“This is the Year that for you waits…”

A year ago I made some resolutions. I’ve copied and pasted them below. I’d forgotten that one of my resolutions was to read To Kill a Mockingbird – and am happy (and a little surprised at myself) to report that I actually did finally read that fine book and it’s now on my “favorite books” list.  You will see that I made others resolutions for 2012, too. We won’t talk about those at this time.

In the last year there have been so many amazing changes in my life, personally – opportunities I never could have expected, wonderful experiences I couldn’t have anticipated, new friends and movies and books and music I didn’t even know existed a year ago. And though there was sadness in 2012, and grief – there was also great joy, and progress. What will 2013 bring? The possibilities for all of us are limitless, really.  We’ll discover even more new books and movies and music and new friends, and learn new things, and there will be laughter, for sure, and love.

A Flower unblown: a Book unread:
A Tree with fruit unharvested :
A Path untrod : a House whose rooms
Lack yet the heart s divine perfumes:
This is the Year that for you waits
Beyond Tomorrow s mystic gates.

– Horatio Nelson Power

“…progress is the law of God, whose law demands of us only what we can certainly fulfil.” – Mary Baker Eddy

***

Resolutions for last year (originally posted on the humoristianity.wordpress.com blog a year ago):

I resolve to learn the fine art of being slippery when it comes to resolutions – i.e., I will whole-heartedly endeavor to couch all my words in ways that will make it easy for me to get around actually making resolutions.  With this guiding resolution in mind –

1) I resolve to be more patient with the people I want to be more patient with.

2) I resolve to get back that girlish figure – similar to the one I had five minutes ago, before I got it in my noggin that it might be a good idea  to eat that entire box of chocolate raspberry truffles.  (Note that “girlish” is a relative term here, and can easily be got around when it comes to someone trying to pin me down with specifics  –  I mean, I very carefully did not say MY girlish figure [which might actually require some work on my part] – but THAT girlish figure – and for all you know I could be describing Buddy Hackett’s girlish figure here. I know. I’m in awe of my lack of resolution, too).

3) I resolve to cut down on the chocolate and Starbucks, and might even think about going a day or two or three without either.

4) I resolve to think about reading Moby Dick. I’ve heard it’s very good. I’m going to resolve to think about reading To Kill a Mockingbird, too. I know. I’m embarrassed to admit I’ve never read that classic.  But maybe by this time next year I won’t have to include thinking about reading To Kill a Mockingbird amongst my almost-resolutions.

5) I resolve to think about giving more to the causes that matter, and less to those that don’t. (In other words, politicians and political parties probably shouldn’t waste any more of their money sending me fliers and calling my home.)

6) Segueing from #5: I resolve to really put more thought into my bid for presidency of this greatish nation (ha! – try saying THAT really fast – “greatish nation”).

7) I resolve to know when I have nothing more to say about resolutions and to just shut up.

Wishing all you wonderful Humoristian hooligans a most spectacular new year! May your resolutions be merry and light, and may your new year be bright with possibilities!

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“I am woman, hear me roar…”

So God created man in his own image and likeness; male and female created he them. – Genesis 1: 27

Man and woman as coexistent and eternal with God forever reflect, in glorified quality, the infinite Father-Mother God… The ideal man corresponds to creation, to intelligence, and to Truth. The ideal woman corresponds to Life and to Love. In divine Science, we have not as much authority for considering God masculine, as we have for considering Him feminine, for Love imparts the clearest idea of Deity. – Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, by Mary Baker Eddy

***

As a Christian Scientist, I believe God to be both Father and Mother, and all men and women to be made in her likeness. I believe that if we, as a society, fail to appreciate or value the expression of God’s feminine nature, we’re not appreciating the full expression of our Father-Mother God.

