Beginner's Heart

Beginner's Heart

sportsmanship, homeruns, and infinite good ~

This is one of the more moving videos I’ve seen. It’s about a player who hits a homerun, an injury, and the big-heartedness of a very special couple of opposing team players. This is beginner’s heart in action.

And here’s wishing that it goes viral, that our political system watches it, and that the world changes… We can hope ~

 

‘God is Not a Christian’ & other universals ~

I’ve written about this quote (his book‘s title) from Biship Tutu before. But in the mania ‘remembering’ the horrible nightmare that is the aftermath of the 9/11 tragedy, it’s good to hear.

Unlike some, I see nothing good that has come from 9/11. War, with its thousands and thousands of deaths? The acceptance of increased public racial profiling? TSA procedures that apparently aren’t even effective? A widened schism between cultures and religions? The so-called patriot laws…?  This is the legacy we’ve built following the amazing outpouring of international grief and support after 9/11?

My deepest grief is that my Muslim friends (& extended family) now walk through their lives with many of the same fears and day-to-day humiliations of other ‘non-white’ friends. A pervasive ‘you’re different, and that’s not good’ attitude that daily slams many of the people I love.

What  Bishop Tutu says is compelling: what kind of God wouldn’t recognise the divinity in Ghandi? In the Dalai Lama? In what world is the good done by a Muslim unequal to the good done by a  Christian? And yet — I have family members who believe I’m destined to spend eternity in hell, simply because of my rejection that belief in Jesus’s divinity is the only way to grace.

So this decade past the tragedy of 9/11 and its aftermath, I offer a humble spin on Bishop Tutu’s powerful words: God is more than Christian. As a friend of mine told me once, ‘all religions are just different ladders to the same God.’ That makes such good sense to me… Far more  than an after-life where you only get in if you know the secret handshake…

fear and procrastination ~

I have a presentation tomorrow. To a possibly large audience. Actually, we have no idea how many will be there. And here’s yet another confession: I haven’t really begun to write…

What is it with procrastination? I’m thinking it’s what Buddhists call delusion. I refuse to believe something unpleasant. I will choose to believe something pleasant. Like I didn’t say I would do this presentation to complete strangers on a topic they probably could care less about…

Once I was coerced into doing much the same thing — presenting on a topic I know a lot about, but that isn’t super popular. Journaling, to be honest :). And sure ’nuff — only 1 person showed up. We had a nice visit about journaling, and why I think it’s important for all writers, and most folks in general. I don’t anticipate a similarly happy ending to tomorrow’s event.

So here’s how my evening looks: find books I seem to have taken to the office. Re-read them. Whittle a four-day workshop into a 90 minutes, max, presentation. Go to bed. The last dependent on the first three, obviously…

Note to self: remember the whole Buddhist ‘face your fear and breathe through it’ teaching? Breathing as you procrastinate isn’t quite the same thing…

Labour Day, workers, and my grandmother ~

I love Labour Day. I love the history of it, the idea that we honour our working class roots. That we at least still pay lip service to those of us who work (hard) for a living.

This is about Labour Day. Or Labor Day, as those of us w/out a British spelling background spell it :). It’s about what (and who) built this country: regular people. NOT incredibly wealthy people. NOT  high rollers. But people fleeing persecution, people dreaming of bigger and better tomorrows. Workers and farmers and mothers and children and their back-breaking labour.  Slaves, who received nothing in return for theirs. Immigrants, who were (and still are) willing to do anything for a chance at a better life.

When I think of American history, I don’t think first of the upper class — CEOs who make 7- and 8-figure annual salaries. I don’t think positively of most of them, in fact. I studied the Depression, the Robber Barons. I know what happened in the Deep South to those who built plantation empires for others on the scarred backs of their free labour.

I’m also the daughter of a man and woman, neither of whom graduated from high school. Although both later received GEDs, and attended college. My father even received an Associate’s degree when he was in his 60s. And I’m the granddaughter and great-niece of two women who raised their children while working as cleaning ladies at banks, where the upper middle class had offices.

Like my grandmother, I’ve cleaned houses. The advanced degrees I now have don’t erase my memories of what it’s like to be asked to eat in the garage, or wash a floor w/ a toothbrush. You do it because it pays the rent. And really? I never expected to have to do that kind of back-breaking work forever. Any more than I expected to be a carpenter’s helper forever, although I learned how to chalk a slab, how to lay a tie plate. Continue Reading This Post »

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