Posts Tagged ‘kith/kin

07
Jul
16

7.7.16 … XX/XY … New Venture/New Vocation …

Edward Lindsey, Dentons,  Dentons’ Georgia Lobbying Team, kith/kin, passion, vocation, public policy: Congratulations on your new venture, dear brother!

Edward Lindsey, a former state representative and a founding partner of Goodman McGuffey Lindsey & Johnson, is joining global firm Dentons, effective July 15. Lindsey will be a partner in Dentons’ lobbying practice—one of the largest in the country—working specifically in its extensive Georgia State Government Affairs practice. “This is a continuation of what my passion is now—dealing with public policy,” said Lindsey, who founded Goodman McGuffey in 1990 with three friends. The firm, which has shortened its name to Goodman McGuffey with his departure, has grown over the years to about 40 lawyers in four states.

Nettie Stevens,   sex chromosomes, XX, XY: Nettie Stevens discovered XY sex chromosomes. She didn’t get credit because she had two X’s. – Vox

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At the turn of the 20th century, biologist Nettie Stevens was driven to solve a scientific mystery that had perplexed humanity for millennia. The mystery was so simple but daunting: Why do boys become boys and girls become girls? In her pioneering work at Bryn Mawr College, Stevens discovered the sex chromosomes that make the difference. Today would be her 155th birthday. Google is celebrating her accomplishments today — she’s featured in the Google Doodle — and so should we.

Source: Nettie Stevens discovered XY sex chromosomes. She didn’t get credit because she had two X’s. – Vox

Dawn, xenon, Ion propulsion, 

While Dawn’s mission is important, how it got to the asteroid belt in the first place is equally fascinating. It used something called ion propulsion. Most spacecraft, like Juno, use standard combustion to travel through space. A chemical fuel is burned, the expanding gas is directed out the back by a nozzle, and that’s what propels the craft forward. Ion propulsion is different. It still uses a fuel — in Dawn’s case, the gas xenon — but instead of burning the gas, a purely electrical system accelerates a few particles of the fuel at a time out of the spacecraft, at about 10 times the speed of regular combustion. “Basically what you’re trying to do is push your spacecraft forward by throwing something out the back very quickly,” Christopher Russell, Dawn’s principal investigator who assembled the mission, explains to The Week. Ion propulsion is incredibly efficient, which cuts way down on the fuel the craft has to carry. That massively reduces costs, and leaves a lot more room for other cargo. Combustion systems also require big burns to get going and big burns to slow down again, while ion propulsion moves more smoothly, opening up all sorts of new routes and locations.

Source: This innovation could change space travel forever

 

Source: Former Rep. Lindsey Joins Dentons’ Georgia Lobbying Team

Plus-Size Dancer, Proving Body Positivity, No Gender:

I loved this and I have one friend who always jokes about another.   “Where did you find this video of [LAH] dancing? It usually takes several beers to get him to perform.”  Well, if anyone could do it it would be your LAH!

Erik Cavanaugh never expected his pirouetting and chasséing across an empty dance studio would go viral across the internet, nor did he upload the videos with that ever crossing his mind. But this is exactly what happened Sunday when the New York Post posted a compilation of his videos to its Facebook page.  Why did it end up garnering over 3 million views and over 34,000 shares and counting? Besides his obvious talent, Cavanaugh doesn’t have the body that many might expect to see leaping and twirling around a studio.  “Not everyone sees me as a dancer,” he said in a phone interview. “It’s been a struggle.”

Source: Meet the Plus-Size Dancer Who’s Proving Body PositivityW Knows No Gender

Emma Watson, Hermione, Cursed Child:  Great FB post by Emma Watson. 

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Yesterday I went to see the Cursed Child. I came in with no idea what to expect and it was AMAZING. Some things about the play were, I think, possibly even more beautiful than the films. Having seen it I felt more connected to Hermione and the stories than I have since Deathly Hallows came out, which was such a gift. Meeting Noma and seeing her on stage was like meeting my older self and have her tell me everything was going to be alright, which as you can imagine was immensely comforting (and emotional)! The cast and crew welcomed me like I was family and Noma was everything I could ever hope she would be. She’s wonderful. The music is beautiful… I could go on… Here are some pics of me meeting Noma and the crew. Love, E xx ‪#‎keepthesecrets‬ ‪#‎19yearslater‬@antoboyle Sam Clemmett Noma Dumezweni @HPPlayLDN

JT2016AT:

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Day 23 Hiking/Day 27 from Katahdin
John called about 9 AM this morning. He was atop Old Blue Mountain (244) and was headed to the next road, about an 8 mile hike for today. He hoped to go into Andover ME because … Rain’s a comin’ …
13
Feb
16

2.13.16 … kin·dred ˈkindrəd/ noun 1. one’s family and relations. synonyms: family, relatives, relations, kin, kith and kin, one’s own flesh and blood; More relationship by blood. “ties of kindred” adjective adjective: kindred 1. similar in kind; related. “books on kindred subjects” …

“Solvitur  Ambulando” – It is solved by walking, 2016 Labyrinth Walks (Walk 4/40),  Davidson College Labyrinth – Davidson NC, Hobart Park:  

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Hobart is special to me.  My family celebrated graduation with a picnic in the park with John’s family.

