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christmas meditation December 24, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — radiofreebecky @ 8:40 pm
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Christmas meditation: Ezekiel 37:1-14

Ezekiel 37 (New International Version)

Ezekiel 37

The Valley of Dry Bones

1 The hand of the LORD was upon me, and he brought me out by the Spirit of the LORD and set me in the middle of a valley; it was full of bones. 2 He led me back and forth among them, and I saw a great many bones on the floor of the valley, bones that were very dry. 3 He asked me, “Son of man, can these bones live?”
I said, “O Sovereign LORD, you alone know.”

4 Then he said to me, “Prophesy to these bones and say to them, ‘Dry bones, hear the word of the LORD! 5 This is what the Sovereign LORD says to these bones: I will make breath [a] enter you, and you will come to life. 6 I will attach tendons to you and make flesh come upon you and cover you with skin; I will put breath in you, and you will come to life. Then you will know that I am the LORD.’ ”

7 So I prophesied as I was commanded. And as I was prophesying, there was a noise, a rattling sound, and the bones came together, bone to bone. 8 I looked, and tendons and flesh appeared on them and skin covered them, but there was no breath in them.

9 Then he said to me, “Prophesy to the breath; prophesy, son of man, and say to it, ‘This is what the Sovereign LORD says: Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe into these slain, that they may live.’ ” 10 So I prophesied as he commanded me, and breath entered them; they came to life and stood up on their feet—a vast army.

11 Then he said to me: “Son of man, these bones are the whole house of Israel. They say, ‘Our bones are dried up and our hope is gone; we are cut off.’ 12 Therefore prophesy and say to them: ‘This is what the Sovereign LORD says: O my people, I am going to open your graves and bring you up from them; I will bring you back to the land of Israel. 13 Then you, my people, will know that I am the LORD, when I open your graves and bring you up from them. 14 I will put my Spirit in you and you will live, and I will settle you in your own land. Then you will know that I the LORD have spoken, and I have done it, declares the LORD.’ “

Much like Christ-followers in the United States today, Ezekiel was living in hard times. He had the impossible task of prophesying God’s commandments of love and faithfulness to an exiled people far from home, a people caught up in the hateful ways of their leaders, leaders who either disregarded God entirely or committed unspeakable acts in His name. Like many of the prophets, Ezekiel was charged with bringing unpopular news to a people who had, like us, replaced the true G-d with the false gods of their own desires for autonomy, revenge, and easy living.

Modern American Christians who haven’t bought into the false rhetoric from the radical right, who still hope to see God’s community-restoring justice and peace realized, are in much the same position. Although we’ve made some steps forward this year, many of us, especially those close to the LGBTQ community, are facing this Christmas with a sense of having been cast adrift. We know we’re on the side of love; we know that overall we’re moving forward; we know it’s better than it used to be – but still, this knowledge isn’t enough to overcome our sense of loss.

Anne Lamott says that we’re living in desert times, that there’s beauty in the desert as well as fear, that you can’t have one without the other. Her desert, to me, looks the same as Ezekiel’s valley of dry bones – they’re the same place we’re in these days. And it’s not a fun place. These bones, whatever you see in them – our hopes, our plans, our spirits – are parched. They’re as dead as dead can be. No hope for these suckers.

And yet God walks Ezekiel up to the valley’s edge. He makes him stare these dried-up bones, as terrifying and sorrow-inducing as they are, right in the face. And then God says, “Ezekiel, you’re going to have to trust me on this one: I want these bones to live again. But you’re gonna have to be the one to do it. I’m right behind you – but you have to face up to this. Tell these bones to rise up and live.”

Ezekiel does it. He’s probably thinking, “this shit is crazy,” but he does it anyway, and God backs him up, and almost instantaneously there’s an army standing before him – his people’s hopes and dreams resurrected, ready to lead them back to where they were meant to be. Where only moments ago everything was dead and barren, now as far as Ezekiel can see there is promise of renewal.