Tonight, as I was giving thought to the financial, political, and social challenges that women around the world are currently facing, an old Helen Reddy song came boldly bounding into my thoughts:

I am woman, hear me roar
In numbers too big to ignore
And I know too much to go back and pretend
’cause I’ve heard it all before
And I’ve been down there on the floor
No one’s ever gonna keep me down again

CHORUS
Oh yes, I am wise
But it’s wisdom born of pain
Yes, I’ve paid the price
But look how much I gained
If I have to, I can do anything
I am strong
I am invincible
I am woman

You can bend but never break me
’cause it only serves to make me
More determined to achieve my final goal
And I come back even stronger
Not a novice any longer
’cause you’ve deepened the conviction in my soul

CHORUS

I am woman, watch me grow
See me standing toe to toe
As I spread my lovin’ arms across the land
But I’m still an embryo
With a long long way to go
Until I make my brother understand…

– Helen Reddy and Ray Burton

This song was a kind of anthem for me as a young woman. It was one of the songs I hummed to myself as I climbed to the summit of Mount Rainier.  It was with me as I launched myself into my career, and it was with me as I tried to figure out my place as a woman in American society. It inspired me to be strong and brave and confident. “I am strong. I am invincible. I am woman,” sang Helen Reddy, and I sang right along with her.

I married, had children, raised a family, entered a teaching career, climbed more mountains and hiked more hills.  New songs took the place of I Am Woman.  I suppose at some point I began to think of I Am Woman as too simplistic or schmaltzy or shallow or something.  And finally I am Woman faded completely into the distant recesses of my mind.  Until today, I don’t think I’d thought about that song for years.

But today it came back to me – and it didn’t enter my thoughts in a dainty or delicate way, either – it came bursting in, all unapologetic and vibrant. I found it on youtube and listened to it again, and felt myself becoming inspired, just as I had as a young woman three decades ago.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MUBnxqEVKlk&feature=list_related&playnext=1&list=AVGxdCwVVULXdW3YgNT-BsHvNXAaqMSO2y

Biologically, I have brothers, and I have sons, but no daughters or sisters.  Although I love all the wonderful men in my life – right now, today, I want to take time to celebrate women.   I’ve been blest to have a wise, wonderful mother, and, even though I have no biological sisters, I’ve had a life filled with the inspiration and support of “sisters of the heart” – strong,  courageous women who’ve been an example to me of the power of womankind. Today I want to celebrate the courage and daring of the pioneer women who helped build our country; the suffragettes who worked tirelessly so that other women, like me, could vote; and the courageous female leaders who are working right now to ensure that women’s lives and rights are protected.

And I want to make a commitment to being the best representative of womankind that I can be, too.  Today I resolve to fully express the courage, strength, and love that are attributes of my Father-Mother God.  “I am woman, watch me grow; See me standing toe to toe, as I spread my loving arms across the land…”

***

Christian Scientists must live under the constant pressure of the apostolic command to come out  from  the material world and be separate. They must renounce aggression, oppression and the pride of power. Christianity, with the crown of Love upon her brow, must be their queen of life. – from Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy

(This post was originally published in March, 2012 – during Women”s History Month. I thought now might be a good time to bring it up again. May Malala Yousufzai and all others who are working for women’s rights around the world see their hopes fulfilled.)

I remember once thinking that if I could just get through that obligation, and this appointment, and that scheduled meeting, I’d finally be able to get on with life. And it came to me, in a flash, that all of it – the obligations, appointments – and yes, the shopping, wrapping, baking, and cleaning – ARE life. I know. Duh, right? But it took me awhile to realize that I needed to be enjoying the messy stuff of life, too. Every single moment is precious…

Is it alright to be happy when there’s so much suffering and grief in the world? Should we feel guilty about experiencing joy right now? Nope, I don’t think we should feel guilty about our joy. I say, let’s all share in the burden of the grief, and let’s share our joy, too… send it out and lift the darkness where we can…

Scenes from Bellingham Bay

Is it alright to be happy when there’s so much suffering and grief in the world? Should we feel guilty about experiencing joy right now? Nope, I don’t think we should feel guilty about our joy. I say, let’s all share in the burden of the grief, and let’s share our joy, too… send it out and lift the darkness where we can…

The time to be happy is now. The place to be happy is here. – Robert Ingersoll

I believe we’re on earth to delight each other, make each other laugh, and to infuse one another with His joy. Why not? What’ve we got better to do? – Burt Rosenberg, Maryland

Stop complaining about the management of the universe. Look around for a place to sow a few seeds of happiness. – Henry Van Dyke

Happiness is spiritual, born of Truth and Love. It is unselfish…

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What will happen on December 21st?

