Life After…Go figure

A Narrative of Life Outside The Box

(draft) of our Circle opening/cast at UU Winter Solstice Ritual 2013

East

Rising Winds, Breath of Life…element of the east, Air, please bless us all. Carry our words from soul to soul, and with them our love and thanksgiving. Bring us through this, the longest night, and every night to greet the dawn. Caress the sunrise at your gates and all those living as we greet the light. We know you, we love you. We greet you and give you thanks for all your graces.

 

South

Great and radiant Fire, element of the south, please bless us all. Please share in our love and thanksgiving. The fire in the heart of stars has cast light from them to us throughout the night sky. The fire of our immortal spirits, all of us, of each and every living creature of this planet, burns together. As we light our candles and chalices, light our darkness, now and always. We know you, we love you. We greet you and give you thanks for all your graces.

 

West

Oh living rivers and oceans, element of the west, Water, please bless us all. Please bear our love and thanksgiving through your currents and tides. Water of the skies, waters of swamp and stream and lake and bay, water carried in their air as mists, water of life be ever a wellspring of healing and health in our hearts and Spirits. We know you, we love you. We greet you and give you thanks for all your graces.

 

North

Home to the winter’s power, element of the north, Earth, we are breathing with you. As our love and thanksgiving echoes in our hearts let it always take root in your fields. Oh Giants, who form the cathedral of great and sleeping trees around our church and along the breast of this living continent, and ancestors who lie sleeping in your roots, and orchards, mountains, glacier rocks and flat plains…let us strive to live in harmony with you and bless us always. We know you, we love you. We greet you and give you thanks for all your graces.

 

Centre/Laura:

Our circle is cast through the graces of air fire water and earth. Father Wolf, great lord, my most beloved guide, guardian and my honored father: please walk the edges of our worship, both to give ear to our loving thanks and to protect our service and people in mind and body and spirit. No harm will enter, or let footstep fall through your grace and through the force of our love for one another. Blessed be.

 

CLOSING

North: We give you thanks, Element of the Earth and bid you good night.

West: We give you thanks, Element of the Waters, and bid you good night

South: We give you thanks, Element of the South, and bid you good night

East: We give you thanks, Element of the East and bid you good night.

 

Centre/Laura Father Wolf, I give you thanks on all our behalf and bid you goodnight. In love, in faith and in Thanksgiving. Blessed be.

Jesus and Poop

So recently I commented on a friend’s Facebook post about our Illustrious Congress, particularly Michelle Bachman: “Jesus would respond to people who say things like that by administering an enema.”

My friend and I had a very forthright discussion about it and their reasons for asking me to take the comment down were valid and because this person remains a respected mentor and friend, even if their stance had NOT been valid, ‘it’s on my page I do not like it it is going down’ was all they ever would have needed to say.

The whole thing, however, got me thinking. Snark, after all, is my life. I depend on it to keep my blood pressure low, plant subversive ideas into the public consciousness, and get attention –what, reader, you think I would not admit it? So had I just indulged in the most shocking insult in my (no caffeine 8am) arsenal or did I really think Jesus Christ would administer an enema to many, MANY Christians I have come across personally or who regale us with their  vapid (and blatantly un-Christian) vacuous rants in certain public venues. And I realized that yes, indeed, I had not been going for the shock value as much as it may have appeared.

The fact is, I’ve grown up in a world populated by doctors. By stories of ancient Roman and Egyptian medicine, by stories from or set in the pre-Christian and medieval world, where gargoyles and images of explicit Last Judgement agonies are carved on Cathedral facades–to scale no less, and renaissance Crucifixions that make modern slasher movies look bland. And so I’m used to people who, while I have and never will meet them, looked at the world in a very different way–including their approaches to medicine. And while I will freely admit to not having time to research this specifically, I bet Jesus would give Michelle Bachman and those who follow her platform an enema. Absolutely!

First of all, why? Better theological minds than I have demonstrated extensively, exhaustively, that most of the vitriol, most of the ideas about ‘the war on Christianity,’ homophobia, racism, economic freebasing etc etc that right-wing ‘Christians’ and ‘Christian Groups’ claim that they embrace as followers of Christ is…groundless. Of course there are many other words I could apply  besides merely ‘groundless’ but that’s obvious enough. So yes, I believe that Jesus Christ, the historical man who may indeed have been the son of a God (pagans have a lot less problems with the idea of Christ than many Christians ever want to admit) would have taken one look at a huge percentage of the Christian population of 2013 and said “Dad…these people are nuttier than a sack-full of cats. We need to get them to a doctor.” (Of course I have projected this statement as an authentic translation of the Aramaic/Coine Greek that Jesus used word for word. Snort.)

