Thursday, February 21, 2008

the church at night a bit

I went to the service at Primera Iglesia on Ash Wednesday. Here's a poem I wrote, after I went to fill up my water bottle in the kitchen and got to see the church at night a bit.

standing in the dark church
in the room that remembers
one thousand potlucks-
the walls pause with me in the darkness
as i go about my business
setting up or putting away.
puttering around the house of the Lord.

God promises one day I'll have a key,
to walk into the building, to prepare or wait
to stand in the dark church.
the simplest beauty.
the greatest honor.
puttering around the holy of holies.
sweeping up after the saints.

Monday, February 18, 2008

why did Jesus die?

Listen to this: (from Journeys by Heart: A Christology of Erotic Power by Rita Nakashima Brock)

"Jesus' death was tragic, but it neither had to happen nor was part of a divine plan for salvation... The brokenheartedness revealed in his death is created by the political systems of patriarchal society and was neither inevitable nor necessary. Such evidence of brokenheartedness does call us, however, to take heed and to understand.
Persons we love evoke our compassion, and to claim anyone's premature death is necessary leads us to thinking suffering is something we cannot protest. To make claims that any person's tragic, painful death is divinely willed or necessary for others to be saved mutes our ability to be angry about unnecessary suffering. Such claims dull the acuteness of our caring. We lose our rage at injustice and our passionate desire to eliminate the structures that produce brokenheartedness. We lose heart." (p.93-94)

That's interesting. However: does it ignore the lived experience of people in the pews, for whom there is power in the blood, for whom Jesus' death is a crucial event?

I don't know. We talked about it in class this morning.

Also: in this book, Brock talks a lot about Heart as a powerful, connective strength that subtly defeats more imperialistic kinds of power. I have to think of Captain Planet, and that totally makes the fifth ring all the better. Anybody know if there's a Captain Planet/ feminist theology link? The book is old enough that someone from the show could have conceivably read it...

Perhaps I'll post more good lines/paragraphs from class readings.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Rachael Moved to Chicago

I moved to Chicago. David and I and 12 other people live in a co-op. A picture of the main hallway and the view of a tree through the living room window, and a photo taken outside the house by my mom the day after she helped me move in back in October, are pictured here. Basically everyone has a room and then we share chores, a kitchen, a den and living room and porch. I feel I can be utterly myself in this community, which is such a blessing after living in a foreign land. Vegetarians atheists and queers are welcome here!!!

I got a data entry job through a temp agency. It's really boring but I look forward to coming home to this goofy and eclectic bunch of folks of all ages and walks of life!

I'm looking for a permanent position where I can be using my Spanish, hopefully in a non-profit, a school, a church, something along those lines. I'm looking at teaching elementary school, or ESL, or working in a clinic. If you know of any leads, let me know!

Even though I love the co-op, I want a kitchen of my own, and also the experience of living alone. I've told David I'm going to propose marriage to him sometime in spring or summer, so this may be my last chance to live alone if he says yes!

Last night I was chatting in the kitchen with two housemates about my idea to plant plants in my old worn out dance shoes. They brought up issues of drainage and aeration, and we ended up deciding I should hang them by the shoelaces. I can't wait to have a little home of my own where I can hang plants in shoes! I found a studio and my lease starts on February 28th. I am VERY excited.

Also, I am going to try to take a class at a time at Chicago Theological Seminary.

So things are going well although still in transition.

Happy Valentine's Day!

Brought to you by Chicago Winters

Reasons I walk fast when it's cold:
(really fast!)

1. I get out of the cold faster

2. It warms me up a bit

3. I feel less helpless, like there's nothing I can do to get warm; I feel I am doing something to help my situation. Even if it doesn't make much of a difference, at least I was doing SOMETHING and not just accepting my situation

4. It distracts me from the cold

5. be careful not to slip on ice! go slowly over ice. plus then you look comical speed walking then abruptly going uber-slow with your mitten hands sticking out.

This announcement has been brought to you by: Chicago Winters. Bringing you snow and ice and other extreme precipitation for A Long Time.

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

liturgical year meditation

So, today's Ash Wednesday.

And it feels good.

I just wasn't feeling Epiphany this year. Maybe I wasn't sitting with it long enough, but it was just not resonating for me. All this light imagery, and revealedness, when I've been spending so much time with Holy is the Dark, and God the Unrevealed, God the sneaky one around the corner, just barely visible but beautiful because of it.

So: Epiphany did not feel exactly like that.

And moreover, I'm not feeling the light imagery for other reasons. All this light/dark, good/evil, white/black stuff raises some really problematic questions about race. AND, all this sight/blindness stuff raises some other, perhaps-similarly-problematic questions about ability. So there's that, that gets in the way, appropriately, for me.

So: epiphany, not so much.

And today I told someone that I was glad it was Ash Wednesday, and usually that just means that it's time to enter the mourning/difficult/struggle time. But it feels really good this time. Like: Ash Wednesday means Lent is beginning. And Lent means that Easter is coming.

I'm often reassuring people that they don't have to rush into resurrection, or into Christmas or whatever. That's why they're seasons and not days, I say. And maybe this year I didn't really get much epiphany into me.

But, oh, Easter's coming.

And Sunday, I went to Hurlbut (my home church) for probably the last time with Ted (my longest-running pastor) as pastor. And he moved around the front of the sanctuary as he preached, naming all the spots we have seen Jesus. Jesus in the nativity scene, Jesus in the Christ Candle, Jesus in the cross, all the way through... Jesus in the pews. It was pretty beautiful. Seeing Jesus, running into that guy at all kinds of random places, and if you miss him this year, you know he'll just be waiting there again, when we come around once more.

My mom got me a poster of the liturgical year for Christmas. It's just a big round circle, with lots of different colors on it.



ps- A couple of posts ago, somefolks had its two hundredth post. Huzzah.