452 If I Were God (and lots of important announcements)
Day 452 June 11th, 2021
If I Were God
Note before the reflection: Please keep Beth Jordan and Bill Boorman in your hearts. Both of our dear friends are having health issues and have recently been in hospital. Please also keep Victoria in your hearts. She is doing her utmost to accompany Beth and Bill. It's tough when you're a nurse - even a retired nurse... We pray strength for her, for Dan Lambert who has electronic skills and is assisting Bill with cable and all things computer, Linda who arrives early and stays late and for Vera who has been a huge support too. It takes a loving village.
If I were God, I would make a world exactly like this one. I love its inconsistencies, its contradictions. I love it that this river flows around stones and finds its own way. I love it that people are free, even to be selfish and to think they own beaches and mountaintops and have the right to keep the poor off them.
I love it that things change, that the boundaries of nations and the fences of the rich get torn down sometimes. I love it that some people think we have many lifetimes while others think we have only this one. I especially love it that no one knows for certain, even if they think they do.
I love it that there are little clovers here in the grass beside me as I write, the same kind I have known all my life, and that this morning there was a bewildered-looking moose that I have not known at all standing in the mist at the edge of this river.
I love it that I am sixty years old and my hair is gray and my hand against this white paper is showing age spots and I am sitting on a wedge of land between a river and a stream on a Monday afternoon in July. I love it that I don’t know exactly where I am, because it helps me to remember that I don’t know exactly where Earth is in this galaxy, or where this galaxy is in this universe, or whether I have only this lifetime or many lifetimes. I love supposing this one is the only one, because it keeps me mindful of how precious everything is.
There is sweet dock mixed in with the clover at my feet. My mother told me that sweet dock makes good greens. My family knew things that poor people had to know, like what wild greens you can eat. Right now I am learning things only rich people get to know, like how it is to take a canoe trip led by a brilliant wilderness guide.
Enid and I have left behind all the students in the writing workshops we lead for low-income women: Corinna and Diane and Maryann and Evelyn and Robin and Teresa and Lynn and a dozen more who can’t be here because they are poor in money. Kate has money, but she can’t be here because she is poor in health.
And yet, if I were God, I would make a world just like this one, where everyone comes raw and naked and dependent into it; where everyone enters bloody between the legs or through the cut belly of a woman; where nothing is for certain and there is so much to learn.
I would make the world unfair as this world is unfair, because only in a world like this one is it possible that maybe the rich will take down their fences; maybe the poor will get together and break the fences down; maybe those who know how to read will teach those who don’t. Maybe the fed will feed the hungry. Maybe the lion will lie down by the lamb.
Maybe none of this will happen, but if I were making a world, I’d want it to be complicated and unfair, a place where everything needs everything else, where if someone kills off all the wolves then the moose will get sick and die slow deaths because nothing eats them anymore.
I don’t understand it, but I want to be here on this wedge of land, on this canoe trip, trusting myself to a woman who knows what I don’t about rivers and weather and human bodies. I love how she told me last year that she can read the river. She knows by the ripples on its surface what lies beneath and where to take her canoe. I love it that this year she is teaching me where to take a canoe, and how.
I love it that she is teaching me to brush mosquitoes away gently, instead of sending them to the next life — which I’m not at all sure they will have. I love being in this body, in this world, in this time and place. It took me sixty years to get here, sixty years to like my body well enough to walk bare into a river in full sight of other women without shame, sixty years to trust my body enough to believe I can paddle for six hours and still lead a writing workshop when I get home.
I want to be fully here. Tonight I will sleep between two streams of water, under stars that move from I don’t know where to I don’t know where. Right now, two dragonflies on my thigh are giving me a demonstration of the proper mating technique when you are shaped like a small stick with wings.
Suggested by Jim Keck
Sister Mary Waskowiak video about her work on the San Diego / Mexico border with immigrants and asylum seekers. A must see!
FOR THE COMING WEEK Actions for Racial Justice June 13 - 19, 2021
Celebrating A Year of Witness By People of Faith Against Racism Sunday, June 13 — 2:00 to 3:00 pm Corner of West Third Street and Stony Point Road — Santa Rosa (Park in the Knox Presbyterian Church parking lot, on West Third Street) From Jean Harrison and Therese Taylor Thanksgiving Lutheran and Knox Presbyterian Churches Dear Faith Communities, This coming Sunday, June 13 is the first anniversary of People of Faith Against Racism demonstrating against racism and police brutality. Much has happened in this past year. The situation has not improved but many more people are aware and more actively involved. The weekly demonstrations have been well received. We invite your congregation to join us as we celebrate this Anniversary with an additional demonstration on Sunday afternoon from 2 to 3. Bring your banners and let the community know we are still here and will be for some time. There will be some refreshments, new signs and flags to help make it more festive. Flag day is Monday so it is only fitting to have the American flags out. LGBTQ pride flags would be most welcome too, it is Pride month after all. Please come and bring others.
51st MLK / Juneteenth Community Festival Celebration A Gathering for Recognition, Restoration, Celebration Saturday, June 19 — 1:00 to 3:00 pm Hosted by Sonoma County Juneteenth Committee
Juneteenth is the oldest known celebration commemorating the ending of slavery in the United States. Dating back to 1865, it was on June 19th that the Union soldiers, led by Major General Gordon Granger, landed at Galveston, Texas with news that the war had ended and that the enslaved were now free. The surrender of General Lee more than two months earlier had no immediate impact on Texas, where slaveholders withheld the news from slaves and kept them in bondage. With the arrival of General Granger’s regiment, Union forces were finally strong enough to end that inhumane deception. . CLICK HERE . for further information Online Event
. CLICK HERE . to register The Juneteenth Committee will send you a zoom link to join the celebration
Call to Action Presents:
The Tulsa race massacre: 100 years later Sunday, June 13 12-1:30 pm PT / 2-3:30 pm CT / 3-4:30 pm ET Register via Eventbrite CTA - Metro New York is pleased to welcome Lincoln Cochrane to speak about the Tulsa Race Massacre and its historical significance today, 100 years later. Mr. Cochrane, a leader in the Black Wall Street Alliance, will speak about the historical significance of the Tulsa Race Massacre. Please join us for this informative and thought-provoking event. There will be a Q&A following Mr. Cochrane's presentation. Lincoln Cochran is Director of Creativity and Inclusion Development for Black Wall Street Alliance, Oklahoma. He also holds the same position for myinfotechfame.org, an information technology Fine Arts & Media Education website for the Tulsa area.
Honest Conversations on Racism Wednesday, June 16 5-6:30 pm PT / 7-8:30 pm CT / 8-9:30 pm ET Click to register
Local leaders of CTA Maryland will discuss the “Honest Conversations on Racism” series that their chapter’s Racial Justice Circle has supported in the Baltimore area. The Racial Justice Circle has held "Honest Conversations on Racism" (HCoR) events at 21 Catholic parishes in Baltimore, and its 22nd HCoR event is being held at Ascension Lutheran Church in partnership with the local Lutheran synod. Each HCoR is a four-evening event that ends with a special "covenant service" with parish members. After the murders of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, George Floyd, and many others in 2020, the Racial Justice Circle partnered with St. Matthew Catholic Church and held its first Black Lives Matter rally. Soon after, St. Matthew was joined by Faith Presbyterian Church. Words of the BLM rallies spread quickly. Under the name of Black Lives Matter Interfaith Coalition, the group now has 35 co-sponsors and brings 100 to 150 people to its rallies. The Racial Justice Circle and Black Lives Matter Interfaith Coalition believe we are called to "make some good trouble" by letting our voices be heard. If not now, when?