Miss Pelican's Perch

Looking at my World from a Different Place


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Casting My Bread

The world is a mess. That’s an understatement, to be sure. Our problems are so overwhelming that it might be easy to fall into despair and think there’s not anything that can be done to fix things. The good news is that though none of us can fix everything in the world, we each can repair our small corner of it and be confident that it does make a difference.

There is an old saying that if you cast your bread upon the waters, it will come back to you many times over. In other words, I fervidly believe that if each of us do good in this world in some small seemingly insignificant way, then the effects are cumulative and magnified, and the results reach places we could never have imagined.

So where do I find my corner in this messed up world? I am finding mine in a garden. If you have followed me for a while, you know that I volunteer in a community garden that grows food for a local pantry that distributes to those in need. My creaky old knees don’t allow me to do a lot of heavy lifting or digging, but I can harvest, pull weeds, and water.

This work in a community setting has had an effect in my personal realm.   I am eating more healthfully by adopting a more plant-based diet. No, I have not become a vegan —yet— but relying more on plants for food is better for the environment.

Is my working in the garden going to eliminate hunger and poverty?  Well, at least for one person or two it may. Is my not eating meat going to end the global climate crisis?  No, but it may lead to one less cow emitting methane to the atmosphere– which might put a tiny, tiny dent in it.

Call me Pollyanna-ish, but inaction on my part is not an option for me. I am going to keep casting that bread.

LJG 2019

https://ragtagcommunity.wordpress.com/2019/09/09/rdp-monday-fervid/

 

 


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Enough Is Enough

It is my intention today to declare that I have had enough. I am sharing this statement issued last week (before the latest massacres) from the leaders of the Washington National Cathedral.

“The escalation of racialized rhetoric from the President of the United States has evoked responses from all sides of the political spectrum. On one side, African American leaders have led the way in rightfully expressing outrage. On the other, those aligned with the President seek to downplay the racial overtones of his attacks, or remain silent.

As faith leaders who serve at Washington National Cathedral ¬– the sacred space where America gathers at moments of national significance – we feel compelled to ask: After two years of President Trump’s words and actions, when will Americans have enough?

As Americans, we have had such moments before, and as a people we have acted. Events of the last week call to mind a similarly dark period in our history: “Until this moment, Senator, I think I never really gauged your cruelty or your recklessness. … You have done enough. Have you no sense of decency?”

That was U.S. Army attorney Joseph Welch on June 9, 1954, when he confronted Senator Joseph McCarthy before a live television audience, effectively ending McCarthy’s notorious hold on the nation. Until then, under the guise of ridding the country of Communist infiltration, McCarthy had free rein to say and do whatever he wished. With unbridled speech, he stoked the fears of an anxious nation with lies; destroyed the careers of countless Americans; and bullied into submissive silence anyone who dared criticize him.

In retrospect, it’s clear that Welch’s question was directed less toward McCarthy and more to the nation as a whole. Had Americans had enough? Where was our sense of decency?

We have come to accept a level of insult and abuse in political discourse that violates each person’s sacred identity as a child of God. We have come to accept as normal a steady stream of language and accusations coming from the highest office in the land that plays to racist elements in society. This week, President Trump crossed another threshold. Not only did he insult a leader in the fight for racial justice and equality for all persons; not only did he savage the nations from which immigrants to this country have come; but now he has condemned the residents of an entire American city. Where will he go from here? Make no mistake about it, words matter. And, Mr. Trump’s words are dangerous.

These words are more than a “dog-whistle.” When such violent dehumanizing words come from the President of the United States, they are a clarion call, and give cover, to white supremacists who consider people of color a sub-human “infestation” in America. They serve as a call to action from those people to keep America great by ridding it of such infestation. Violent words lead to violent actions.

When does silence become complicity? What will it take for us all to say, with one voice, that we have had enough? The question is less about the president’s sense of decency, but of ours. As leaders of faith who believe in the sacredness of every single human being, the time for silence is over. We must boldly stand witness against the bigotry, hatred, intolerance, and xenophobia that is hurled at us, especially when it comes from the highest offices of this nation. We must say that this will not be tolerated. To stay silent in the face of such rhetoric is for us to tacitly condone the violence of these words. We are compelled to take every opportunity to oppose the indecency and dehumanization that is racism, whether it comes to us through words or actions.

There is another moment in our history worth recalling. On January 21, 2017, Washington National Cathedral hosted an interfaith national prayer service, a sacred tradition to honor the peaceful transfer of political power. We prayed for the President and his young Administration to have “wisdom and grace in the exercise of their duties that they may serve all people of this nation, and promote the dignity and freedom of every person.”

That remains our prayer today for us all.

The Right Rev. Mariann Edgar Budde, Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Washington
The Very Rev. Randolph Marshall Hollerith, Dean of Washington National Cathedral
The Rev. Canon Kelly Brown Douglas, Canon Theologian of Washington National Cathedral”

 

https://ragtagcommunity.wordpress.com/2019/08/06/rdp-tuesday-intent/


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I Got Evicted and Why This is a Good Thing

First load heading out of Bourgeois-ville.

