Monday, October 29, 2007

Meme from Eileen from Donald

Tell about me 10, 20, 30 (and for me 40 and 50) years ago

(Note: In each picture, I'm on the right)

Ten years ago I was 52, living on my own for the first time in a number of years, recently divorced, into the second year of starting Neighbors in Ministry (an ecumenical social service organization) which was finally getting enough donations to pay me enough for an apartment.

Twenty years ago I was 42 living in Fairhope, Alabama, near the Bay of Mobile, working for Ecumenical Ministries and in the process of discernment for the Episcopal priesthood (they ultimately turned me down). My best friend was an African American preacher named Rev. Dorch who volunteered with the organization. Together we visited all (I don't think he missed any of them) of the poor people in the lower part of Baldwin County and found them furniture and food and helped repair their homes and did all sorts of wonderful things for people. Plus, he invited me to preach at his home church one Sunday - my first time as Sister Moore - and I loved it. When I was readying to go to seminary (went without diocesan backing), I gave him my Mom's piano so he could learn to play. He couldn't read, but he could quote scripture and was getting a degree from a Bible college. People read him the material and he was eloquent. We had some lively discussions. I miss him.

Thirty years ago I as 32, about to be divorced from a man who had become a drug addict and dealer, with my own company (one employee - me) Margi Moore: Print Design. My biggest clients were Weyerhauser and the C & G Railroad. I did newsletters for both companies. I also had a couple of advertising clients and did some graphic design work for companies in need of brochures in Columbus, Mississippi. And, I was struggling mightily to make ends meets. I was involved in community theatre as a techie.

Forty years ago I was 22, living in Memphis, Tennessee, and working for Pepper Sound Studios in their advertising department. I was fired that year because they found out I was gay. I was also a drunk, a liar, and cheating on my partner. But, we had a delightful little Pug named Two Cents - so named because when we brought her home I said, "I wouldn't give you Two Cents for that d--- dog." She looked like a litte rat, but I cuddled her against my breast all the way home.

Fifty years ago I was 12, and living in Bermuda; my Dad was stationed there with the US Navy. It was one of the most wonderful times of my life. I had freedom of the island. I biked from one end of the 19 square mile island to the other, attended the local school, discovered God, had my first boyfriend, joined the Teen Club, attended my first formal dance with one of the best looking boys on base.

Sixty years ago I was 2, and, although I don't remember anything except my cat (and maybe only that from pictures), I know my Dad was an alcoholic, and we lived on the farm near Marks, Mississippi. We had cows that Mom got up before dawn to milk, and chickens and a garden where I loved to pull up the little carrots to see how they were growing.

So, that's some of who I am. Thanks Eileen for the retrospective.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

A Surprise to Me

Eucharistic theology
You scored as a Calvin
You are John Calvin. You seek to be faithful to Scripture, and to harmonize difficult sayings. You believe that in the Lord's Supper those who have faith are united to Christ, who is present spiritually, yet in a real way.
Calvin 75%
Orthodox 50%
Luther 50%
Catholic 44%
Zwingli 6%
Unitarian 6%

Confession: I haven't read anything about Calvin's eucharistic theology, but, perhaps, he and I agree. In other theology lately, I have been leaning more toward the Unitarian style or even panentheism. I believe that no one has the entire key to God; we have a God of our understanding. Sometimes these understandings agree.

Monday, October 22, 2007

The vacation

We are home safe, although we didn't get here until after 1 am Monday morning. The plane from Charlotte was having mechanical troubles in Bristol, TN, and they finally combined two flights and got us to the terminal at 11:50 pm, then a long wait for luggage, which all arrived safely, and the hour drive to home.

I am having so much fun knitting. I made an entire scarf between Denver and here. And, I've made lots of fun necklaces. You won't believe the gorgeous colors and textures of yarn that I found out in Santa Fe. I went to two different shops - Oh, my. One of them looked very much like the sunset that we saw last night - deep purples shading to indigo to reds and oranges with just a touch of yellow. And, this particular yarn is mohair - thin center with much fuzz that lays together like a picture. I'm not sure that I can ever knit with it. It might just be a decoration! I also found some soy silk yarn, cotton and milk fiber, corn fiber - all so soft and such wonderful colors and variegated colors.

And, we saw a huge exhibit of pueblo pottery spanning more than a thousand years - 600 to now. Of course the more modern stuff has gotten fancier. And, one potter, Maria Martinez (a very famous one), had put together an exhibit of the materials used to make the pottery. Also in the same museum, we saw Spider Woman's Gift - a display of mostly ancient (though some modern) weaving - black, dark blue, red and white. And, the crosses that you see on native weaving are the symbol of Spider Woman - the shape of the ancient loom...not a Christian motif. My partner walked up to one case and said, "Oh, that looks just like you." A gorgeous cape of red, dark blue and white with shapes that just seemed to fit me. And, in the gift shop, we found a coral cuff bracelet that was one of the most magnificent pieces of jewelry I have ever seen. Of course, it was more than $500; so it's still there.