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The labyrinth was added when the park was redone in memory of a classmate.  It is funny that I never noticed the marker dedicating the park to F.D. Hobart, Superintendent of Buildings and Grounds, 1925-1960, “If you seek his monument, look about you”:

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It is a beautiful day, the sun is streaming and the air is cold and crisp.

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As I walk I look for the moss cross that Ann pointed out to me the first time I walked this labyrinth.

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And before I leave, I must go see the camellias in bloom … I love the South in winter!!

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Kindred, Davidson NC:  Lunch with Molly at the newest “in” restaurant in Davidson.  The oysters were divine!

New-School: Crispy Oysters with Green Garlic Yogurt Kindred; Davidson, NC Battered sparingly and fried gently, Joe Kindred’s riff on oysters with tartar sauce emerges from the oil looking beige and craggy and rumpled. Beneath the pleasingly raspy exterior, these just-shucked beauties quiver. Served on a gold-rimmed plate, on a skid of garlicky white sauce that recalls a Greek tzatziki, they arrive with a tuck of watercress that complements the whole like a feather does a cap. kindreddavidson.com

Source: Southern Food in 50 Dishes | Garden and Gun

kith/kin, TFA, Baltimore:  Molly’s moving to Baltimore with TFA. I can’t wait to explore her new home!

“You can look far and wide, but you’ll never discover a stranger city with such extreme style,” filmmaker and local celebrity John Waters wrote in his book, Shock Value. “It’s as if every eccentric in the South decided to move north, ran out of gas in Baltimore, and decided to stay.”

Source: Searching for America’s Most Eccentric City…in Baltimore | Atlas Obscura

Six Photographers, Photo Session With The Same Man, Most Exciting Planet:  Fascinating …

When six photographers are tasked with taking portraits of the same man, the results are astonishing. Here’s the twist: each photographer is told a different (fake) personal history of the man. As portrait photographers, it’s their goal to portray this man, as they see him, in a single photograph. Though he comes to each photo session dressed exactly the same, carries himself the same way, and speaks with each photographer in the same manner, the photographers treat him differently and photograph him completely differently depending on the background story.

Source: Six Photographers Each Have A Photo Session With The Same Man – The Results Will Definitely Surprise You! – Most Exciting Planet

man’s best friend:

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Actually he is still “here.” But I am holding him close. He is a ghost dog for sure. But I am dealing with the loss every morning and every mealtime as he slips away.

Reformed worship is … – The Presbyterian Outlook

At one end of the pew someone is whispering, “That communion liturgy felt so Catholic.” At the other, someone is murmuring, “This praise song sounds so Pentecostal.” “Is that how Presbyterians pray?” “Is this how Presbyterians sing?” Surely you’ve overheard such comments. Perhaps you’ve said similar things yourself. In my time with the PC(USA) Office of Theology and Worship I’ve heard many variations on the theme: “That’s too Catholic, Episcopalian, Lutheran, Methodist, Baptist, Pentecostal . . . .” I’ve responded to countless calls and emails from pastors, elders, and members who were concerned that some new (or […]

Source: Reformed worship is … – The Presbyterian Outlook

 

21
Mar
15

3.21.15 … but it is also used as a space to bring people together across cultural, religious, ethnic and racial lines …

