Sunday, June 30, 2019

A lovely day

When I got to St. James in Higganum today, some people came in with umbrellas. "What are those for?" I asked.

Big rain coming, they told me. Saw it on radar, they said. Be here when church is over, I was told.

So, I went out and rolled up my car windows, that were all the way down.

I had to leave St. James during the closing hymn and drive like a crazy person, still in my alb, to Emmanuel, Killingworth. When I got there, still sunny as all get out, I left my windows up since, surely, the rain was near.

Both times, no rain.

I did hit rain--a little--driving home, but passed some places that looked like it had rained hard.

Bern told me, when I got home, there had been a 10 minute downpour.

But the rest of the day was brilliant and cooler--no air conditioning on--and no humidity to speak of.

I read an Icelandic mystery today--very stark and dark. And watched the birds in the back yard.

Lots of birds this year. At one point this afternoon their were 9 birds on the ground in our back yard, plus a bunny and a groundhog--and this is a suburb, not the country!

A lovely day, just right, perfect.

Hope yours was too.

Saturday, June 29, 2019

In spite of that....

In spite of our President at the G 20 cozying up to Putin and Saudi Arabia and hinting at a bromance at the demilitarized zone with the supreme leader of the slave state of North Korea, today was a good day.

Our next door neighbors, Mark and Naomi, gave a party for two of their girls--one who graduated from nursing school and the other from high school (on her way to the University of Alabama...a long way from New England!) at Ives Farm on Cheshire Street about 6 miles away.

Cheshire is a suburb of New Haven, Waterbury, Southington, Middletown and a couple of other larger towns.  But Cheshire is also a farm town. There are dozens of farms around. Cheshire claims to be the 'garden center of CT'. I doubt that, but there are lots of farms.

Johanna and Zoe grew from children to young women under our eyes. Great kids and two more to go--a boy 15 and a girl 12, our granddaughters' Morgan and Emma's age.

Bern and I had a long talk with Naomi's parents, who live outside Boston. Interestingly enough, her father and I went to Harvard Divinity School the same year. He later graduated from the now defunct Episcopal Divinity School in Cambridge and became a librarian at the Harvard Divinity School library. Lots of shared memories though we never met there. Cambridge from 1969 until 1971 was a place of protest and craziness most of the time. But we knew and loved the same teachers.

A very pleasant afternoon in spite of He Who Will Not Be Named in this blog being an, excuse my language, an absolute asshole half-way around the world.

Wish he'd stay there....

Friday, June 28, 2019

2nd debate

OK, just me talkng.

Kamala Harris ruled! Even though she missed a chance to talk about climate change, she took on Biden and Mayor Pete and had the greatest line of the night when lots of people were talking: "We don't want to have a food fight when people want to know how we'll put food on their table."

Sen. Barret was ok, except he seemed a tad lost.

Bernie held up as did Congressman Swallwell, Sen, Gillibrand and Gov. Inslee. But barely.

Andrew Yang said next to nothing. Former Congressman Delany said nothing that mattered and guru to the stars, Marianna Williamson looked like she was in another dimension and sounded like it too.

Joe suffered. Mayor Pete, Gillibrand, Bernie treaded water and Kamala leaped like a dolphin. Though I'll give Mayor Pete this: when asked about why South Bend's police force didn't have more Black officers, he said, "Because I failed." Not many politicians will be that humble and self-critical. I really like him for that.

Unlike the night before, this shifted the field.

Kamala raised the third most money that night than any.

She's on the rise.

Just me talkin'....

I jinxed the spider

My writing about my favorite spider wasn't a boon to the spider.

I went out of the deck this morning and the spider was gone, just a wisp of web left.

Bern said the spider had been there when she was out earlier. But gone by the time I got there.

I hope he/she is alright. I will miss my favorite spider.

Greener pastures is my desire.

Farewell, friend. (Though I doubt you thought of me in those terms.)

Thursday, June 27, 2019

First debate

In my opinion, nobody really won.

The set up was so awkward I couldn't see how anyone could have won. Too many people, too little time, too short answers.

But for me, just me I'll have you understand, Warren, Castro and Booker came out most positive.

Beto and di Blasio were terrible. Most of the others just didn't matter. Tim Ryan, for example, looked like he was caught in an alternative universe. And the woman from Hawaii. though she had that moment with Ryan where she straightened him out, has too much recent baggage about G/L/B/T/Q people to survive.

Looking forward to tonight in 15 minutes or so.

It could really matter.

"Any one but He Who Will Not be Named" is my mantra.

Time will tell who that 'any one' might be.

my favorite spider

I like spiders (Black Widows and other poisonous ones, not as much. But I do like spiders.

I love the complexity of their webs and how they eat annoying insects like flies and their eight-leg-ness. (They remind me of the Ogden Nash poem about the caterpillar 'wondering how to run'. I have enough problems on two legs, what would I do with eight?)

