Showing posts from 2004

My Contribution This Day

Today, I made Potato Leek soup. Two leeks, a large onion, chopped and sautéed in a splash of olive oil and a pat of butter until the aroma filled the room. I added to the onions and leeks: one chopped carrot, a stalk of celery (also chopped), five diced potatoes and seven cups of vegetable broth and a teaspoon of salt, then brought the mixture to a boil and then let it simmer for 45 minutes. I think the simmering (patience) was the most important step. Just before serving, I added a teaspoon of ground black pepper and some fresh basil. I served it with some crusty French bread and some Martinelli’s sparkling cider. This is my contribution to Peace today: homemade potato leek soup. Delicious.

A Quote for Today

"...if by a liberal they mean someone who looks ahead and not behind, someone who welcomes new ideas without rigid reactions, someone who cares about the welfare of the people- their health, their housing, their schools, their jobs, their civil rights, their civil liberties.. if that is what they mean by a "liberal" then I am proud to be a liberal. " --John F. Kennedy

Upon Further Reflection....

It seems to me that we ALL voted our values... that's why we react at a visceral level to the prospect of another four years of this administration. I, for one, find that my core values are being severely violated by this crowd. Values like: --Stewardship and protection of the natural world; --Preserving the dignity and equality of all humans; --A fair and open society; --Civil liberties; --An open and honest Government; --Civility and collegiality in public conversation. Some of the values are spiritual: --each human reaching their full potential --holding creation as sacred --Compassion for the weakest in our society; --Humility, particularly in foreign policy; I believe that our current culture conflict is, at its heart, a values conflict. The more I reflect on this, the more painful the prospect of the next four years of societal and environmental degradation. I need to go back to the Principles of Spiritual Activism again and again to maintain my center.

Here we go.....

CBS and NBC have refused to air an ad for the United Church of Christ claiming that it is "too controversial." If you are curious about the ad, you can view it here: Since when was the inclusion and tolerance of Jesus considered controversial? Just asking.

Election is over, the struggle continues...

The world must be aghast and appalled: the administration that brought the world unprecedented environmental destruction, Abu Ghraib and unilateral preemptive war has just been annointed by the American people for another four years. May God forgive America Was this election was stolen? We may never know. The fact that the exit polls match the vote EXCEPT in districts that have unverified electronic voting (where Bush came out with 5% more votes than expected) looks like fraud. No way to prove it, of course. A bit of good news in this: GWB for the first time in his life is responsible for cleaning up his own mess. As a mother of two children, I am sick over this. Once I get through the immediate shock, I will come up with a personal plan. For now, I will finish harvesting the walnuts.

Rain and more rain

As I look out over the orchard this morning, I see two small deer: a doe and a young buck. They almost dance through the orchard. These two creatures must enjoy the warm sunlight after a gruelling night of rain. I know that I do! It rained all last night on an already wet walnut orchard. The nuts that litter the ground are now sinking into the mud. I picked up one 5 gallon bucket of walnuts yesterday evening and am planning on going out there again today while the sun is shining between thunderstorms. The thing is, many of the nuts are coated in mud, so it's not near as much fun gathering them as it was before the rains. Walnut-man-Bob is supposed to arrive with a large machine and shake the trees today or tomorrow. Renee's co-worker, Mr. Escalante, has then arranged a crew to manually gather the nuts for us. He told us that the walnuts will mold if we don't get them picked up, which makes them almost worthless. The rains caught everyone by surprise. In my 45 years in Cal

Big Questions, too much thinking

I sometimes find myself wondering: can the world be saved? As I think about this and I realize that this is the wrong question! To ask it frames the question as one of outcome rather than process-- it's like asking if you can win at life by getting to the finish line first. First off, in my view, the world will carry on, and life will carry on, with or without humans, even if we spew our toxic waste into every ecosystem and bring about mass extinction, destroying the most amazing gift of diversity and beauty and soul. Life will find a way. (just think of cockroaches--even irradiation can't seem to kill them). There are two more immediate questions, really: (1) will humans discover the creativity and soul to awaken from denial in time to be a part of the next Age on this planet? and (2) does it really matter? i.e. why care when it all seems to be going bad anyway? To touch on the second question first... As I said before, I believe that our problems--all of them--are fundamenta

The Party's Over

I read a book this past week entitled: The Party's Over . this book is a well-researched treatise on the world's dependence on fossil fuels and the likely effect of a very near term change: reaching Peak Production. This book says that petroleum engineers, oil companies and governments all predicted that this event will take place sometime between 2006 and 2012. The next 25-50 years will be unlike any we have ever known. This isn't a book about running out of oil, it's a book about the economic, political and social changes that will come about after reaching peak production. It's premise: once we can no longer produce more, an economy and society based upon consumption can no longer grow. The decline can be disasterous or it can be somewhat managed, but regardless, we will see a dramatic change. The drama begins after the peak happens. An important conclusion in this book is that the sooner that we can acknowledge that the reason the change is happening, the easier

Full-Focused Talent

As I travel this week through the Washington Dulles airport, I am struck by the focused human talent and energy devoted to the business and governmental machinery. Intelligent men and women buzz about, carrying their leather briefcases filled with memos, ad copy and laptops filled with data. I try to imagine what it would be like if all this creativity and talent were suddenly awakened to the cause of reforming or turning human interrelationship with each other and our planet home. Seems to me that the issues of justice, which are fundamentally relational, are directly related to getting this first planetary relationship right. In fact, for those who are devoted to their religious faith I might ask the question: what if the first and primary relationship with the divine is reflected in how we enter into the mystery of our relationship with creation? What if we were all to suddenly see this Earth--each hill, rock, stream and creature--as sacred? Thomas Berry said that Earth is a one tim

One Candle

So I've taken the plunge into Blogging.... my attempt to maintain sanity in an insane world. One small candle this dark night... one candle in a world gone stark raving mad. A year ago February, I joined with a dozen or so folks in a vigil. On that night, the eve of the Iraq war, we joined thousands, maybe millions in a candlelight prayer vigil for peace. I held my candle aloft into the dark night sky. How could my one candle stop this senseless war? I held it as a prayer, in fervent hope that seemed so utterly hopeless. The forces were building, a whole people would soon feel our shock and awe... and my weapon of defiance and hope? A candle. The act seemed so futile. I read today that the Eskimos are concerned about the arctic Caribou and seal as the glaciers shrink. Yesterday, I sat next to gentleman on the airplane who was playing an Army-produced desert storm wargame on his Dell Latitude. He carried AK47 and hand grenades, drove tanks and ATVs. He shot at anything that moved. T