“Solvitur Ambulando” – It is solved by walking, 2015 Lenten Labyrinth Walks 29/40, Morningstar Lutheran Chapel Matthews NC:
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Kit was damp when I left the house at 8:30, but by the time I arrived at the Lutheran Chapel, the sun was streaming through the trees. Spring has sprung. And the daffodils are out, really out! W hat a difference a week or so can make. And  in addition to the daffodils, the camellias that are in bloom. I am in heaven.
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And the robins are chirping.
And these are where my mind wandered …
Dignity of Difference:
Dignity: So where do we see the word dignity? She lived her life with dignity.
What does dignity mean?
Difference: what are we talking about in order to understand different don’t we have to understand what we have in common. Some interesting thoughts.
As I look around I think about the quote  my father always said:  the only things we know  for sure are death and taxes.
And this from Lauren Artress …
The labyrinth in modern times is not just a spiritual practice for one to find their center with God, but it is also used as a  space to bring people together across cultural, religious, ethnic and racial lines.
That chimes are not ringing today, but the birds are happy.
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I sat at the center today for the first time in a long time. The bricks are cold so I did not sit for long. But it makes me think we need to get people to share space together, if only for 20 minutes. If not, how can we expect to show dignity for the differences if we do not have a  space both physical and temporal where we can come together.
And now I walk out.
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As I walk out, I hear the sound of the train in the distance and it slow whaling horn. It’s funny, that is actually a happy memory sound to me. I grew up in an urban neighborhood in Atlanta which was bordered by train tracks on two sides. I would love to hear that sound in the night as I was falling asleep.  And then I lived in Wilmette Illinois, not too far from the commuter rail lines going in and out of Chicago. Those train stuff at about 12:30 AM and began again at 5:40 AM. I often remember hearing that laugh sound and even more often the one in the morning, the reason I remember the morning, because my husband and four years of living in Chicago only miss that train that first train five times. I thankfully could rollover and go back to sleep.
 Lots of thoughts from a discussion of the new school tomorrow.…
And after a perfect walk, I ventured over to Matthews NC.   At the farmers market, I bought chocolate hazlenut goat cheese and dill goat cheese. And then I ventured into Renfrow Hardware. I bought lettuces and asparagus for the garden.  The rooster is Better Boy and the beautiful beasts … Remington Steel and Zoe.
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And then I circle back to some other ideas …
There would be a series of regular encounters by bringing sacrifices, though the Hebrew word korban is better translated “coming close by bringing close.” The entire system of korbanot and all that went with them was a response to the crisis of the distance of God. That is the story behind the story of Vayikra [Jewish name for Leviticus].
Heather is reading Sack’s new book on Leviticus and shared this from the book……
“(Ex. 20:19). When they made the calf, wrongheaded though they were, they were seeking a way of encountering God without terror. They need You to be close.”
What Moses was exploring… were the fundamental parameters of the relationship between God and humanity.  The God of Abraham was transcendent. Could He also be imminent? Could He relate to humans not only from heaven or the mountaintop, but down in the valley in the midst of the camp? Can an infinite God be close to finite human beings? If not, what hope is there for humanity?
The people could not see God’s “ face” or understand his “ ways,” but they could experience his “ glory.” It was this phenomenon, cloud-like yet radiant, that would dwell in the Sanctuary, the symbolic home of God. There would be a series of regular encounters by bringing sacrifices, though the Hebrew word korban is better translated “coming close by bringing close.” The entire system of korbanot and all that went with them was a response to the crisis of the distance of God. That is the story behind the story of Vayikra [Jewish name for Leviticus].
“Coming close by being close! Wow!  What a great sentence to ponder in our Sabbath study”, says Heather.
* The continuing drama in the Hebrew Bible is of God’s attention and human inattention. God is there but we forget that He is there … Every day is an encounter with the Divine
 …
Life is so full of surprises from God.
I thought the picture was perfect and the meditation below certainly speaks to what we are discussing. (and the scripture) It brings me a sense of completeness when we are studying something and several random sources are on the same wavelength confirming my path or thoughts. God lights up the wakway! Light to Dark to Light to conversations with God and the Psalms and now the Sabbath. How can what we learned about Sabbath enhance our Lenten spiritual quest?
Shalom!
Carol
 …
Subject: Daily Meditation: A Still Place in the Market
A Still Place in the Market
“Be still and acknowledge that I am God” (Psalm 46:10).  These are words to take with us in our busy lives.  We may think about stillness in contrast to our noisy world.  But perhaps we can go further and keep an inner stillness even while we carry on business, teach, work in construction, make music, or organise meetings.
It is important to keep a still place in the “marketplace.”  This still place is where God can dwell and speak to us.  It also is the place from where we can speak in a healing way to all the people we meet in our busy days.  Without that still space we start spinning.  We become driven people, running all over the place without much direction.  But with that stillness God can be our gentle guide in everything we think, say, or do.
 Henri Nouwen
For further reflection …
“May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, O Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer.” – Psalm 19: 14 (NIV)
And since my last walk here, i did some research on the morning star installed at the center …

What Is the Morning Star?

BY WAYNE JACKSON

“Please explain this passage: ‘I will give him the morning star’ (Revelation 2:28). What is the ‘morning star’?”

This passage embraces one of the seven promises from Christ to those who “overcome” (the trials and temptations of life), and thus remain loyal to him to the end (see: 2:7,11,17,26; 3:5,12,21). To the church at Thyatira, the Lord Jesus therefore says (regarding the one who overcomes): “I will give him the morning star.”