Ten days ago I got an eviction notice.  I must vacate the home that I have lived in for 26 years to accommodate a relative of the landlords.  There was no offer in the letter to help me move, pay expenses or provide a reference attesting to all the years of me being a model tenant; no, simply the statement “we are sorry for any inconvenience this may cause you.”   I was less than comforted.  This is not an “inconvenience”. This is a life-altering  major disruption to my emotional equilibrium and sense of personal security,  and the lack of compassion shown in this letter is truly staggering.   What they’ve done is all perfectly legal, so there’s not much I can do about it, except bitch and complain.   But I won’t spend one more word about this here or anywhere else.  I won’t because being evicted is the best thing that could possibly have happened to me

Within 20 minutes of my reading the letter and after making an important phone call, I had a new place secured.  I will be moving into an small old house in a great neighborhood with no possibility of ever being evicted again.  It needs a lot of work, but for me the house is a mansion.

I totally see the hand of God in this matter.    If this house were not available to me, it is quite likely I would be out on the street.  People like me, with limited means, can’t afford to live in an area of greed-propelled skyrocketing rents.

And this brings me to this:  the greatest blessing in being evicted in this manner is not the fact that I can now live in a house of my own.  It is the fact that overnight I developed a better awareness of the plight of the poor and homeless. I know it is a cliché but I can’t help saying “there but by the grace of God go I.”   That fact alone places a big responsibility on my shoulders that I cannot ignore anymore.  If circumstances had been different, I could be part of a growing demographic.

I don’t know yet what I will do    Maybe all I will ever do is hand couple of bucks to the guy shivering under a blanket in front of my local Starbucks.  This event definitely will inform how I am going to vote on issues like this in the future. Heck, who knows? I may end up being some sort of activist for renters rights.

But first things first, I need to get packing.

2018

 

 

 


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Vibrant? No, I think not.

I have not been creatively vibrant these days.  I have not been writing or arting much.   I think this is a result of some sort of trauma-induced writer’s/artist’s block.   I have spent too much time watching cable news and yelling at the Orange-Moron who won’t shut his big mouth and stop selling out our country.

For the first time in my life, I am truly afraid for us.

But, I am a writer and write I must.   So I wrote my congressman this week and told him what I think he should do about this mess.  Will he listen to me?   I don’t know if he can do anything, so probably not.   Nevertheless, I’m going down writing.

Along with this pro-active writing, I am continuing to journal, read, meditate and pray.

The last is what we need most.

 


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A Repost– “We Will Not Cooperate”

This statement from christian activist Shane Claiborne so moved me that I am reposting it here (per his permission below).

 


“Here is my full statement regarding our arrest at the White House today. Feel free to quote or repost.

WE WILL NOT COOPERATE by Shane Claiborne

Jesus came to us as a refugee, as a child fleeing with his family to Egypt to escape the violent reign of King Herod. It was this Jesus who said in the Gospel of Matthew: “When you welcome the stranger you welcome me, when you do not welcome the stranger you do not welcome me… For whatever you do to the least of these you, you do unto me.”

America is in trouble. When we rip families apart and put people in cages, we are doing it unto Christ. Christ suffers with those who suffer.

This is why we take action today to stand against the policies of this administration and its distorted theology of America First. That is why we stand today against our contemporary King Herod who is terrorizing children and families who have already been terrorized enough.

We stand against any policies that harm widows and orphans and the most vulnerable among us… because we know that God’s word says this in the book of James: “True religion that God honors as pure and faultless is this… to care for widows and orphans in their distress and to keep ourselves from being corrupted by the world.”

If your religion does not include caring for widows and orphans, and keeping families together… do not call it Christianity.

A love for the people of our own country is a good thing, but love doesn’t stop at borders. Jesus has called us to love beyond borders… beyond our own family or nation or tribe.

Mother Teresa once said: “So often the problem is simply this – that we make the circle we put around our family too small.” God’s love is big. America First is too small. I can no more imagine Jesus saying America First as I can imagine him saying Rome First. Jesus never said “America First” but he did say “The last shall be first.” The Bible does not say “For God so loved America…” It says, “For God so loved the world.” We are to love as big as God loves. And God’s love is higher, and deeper, and broader, and fiercer than we can ever imagine. No wall can hold it back, and no border can confine it… and no jail can lock it up.

The Bible promises that perfect love casteth out fear. And we can see today in America that fear casteth out love. When fear rather than love is compelling our policies, we are all in trouble. We can see throughout history that when policies are driven by fear instead of love we do terrible things to God’s children. So we are here today to say that we will choose love over fear.

And we will not be silent in an age of injustice… in this reign of terror of our contemporary Herod. All that is needed for this current evil to triumph is for good people to stay silent.

Brother Gandhi was right when he said: “Noncooperation with evil is as much a duty as cooperation with good.” I am proud to stand with other faith leaders today who are here to say — we will not cooperate. We will not cooperate with a government that separates mothers from their babies and makes children sleep on cement floors. We will not cooperate with a government that puts immigrant families in cages, and bans Muslims from entering our country. And we invite you to stand up and say with us: I will not cooperate with this administration that is turning the Beattitudes on their head and contradicting nearly every word of the Sermon on the Mount.

We will not cooperate with evil.”