn’t shy about making them known. I purchased her a nice dog bed (most of my floors are tile, and cold) and she has chosen to remain in it, rather than eat very limited human food, several times. For a Corgi mix known for her endless food grubbing it’s an amusing sign. I did something right, and I’m happy she is benefiting.
Today I’m thankful for dancing.
Growing up I was fortunate to be able to try many different sports. I was bad at most of them. My parents encouraged to find one I enjoyed. They hoped skill might follow with enthusiasm. It didn’t.
I am very reserved in public situations. I’ve gotten quieter with age. With that reserve came a reluctance to do any sort of “dancing” where others could see, as I was likely to not be very good at it, and I would feel self conscious. It wasn’t until I was cast in a musical several years ago, in a part that required a great deal of dancing, that I finally stopping giving heed to what others thought. I learned the routines and performed for the sheer joy of the movement. I will never be a born dancer, but I didn’t stand out as incompetent. I was satisfied.
Today I’m thankful for concerned relatives.
Today was another visit with the older gal I help. She had me clean both bathrooms and dust the second bedroom. She’d fallen a little behind because of numerous doctor visits. She didn’t particularly mind the appointments. She planned ahead, anticipating a long interval at the offices. However, she didn’t foresee spending an even longer time on the telephone repeating the story to each of her children, grandchildren and all of their spouses. She said “as soon as I got off the phone with one here comes another calling; a body needs a break to think!”. I suggested she designate one person to keep the rest updated. She has a large family.
Embed from Getty Images
Today I’m thankful for out-of-town drivers.
Learning the layout of a new place takes me a while. I navigate about as well as a concussed hamster. I try not to be the driver going below the speed limit and looking around so I don’t miss my turning. I pull into a lot and reconnoiter.
I was stuck behind one of them today. I couldn’t pass as a bus was approaching in the opposite direction. I reminded myself that they were probably injecting money into the local economy and satisfied myself with muttering under my breath.
We’ve all been that driver at some point in a new town. Extend the patience you wish someone’d shown you, then rant when you get home. It’s less distracting when you’re not driving.
Today I’m thankful for gardening.
I have a bunch of containers on my patio. They’re all flowers. I didn’t know if I would be able to eat everything if I grew vegetables. I might next year.
My grandparents had a huge vegetable garden. There was an entire row dedicated to strawberries for me. I’ve never been a fan of weeding but working with the soil and watching something grow is amazing. At home we’d do yardwork but it always kind of sucked. I’ve learned, that for me, the spirit I approach the work with is the most important part. It’s probably grossly oversimplified but that’s all I’ve got. I do think people should have a better idea where their food comes from, and of the amount of effort that goes into producing it. Our county extension office offers community plots for a small rental fee. I’m thinking about getting one for the next growing season and just letting flowers and veg run riot.