Christ Himself

Some scholars consider the reference to be to Christ himself. Professor Andrew Hill has written: “Jesus Christ is described as the ‘morning star’ in 2 Peter 1:19 (phosphoros) and in Revelation 2:28 (aster proinos), and He identifies Himself as ‘the bright morning star’ (ho aster ho lampros ho proninos) in Revelation 22:16” (413). He goes on to point out that this “star” symbolism reflects the Old Testament and inter-testament emphasis on the “celestial” nature of the coming Messiah (cf. Numbers 24:17; Malachi 4:2).

William Barclay suggested several ideas. He thought the expression could signify the coming resurrection of the righteous. Just as the “morning star” breaks forth from the darkness of night, so the Lord’s people will break out of the darkness of the grave (1957, 67). Later, however, he came to a different conclusion. He was “quite certain” that the “correct interpretation” is this. The “morning star” is Christ himself. “If the Christian is true, when life comes to an end he will possess Christ, never to lose him again” (1959, 140).

via What Is the Morning Star? : Christian Courier.

For if we take the imagery of Scripture seriously, if we believe that God will one day give us the Morning Star and cause us to put on the splendor of the sun, then we may surmise that both the ancient myths and the modern poetry, so false as history, may be very near the truth as prophecy.

via Ad majorem Dei gloriam: November 2013.

And some background on this labyrinth …

Behind the cemetery of the historic Morning Star Lutheran Chapel at 12900 Idlewild Road is a new legacy labyrinth, built to honor the memory of Shannon Christine Kennedy, who died in 2011 at age 36 after an extended illness.

The site is a special place of unexpected peace and solitude, tucked away near the busy intersection of Idlewild and Matthews-Mint Hill roads.

Kennedy’s mother, Marlene Perrotta, spearheaded the project as a way to remember her daughter and bring peace, beauty and enrichment to congregation and community members who choose to walk its calming path.

“Shannon was a daughter of faith. The labyrinth fit naturally with her journey,” Perrotta said.

Perrotta said The Morning Star Chapel labyrinth is patterned after the 14th-century labyrinth at Chartres Cathedral in France. It is 38 feet in diameter and holds 11 walking circles separated by dividers, with many turns along the way.

In the center is the Morning Star symbol, an element carefully chosen for its inclusive nature.

“A lot of labyrinths have Bible verse in the middle, but we didn’t want to sway people’s thoughts. It’s a sacred tool that enriches your life with communion with yourself and God or whoever is the higher power in your life,” Perrotta said.

Local brick mason Bill Stublaski carefully laid the labyrinth’s 9,400 pavers over a period of several months. The project was especially meaningful to him, as Kennedy was the birth-mother of his daughter, Angelica.

Perrotta said there are about 15 labyrinths in the Charlotte area but that this is the only one near Matthews and Mint Hill.

Morning Star Lutheran Pastor John Mouritsen said he hopes the community will discover the labyrinth and that it will become a place of comfort.

“It’s a place of peace in the midst of a very busy world,” Mouritsen said. “It is open to anyone who wants to walk it, and we are hoping to make it available for groups as well. We would like to welcome support groups of all sorts, and we’re looking to connect with the veteran community and neighbors of all faiths from all over the area.”

The labyrinth is accessible through the cemetery gate, and Mouritsen said folks are welcome there any time.

Perrotta said that once you’ve walked a labyrinth, you’re apt to return. “There’s no right or wrong way to walk it. It can be very spiritual or just relaxing and meditative,” Perrotta said. “You don’t feel the same way every time you walk it. It all depends on where you are in your journey.”

via Morning Star labyrinth honors woman’s memory | The Charlotte Observer The Charlotte Observer.

3.21.15
20
Mar
15

3.20.15 … we are whole …

“Solvitur  Ambulando” – It is solved by walking, 2015 Advent Labyrinth Walks (28/40),  Avondale Presbyterian Church – Charlotte, Red Boot Coalition, Step 10: We are whole, kith/kin: I loved sharing my love of labyrinths … So after the Red boot Coalition, I shared.  Today’s step… Step 10: We are whole.  Sharing makes me feel whole …

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As we enter the sacred garden, Birds are going wild, robins and crows mostly and then a third bird that sounds like a screeching gate.