So…compassionate medical care for the mentally ill….Jesus, as a young educated Jew of the early Roman Empire might well have grown up believing in the importance of bowel health. Roman medicine was advanced, but the Mediterranean world seems to have had a decent amount of focus on keeping the internal workings of the body healthy. Concluding that people who spouted such vitriol in public might be suffering from painful and traumatic constipation may not have been such a great leap.

Had Jesus been alive during the era where Christianity emerged as the dominant religion of Europe, it is highly probable that he would believe an enema was the most humane and effective method of helping Michelle Bachman, the Romneys, the Rush Limbaughs, the massively uneducated and bigoted congressmen and senators of the world to balance their ‘humors’, cooling the irritation of their bodies that was leading to their insanity.

So while I enjoy mocking, lambasting, and doing my best to rake the realm of Conservative Idiocy over the coals, I think I might really have been onto something with the original idea. I think Jesus would have kindly, politely taken certain fanatics aside and escorted them to a physician and given them support and encouragement in pursuing the proscribed treatment.

The next question I have is: Where do we draw the line between respect of Christ and embracing his relationship with the physical world–which included poop?

In which I am not just Aghast but, I suspect Der Flabberghast

Well, I have not kept up with this blog. Real life has not been busy so much as it has been…draining. The sort of thing I’m much more interested in escaping than commenting on. And, on the platform of honesty…yeah. I discovered The Great Pit of rationalizing and Waste of Time….Tumblr.

 

I’ve been at my field ed site, serving our version of a ‘mini’ internship, since October. Rural Massachusetts is a joy. The site is a joy. I love our community and our minister is an intelligent, well educated, sincere and  lovely woman who believes in the importance of profanity almost as much as I do.

 

And these are things I have been thinking about which may or may not become posts:

Jesus and Poop

My old Neighborhood

Grandstanding

The Protestant Druid

A Christian Education (?)

Aaaaaand I turned around

I turned around and BEHOLD! I saw a pale rider on a white bicycle. And his neon-vomit-inducing bike trunks stretched over his Ken Doll ass. And he did ride in the middle of my lane on a sharp curve where I could not pass him. And later he did return to his Cycling Cohorts and regale them with how he had Put another Ignorant Car Driver in their Proper Place. And there was much rejoicing in their halls at this triumph for environmentally safe travel and healthy exercise. And then they did drive home from the club in their polished Lexus SUV’s.

 

And Meanwhile, LO! I perceived through a great and distracted haze that yes, the heat was gone and yes Mabon and the Equinox had passed and that yes, somehow, the year was at its final turn to Samhain. And I did nearly run over the pale cyclist who had appeared as if from no-where.

The Aspiring Minister is more Poor than a Pore…

The Aspiring Minister is more Poor than a Pore…

Obnoxious Monikers–with Social Commentary

So this happened. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/07/01/diplomat-breastfeeding-_n_3529826.html?utm_hp_ref=fb&src=sp&comm_ref=false

 

Police and restaurant customers in New York decided that a diplomat’s wife was using the pretense of breastfeeding her child to conduct a plot of terror and violence….

 

The  Horde of Sub-functioning Trolls responsible for ruining a young family’s day out and the reputation of their entire community inspired me to think of the many inanities that men and society–and therefore, dirty little truth, other women occasionally–force upon women. You know. Us? Just us Girls? Women? Humans who make up whatever enormous percentage of the population that we do….

Clearly we are a problem. I mean, first of all there’s all that nonsense and ‘screaming’ I believe Rick Perry calls it about our rights.  Then there’s the way we complain endlessly about inequality.

then…well, then, boys and enablers it gets truly intimidating because a woman feeds her baby in public and:

BEHOLD she wields the Boobs of Death

the Gladiatorial Gazungas

the Mammaries of  Mordor

the Twin Glands of Terror and Fury

the Bosom of All Things Dark and Powerful…

Breastageddon

The horror…the Horror…

she’ll put everybody’s eye out with her Nefarious Nipples

confound them with her Audacious Anatomy

SCAR THEM FOR LIFE at the sight of…

I wanted to end with a shark-like and ferocious comment about this small incident mirroring the demonic ridiculosity of the opposition around the world to women’s freedom–or to common sense. But really, I just wanted a chance to see how sarcastic I could be about an event that, let’s be fair, deserves all the sarcasm it can absorb, only I wanted to not say ‘t–s.’*

 

*Steve–why didn’t you want to say “t–s”?