My favorite spider this year has built the most endangered web in spider history.

It connects to three things: a deck chair, our grill and the deck trashcan--that can be moved at any time. The only stable place the web is connected is to the side of our house.

Bern thinks the spider chose the place because there are flies around the trashcan since we dump stuff from the grill in there.

Every time I open the trashcan, the spider races around like a crazy spider.

But I admire the spider's bravery so much that I didn't remove the trash bag this week to be picked up. It wasn't nearly full anyway. But I''m already dreading next Tuesday when I'll have to open the trashcan's lid completely to get the bag out.

I do admire the audacity and minor craziness of this spider.

Audacity and minor craziness are things I'd admire just as I admire this favorite spider of mine.

Wednesday, June 26, 2019

human kindness

It goes a long way--human kindness does.

Yesterday on my day of travel hell, I was in Grand Central trying to figure out how to buy a Metro ticket from a machine.

A young man must have seen my confusion and came over and said, "I have unlimited, I'll get you through the turnstile." He swiped his card and I was in the subway.

I get a little teary, even today, remembering that.

In the megalopolis that is New York City, a young man saw an elderly, confused man and was kind.

In these days of division and polarization and lack of kindness, that act meant the world to me.

Each of us needs to find time and opportunity to be simply kind to other human beings. No matter what.

Try it out. Bring kindness into this torn and fractured world.

It will matter, really.....

Day from hell...and heaven...

Yesterday was one of the longest days of my life. I left my home at 5 a.m. and was back at 10:30 p.m.

I went to NYC, to a part of Fordham University to be one of six people leading a Mastery Foundation workshop on Forgiveness.

I've been a part of the Mastery Foundation for 30 years, ever since I found my priesthood transformed and made new in a Making a Difference Workshop--the first undertaking of the foundation. So, I'd do almost anything for Mastery. I'm a senior leader of the MAD workshop and have been on the board, though I seldom go to meetings since they are usually in California, where the Executive Director lives.

The 'hell' of yesterday was the travel.

I took a 5:47 train from New Haven, arrived at Grand Central, took the shuttle to 42n't Street, took the 1 train uptown to 60th Street, walked to, I think, 62nd St., turned left and walked three blocks. I was there before 9 a.m., about the time I would be waking up at home.

I left Fordham at 6 or so, got horribly lost in the subway system--being given wrong directions aain and again--and didn't get to Grand Central, soaked in sweat from the subway's heat and humidity and caught a 7:18 overly air conditioned train to New Haven. There by 9:20 or so, I thought I was safely done and in my car. It was so foggy that It took me over half an hour to drive home at 40 mph--a trip that usually takes under 20 minutes. I was home at  about 10 p.m.

That was the hell of the day. I walked more that day than I have for years.

The heaven was the workshop, and all the people from Mastery who were there. I adore those people--Jim and Dan and Maggie and Ann and Allan and Terry and Kate and Michael and Bertram and Bill--they have been a part of my transformed life.

And the workshop--a Pilot Workshop on Forgiveness has been years in the design. And most all the people in the workshop had done other Mastery work and were there to help create the design and transform it to be used with people who counsel other people to give them a transformation of 'forgiveness'.

Amazing people, amazing and transformative stuff.

Heaven's part of the day.

But 5 a.m. until 10 p.m. and too zoned out to sleep for another two hours and having eaten: a chicken sandwich, a candy bar, a smoothie, a coffee, a donut and lots of water the whole 17 hours--well, it was 'hell'.

But the people, the workshop, the connections, the power of forgiveness--pure 'heaven'.

Quite a day, all told.

The Saga


My only link to write on this blog was stored in Waterfox. I'd click on Waterfox and there at the top of the page was a link to Amazon, which I never use, and the link to UTCOT. I'd click on that link and up would come the page just before this one where I'm writing. That first page has all the  2400+ blogs I've written in order of most recent to the very first. On that page I can see how many views each blog posting has had and check statistics of total view for the last week, month and all time and read any comments that have been posted. I can also view a world map of where views are coming from and what kind of  platforms are accessing the blog. Amazing, really!

Then on June 4th or 5th, I click on Waterfox and get a notice that an update is available. Without thinking (which is a modus operandi of mine {which according to spell check isn't correct but they offer no options so I think spell check doesn't know Latin or I'm just smarter than spell check!}) I click 'yes' and  when the download is over, I go to Waterfox and my link to the blog ISN'T THERE!!!!

And I have no idea what to do....


My friend, John. He's my I.T. guy and always has been. He spent hours and hours on my computer trying to figure out how to get the link back and then days wracking his mind about it.

My friend, Deb. She showed me how to restore my computer to 'before' the Waterfox download. I did it and in the best of all possible worlds, it would have, but all that happened was that the new Waterfox link was at the bottom of my screen and the old Waterfox link was up with other links on my screen and neither would open.

