• Tag Archives Groveland
  • Saturday

    Imbolc                                   Woodpecker Moon

    Did my workout last night so I have Saturday and Sunday free.  Feels very luxurious.  This short burst workout economizes time while maximizing result.  What a deal.

    We had our business meeting.  Still tinkering with the budget.  We’ve got the large outline and the big expenses well in hand, now we’re looking at other areas where we spend less per transaction, where the patterns are not yet obvious.  Kate’s learning Excel and grumbling all the way about it, but I can tell she’s proud of her progress.

    Kate made pumpernickel bread.  It has molasses, espresso and chocolate among other things.  Who knew?  A moist tasty bread.

    I’m feeling good about the start on reimagining.  I want to get a little looser, more free-form with the words and their implications.  Over time certain things will begin to clump together.  Right now, this writing aims toward a presentation on April 1st at Groveland UU.  It is also the first essay of maybe 10-12 that will constitute Reimagining.  At least as I imagine it now.  Ha, ha.

    Off to the grocery store.  Using that former exercise time for the common good.


  • Good Job, Leslie

    Lughnasa                                              Waxing Back to School Moon

    Leslie did a great job this morning.  A creative approach with a candle passed among Grovelanders asking them first to identify a point where they performed ministry, then a time when they were hurt by ministry and finally a time when they were transformed by ministry.  There were tears, laughter, revelation and vulnerability.  Hats off to Leslie.

    The vikings.  They may be saving me some time on Sundays.

  • Not Wild. Not Yet.

    Imbolc                                    New Moon (Wild)

    With the weather calm, blue skies and no wind, welcoming the Wild Moon seems a bit off point.  As February ends, though, and we head into March the character of the Wild Moon will show up.  Soon, the push and pull between winter’s resistance and spring’s temperate insistence will create storms as we oscillate back and forth until the sun’s rising angle makes spring inevitable.  The next  six weeks are a real meteorological festival when our latitudes entertain a host of weather’s finest celebrities:  sudden snow fall, driving rain, howling winds, sleet, ice and bursts of warmth.  Get ready to be entertained.  It will be, well, wild.

    This morning the grocery store was full of shoppers with some aspect of Valentine’s day on their mind.  They bought candy, two for one ribeyes and items for their honey’s favorite meal.  As I checked out the clerk, a young woman with orange/red hair asked me if I had special plans for Valentines.  Yes, I told her, it’s my birthday and my wife and I will go out to eat.  What about you? I asked.  Oh, she said, I work until 2:00, then hanging out with friends I guess.  It’s a day for people that love each other to show that.  She  sounded a bit sad.

    When I got back there were boxes inside from the mail, one from Singapore and two from Bonaire, Georgia.  One came yesterday from Denver.  Fun.

    I’m dickering with Groveland UU to become a field instructor for an intern they want to hire.  It’s an old problem for me.  They don’t have much money, but the time commitment involves travel as well as an hour plus with the intern, once a week for nine months.  A lot of time for me.  Yet, mentoring is, I believe, an important part of our role as we get older, so I want to do it.

  • Deeply Skeptical of Industrializaton and Technology

    42  bar falls 30.10 3mph WNW dewpoint 22 Spring

                 Last quarter Moon of Growing

    Into St. Paul today.  Preached (sort 0f) at Groveland.  I say sort of because the presentation consisted of me telling jokes about Unitarian-Universalists and the group discussing their meaning as it relates to UU identity.  This comes from a technique dredged up from those long ago years in anthropology.  Joking behavior, according to anthropologists, helps determine group boundaries.  And so it did.

    The discussion that ensued was better than I could have hoped.  It was heartfelt, honest, sometimes bordering on painful.  The latter emerged during a discussion of UU discomfort with faith, with the act of vulnerability.  This leaves UU’s, as the discussion went, with a blank spot when confronted with grief, crisis. 

    On the way home I stopped at Cheapo on Snelling and loaded up on mindless action films, the kind I prefer to watch when I’m working out. 

    During lunch I finished Princess Mononoke again.  It is a wonderful, complex and beautiful work that gives pause.  It would be perfect to show at the same as Lord of the Rings because both Tolkein and Mizasashi are deeply skeptical of industrialization and technology, yet also unflinching in representing the contradictions and trade-offs as not black or white.  Tolkein seems more either/or than Mizasashi, so I prefer Mizasashi’s take on thing.