Me–because the mockery this called for needed to be better than t–s.

Steve–but those were my favorite. T–s are amazing!

Me–yes, Sweetheart. That’s why. I had to aim for better-than-my-husband’s-favorite if I was gonna try taking this on.

Steve–Well then. Goodnight Honey. Miss you.

Me–Miss you too, Sweetheart. Have fun in Avalon till I get there. **

 

**Yes I have conversations with my husband, who is dead. They take place silently in my heart. I believe it’s him. And sometimes they end up in my blog. that is all.

Nuns, Book Review and Troubling (For the Geek) Questions…

I wrote this as an assignment to review a book on one topic or person outstanding in the history of Christianity in Europe. Hildegard of Bingen fan that I am I ran with an early but supposedly definitive academic biography: Hildegard of Bingen, 1098-1179: A Visionary Life. (Sabina Flanagan, 1984). And while I was working on this, my usual gift for happening upon the staggeringly obvious did not disappoint; I realized that the book is a sullenly abysmal chore in terms of narrative and writing quality..Still, this work from the academic stage twenty years past may be a good opening point for some exploration of an ever-increasing trend: flat, unengaging work that does nothing to make a given subject more accessible beyond the students or PhD’s reading the work for research and even then, creates a spike in the ant-acid budget of scholars. 

So let’s look at an example of this unsightly phenomenon.

Sabina Flanagan wrote her Doctoral dissertation on Hildegard of Bingen’s prophetic works and later published Hildegard of Bingen, 1098-1179: A Visionary Life in 1984. Flanagan attempts, in this short biography, to provide an introduction to the outline of Hildegard’s life and some exploration of her written works, both their wide ranging subject matter and their intellectual scope. Flanagan’s principal argument, that Hildegard’s works outpaced many male contemporary scholars of her era in diversity of topics and in intelligence and aesthetic beauty, moves consistently through the book.

One passage of Hildegard that I have especially valued comes in a later chapter where Flanagan summarizes the Abbess’ body of work:

Her interests were intellectual rather than mystical.…as well as understanding, Hildegard wanted to change the world: in a general sense, for man’s salvation in her writings, and more particularly, by recommending certain attitudes and positions. To these ends, the migraine experience was a wonderfully adaptable instrument, as was Hildegarde herself  (209).

Migraine headaches and accompanying illnesses are pernicious, cross-cultural, era and continent-spanning complications. Hildegard was already overcoming the difference in the education she had gained and that of the male scholars whose respect she had won. She had already moved from a future of permanent sequestration with her mentor Jutta to the subtle but unavoidable politics of establishing her rule as an Abbess. And, as Flanagan relates, Hildegard also faced the challenge of a frequently occurring condition that, when compared to the modern detailed ‘check-list’ of Migraine symptoms, fits their pattern quite efficaciously (201). A medical diagnoses at more than eight centuries would be ridiculous; and to Flanagan’s further good grace, she makes no attempt to cast a possibility as a certainty.

As a trained and experienced museum educator I will always have a very powerful desire to see history presented and taken in as an interesting, engaging and thoughtful experience. I want people to be aware of the past, and I want women  in my denomination to be aware of spiritual leadership that contributed to one of the sources of our faith. Hildegard is a tremendously important example of such leadership.  In order to understand how Hildegard experienced her visions and understood them we in turn, need to gather what we can about medical and metaphysical factors—even as some of Hildegard’s writings do as she details what she saw, what she experienced the noticeable connection or parallels between her headache-related sickness and her visions.

I especially appreciated the lack of bias or ‘mission’ in Flanagan’s narrative arguments—she gives no indication of any great drive to discredit or canonize Hildegard’s visions. Although I have unreserved opinions about academic style, when we scholars can remember our training and abandon bias it is a very fine thing. Perhaps I value this so much because I see no need to ‘debunk’ her mystical visions or to prove that they were entirely powered from the realm of the feminine spiritual (a popular catch phrase I still run into in spirituality, history and biography sections in the bookstore). Still the unbiased presentation of the interaction between migraine and spiritual vision in this work is both interesting and informative.