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Makeda, a Red Boot Coalition, friend joined me today … what fun!! We both are contemplating, Step 10: We are WHOLE …
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But I realize that within my wholeness,  I am COLD and damp.
Every walk is different …
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I notice the droplets of water on the flowering tree buds … and then I, or the child in me reaches us and grabs the overhanging evergreen branch … and I was baptized with water in the Presbyterian way … sprinkled!
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Hope your day is a blessing …
WE ARE WHOLE!
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06
Mar
15

3.6.15 … The road to hell is paved with good intentions … Mind Reset … “Joy is prayer; joy is strength: joy is love; joy is a net of love by which you can catch souls.” – Mother Teresa …

“Solvitur Ambulando” – It is solved by walking, 2015 Lenten Labyrinth Walks 15/40, Chartres Hand Held Pewter Labyrinth a @ home – Charlotte NC

The road to hell is paved with good intentions. That was the thought as I began my labyrinth meditation using a gift from one of my wonderful Wasabi Family (thank you, Betsy).  Why was I having such negative thoughts?  For the second day in a row I had cheated and used a hand-held or finger labyrinth.
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But that is not where my mind wanted to be because I spent my day pondering something much more wonderful when I was not writing demand letters on behalf of my mom or descriptions for projects for a committee I chair.
So let me tell you what my day was really about: JOY.

Step 8: We are joyful

We came to see that, despite at times feeling the burden of the world upon our shoulders, expressing joy and approaching our lives and those in it with the innocent wonder and curiosity of a child is essential to our well-being and the well-being of those around us.

We are joyful.

via Step 8: We are joyful / The Red Boot Coalition.

Our discussions jumped all around, but included these ideas: community, children and being childlike, mobius strips, Parker J. Palmer, Madeleine L’Engle’s A Wrinkle in Time, favorite authors as children, curling up with a good book, Madeleine L’Engle on joy, Doctors using ACE scores,  God in the Wilderness: Rediscovering the Spirituality of the Great Outdoors with the Adventure Rabbi by Rabbi Jamie S. Korngold,  Ring of Endless Light by Madeline L’Engle
So here’s a little more thoughts on a few of these topics …

Here’s a brief meditation on “Life on the Mobius Strip”—a curious concept to be sure, but no more curious than life itself!

via Parker J. Palmer.

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Madeleine L’Engle’s A Wrinkle in Time, a favorite of 3 of the women at the table (all born in the early 1960’s) … Although I did not share, I laughed to myself because the title of yesterday’s post,3.5.15 … It was a dark and stormy night … , which  is the first line of A Wrinkle in Time and often considered the worst opening line in literature (there is an award to that effect.)

“It was a dark and stormy night; the rain fell in torrents — except at occasional intervals, when it was checked by a violent gust of wind which swept up the streets (for it is in London that our scene lies), rattling along the housetops, and fiercely agitating the scanty flame of the lamps that struggled against the darkness.” — Edward George Bulwer-Lytton, Paul Clifford (1830)

via The Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest.

Writer’s Digest described this sentence as “the literary posterchild for bad story starters”.[3] On the other hand, the American Book Review ranked it as #22 on its “Best first lines from novels list.”[4]

via It was a dark and stormy night – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

Doctors using ACE scores to determine adult health and well-being and does that correlate to lack of joy in adults (note my source for this info is a Facebook post by one of my favorites, Brené Brown)

Brené Brown

Most powerful part of NPR interview: Just speaking shame can help reduce it and increase well being.

Is this a shame or vulnerability issue with doctors? I’ve worked many who are advocating for more training on the relational aspect of care. I’m not sure how the ACE is helpful without professionals in place to support and offer resources (social workers, nurses etc.). And, what about resiliency factors? I think we do need more integrative mind-body-spirit options. What do y’all think?

 

Answering those questions would give you an “adverse childhood experiences” score (or ACE score, for short). The test’s proponents say that it provides a rough measure of a tough childhood, and some of the experiences — death of a parent, childhood abuse or neglect — that can have long-term effects on your health.

That’s the point, Felitti believes: Asking patients about ACEs helps patients understand their health more deeply, and helps doctors understand how to help.

There are no randomized controlled trials that show that applying these screening tools to a large population changes any outcomes that a patient cares about. Someone’s got to show me that it’s going to actually make a difference in my patients’ lives.

– Dr. Richard Young, Family Medicine, Fort Worth

According to Dr. Jeff Brenner, a family doctor and MacArthur Fellows award-winner in Camden, N.J., getting these rough measures of adversity from patients potentially could help the whole health care system understand patients better.

The ACE score, Brenner says, is “still really the best predictor we’ve found for health spending, health utilization; for smoking, alcoholism, substance abuse. It’s a pretty remarkable set of activities that health care talks about all the time.”

Felitti agrees that there is no research tracking how asking for ACE scores affects patients in the long term, but says that from his experience with many thousands of patients, the benefits of getting an ACE score come down to something more spiritual than medical: alleviating shame.

Felitti says that many of his patients never had told anyone that they’d been abused as a kid — ever — until he asked them. Disclosing their secrets, they told him afterward, brought them tremendous relief.