Then we walked over to the Folk Art Museum, where they had an exhibit of fiber art - beginning with some very ancient pieces of oriental weaving and clothing and continuing through to the native American use of corn shuck and other fibers. At the end of the exhibit, a small loom was set up with a sign asking that whoever wished should help finish the community weaving. So, I sat down and wove in my thread...a deep teal one and blended it into a dangling piece of another very light shade of green. What fun!

We had dinner with ten of the most talented women in Santa Fe - well, ten of the ones who are now in their 70s and 80s. Writers, painters, woodworker, photographer, sculptor.....what fun. And, we had a private room at the Pink Adobe where all of us were cold but we laughed so much and told wonderful stories. One woman had just returned from two weeks in Istanbul and was showing me a piece of gorgeous coral and amber jewelry. She had some surgery with anesthesia problems and couldn't always pull her sentences together in the right order, but we had a great time talking about Istanbul and Morocco, where she had spent a month. She's crazy and apparently always has been (even before the fiasco with the anesthesia); I liked her a lot and wished I could spend more time with her. Her partner is our age and a woodworker. One woman is writing and producing a musical.

Then in Denver, we had a session of "Stitch and Bitch" at our friends' house with about 10 women - both gay and straight. We sat around a did some sort of handwork - one person was a stained glass artist, and she brought her glass to edge with copper. One woman did her mending. And, one woman just came and visited. She was in the middle of a divorce and before the night was over, she had us singing a round of a song by Sweet Honey in the rock. As she got us started, she kept saying, Okay something's not right. I quit singing and kept time, then it was okay. Of course, I know I can sing, but the altitude, allergies and dryness worked their way with my nasal passages and ears. (Today I am breathing much better). I went to bed before everyone left.

We also had a smaller dinner on Saturday before we left - mostly people we knew from earlier visits. So much laughter and so many jokes. And, one woman captured my friend of almost 40 years and me singing "Spinning Wheel" from long ago. This all began because someone claimed she could make one boob rise and then another in time to a song. My partner said, "One boob up, one boob down" - that got Gin and me going with the song. So much fun. Again, we went to bed before everyone left.

I awoke early on Sunday morning and ate breakfast in the den with the wind whistling around the chimney. Then I heard distant thunder - a different sound out there than here - more like a cracking of the sky - not very loud but a tinkling punctuated crackle. A few minutes later the rain came down in a torrent. About 20 minutes later, my partner got up and came into the den and said, "It's snowing." Sure enough, by then, the ground was covered in snow! The roads were mostly clear - just a little slush when we went to the airport, but it was still snowing when we left. By the time we got on the plane, the sun was shining and the ground at the airport was drying quickly. We had a pleasant ride to Charlotte.

Then the long wait!

Here's a laughable: I asked my Denver friend to ship some things for me: my dirty clothes, so that I could bring the yarn I bought home with me. LOL Aren't I silly? But, I don't need the warm clothes here; so they might as well come in a box later. Maybe by then we'll be able to wear long pants.

It's partly cloudy here, but the ocean still sounds like the ocean, and I love it. I also saw a dolphin this morning - jumped completely out of the water!!

Oh, yeah, we also got to visit the artist who did the paintings we will hang over our mantle - both abstracts and to walk through their garden - an oasis in the middle of the desert where she has a pet squirrel who will eat out of your hand. All of us got to feed Cha Cha Ma.

I did not want to leave yesterday - the snow, the coziness of the den, the quietness of our conversations - but I am so glad to be home. The ocean does for my soul what nothing else has ever done.

More Brouhaha

The theologizing and satirizing and politicking and bickering had settled down just 10 days ago when I went on vacation. Now, California is saying that the recently-issued House of Bishops response to the Dar-es-Salaam meeting does not apply because it was not passed by General Convention. The Archbishop of Canterbury steps back either a millennium or several millennia to a position about the basic political unit of the Christian church through a personal letter to Bishop John Howe of Florida. The blogs are rampant with name-calling. The House of Bishops and Deputies listserv blithers on with dissecting the letter and the resolutions passed by California.

This church is in a bipolar state - highs and lows experienced by all sorts of divisions and sections. Perhaps a large dose of Depakote or some other anti-psychotic medication is needed to trim off the bottoms and tops of the emotional/theological spectrum. Personally, I am past caring what Akinola or the Archbishop of Canterbury does. If the Episcopal Church wants to ordain women, gays, lesbians, transsexuals, bisexuals, divorced people, dwarfs, giants, elves or others, it's okay by me. And, color is irrelevant as well. I think we need a purple haired bishop somewhere in the USA, just to balance the plethora of gold miters that seems to appear on every diocesan website.

So, we recognize the signs of a shift in the Anglican Communion and we try to have a hand in shaping the future of such a group. That may come to nothing. Meanwhile, we still have to be about the work of God...and I don't mean the wars and floods and multitudinous laws that appear in the ancient Hebrew scriptures. I mean the simple commandments: Love God. Love your neighbor. Feed my sheep. Whatever you do for the least of these, you do for me. Do justice, love mercy, walk humbly with your God (yes, I know that's not in the New Testament.)

