2001-04-22 - 11:16 p.m.
I know it's not nice of me to laugh at another person's trauma, but I think Badsnake can more than deal. Among other things, she can laugh right back at me: at least she knows what to do with her hair. I keep wavering between going back to my bob or growing it back down to my waist - I'm too lazy for anything fussier, yet I'm bored with those two styles. I'll probably grow it long because it's the easier option of the two (fewer salon visits) and I miss my hair toys, but I may well lose patience and suddenly succumb to the urge to get bobbed when it's 90 F and 90% humidity - or when I look in the mirror and see a frump. Oh, the indecision. Oh, the trauma. (Don't you hear the violins thrumming away?)
As I type this, the puppy is half-curled around my stool, snoozing. Thank goodness. After church, I stopped by Petsmart to pick up some chews: for a few minutes, I was overwhelmed by all of the choices. (Our previous dog was eight years old when we adopted her, so I've never actually gone shopping for a baby canine before.) It got much easier once I realized that many of the "bones" and toys were manufactured in China (even the ones with French-language labels), since that reduced my options down to 25% of the offerings, which was still plenty (Kong toys are made in the US - hurrah!). For much of the afternoon, Abby gamboled about with her giant rawhide chip and her fluffy pink squeaky-bone. I've now taken the pink squeaker away, as its seams weren't sturdy enough for puppy teeth - I may sew it back up later, but I'll first have to check if any of the thread in my toolbox is strong enough.
She's gradually grasping the concept of "down" - it has to be retaught to her now and again, but she now understands that when I don't reward her immediately after a good "sit," I'm waiting for her to lie down. Being full of puppy-ness, however, she doesn't lie down quietly - she stretches up and then flops back down with an audible thud.
She's so funny. She's so soft. She's so cute...
More library books, including some from a Unitarian Universalist editor (Jennifer Bosveld).
I considered skipping church this morning. The newsletter had listed "Knowing Jesus - Perhaps for the First Time" as the scheduled sermon; I was thinking I'd rather stay home and sleep in. It turned out to be worthwhile, though - aside from the comfort of community ritual ("Listen, listen to the sound of the bell..."), the sermon turned out to be engagingly provocative, what with the guest minister (Rev. Calvin Knapp) noting that the historical Jesus was probably illiterate ("with the IQ of genius. Now imagine that combination..."), that there is no Scriptural evidence that Mary Magdalene was a reformed prostitute, that Robert F. Kennedy might have been as great as Gandhi and MLK had he lived longer, that Jesus's order to the Jews to the Samaritans could be considered the equivalent of a modern-day preacher telling us "You must love the Nazis," and more. He quietly suggested that the body of the historical Jesus rotted after entombment, but that the dreams and visions and hallucinations of the grieving Apostles and other admirers then became the story of Christ - a suggestion he made not in scorn but in wonder, at the awesome power of the story.
As I drove home, I was thinking that it would be a good afternoon to read some sort of criticism or meditation on either the New Testament and/or service; when I arrived home, I read Dichroic's entry on The Quaker Book of Wisdom and realized that it would be exactly right for my mood (my copy had been sitting up in my upstairs bathroom for many months, partially read).
Reading through the book, there were several instances where I found myself thinking, "Hey, he's describing Unitarian Universalist congregations!" Here's one of them:
All Meetings are different. At some, quoting from the Gospels is commonplace. In others, most messages draw a relationship between an event in everyday life and a shared moral or social concern. Friends in large urban and suburban areas that offer several options often shop around before joining a Meeting that suits their tastes. One Meeting might seem to them more spiritual. One more action oriented. Does this Meeting have many young converts? Is that one particularly welcoming to gay and lesbian members? Does another have members whose "ministry" is consistently meaningful? Or does it tend to have "popcorn" meetings, where men and women -- often riled up about a current issue or an article they read in the morning paper -- keep "popping up" with messages that are political rather than spiritual?
Create in us the splendor that dawns when hearts are kind,
We extinguish this flame, but not the light of truth, the warmth of community, or the fire of commitment. These we carry in our hearts until we are together again.
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