He likens that unburdening to a lay version of a Catholic church confession.

“They leave with the understanding that they’re still an acceptable human being, they’re still part of the group,” Felitti says.

Instead of treating a specific medical problem, talking about an ACE score with a patient is a process of listening and accepting, Felitti says. But for busy doctors eager to diagnose and cure, that’s harder than it sounds.

That’s the point, Felitti believes: Asking patients about ACEs helps patients understand their health more deeply, and helps doctors understand how to help.

There are no randomized controlled trials that show that applying these screening tools to a large population changes any outcomes that a patient cares about. Someone’s got to show me that it’s going to actually make a difference in my patients’ lives.

– Dr. Richard Young, Family Medicine, Fort Worth

According to Dr. Jeff Brenner, a family doctor and MacArthur Fellows award-winner in Camden, N.J., getting these rough measures of adversity from patients potentially could help the whole health care system understand patients better.

The ACE score, Brenner says, is “still really the best predictor we’ve found for health spending, health utilization; for smoking, alcoholism, substance abuse. It’s a pretty remarkable set of activities that health care talks about all the time.”

Felitti agrees that there is no research tracking how asking for ACE scores affects patients in the long term, but says that from his experience with many thousands of patients, the benefits of getting an ACE score come down to something more spiritual than medical: alleviating shame.

Felitti says that many of his patients never had told anyone that they’d been abused as a kid — ever — until he asked them. Disclosing their secrets, they told him afterward, brought them tremendous relief.

He likens that unburdening to a lay version of a Catholic church confession.

“They leave with the understanding that they’re still an acceptable human being, they’re still part of the group,” Felitti says.

Instead of treating a specific medical problem, talking about an ACE score with a patient is a process of listening and accepting, Felitti says. But for busy doctors eager to diagnose and cure, that’s harder than it sounds.

via 10 Questions Some Doctors Are Afraid To Ask : Shots – Health News : NPR.

And the  two authors I mentioned today …

Rabbi Jamie S. Korngold:

But I believe we still have opportunities to meet the Divine (whatever you believe that to be), because in the wilderness, we connect with That Which Is Greater Than Ourselves (one of my favorite names for God), and we are embraced by sense of belonging, of oneness, and of peace.

I know that it’s not always possible (or even desirable) to relocate to the middle of the desert for a month. For people who live in the city, the closest you might get to the wilderness is an urban park. But even there you can cultivate the patience to see burning bushes and open yourself to spiritual opportunity. One of my favorite “tools” for slowing down, taking notice, and being fully present is a short sensory meditation that can be done anywhere.

As we hiked, Iasked the group to try to consciously slow down their minds and shift into their “Sabbath souls,” to allow themselves to experience the calmness and grace that surrounded us.

Then I introduced one of my favorite mind-focusing exercises, and the group agreed to try it. Each person would focus quietly on either listening or seeing for 10 minutes, at which time we would share what we had noticed.

God in the Wilderness: Rediscovering the Spirituality of the Great Outdoors with the Adventure Rabbi by Rabbi Jamie S. Korngold

Madeline L’Engle:

And it was joy.

Joy, Grandfather would remind me, joy is the infallible sign of the presence of God.

– A Ring of Endless Light by Madeline L’Engle.

And as I was looking for this joy quote, I found this in the “A Note from the Author”:

“Vicky’s questions or problems are questions and problems that most adolescents have had, whether in the Middle Ages, in distant countries, or right here and now. The big problems of our growing up are not limited by time, culture, or geography. We share our wonder and confusion: Who am I? Why am I here? Does it matter? Ultimately I hope we all answer with Vicky: Yes, it does. We do matter. What we do matters. And that is both a challenge and a joy.”

– A Ring of Endless Light by Madeline L’Engle.

So I left the meeting joyful and looking for joy …
And soon after leaving the early am meeting,  I opened my daily Henri Nowen meditation … although not exactly on point to our opening discussion at the RBC meeting, it danced all around the issue of what RBC is trying to do  … community.

Every good relationship between two or more people, whether it is friendship, marriage, or community, creates space where strangers can enter and become friends. Good relationships are hospitable. When we enter into a home and feel warmly welcomed, we will soon realise that the love among those who live in that home is what makes that welcome possible.

When there is conflict in the home, the guest is soon forced to choose sides. “Are you for him or for her?” “Do you agree with them or with us?” “Do you like him more than you do me?” These questions prevent true hospitality – that is, an opportunity for the stranger to feel safe and discover his or her own gifts. Hospitality is more than an expression of love for the guest. It is also and foremost an expression of love between the hosts

via Missionary Renegade: The Henri Nouwen Society of Toronto, Ontario, Canada Daily Meditation for Friday, 6 March 2015 “True Hospitality”.

