Friday, January 11, 2019

The downside of a rainy day, some encouraging news, and advice from Jesus

Rainy, chilly, damp and dark in North Texas today, and frankly I was bored. I find that a whiney admission on my part, some sort of lack of character, but nothing engaged me, and time dragged. I am doing photo research but was stymied—one curator is out of the office for an indeterminate time, as in months, and not a single other soul can help me; another was just out today, so I suppose I can call her Monday; and a third office is only open Monday through Thursday. I suppose photo research is not considered urgent, but when it’s what’s next on your plate, such lack of response is frustrating. I have emailed a couple of archives twice with no response.
And I finished the cozy mystery, Nobody’s Sweetheart Now, that I was much enjoying. I always hate to finish a book when I’ve gotten absorbed in the story and its world. I didn’t expect to like this one so well—a British cozy set on an estate in the 1920s, very Agatha Christie-like with the houseguests at a Saturday-to-Monday the suspects in the murder. But the hostess, recently widowed Adelaide Compton, is charming, sly and witty behind the naïve and overly kind façade the world sees. And when her late husband, a terrible philanderer, reappears in ghostly form, she thinks she is losing her mind. A standard cast of characters, including the dullard nobleman who wants to marry her, but then. .. there’s the handsome inspector of British and Indian descent, so good looking, so…. well, read and find out. It’s all good fun.
One of my new year’s resolutions was to share more positive posts on Facebook, and I’ve been pleased to share several on environmental subjects. From schools in the jungles of Brazil to roads in India made from discarded plastic and from high sales of electric cars in Norway to desert lands reclaimed by using ancient farming methods, it seems to me the world is light years ahead of America, the so-called strongest nation in the world, on saving our physical world. While our government allows pollution of rivers and the use of poisonous pesticide with nary a thought to the consequences, much of the world seems to understand climate change and the desperate need to change our ways. Some days it’s enough to start me fantasizing about moving, though I’m too old for that.
And then there’s this word about Biblical commandments. You have my permission to throw it in the face of the next rigid, righteous Christian you meet. In his daily meditation yesterday, Richard Rohr, a monk well known for his theological writing, pointed out that there are 613 clear commandments in the Bible (do you think he counted them?), but Jesus reduced them to two: Love they God, and love they neighbor as thyself. See? You don’t have to worry about abortion and LGBTQ and other people’s marriages and marijuana and any of those things that send some off into a tizzy. Why did Mike Pence, that walking uptight bundle of repressed emotions, rush into my mind when I read that? I read today he predicts legalized abortion will disappear in this country soon. Talk about rigid ways. But back to Jesus’ two commands, just think if we all, Christian or not, followed those two commandments, what a great world it would be.
Here’s a link to Rohr’s complete meditation for the day. I read his work daily and find it inspiring, pushing me in a direction I need and want to go.
Which reminds me of a joyful note: Tarrant County Republicans voted NOT to unseat the duly elected co-chair because of his Muslim religion. Can you imagine? It should never have been an issue at all, but at least good sense won out. He can worship his God, I can worship mine, and we both can love our neighbors. Great hope for the world.
Tomorrow I plan to avoid boredom. I’ll do a grocery run, make a batch of spaghetti sauce, and think some more about the vague idea for a mystery that is batting around in my mind.

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