To those of us who are entering this Christmas season and this new year with trepidation, feeling disheartened, as if our dreams have dried up and shriveled, God says, I will renew you. This is my promise to you; this is what Christmas means. This is why I came to walk among you: to make good on my promise of regeneration. What you think is dead and gone, I see as alive and strong. My power is with you, and when it comes time for you to say the words I give you, I’ll be right behind you. And I’ll make it happen.

 

making history November 5, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — radiofreebecky @ 7:21 am
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I wrote a letter tonight to the children I hope to have someday.

I hadn’t dared to hope that they would be reading in their history books about Barack Obama, the first African-American US president-elect – but now that I know they will be, I want them to have a firsthand account too. I want them to know what it was like to be here, the victory shouts and the tears, the prayers and the beautiful faces of the people to whom this meant everything.

I want them to be able to feel the excitement I felt, the inability to sleep, the knowledge that soon we’ll be waking up in a freer world. I want them to smell the air as the winds of changes shift.

And I want them to know why we felt this way, too. I want them to know how it was for us before, and how badly we wanted it to be different for them. I want to tell them how hard we worked – and that it was for them and their future that we did it.

 

subversive confession: October 21, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — radiofreebecky @ 5:51 am
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Am I the only liberal who thinks it’s going too far to ask candidates to make public their medical records?

I’m asking this honestly, in a spirit of inquiry. I’m truly puzzled here. I’m confused about what this McCain medical record outcry says about us, about what we do to our public figures.

I’m wondering if this might give us a clue to the much-lamented conventional wisdom that those who are truly wise enough to run this country are too wise to run for the office.

I understand where this demand is coming from. I do. We want to have an idea of what we’re getting ourselves into. We want to know just how worried we need to be about the possibility of having Sarah Six-Shooter in the Oval Office. It’s in our nature as humans to want as much qualifying and quantifying information about our options as possible, and it’s in our socialization as Americans to want it now.

I’m as terrified as the next person of what might happen here. I do think the only thing worse than having McCain in office would be having McCain die in office. And as someone who has staked out a clear side in this very partisan race, I’m generally in favor of bringing to light information that might damage the chances of my candidate’s opponent. Honestly, I want to support this new component of the initiative to let the American people know what they’re getting themselves into.

But I can’t. I can’t do it, and you know what? It’s because I’m a liberal. It’s because I’m a youthful idealist liberal and I can’t bring myself to ask that another person’s private information be made public. Even if he is running for the highest office in the country. Even if he is about to keel over. Even though I know “giving up privacy” is part of a politician’s job description. This, for me, is where the line gets drawn on those considerations.

I don’t want to know this stuff. I don’t want to know whether John McCain has ever been treated for ED or Joe Biden has been on antidepressants. That stuff is for John McCain and Joe Biden and their doctors and their families. It’s not appropriate for me to know that stuff. If I did, I know I would be repulsed – not with their maladies, but with myself, for having wanted to know such intimate information.

Do we really need this kind of information to be responsible voters? Is it truly so impossible to get the measure of a candidate without knowing things that their former bosses and maybe even their families have never known? I don’t think it has ever been necessary. Honestly, I think we’re deluding ourselves if we claim that an informed citizenry is really what this is about.

Of course it’s about playing politics, and that gets dirty even though we shouldn’t let it, but I really think this is symptomatic of a bigger issue: we are a voyeuristic society. We have lost respect for individual rights and privacies. We want to treat everyone like celebrities, to keep them under a microscope, and we think we have the right to do so.

That’s a troubling conclusion in itself, but considering the ramifications of our demands scares me even more. Yesterday, celebrities; today, politicians. We’re moving down the chain here; what’s next? The more disclosure we demand from our public figures, the closer we get to permitting a government to demand it of us.

