The Peace of Watermen and Women

You know me. I’ll wax eloquent all year long about the water. There is no time more special for me than the summer when I’m able to swim outside — I know, you’ve heard me say this often enough — but I like watching water almost as much as I like floating in it.

Its Beauty stills my soul.

But in all my water rapture, I often forget that there are those who make their living, a very hard-working living on the water.

Water is beautiful, but it can be dangerous. It can also just be unpleasant. When the cold wind blows frigid water or the boat is rocking in the tempest, it’s got to be a challenge. And yet this is the work they’ve chosen.

And so often (and lobsters are certainly a lovely case in point), the bounty they bring back is extraordinary.

Water is full of lovely gifts, but it doesn’t always make it easy to retrieve them.

So here’s to the Watermen and women and all they do for us. Here’s to their hard work and generosity. And here’s to the Peace they make with their work and the Water.

And oh, I am so grateful for Summer and the Peace I find in the laps I swim. I am so lucky.



Oh, For Some Anonymous Peace

I live in a small town. And most of the time that’s amazing. You know your neighbors (yes, in all their glory!)

But sometimes, you really want to be off duty. I know ministers are not only people who feel this way. I was at a party with a friend who’s a horse doc… and someone zeroed right in on her…

So the words “Aren’t you…” are enough to strike fear into my heart. and I’m so many things: a minister, an activist, a UU, a witch and a drummer’s wife. Oh, and a back-up singer. And occasionally all ’round crazy. We all have our moments. Oh, and I have snarky moments as well…

And I admit, Mondays are not my best days. I probably shouldn’t leave the house. I’m over peopled. But face down in a swimming pool is exactly where I need to be. So off I go.

And then someone recognizes you. And I have hilarious conversations in pools.

But sometimes, I’m not well-armored for the conversations that worry about keeping folk in boxes. Spandex and soap aren’t great protection. And the swimming opens me right up.

And yes I know, people have needs and ministry isn’t just a job… But some days, I’m less well prepared to be a Peacemaker than others. That’s the thing about being human. But other days, it works fine. Some days, there are people working on social justice. Life is a balance — which means sometimes you’re out of balance!

Whatever, I do wish us all Peace. Even on Mondays. Especially on Mondays. Peace.


Unexpected Peace

It helps to remain open. You never know what’s going to come along.

And when it comes, you must have left room for the miraculous, or you won’t recognize it.

It’s not all about love affairs, although this particular story was. It can be about jobs, or houses, or friendships, or new paths in our lives.

I think it helps to have a full life — and to appreciate what you have!

The practice of gratitude leaves openings; it allows you to see wonderful things when they happen along.

But being able to see isn’t enough. You have to be able to act, to dare.

Things don’t always work out well. But failure is simply information about better ways to try again. Hearts were meant to be risked (although let’s be clear, there’s nothing wrong with some calculations in those risks.)

But when they do work, the rewards are enormous. Love ensues. Joy does its happy dance. Peace gets its hopes raised. And people work together for both, which increases the odds tremendously, that someday there might be Peace. Both Peace or Magic require hard work and hopeful hearts.


A Voice, A Foreign Life, Peace

My world could not be more different from the world of the Inuit on the Hudson Bay of almost a century ago.

So going to 100 year old what passed for a documentary then and expecting to do much more than observe from a distance is usually unrealistic.

But Tanya Tagaq and her musicians totally changed that. Tagaq is Inuit. She has studied the music and has lived in the climate. She has both in her ears and her body and her soul. And last night, she opened them to us.

It was inspiring and transformative. It moved past the film maker’s insistence that the Inuit are charming and hapless. It made everything that happened in the film beautiful and infused it with wonder.

She sees her voice as a whole body instrument. She sees all of life as one. She was the wind. She was the dying seal. She was Nanook and his family.

And we were invited to see the Peace of that very hard and beautiful life.

What a blessing.


Peace Day is Every Day

Yesterday was International Peace Day. It is widely celebrated in much of the world, yet barely rates a mention here in the US.

Here’s The UN Call for Peace. The slogan for the year, this wildly warring year, is “Partnerships for Peace — Dignity for All.”

And of course the dances of peace and the celebrations are held on the 21st. But the question of questions is what are we doing today and all the rest of the days of the year to promote Peace. Here’s what a young high-school friend of mine, Reese, already a strong advocate for Peace wrote yesterday:

“On the 25th of September at the United Nations, 193 world leaders will adopt the Global Goals. They’re a series of 17 ambitious goals to end poverty, fight inequality and injustice, and tackle climate change for everyone by 2030. The campaign aims to make the goals famous and push for their full implementation. If the goals become famous, and if people really care about what has been promised by politicians, then it gives them a much greater chance of being put into action. So today, on International Day of Peace, along with the UN and many others, I would really like you all to help make the goals famous and ensure they become a reality. Out of the 17 goals, pick the one that means the most to you and share it with everyone! I chose 2: Zero Hunger. This is how I’m sharing, what are you doing? Here’s a link to the 17 goals!”