Most church-going Episcopalians are continuing to do just that, each in her/his own way - volunteering, giving money, writing letters, guiding and leading others in the simple treasure of doing for others. But, this controversy is going to affect these Episcopalians sooner rather than later. We are going to find ourselves suddenly missing people from our pews and potlucks. We are going to find our budgets for doing the work of God greatly diminished. We are going to hear of or be involved in legal disputes over property and money. This controversy will touch each of us.

The divisions that will happen as a result are not necessarily bad things to me. The same people will continue to do the work of God in the way that they believe is appropriate - the same ways they have always done. Individual ministries and churches may not have as many volunteers or large budgets, but this may force us to ecumenicalism/ecumenism ???. We may need to work with other denominations to form large enough entities with strong enough budgets to meet the needs of the places that are willing to accept our help. Strangely, we may find ourselves someday working with those who formed different churches and with whom we disagreed wholeheartedly. All doing the work of God.

May God bless us all. May the work that we do benefit the world and the Divinity.


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Thursday, October 18, 2007

Went to the Indian museum this morning - probably not what it is really called - also to the folk art museum. Saw lots of fine weaving, pots, baskets - shopped this afternoon and got so tired walking back to the Inn.

Bought some beautiful beads, a beadspread, and a shirt. Then I made a fiber necklace to wear to dinner tonight. What fun!

Sleeping in tomorrow morning

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Short travel notes

The aspens have been gorgeous. Spent last night in Taos and drove through the mountains across the Rio Grande at a point where it's about the size of the creek by our house - maybe smaller in some places.

Weather is cooler here, and I'm enjoying that, although the dryness is playing havoc with my nose.

In Santa Fe for three nights, visiting cousin. Going to the Folk Art Museum tomorrow.

Haven't taken a single picture. Sorry folks. Just didn't stop on the way.

Walked around the plaza this afternoon and talked to people.


Thursday, October 11, 2007

Headed West

I'll be out West for nine days beginning tomorrow morning. I'll try to post some pictures from the trip on the way, but, if you don't hear from me, everything's okay.

Thanks again for all the prayers and support during the move and godson Bill's death and funeral.

Monday, October 08, 2007

Home Safe and Sane

Thanks for the continued prayers. I am home safe and sane. Bill's funeral was a good closure for the church family as well as for his extended family. The rector spoke a few words and then I gave the short bio, told a "Bill" story and a "Jenny" story and then others in the congregation gave their memories and reflections about Bill. An honor guard brought in the flag, played taps and presented the flag to Jenny, and then we buried Bill in the columbarium at the church he loved so dearly. After that we had a wonderful meal!!!

I spent a good bit of time running errands with the family (no car) and helping celebrate god-granddaughter Missy's 13th birthday on Friday.

I collapsed on Sunday and cried at length, had a quiet dinner with my hosts, and slept well. This morning I had breakfast with another friend, and then I came home (via a short stop at a thrift shop on the way).

The "Jenny" story I told was that on Thursday, she was visiting a neighbor down the street, in a community with lots of Hispanic people. Jorge came in, plopped a live chicken down in Jenny's lap and said, "This for you." Jenny called me and said, "Mom, is there some cultural thing I'm missing?" I laughed and said, "Yes, that might be a typical gesture of sympathy in a small Hispanic village." Jorge intended the chicken for dinner, I'm sure, but now they have it in a cage and the hen is named "Henny Penny". Jenny is noted for adopting stray animals. LOL

As I was leaving her house on Sunday, two young people on the porch with Missy said, "Goodbye Grandma". I turned and said, "Do I know you?" The young man hugged me and said "I'm Ashley's boyfriend." The girl hugged me and said, "I'm Ashley." I hugged back and said goodbye. Funny, when even your god children and god grand children's friends know you as Grandma!!! LOL

The trip was good and my stamina held as well as my sanity. Thanks to all of you for the prayers.

Saturday, October 06, 2007

Traveling Mercies

Thanks to all who have been keeping me in their prayers as I made this weekend journey. The drive went well. My goddaughter Jenny is handling everythign well. We went out Friday night and bought some school clothes for her two girls and some birthday dinner for the youngest who turned 13 yesterday. I slept well. My hosts and I had a great morning chat; then I met my crack-addicted godson and his wife to clean out their storage unit - and we actually had a good time then had lunch together. I visited for a few minutes in their apartment and petted their cat.

On to Jenny's again and we went out to my favorite Mexican restaurant, where she ate something with enough peppers in it to make her cry, but she loved it. We talked for a long time - just the two of us and traded Bill stories.

Then, I came back to my host family, whose daughter is home from college this weekend, and enjoyed being in the middle of that chaos - had a good nap. The eulogy is now composed in my head, and I am ready for tomorrow's service, burial and reception.

Thanks for the strength of your prayers!