As a private citizen whose medical history, if indiscreetly disclosed, may prevent her from gaining employment or insurance, I’ve worried about this subject before, maybe more than most, and I’m well aware of what could be in our future if we continue to make these unreasonable demands. We can’t sustain this; we’re going down a road whose ending we’re not gonna like. The right to privacy, although less discussed than more controversial rights, is precious, and we’re not only letting it slip away by our silence about things like the Homeland Security stuff, but we’re actively helping to erode it by tearing down the walls between the public and private spheres for our political candidates.

So as much as I would like to be able to say “Here guys, look at McCain’s medical records if you don’t believe me that it would be dangerous to put him in office,” I can’t bring myself to do it. I can’t support it because it’s inhumane. It’s not right, no matter what I think of the man, because I have myself to consider, and I have my morals to consider.

I would love to be proven wrong about this, truly, but I can’t see how – so if you differ from me here, let the games begin, folks.

 

women i love, part one October 9, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — radiofreebecky @ 4:07 am
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I just think Michelle Obama is the Most Awesomest super-classy woman of ever.

She never takes the political bait, always focuses on the big picture and rises above what’s going on around her. Not that I don’t love her husband as a candidate, but my dream ticket would involve Mrs. Obama herself for president.

To wit, her recent interview with Larry King, as reported in CNN:

McCain’s running mate, Gov. Sarah Palin, has lobbed some intense attacks on Barack Obama over the Ayers issue. “Our opponent is someone who sees America as imperfect enough to pal around with terrorists who targeted their own country,” Palin told a crowd of supporters this week.

King played the clip and asked Michelle Obama if that statement made her “mad.”

Obama replied, “I don’t watch it.”

“What do you make of her running for a vice president and having many kids and being a good parent and bouncing all the balls?” King asked.

“I think she provides an excellent of example of all the different roles that women can and should play,” Michelle Obama responded. “I’m a mother with kids and I’ve had a career and I’ve had to juggle. She’s doing publicly what so many women are doing on their own privately. What we’re fighting for is to make sure that all women have the choices that Sarah Palin and I have.”

So classy. Really, I just love her.

 

thank God for Anne Lamott October 1, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — radiofreebecky @ 3:47 am

Really. I think we all need to get down on our knees right now and offer heartfelt thanks to God for putting on our planet this woman who saves my sanity on a regular basis.

Anne Lamott on grief, despair, and the 2008 presidential election.

Her prescription for the heartsickness this election is causing me, and anyone else in this country who has woken up enough from under the spell of lies to have an inkling of what they’re trying to do to us, is the only thing I’ve heard since the primaries that hasn’t made me want to shrivel up and die.

Thanks, Rob, for the link.

 

defeat prop 8 September 26, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — radiofreebecky @ 3:26 am
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As far as I know, nobody reading this is a Californian, but this is something we all need to be aware of.

Prop 8 is that anti-gay marriage ballot initiative in California that threatens to undo all the hard work we’ve done in the name of love and justice.

http://link.brightcove.com/services/link/bcpid1811456723/bctid1811507313

This is not a youtube video, so I can’t embed it here, but please take the time to watch it. It’s only 32 seconds.

 

why i live at the p o September 20, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — radiofreebecky @ 3:19 pm
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I’m working on two paintings right now, which is exciting as I really don’t have time to be doing this, but I don’t think you can put a price on stress relief. If my camera were working I’d post pictures to show what stages they’re in, but it’s going through some sort of awkward adolescent phase and I haven’t found batteries that suit its fancy yet.

One of my paintings is a piece I’m doing for Lance’s mom with some letters she gave me off an old mailbox, so it’s real mixed-media with shards of glass and curls of wire and stuff. The other one right now is just acrylics and paper and is more representational. It’s kind of a metallic/rusty/coppery red and flat black, with olive green and white for accent colors. Neither is finished. I have in mind some more stuff to do on the one for Lance’s mom, but I’m going to have to ponder the other one some more. It has a bird in it.

 

 
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