Mary Beth Writes

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I received this (above) lovely photo from Susan W of an old-fashioned city lamp seen through trees at night.

It made me recall the pix Karen P sent of her son and daughter-in-law at their wedding a few years ago. They lit and sailed paper lanterns propelled by small candles which (hopefully) flickered out when they flew high enough.

Which of course, reminded me of the paper lanterns at my kids’ wedding.

I don’t walk around noticing spheres and globes, but the image is just unusual enough to bring similar images to mind.

I have been thinking about spheres since last night (more than I ever did before in my life, that’s for sure) and isn’t it interesting this particular shape is so often about celebrating;

Christmas Tree ornaments, paper globes for weddings. Balloons!

Spheres are a shape that signals relaxation: backyard paper lanterns, those strings of (so-called) Chinese lights one hangs on their camping trailer carport in the summer?

We play sports with balls.

Jewelry is strung together spheres of jewels, felt, pearls, cloisonné, wood and so on. 

The first thing a kid or potter makes with clay - is a sphere, a globe.

Snowmen and snow ladies

Apples, berries, and citrus.

In a world filled with boxes, oblongs, circles, and the Golden Mean – a sphere is unusual in it’s symmetry and perfection.

So today I am looking at photos some of you have sent, and some that I have, that are globes. Is there something about this shape that is whole, special, safe and sound? Is it because we live on one?

Who knows?

Isn’t it curious?

 

Karen P.

 “We become what we behold. We shape our tools, and thereafter our tools shape us.” ― Marshall McLuhan

“Lovers don't finally meet somewhere. They're in each other all along.” ― Mawlana Jalal-al-Din Rumi

...

Photo by me, from the morning of the day our son was married several years ago.

“There is geometry in the humming of the strings, there is music in the spacing of the spheres.” Pythagoras

...

 Karen, P. This photo is either from Hawaii or Chesterton, Indiana.

“What if it's the there
and not the here
that I long for?
The wander
and not the wait,
the magic
in the lost feet
stumbling down
the faraway street
and the way the moon
never hangs
quite the same.”
― Tyler Knott Gregson, Chasers of the Light: Poems from the Typewriter Series

...

The plywood Christmas tree Len made when the kids were little. 

"The Earth reminded us of a Christmas tree ornament hanging in the blackness of space. As we got farther and farther away it diminished in size. Finally, it shrank to the size of a marble, the most beautiful marble you can imagine. "  James Irwin, the 8th astronaut to walk on the moon.

...

 NASA

When we contemplate the whole globe as one great dewdrop, striped and dotted with continents and islands, flying through space with other stars all singing and shining together as one, the whole universe appears as an infinite storm of beauty.

John Muir

...

How to listen to my sermon of last Sunday:

You can go directly to the congregational YouTube channel, which can be found by clicking here: https://youtu.be/xpaQHNXkYi0

That will get you to the recording directly.

Be patient, the music and service start at 1 minute; 15 seconds... 

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Quarantine Diary #308 1/15/2021

My life is pretty fine, and I bet yours is, too. Warm place to live. Food to eat. Friends to share and laugh with - even if we have to do it via Zoom.

At the same time, who isn’t feeling anxiety and dread? Will the white supremacist insurrectionist knobs attack the inaugural? Will they screw up state capitols and infrastructure? One lone guy blew up Nashville a mere three weeks ago. What the hell is going on?

Quarantine Diary #307 Brain Names

Remember when there was no autism? Sure, there were kids in our schools who were weirdly able to remember stuff, or were hard to control, or whose emotions triggered at the oddest time. We generally ignored those kids. Those of us who were kind did, anyways. Others bullied. 

Remember the mopey kids in high school who knew too much about depressing art and angsty music and sometimes killed themselves?

Quarantine Diary #306 Hunched Over & Paying Attention

I am going to write some Quarantine Diary entries again. There’s a lot going on and sometimes it helps to hear a small voice as well as the big voices of journalists, pundits, networks, the other public media we follow.

I have had a small headache off and on for days. I worried that I might have contracted Covid, except dang it, I haven’t gone anywhere! And then, thinking about it, I realized I am hunched over my phone much more than usual. These mild on-again, off-again headaches are from eyestrain and weird posture.

Rime and Treason

These photos were taken by Len on Monday in that other time and world that existed before the Trump gorgons mobbed the Capitol. (Gorgons existed in Greek literature. Gorgons are the poisonous siblings with hair of living snakes. Those who beheld them face-to-face turned to stone. Or were killed by being beaten by a fire extinguisher.)

I have been trying to write about that but it is too hard. There is so much that is clear and is informative. You are reading it as much as I am. Blessed be the journalists, right? 

Quarantine Diary #292 New Year's Eve

Many of us feel as if we are in limbo until Biden takes office. I don’t think you need me to say a lot about how long and hard this year has been; we’ve been in this dentist’s chair together.

But...

Did you see how many days quarantine has lasted? 292 days.

So far.

This week I read a remarkable essay. On Natural Landscapes, Metaphorical Living, and Warlpiri Identity, by Barry Lopez. https://lithub.com/. Life is weird. The day after I read it, Mr. Lopez died.

Advent Light Post 12/24/2020

Judy Saunders. Photo of a Rose.

Lo, how a rose e'er blooming
From tender stem hath sprung,
Of Jesse's lineage coming,
As folks of old have sung.
It came a flower bright
Amid the cold of winter
When half-spent was the night.

...

Len and I were delivering presents to Chicago yesterday. Social distancing, with masks, but we did it and we saw our kids’ faces and there’s your Christmas, Ma’am.

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