And late in the day I say this quote on the Grace Cathedral FB page:
Joy is prayer; joy is strength: joy is love; joy is a net of love by which you can catch souls. – Mother Teresa
… which I reposted with the comment … There’s that joy word again. It seems to be the theme of my day. Not a bad theme.
And of course  I had to find out why Grace Cathedral’s web page was called “Spacious Grace.”

Where are the Pews?

For the past five years, we have changed the seating arrangement in the Cathedral for a few days to celebrate Carnivale, our annual gala benefiting Cathedral life. This year, for the first time, we are exploring the Cathedral with flexible seating from February 9 until the end of Lent — a period we are calling Spacious Grace.  View a list of the events inspired by the pew removal below!

via Grace Cathedral – Spacious Grace.

And then I used the Mother Teresa quote as my labyrinth “walk” mantra …
Blessings and joy …
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26
Feb
15

2.26.15 … “A local man came up and said ‘Please — what does this mean?’ I explained I wanted to highlight the destruction in Gaza by posting photos on my website — but on the internet people only look at pictures of kittens.” – Banksy

“Solvitur Ambulando” – It is solved by walking, 2015 Lenten Labyrinth Walks 8/40, Avondale Presbyterian Church – Charlotte NC:

Who doesn’t love a Youth Barbecue at a church. You have to think of all those moms and dads, and in this instance, mostly dads, who are up cooking the barbecue through the night the night before. I’ll put it on my calendar to come get a pound of barbecue on Saturday.

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No chimes as I walk in, but the birds are really going at it. I’m mad at myself, again, for not getting some birdseed to leave on the labyrinth. I will make an effort to do this today.

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And now I hear the chimes. I love the snow coming down in the eaves of the chime canopy.

 

The most significant noise in the garden is the sound of the water fountain and a close second is the sound of the drip, drip, drip of the snow and ice falling from the trees as it melts.

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Do you see the little bit of snow left on the cross?

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I hear the sound of the train in the distance. I have heard it before. And I don’t think it’s very far away. But I’m going to have to get a map out and see where the tracks are relative to the church. I really cannot think of where they are.

As I walk I am trying to remember the line from The Sound of Music’s “These are a Few of My favorite Things” that deal with snow. So I ask Siri …

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Here it is:

These are a few of my favorite things. Cream colored ponies … Snow flakes that stay on my nose and eyelashes. Silver white winters …

And then I walk …

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As I finish my walk, I hear the sound that I had a new text message. So sitting on the bench, I checked my messages then my emails and then Facebook. To my great surprise, a childhood friend who about two years ago back reentered my regular circle of friends, has posted our third grade class picture, E. Rivers Elementary Mrs. Clay’s Third Grade 1968-69, for which I have been looking for ages. It just make me smile.

Mrs. Clay Third Grade E. Rivers

In addition, my son who says I never have a conversation with him without asking what he is going to do next tagged me in a post of this article.  Again, love that boy, and love that he is thinking and moving and making subtle jabs at me … just a little bit.

SKI BUMS GROW UP. THEN THEY START KICKASS BUSINESSES.

The thing is, mountain people, you are awesome business owners. You know about risk. You know about passion. You know about hard work, early mornings, and tenacity. You know about loss and getting slammed. You know how to pick yourself up and try again and again until you succeed. You know how to feel things, with your heart and your head and the pit of your stomach. You might not know about web design or finance or spreadsheets, but you know how to show up, rain or shine, and make shit happen.

You are my favorite type of client, and your experiences will help your business succeed.

Fact.

I see you, with your scars from the knee surgeries or those weird-looking collarbone lumps protruding from your shirt and that wild look in your eyes, and I know what you know. I’ve seen what you’ve seen. And together, we can pretend to fit into normal society. We just have to run our businesses with honor and boldness and as much grace as we can muster.

via Ski Bums Grow Up. Then They Start Kickass Businesses. | Teton Gravity Research.

And then I found a great Banksy today …

Banksy’s Murals Turn Up In Gaza Strip : The Two-Way : NPR

Banksy says about this image:

“A local man came up and said ‘Please — what does this mean?’ I explained I wanted to highlight the destruction in Gaza by posting photos on my website — but on the internet people only look at pictures of kittens.”

via Banksy’s Murals Turn Up In Gaza Strip : The Two-Way : NPR.

 

 

 

23
Jan
15

1.23.15 … I’ve never been North … bucket list …

labyrinths, beach labyrinth, kith/kin:  In 2013, I built a beach labyrinth.  It was a very fun day with an old friend.  I wish I had seen this video.  I could have done it quicker and enjoyed it longer.