  • Double Checking Enlightenment

    38  bar falls 30.06 5mph NNE dewpoint 9 Spring

                Waning Gibbous Moon of Winds

    a clip from the Groveland e-wire 

    E-Wire, Vol. 13, March 27, 2008    Last Sunday’s Service    Groveland UU:  St. Paul 

    It’s always a treat to hear our old friend, the Rev. Charles Ellis. Last Sunday, Charlie offered a wide-ranging, in-depth presentation on transcendentalism.

    While focusing on Emerson, Charlie interwove threads from Des Cartes, Kant, Freud, Jung, Thoreau, Channing, Parker, and other intellectual and spiritual leaders who have influenced Unitarian-Universalism.

    The discussion that followed touched on important topics of interest such as the interplay between individualism and community.

    We’re grateful to Charlie for deepening our understanding of both transcendentalism and our UU heritage.

    Continue to knock items off my list.  The generator folks will come out on Tuesday at 10:00 AM to give us a bid on a natural gas generator.  Finalized information for the Headwater’s UU bulletin.  Reviewed my tour outline for the two Weber public tours I have tomorrow.  I also read the relevant chapters in the Tale of Genji, the one’s that relate to the two screen painting that I will use.  In addition I double-checked on the meaning of enlightenment and found that I had it right after all.  Never hurts to look one more time.

    Tonight I’m going into the Walker for a movie, “The Mourning.”  I made a pledge to myself a year ago that I would get to more of the Walker events since that’s a place where they shine.  Got tickets to 4 movies this month and April. It’s a start.

  • The Movement Attacks the Establishment

    27  bar rises 30.38  3mph WNW dewpoint 24  Spring

                   Full Moon of Winds 

    “If a man doesn’t delight in himself and the force in him and feel that he and it are wonders, how is all life to become important to him?” – Sherwood Anderson  (women, too.)

    A good quote for an Easter humanist.  This morning I go into Groveland UU (Unitarian-Universalist) where the conversation will focus either on transcendentalism or on my presentation, Thinking Like a Transcendentalist.  I say either because I’m going to give them a choice, listen to my prepared presentation or have a free form conversation about transcendentalism.

    Transcendentalism’s connection to UU history tore at the fabric of the Unitarian break with Christianity when it emerged.  Unitarian and Universalist problems with Christianity came from the Enlightenment push of reason against the Trinity on the one hand and Calvinist notions of original sin on the other.  This conflict resulted first in the fracture of New England Congregational churches into two camps, one orthodox Christian, the other newly Unitarian.  Around the same time Universalist churches popped up here and there with a message of universal salvation to counter the notion of total depravity offered by staunch Reformed church dogma.

    The transcendentalists were of the opinion that neither the U’s nor the U’s had gone far enough in their challenge to the prevailing religious and commercial establishment.   Terming this solid front of New England rectitude, the Establishment, was an Emersonian pun, in itself an affront to the (false) notion of permanence they claimed.  Against the establishment, Emerson and his merry band of pranksters, whom he called the Transcendentalist Movement, threw charge after charge.  

    Theodore Parker, abolitionist and minister of the 23rd Street Unitarian meeting, championed the new higher criticism of the bible just beginning to cross the Atlantic from its birthplace in Germany.  This criticism placed holy scripture under the light of reasoned analysis checking translation against ancient texts, investigating interpolations of meaning from biased authors, making clear the various contradictions and conundrums the texts created rather than “harmonizing” them as was the practice of the time.

    Got back from this around 1:30 PM.  They chose the conversation about Transcendentalism.  I gave an extemporaneous capsule of the intellectual history behind transcendentalism, its history and affect on the Unitarian church and its longer lasting affect on American philosophy (pragmatism) and American literature during which we discussed the impact of Emerson, Thoreau, Thedore Parker, Margaret Fuller and Orestes Brownson.

    Whitman and Emily Dickinson were our first poets, though far from the last, to observe Emerson’s idea that a poems content should determine its meter and that matter observed in daily life was appropriate for that content.  You can even see the transcendentalist affect in some one as far away from metaphysics as Hemingway, whose stark, realistic prose works hard to recreate the lived experience. 

    A primary aim of the Transcendentalists was to create and stimulate an American as opposed to a European literature and scholarship.  They succeeded with stunning results.