In my life, right now, I’m working on ending hunger, gender equality, and reduced inequalities… What are you working on? I’m working locally because I’ve found that’s where I’m most effective. I’m pairing with people and groups like ThinkPeace Workshop for Girls, which has inspired young Reese, because they’re working and thinking globally as well and with Undoing Racism because they’re doing right here on-the-ground difference making.

So I invite us to consider the goals and to choose one to hold in our hearts and to work on with all our being.

Peace is the gift we can give the world in celebration of its astonishing abundance. Why wouldn’t we do that?


Really? Sledge Hammer Peace?

It made me laugh really. Ann and sledge hammer in the same sentence. Ann with a sledge hammer in her hands. Don’t tell my brother or my nephew, they might injure themselves laughing…

Now, to be fair, it wasn’t back up over my head, being swung to put in a railroad spike. No grunts needed for impact. We were whacking at the spikes to loosen them up so that they could be pulled up after someone else had been out there swinging to put the tent spikes in the ground.

But I was tool using, nonetheless…

Of course the fact that i was the youngest of the geriatrics cleaning up post yard sale… meant I was likely to have a look-in. But still. And I’m upright today. Without bruises. Pretty good, I’d say…

Tell no one, I enjoyed myself, Tool Usin’ Mama that I am!

Peace, folks, and relax, the only tool I’m using today is a computer — and maybe a car.


Rights, Wages, Peace

I believe people need to earn a living wage for the work they do. I believe they should be safe at work and have sick time and vacation enough to ensure that when you return to work, you are rested and ready to go.

I’m grateful to all the people who have been in the fight so far. I’m grateful for all who are in the battle now.

We need to keep moving the world forward toward Peace. Peace for everyone. No exceptions.


Consolidating the Pieces for Peace

As the Fruit Moon wanes (alas, alack) I prepare for the beginning of my work year. It starts as it ended with a yard sale. Boy that required a lot of consolidations, but none of that mine, thankfully. I’ll just go down and hand out bags.

But I’m trying to make sense out of all the things I’ve read this summer, trying to find a place in my mind to lay out the puzzles of all those different pieces. What’s the picture? How do they all fit together. All summer I’ve been expanding and now I’ll have to pull it in to some sort of order.

In a week I face the congregation, and have to have something coherent to say… I don’t want them to miss how much I value the time they offered for this study. I don’t want them to miss the wonder I’ve felt at everything I’ve learned. I don’t want them to miss the importance of some of this simply because I haven’t done the appropriate sorting and placing. It’s been all about issues of Justice. Bob Marley said so simply, no Justice, no Peace. It’s easier for all of us to reach for Peace and ignore the hard work that justice-making demands.

That’s the work of the waning moon — to consolidate.

In the gardens and orchards, the fruits are being brought in and preserved for winter enjoyment. (Although my advice is also to eat them as quickly as you can now. Stand in your kitchen, over the sink and slurp up that ripe food as quickly as you can!) Give thanks for what we have now and for what lies ahead!

Here we are: consolidating the pieces of wonder for Peace. There are worse jobs!


Review. Finish. Celebrate.

It was so fun to be dancing around with my friend/colleague/co-conspirator yesterday after we finished the grant application.

I’m not sure that everyone appreciated it, but oh, well.

It wasn’t just the doing of the application… the plowing through, finishing it up. Although that was wonderful.

It’s not often you get to take a task from awareness to completion in less that 48 hours! Zoom.

It was the recognizing what we’d done and what we’d set up to continue doing that was grand. And then we received a letter that confirmed that what we thought we were doing, people who were using the money we raised ALSO thought we were doing. That was a great joy.

And a great encouragement to keep going. So. would you like to help feed hungry kids? Go to Love Flows and donate. $10 a month feeds two kids. Amazing, eh? You can change two kids lives for $10 a month. Right here in River City.  Want to start your own program doing something anything to help? It will make a difference.

It will build Peace. And that’s what we’re here to do. Make a difference. Build Peace. And Celebrate when something works! Yahoo!


Great People Making Great Peace

Ah, Jimmy Carter. Wishing you an easy passing. May Death be as kind to you as you have been to Life. May your wife find comfort in all the amazing things you have shared and the love so many have for you.

President Carter is a spectacular man who has done great things for this world. I suspect, watching his announcements, that in addition to whatever he is able to do for women as he has pledged, he will lead us in a gracious acceptance of his dying. He is, as we hate to remember, 90. If it hadn’t been this, it would have been something. May it be easy.

I’m always a bit of two minds when someone who has done great things. I’m filled with admiration and gratitude. But I’m also aware there is greatness in many of us if we only put our hearts and minds to it. There is so much we can do. There is so much difference we can make. The hard work is ours to assume.

Thank you, President Jimmy Carter, for all the work you have done. Thank you, Mrs. Carter, and I’m so very sorry. So many years together and now you are called to practice open hands, open hearts… Peace, Comfort and Blessings to you all. Our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family… and with the country who claims you as theirs…

And now in your names, let us make a difference together. Let us Peace.