“The inaudible voice of Truth is, to the human mind, ‘as when a lion roareth.’  It is heard in the desert and in dark places of fear.”  – from Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy

Five years ago, on a discussion forum, I learned for the first time about the belief that the world will end on December 21st.  Someone asked “What will happen in 2012?”

I gave the question some thought, and then answered, “Seriously then? I think mankind is at a crossroads here. We can choose which direction we want to head – towards an Apocalypse (which I swear some people actually seem to be praying for) or away from one. My dad was talking with some friends, once – great, cynical old farts – and one of them said something like, ‘The meek will inherit the earth – sure – because nobody else will want it by the time everybody else is done with it.’ I thought that was funny, and really, really sad, too.  I think we’re at a place in our history where mankind has to learn some lessons, and learn them really fast. The first thing we have to learn is to be kind to our environment. But we need to learn to be kind to each other, too – no matter what beliefs or non-beliefs we each have. We’ve got to give up that whole ‘eye for an eye’ mentality – learn forgiveness, and generosity. I have hope for us. I think there’s a movement of good in the world. I believe Good (Love, Truth) will win in the end.”

I think the world manifests what’s going on in the collective “thought” of mankind. I believe a lack of appreciation for God’s beautiful creation – choosing an accumulation of material “Things” (money and personal possessions) over the expressions of Spirit (the beauty of a clean and healthy environment) is causing mankind some problems.And  I believe if  mankind is full of fear – if people come to expect doom in our future – then doom might be what they see manifested.

A friend of mine was telling me about this book – The Hundredth Monkey – that talks about how this group of monkeys started doing something different in their community and – without ever going to another monkey community – other monkeys in other communities started doing the same thing. It was like the idea, or the thought, was contagious – even without any physical connection between these animals. Anyway, I think thoughts can be contagious – and I think good thoughts can be contagious, too – and if mankind comes to expect good, good will happen.

I believe that if we really want to help our world, we need to stop living in fear. Stop being afraid of each other. Stop being afraid of what the future holds for us.  We need to fill our mental atmosphere with love, joy, and hope – with heaven.  In the book of Luke in the Bible, we read: “And when he (Jesus) was demanded of the Pharisees, when the kingdom of God should come, he answered them and said, The kingdom of God cometh not with observation: Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you.” And in II Corinthians, Paul says: “…behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.”

I don’t think the world has to end, or we have to die, to experience heaven and salvation.  Jesus said the kingdom of God is within us – in our thoughts. If our thoughts are full of hope, joy, and love we’re in heaven right now. Likewise, if our thoughts are full of hate, fear, and anger we’re experiencing hell right here, and right now. In Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, Mary Baker Eddy has this to say about “Heaven”: “Heaven is not a locality, but a divine state of Mind…” and she defines “Heaven” as “Harmony; the reign of Spirit; government by divine Principle’; spirituality; bliss; the atmosphere of Soul.”

What does our future hold? Good. Our future holds Good.   Nothing can destroy Love or Truth – God – we will always have Good in our future. Count on it. 🙂

Buck up, my friends! It is our duty – maybe the greatest thing we can do for our world – to  stop being afraid. We need to be alert, yes. We need to be aware and we need to be wise.  And we  really need to stop being afraid.

Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.  – Isaiah 41: 9-11

“Christian scientific practice begins with Christ’s keynote of harmony, ‘Be not afraid!'” – from Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy

“Where there is love, there is life.”

Heart-breaking. A grief so deep, there are no words. I over-heard someone say: “I bet they’ll find out the mom is to blame.” And THAT crushed me, too. Finger-pointing. Finding someone or something to blame – the young man’s mom, the season, God…

And none of that is going to make things better for the parents of those children who lost their lives. I know the solution isn’t to be found in hate. That’s pretty much the ONLY thing I know for sure right now.

Yesterday I went to my blog, hoping I could find something to say there that might somehow help the people who are grieving the loss of their children – and I found myself reading other peoples’ blogs about the tragedy – everyone in deep shock and mourning.  I realized I wasn’t ready to post anything right then. It felt like anything I had to say would be self-indulgent and me-centered – MY feelings, MY grief, MY horror, MY shock.

