Gabriel turns Two: Happy Birthday Sweet Boy

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Weekend and the Art of Being

Weekend. A time away from the work week, school week, living by someone else's agenda. A period of homebody-ness or adventure. A time of family being together, learning laughing, lying in the living room, tossing the breeze a frizbee. A time to open a new book. Breathe a few paces back from the crowd and survey life, enjoying and perhaps fine-tuning ways of being and doing so that family members and the world can flow with a flexible, effervescent step through the obstacle course created by the goals and challenges embedded in daily life.

Cleaning up. Running Errands. Taking out the trash. So many things to do that get in the way of rest and happiness. Or do they?

What if taking out the trash could be a hardy, alive experience of fingers tying the white bag, of using God's energy to lift the bag and carry it, without hurry, outside, a slight thrill, hurling the bag into its place in the dumpster. Fresh air in my nostrils and skimming breeze over my bare arm. Walking purposely, breathing gratitude back toward inside, taking in the trees, the sounds outdoors, everything living and still, the little movements of a squirrel, all of it wondrous!

Friday, October 12, 2007


Happy has tagged me in a meme - based on a book entitled unChristian: What a New Generation Really Thinks about Christianity...and Why It Matters. I haven't read the book yet, so I'm letting stuff fly out of my mouth uninformed by the book.

(btw, if you don't know what a meme is, the definition is here - i had to look it up :)

Here's the task for the meme: name 3 negative perceptions about Christians, and 1 positive thing Christians should be known for.

Neg 1. Willfil Ignorance/Naivete
Neg 2. Caring more about beliefs than people
Neg 3. Sex hung up and obsessed

Pos 1. Willing to graciously sacrifice status and life for people and love

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Avriana Moonshine

Your moonlit eyes dance under the stars
Understanding Truth
Lighting the evening sky
The first light of morning
Brilliant lights undimmed
Undaunted by pitch night
Mercy and determination
Smiling crescents when your spirit laughs
No fooling you
Your stories urgent
Avriana Kind and Wise
You know so much more than I

Friday, October 05, 2007


I live a few miles from a place rich with Jewish culture and community centers, where the traffic is noticeably light on Friday afternoons or Yom Kippur. And driving home from picking up my daughter, I notice a father and son walking close, arm in arm, something connecting them beyond genes or little league and I see the boy is wearing a yarmulke. The tradition they share seems especially poignant because it is something that, in however small a way, sets them apart with a sense of dignity and pride, and maybe also a responsibility to carry an important torch for future generations, or even perhaps, for God.

As a child, my gentile mother was the one who introduced me to Jewish holidays and rituals. My Jewish father didn't know anything about his heritage. He remembers one time asking his mom to light Hannukah candles. She did, but her inner light was no longer lit; it had been blown out with the holocaust and the blotted history of our ancestors.

Immediately I like the father and son. I wonder what it would be like to be that son, to have that kind of relationship with my father.

I would ask him all kinds of questions about Torah. And he would ask me questions back. I would debate and quote from the Talmud, and my father would tell me a great story, wiser than my line of arguing. And we would go home and break Challah bread together over candles and sweet wine.

I do not like the Jewish megaplexes that sport banners blowing to zionist winds blazing on huge corner lots in Cherry Hill. "Support Israel."

What about Shalom? Why isn't the voice of Judaism in America predominantly, "support Shalom."

When did the victimization of the Jewish people give license to oppress yet other human beings? Did not God say in the Hebrew bible, 'Remember how I heard your cries and brought you out of slavery in Egypt? So treat the alien with kindness and welcome.'

And in an era when no one literally sacrifices lambs, can it truly be justified that the holy land is a literal Jewish entitlement, even when getting it involves the victimization of palestinian families -- and a violation of Torah ethics toward the alien among us?

And what of the Christian voice? It is becoming a voice closer to fair, closer to truthful. But it is a quiet hum compared to the Christian voice on sexual topics. Do we care more about what grownups do in their bedrooms than about Palestinian babies dying because they can't get to a hospital in time? Sex is so much more titillating. Breasts. sex. gay marriage. refugees. desperate youth. wailing. walls between us. Victim, victimizer. sex.

Shalom (where is?)