Denny Dyke creates labyrinths in sand and other media. This video shows him creating one of his sand labyrinths at the Oregon Coast at Bandon. It shows Denny’s process, the use and the demise of one of his beautiful, fleeting works of art.

via Circles in the Sand on Vimeo.

SURPRISE, SURPRISE! For several years I have contemplated creating a labyrinth on the beach. And to my great dismay, I have discovered that there are only a few people in this world who would even consider creating a beach labyrinth with me.

via 8.1.13

Minnesota, North, bucket list:  I think we would all like to define ourselves!!

“North” has a special meaning in Minnesota these days, and it is gradually gaining a stronger following. Though most Americans consider the state part of the Midwest, a number of local influencers are proposing to redefine Minnesota as a region that the U.S., officially at least, currently lacks: the North. They want their region to be recognized for its innovative, sturdy character, honed by long, cold winters.

Supporters of “North” say that being lumped in with the Midwest causes people to lose sight of their region’s special nature. “We don’t behave like the rest of the Midwest,” says Andrew Blauvelt, senior curator of design, research and publishing at the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis, which recently hosted a standing-room-only symposium on Minnesota’s regional identity.

via Minnesota’s New Cool Image as ‘the North’ – WSJ.

parody, New England Patriots: Cialis Inflate-a-Ball helps the Patriots avoid hefty fines and loss of draft picks by giving their balls that extra pump for the big game.

Parody of the Cialis commercials featuring the New England Patriots. You’re headed to the Super Bowl, but your game still feels a little bit flat. Cialis Inflate-a-Ball helps the Patriots avoid hefty fines and loss of draft picks by giving their balls that extra pump for the big game.

▶ New England Patriots Cialis Commercial Parody (For Deflated-Balls) [Benstonium.com] – YouTube.

Another … I do believe the social media thinks the patriots are guilty.

The New England Patriots’ march to Super Bowl XLIX got a bit slippery yesterday, when the NFL announced an investigation into the deflation of 11 easier-to-catch Pats game balls during their 45-7 win in Sunday’s AFC Championship Game. This isn’t the first time that the Patriots have been accused of cheating — and it probably won’t be the last time they appear on the box of the cereal aisle’s most notorious product.

via Tom Brady and Bill Belichick’s New Cereal Endorsement | Mad Magazine.

Elementary: I’ll be watching for the bartender!!

Watch Elementary tonight at 10 on CBS. My nephew Roe is the bartender !

Oodles of noodles force closure of Interstate 95 in North Carolina – The Washington Post:

The ramen carnage, however, was extensive.

At least it didn’t rain, said two people sitting near this reporter.

All the jokes!

via Oodles of noodles force closure of Interstate 95 in North Carolina – The Washington Post.

portmanteaux, vocabulary:

Motel, brunch, and sitcom are obvious. But these portmanteaux are undercover.

1. Apart from giving us the word portmanteau to describe these things, you can also thank Lewis Carroll for chortle, a combination of snort and chuckle, first used in 1871’s Through the Looking-Glass.

via 10 Words You Might Not Know Are Portmanteaux | Mental Floss.

American Sniper:  I’m still digesting this movie …

American Sniper may be quickly stealing the title of the most politically controversial film this Oscar season, but screenwriter Jason Hall maintains he just penned a portrait of a beleaguered soldier — not a political statement. The biopic of Chris Kyle, who the Navy credits with the most kills in American military history, broke January records with a whopping $90.2 million at the box office over the weekend in spite of — or perhaps because of — critics who say the film glorifies a murderer, not to mention a war America never had any business fighting in the first place.

“People see the movie poster, and it’s got a guy and the American flag, and they know Clint Eastwood — the Dirty Harry guy and the Republican convention guy — directed it,” says screenwriter Jason Hall. “So they think it’s some jingoistic thing. I would challenge that in a big way. Chris was a man who believed in something and who therefore was useful to a government that needed him to go to war. It cost him his physical health, his mental health and almost cost him his family — but Chris probably would have paid the price over and over again if he’d been asked, which is both patriotic and totally tragic.”

via American Sniper Screenwriter Jason Hall: ‘I Bled for This Thing’ | TIME.

Musée Nissim de Camondo, The Hare With Amber Eyes: After visiting this museum and telling several people about it, every one told me I had to read The Hare With Amber Eyes. The Museum enhances the book and the book enhances the museum.

One of my favorite museums is the Musée Nissim de Camondo. The collection of 18th century furniture and art objects on display in what was once a private mansion always make me feel as if I’ve stepped back in time. When you visit, be sure to get an audioguide to hear the tragic story of the de Camondo family. For more information, there’s a link for a blog post in the comment section. #tbt #museum #art #Paris #France #decorativearts — at Musée Nissim de Camondo.




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