This book is indicative of a problem that existed at the time of writing in 1984 that is alive and well in 2013. While I am indeed engaging in mighty presumption from my soapbox on writing quality among academics, I will presume onward and upwards. I have found the book to be a horrible read. Flanagan, it could be argued for charity’s sake, may have assumed that someone else would surely go ahead and put together a biography of Hildegard of Bingen that would be engaging, provide a more chronologically consistent narrative of her life as well as her career, and, in general, prove informative for someone at least one remove but preferably two or three from the halls of academia. Because, after all, if Hildegard was important enough to write a dissertation on, Flanagan must have cared…?Very well. Charity.  Speaking as an avid reader, a tutor and an educator I know that I would have been very happy if Flanagan had taken the works she analyzed, quoted or translated and put them in one section, then devoted a front section to Hildegard’s life with considerably more on the geography, cultural history and even the geopolitical climate of her region than she did in this 1984 edition.

I’d like to say a brief word about biography, particularly that of a subject in the more distant past. I am actually very aware that considerable challenge and pitfall can await the intrepid scholar who seeks to make their work engaging and detailed.—In the UK, in 2000, I happened upon essays shellacking Paul Murray Kendall’s biography of Richard III—a book hailed as a humanizing, dramatic and thrilling masterpiece of compassionate storytelling. Unfortunately, it seemed that while Kendall had done right by the poor king in pointing out that Richard was the obvious worst suspect in the murder of his nephews, he had simply spun details of crucial battles in the wars of the roses out of not terribly much. (The British Academics used less complimentary words needless to say. Quite a few of them. Rather like coyotes tracking sick deer)*. I contrast that experience with the (possibly coincidental; you know, like the coincidence that Superman and Clark Kent are never together) tendency of professors at my Northern Grad department in history to react with contempt in the face of every well-written monograph , even if it’s just proportional contempt beside their rhapsodic love of brilliant scholars–who cannot write their way out of a wet paper bag. With a chain saw. And ninja stars.

The upshot of this digression is that I have seen the void that well researched but badly written biography creates. I have also seen an equal vacuum created by well written and badly researched work! Both are problematic.

I am left wanting to find some more engaging and accessible sources on the history of spiritual leaders among women in the history of European Christianity. I’m a geek, after all. Learning cool stuff and finding ways to share it with others is hardwired to my personal Geekdom, where I let my Geek flag fly high from the ranks of the humanities, history, literature, folklore and such. So part of my ministry, I suspect, will always include trying to make the past more relevant or interesting—perhaps even inspiring—for anyone whose spiritual care I’m honored with. I will try to keep and maintain a list of updated books on a variety of topics in this vein and Hildegard, long a personal hero of mine, will always be on it. Speaking from this bias, I think every minister should have a minimum of two books on Hildegarde specifically and several on women who were leaders during the first thousand or so years of Christianity’s evolution. I simply don’t see this book as a useful example of one of them.

That concludes my review and raises the question: why aren’t there more books out there that are well researched, and well written and well received for people who are not in graduate study seminars?

 

*I am unable to recall essay titles or names; hopefully I am at least scraping the bottom of citation protocols by emphasizing that anything about Kendal or the British Academic Community’s response to him belongs to those brilliant lovely people, etc…

Boston

I want to write more about the bombings and their aftermath.

I can’t.

Whether it should upset me as much as it has or should not, whether I can justify my reaction or I cannot, what has happened to the city I grew up in will not go away.

Steve, a presence in the eye of mind and soul and heart as I go to light a candle for yet another dead child, for yet more innocent victims saying “Don’t worry. I’m going to help take care of them,”

just as I felt it after Newtown is enough to drown out all entire world around me even if only for a few breaths that I don’t realize I’m taking.

And other things, other wisps and voices and stories and truths

Women, Hoodoos, Deception and Hope

 

 

(originally turned in as a paper at my theological school, entitled: Facilitator and Trickster; A Woman of the Biblical Badlands)

 

The idea of ‘badlands’ or ‘waste’ is a concept that transcends culture and geography. Although a ‘badland’ region may be called a different name within its resident peoples and carry specific topographical characteristics, they share common qualities. Their landscapes are varied and challenging, buttes, petrified forests and hoodoos in North America, dried out wadis, stony hills and land inhospitable to farming in Canaan. One woman who breaks into the narrative of the Book of Genesis in chapter 38, Tamar, begins her story in a legal and cultural form of ‘badland.’ She uses her physical and cultural geography to transform her status. Tamar asserts her rights within her culture and ultimately to provide male heirs who will continue her line through Boaz, and, therefore, the royal house of David. Tamar’s actions fit both the mold of a ‘Trickster’ archetype and that of the facilitating mother figure who makes things right not just for herself but for her male heirs.