My friend, Mike, down in that little part of Virginia that is between Virginia and North Carolina and close to Tennessee (which I didn't know I could spell!) We went to the same high school, a year apart, and were apartment mates in college for a year and we've stayed in touch and he's a wondrous, lovely, crazy, deeply committed guy who has read my blog for years. He spent days, like John, wracking his brain, about how to fix it, calling me numerous times and asking questions....

All my friends (Ann, Nancy, Mike, Bea, and many others) who contacted me in different ways to make sure I was in the land of the living and to find out why there was no blog since June 3 about Ascension Day. Thank you for reading and thank you for your concern.


There is a little shop in a four shop mall on Main Street called "transform: technology services and repair" that I hadn't ever noticed though it's in easy walking distance from our house. Bern saw it and suggested going to them. So, last Friday I went down to talk to one of them, explained as best I could, my dilemma. He thought they could handle it and told me they were closed on Saturday. So I took my computer in on Monday afternoon.

The shop is run by a 30-something black guy and the two workers are a geeky white guy, maybe 20, and a brown skinned guy, also in his early 20's, if that, who I assumed is Hispanic. Just the kind of place I trust explicitly.

I went by this morning and it was done. The description on the receipt of what they had done was: "Quick fix--Quick Repair--Waterfox reinstall". They charged me $29--$30.84 after taxes. I thanked them profusely, but not the way I should have because part of me didn't believe it though they told me I would find my link, as before, on Waterfox, just as it was before--but I had to get home and be sure.

Bern and I reattached all the stuff that needed reattached--she is much more tech savvy  than I am (all I truly know about my computer is how to type, send emails and print documents!).  Then with hands shaking so  much with nerves I had to do my password with one finger--though I've been a touch typist since high school--I turned it on and.....


I realized I drew the first truly deep and free breath in over two week.

All was right and true in my life.

(I've told several people, since "the Saga of the Blog" that before June 4th, I would often sigh and think--I need to write a blog but I have nothing to say. From time to time, it was a burden. But in the last two weeks I've had more anxiety than I've had in the last 5 years total, not being able to write this for someone, anyone, to read. I can't tell you how alive and thankful and energized I am to be back under the castor oil tree pondering life. Prayers of thanks for the wondrous guys at 'transform'--use them if you're near Cheshire. Prayers of thanks for Bern for telling me to go there. And prayers of thanks for all of you that will someday read this--you make my writing mean a great deal, I love you.

Two weeks off might lose a lot of readers in this era of short attention spans and immediate gratification--so, I'd ask you, if you will, to suggest to friends who might be interested in my 'ponderings' to come read. And I thank you for that.


Here I am, writing on my blog for the first time since June 3!

Later today I'll write down the whole saga and thank the heroes and boo the villain (only one--ME!)

But for now, I just want to email folks who have been asking and make sure this posts.

Back soon....

Sunday, June 2, 2019


Last Thursday was the Feast of the Ascension. I talked about it in my sermon today.

The world view of the 1st century is difficult for us to understand. Heaven was 'up there', the flat earth was 'down here' and hell was 'down there.'  A three tiered universe.

We know better. 'Up there' is the vast expanse of interstellar space. We live on a round planet circling the sun. And 'down there' is hot lava at the center of the earth and dirt and rock and water on the way down.

But I do think 'ascension' has something to teach us.

We can 'rise above' the madness and pain and confusion of the world.

And our ascension depends on our love.

Fear is the great divider--what is at work in our world today, pitting people against people who are 'different'.

Love is the great unite-er, letting us recognize that 'the other' is just like us. That all people are children of God no matter what their race or religion or place of origin.

We are all One.

We need to rise above the fray and know that and live that out.

Only that love--from God to us to others--will bring sanity and peace and unity.

Love, beloved.


Just that. Nothing else.

Ascend with me.....

Saturday, June 1, 2019


Oh, so the reason, we were told, for adding a Citizenship question to the 2020 census was to make sure voters of color were accurately counted.

That's what the administration has argued in court.

Now, recently deceased Thomas Hoefeller, Republican expert on gerrymandering's hard drive landed in the hands of his estranged daughter and she found a document that said, unequivocally, that a citizenship question would work to the advantage of Republican lawmakers by reducing answers from minority groups!

The President's lawyer's said that they had no knowledge of Hoefeller's work, but lawyers opposing the question pointed out that a written document sent to the Supreme Court directly quoted Hoefeller's recommendation in his writings of how to best phrase the desire for the citizenship question to make it palatable to the courts!

The GOP telling a lie--I'm aghast!

And being very satirical.

Half of what we hear from the Republicans all over these days (like 'loving life' while taking away women's rights and not funding poverty and education projects for those who get born) and more than half of what The President WWNBNed says are lies.

I'm not shocked at all. Something is rotten, not in Denmark, but in the Republican Party.

And rot must be rooted out.

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About Me

some ponderings by an aging white man who is an Episcopal priest in Connecticut. Now retired but still working and still wondering what it all means...all of it.