Enchanted April

I’m sitting in Ken’s kitchen, wrapped in fleece, listening to NPR with an E-Normous cup of coffee and watching the snow pound down. It was so nice and mild yesterday- I was not expecting to wake up to five inches of heavy, wet snow. Ugh.

Also weird to be here without Ken- who’s probably running on Pacific Beach right this minute. I’ll turn it around somehow-Maybe Bandit and I will make snow Angels!

Here We Go…

The week of traveling begins: Butte to Bozeman to Butte to Helena to Seattle to Bozeman then back to Butte.
Lots of car time. On the upside I get to listen to a book recommended by a friend, Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran Foer. I love quirky characters- probably because I am one….

Peace, gang.

Help with ENDA

Sign to ask speaker Pelosi to move The Employment Non-Descrimination Act up on the schedule.

Click here for more info.

Easter Revenge

Also published on The Bilerico Project.

I’ve been reading Michael McCullough’s book Beyond Revenge: The Evolution of The Forgiveness Instinct.

It’s fascinating. Part of his analysis involves human instinct, sociological observation and psychological study. What conditions lead generally to forgiveness rather than revenge? Is the (sometimes) ubiquitous theme of revenge in our popular culture (literature, film, games) really an unbreakable cycle? In the long view, he maintains, violence worldwide is significantly down. Murder in Europe is 1/3-1/4 of what it was in the 16th century. It challenged me to think, and also helped create an understanding of the current (global) human condition. It’s a good  book, and I recommend it.

Still, I can’t help reflecting on the American Christianist emphasis on defense, fighting, and the pursuit of our country’s honor by acts of revenge. It’s everywhere- Rambo has become us. But, it just doesn’t play out well if you pay attention carefully to the Gospels and early Christian tradition.

“Turn the other cheek”, and “He who is without sin, cast the first stone” seem to be conveniently forgotten and “an eye for an eye” (words never spoken by Jesus or his followers in the Gospels) adopted as a Christian rallying cry. In fact, these words were a Jewish attempt at early defense and protection of their new and still-fragile culture. Most experts agree that it was not meant to be taken (literally) out of the desert into global perpetuity, but it was an early attempt to codify a type of justice- which, in itself, was God’s province. They also note  that it directly contradicts the words and spirit of Jesus. And yet, Christianists use them to justify revenge and pervert justice.

So. For those Christianists who use an “eye for an eye” as a mandate from God, one question:

What would have happened if the Apostles and disciples had stormed Pilate’s palace in anger, swords and shields clashing with guards and innocents alike to avenge their murdered leader?

You’re right. Nothing. The whole message of Jesus would have been perverted, contradicted and probably would have died out shortly thereafter. After all, credibility is everything. Jesus didn’t fight, and except for an awkward attempt by Peter to defend him, neither did the Apostles. Jesus turned the other cheek, tolerating great physical and verbal abuse, valiantly and triumphantly loving in the face of tremendous pain.

That’s why we still remember him- despite the perversions of his message by some followers, despite horrible and terrible things done in his name, we can still remember the love and dignity of this man- if we try.

That’s a role model I want. That’s what I celebrate this week.

Happy Easter, friends.

Something Beautiful

My new friend Michelle has shared with me a gorgeous story of growth and openness- in Northern Montana! Just reminded me of my own prejudices regarding rural attitudes and my own fears. Highly recommended.

You can read it here.

Home Health

Sars is home now, and very weak. It looks like we’ll be stepping up the assistance a bit- he’s not able to walk unassisted right now, and we’re not sure whether he’ll regain that strength, so there’s now a commode in the living room, and hard surfaces at a minimum in case of falling…

Maybe I’ll get a nursing degree through experience.

Thanks to all who’ve expressed encouragement and support. And gg, if you were there for someone else, I’m sure someone will be there for you.