Tamar’s identity as a trickster figure seems established before her story even begins; its very placement in Genesis creates a break in the narrative of the more well-known stories of more significant characters. This ‘break’ for Tamar’s story provides a leg up to the power of Joseph’s saga, adding a delay in his engaging adventures to heighten the anticipation of discovering his fate,  (New Interpreter’s Bible  Commentary, Freitham, Bruggeman, Kaiser, 604). It also reinforces the themes of loss, disguise and victorious reversal in the larger and more significant Joseph story; these themes run through his family, bringing a counterpoint of his experiences to Judah, one of the brothers who participated in his betrayal (604). The tangled themes of injustice, betrayal and imprisonment with the real risk of death are just as present between Tamar and her father in law Judah as they are for Judah and his brother Joseph. In the Tamar story, however, the betrayed Tamar has to resolve her challenges in narrower confines than the men.

Tamar’s marginality is not merely familial and social—the neglected widow, the childless woman—the landscapes and locations of her story accentuate her remove. She has the right to marry Judah’s third son, but he prevents her. She is under the control of Judah’s authority but sent to live with her father’s family. She plays out her masquerade as a prostitute at the crossroads, a liminal, frontier like area where more than one path leads to multiple destinations—and spheres of authority (Women’s Bible Commentary, Newsome, Ringe, Lapsley 2012. 42).

Commentators agree on the roles gender and sexuality play in Tamar’s story, focusing on different examples of how those themes play out. The NIB  commentary focuses on the question of harlotry in her actions, pointing out that while the narrative allows Judah to draw the conclusion that she is a prostitute, careful steps are taken to establish and affirm her position as Er’s  virtuous (or at least not un-virtuous) widow. The timing of her enterprise with Judah occurs after his wife’s death; she is not inducing adultery. Her veil implies strangeness, a concealment of identity that suggests the behavior of a prostitute. At the same time, her widow’s veil and garb, as the story remarks deliberately on her taking them off and putting them back on, demonstrate a ‘continuity’ of her true dignity, her identity as the widow of the patriarch’s sons (605).

Because of the failures of the dominant powers in her tribe, the men, Tamar operates on the outside fringes of her culture. Her assumption of the prostitute’s guise serves to emphasize her marginality as much as it resolves her situation. As a young woman, she should still be able to give birth. As a widow, she is no longer a virgin. She is neither a mother nor wholly untouched (Newsome, 42-43). If she was indeed the prostitute beyond her disguise, Tamar would have had a very similar story; possessed, but only temporarily, sexually seasoned, but childless (42).

Who are Tamar’s ‘peers’—in the sense of other women who engage in similar (and wise) strategies to right the wrongs of their personal injustices? Ironically, one of her most immediate peers is her own grandmother-in-law, Rebekah. Rebekah has a much more central position, as the matriarch of her family, and yet she needs to employ trickery to insure that she can confer the sovereignty of Isaac’s birthright upon the son of her choice. So she seems to fill the role of the sovereign mother granting leadership, and the role of the trickster simultaneously. The Isis cycle of the Egyptian pantheon reflects another blending of queen-ship, power and the transference of sovereignty. Isis, the rightful consort of her God-King husband must resort to magic, or behavior outside the bonds of the everyday to conceive Horus, the heir. Then, to insure his succession, she has to perform her own ‘sting operation’ as the ‘trickster’ when she disguises herself as Seth’s wife, Nepythus and fools him into supporting Horus’ right to the throne instead of his own son’s cause. Isis may not be using the guise of a prostitute, but assuming the identity of another man/god’s wife is an invitation, however concealed, to adultery and behavior outside the behavior of a chaste or grieving widow.

The quality of what some women, then and today, might describe as merely ‘good sense and insurance’ is another strong and common thread between Tamar and Isis. Tamar, arguably aware that her very life could be at risk if she follows her strategy with Judah, takes care to secure irrefutable proof that he is the man she conceived with at the crossroads. And, indeed when her culture plays out the usual treatment of women and she is sentenced to death, Tamar capably saves herself with the well-presented ‘evidence’ (NIB 606).  Isis secures a suitably specific and ambiguous promise from Seth to champion the rights of her son to the kingship, so that when her face changes, his oath remains binding.