Today, I still don’t have the words that are going to fix everything and make it all better.  There are no words that will do that.  But if any of the parents of the children lost in Newtown should stumble upon this blog, I want them to know that they’re not standing in their pain alone – there’s a world full of people who care,  who want to help, who want to reach out and offer what comfort they can – there’s a world full of people who WISH they could fix this, and make it all better.

Mahatma Gandhi said, “Where there is love, there is life.” The love we create with the people in our lives still lives on – even after they’re  no longer with us – nothing can destroy that love. The joy-filled memories of our loves ones – those with us and those no longer with us – we still have those memories, too – no one else’s hatred or insanity can take those from us.  We embrace them, cherish them, and keep them alive.

May the love shared and created, and the memories made,  bring comfort to those who are grieving unthinkable loss right now.

***”

“Death ends a life, not a relationship.” – Jack Lemmon

 “At all times and under all circumstances, overcome evil with good.”  – Mary Baker Eddy

“…I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” – Romans 8: 37-39

Rhonda Lee Rocks! – Bigoted busybody bullying bossy britches brazenly brandishing their bigotry, begone!

Message I just posted on KTBS’s website (which now seems to have disappeared from the page): Rhonda Lee is absolutely beautiful! And her response to the viewer criticizing her length of hair was measured, thoughtful, and well-reasoned. Even HE apparently agreed with her response. Why KTBS should fire this beautiful, intelligent woman is a mystery to me. Unless… of course, now that I see those four white faces in the picture above – three of them with blond hair – I think I have an inkling… bigotry is not a pretty thing. – Karen Molenaar Terrell, a middle-aged white lady from Washington State.

If you haven’t heard about the firing of Rhonda Lee, here’s the link to the story: http://shine.yahoo.com/work-money/meteorologist-rhonda-lee-she-fired-defending-her-hair-200400289.html

And if you’d like a link to the KTBS website, here it is: https://www.facebook.com/KTBS3

I hate bigotry. I mean – I REALLY hate bigotry. Bigoted busybody bossy britches bullies who brazenly brandish their bigotry really toast my cookies. What happened to Rhonda Lee is a prime example of bigotry. But we see it everywhere, don’t we? Any time you see individuals of a particular group being stereotpyped and lumped together and seen as some kind of monolithic entity, you’re seeing bigotry.Whenever I read  sentences about groups of people that start –  “All atheists think…” or “All Christians believe…” or “All Muslims feel…”  or “All gay men want…” –  I can bet that I’m about to read an example of bigotry.  If we want to  understand each other, I do not think it is helpful to lump individuals under one big umbrella and assume we know what all these individuals think, believe, feel, or want. If you want to know what an individual thinks about something – ask him.

I have never felt the need for everybody else to believe exactly the same way I believe about things.  Whatever beliefs others want to hold about life – so long as those beliefs don’t cause harm to others – I’m fine with that. As my dear Aunt Junie used to say: Whatever makes your socks go up and down. I think we’re all drawn to the path in life that makes the most sense to us, as individuals – some of us will be atheists, some of us will be Buddhist, and others of us will be Christian Scientists – and, so long as we’re not tromping on someone else’s rights in our own life journey – it’s all good.

But bigotry DOES harm others, and DOES lead to tromping on the rights of others. When bigots prevent others from their basic human rights – from getting (or keeping) a job, from the freedom of owning a home in the neighborhood of one’s choice, from voting, or marrying, or getting a drink of water from a water fountain – this we cannot support. This is not right, or good, or in any way helpful to the advancement of mankind. This kind of thing must end. We – all of us – as the children of Love – deserve better from ourselves and each other.

***

“The weapons of bigotry, ignorance, envy, fall before an honest heart.” – from Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy

“And withal they learn to be idle, wandering about from house to house; and not only idle, but tattlers also and busybodies, speaking things which they ought not.” – I Timothy 5

“Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour.” – Exodus 20: 16

“Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God.  He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love…There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love. ” – I John 4