Katniss Everdeen and Tamar might have a great deal to discuss, should they meet in a universal café for literary/theological heroines. Like Tamar, Katniss lives in an area of marginalization, a rough country where borders are not always firmly defined. In District 12, her human rights are compromised or actively suppressed—but she can slip under the electric fence to provide for her family. Like Tamar encountering both the constriction of her identity as a childless widow, Katniss sees the further restriction of her world and its borders, as law enforcement grows harsher, and the border fence is recharged. Marriage and trickery are intertwined for both women as well; ironically in reverse. Tamar must engage in risky behavior to get married and gain her place; Katniss must take the risk of pretending to be married in order to survive.

The sexuality Tamar employs to conceive her child is real and immediate. Katniss uses sex as an abstract deception; she plays on the intrusive culture of the Capital to gain attention and a popular following. Everyone believes she and Peeta are married and engaging in sex—conceiving children as well, but this is an illusion. Katniss is so protective of any children she might have, so determined that nobody will hold them hostage for her that attaining her freedom is the condition of bearing them—not bearing them to attain her freedom as Tamar must.

Bella’s ability to alter the outcome of the conflicts and power struggles of the Twilight series is far more nebulous. Much is made of the ‘stalker’ aspect of her relationship with vampire Edward. However this does not negate any power for Bella in his obsessive focus on her. She has a supernatural being at her ‘beck and call’ willing to do anything for her safety or happiness. This does not make Bella’s power as affirming as Katniss’ or even Tamar’s. It is not a resource she feels comfortable trying to control or direct. Her sexuality doesn’t come actively into play until she has married Edward. But the Twilight title is still a metaphor for consideration. Twilight is a period of liminal change, of uncertain boundary between day and night. Bella’s closeness to Edward (or his stalking-insured closeness to Bella) can only happen after dark, in her bedroom on the edge of a forest. They can only be freely together in their meadow, a topographically marginal, ‘in between’ space.

Tamar must seek out a cross roads, as an undefined place to regain her power, and she does so in a very immediate fashion, conceiving her male twins. Through her growing relationship with Edward, Bella eventually attains her power as a vampire, and the child she bears permanently resolves the war between the Cullen vampire clan and the Black wolf pack. Rennesme as a promised bride and a marital alliance is also a great deal more passive than the securing of Horus’ rights to the throne of Egypt, or Katniss’ freedom to have children unconstrained by the madness of the Hunger Games. Even Tamar’s twins have, as males, a more direct role in affirming their mother’s authority—and then going on to contribute to the royal line of David. It is sobering to reflect that in popular literary models for young women in the 21st century, there enough obstacles to their power and equality that Katniss’ fight is believable and sympathetic, and Bella’s indirect and less-than-healthy route to power is idealized. Tamar’s world, with its inescapable limitations and proscriptions of her freedoms is, on the surface, more challenging than ours. The struggle for equal representation carries common threads connecting the distant and mythological past to the ideas of the present set forth in fiction. The stories don’t end; they simply evolve.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Works Cited:

The New Interpreter’s Bible: General Articles & Introduction, Commentary and Reflections for Each Book of the Bible Including the Apocryphal and Deuterocanonical Books in Twelve Volumes. Vol. 1.,  Walter Bruggeman, Terrence Freitheim,  Walter Kaiser, eds., Nashville: 1994.

The IVP Women’s Bible Commentary. Mary J Evens, Catherine Clark Kroeger, eds. Downer’s Grove: 2002.

Third Edition Women’s Bible Commentary. Jacqueline E Lapley, Carol A Newsome Sharon H. Ringe, eds. Louisville: 2012.

 

Boston

The back-farm country of New England has been my home a long time.

But I’m from Boston. I grew up a ten minute walk from the blast site. I was born in one of the hospitals now full of patients and on lock-down.

 My husband’s heart is somewhere on premises at one of the others.

The Common, where lost and frightened runners massed, is the same spread of green where I ran and played while the church bells sang and the sun stretched.

The library to the right of one of the smoke columns is where we went to watch film strips and have children’s story hour.

My sister was at the site and simply happened to leave an hour before the explosions.

An eight year old I have not met is dead.

Nobody should be in this club. Nobody should have to feel solidarity; this is not something a single soul should be familiar with.

This is our cry.

This is our Prayer.

Peace on Earth.

*Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes Eleanor Coerr. 1977

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