May 2, 2017

May 2, 2017
Mary with collage and clutter

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Celebrating

Tomorrow is my partner Ann's 71st birthday. We will celebrate with the best things in life: a bike ride, beer, a Storm game, each other, and our friend Ellen. I am constantly amazed by Ann, her presence and her loving nature, towards me and everyone, it seems (in a good way.) 

Tonight, Ann is facilitating a meeting at our church. Her group (SPRC, for those who know the Methodist church), welcomed our new minister Pastor Ann and Children, Youth and Families (CYF) director Hannah last Sunday. The sanctuary of our small church was packed, something that hasn't happened in a long time. 

Hannah was welcomed during the children's sermon. (My favorite part was when Barb, who was delivering the sermon, asked the kids about their favorite food at a potluck and six year old Calvin leapt from his mother's arms and shouted, "Pizza! Because my mom eats pizza like Tyrannosaurus rex!" I feel sure that Barb had another message in mind, but that's the one that stuck with me.) 

Pastor Ann was welcomed by adults in a ritual that Barb had designed, but I think we didn't really stick to the vision either. (I kept thinking it was my turn before it was, and standing up when it was someone else's turn. I have a handy excuse: I've had brain surgery.)

Pastor Ann's sermon stirred us all (three people who haven't been coming told me they thought they'd give it another chance), and then we went downstairs for a potluck: I didn't see pizza, so I had tasty grits soufflĂ©. 

The celebration capped several months when my partner Ann and her committee, along with others in the congregation, worked to honor our previous pastor and to prepare to welcome Pastor Ann and Hannah. Ann is my partner, so you might think I'm biased, but others will back me up that Ann was an unassuming, heartful leader during this time. It's amazing to me that this fabulously kind and organized person chooses to live her life with me--and seems happy about it. 

Pastor Ann thanked us for the enthusiastic fireworks display the night before, which was July 4. I was glad she liked them, and I realize that a lot of people (including my partner Ann) love fireworks, but I cannot abide them. (Raised a Southern girl, I do not say, "hate", though if I did I would say that now.) To me, they consume a lot of resources (that might be better spent elsewhere), celebrating the boom and bang that make me feel like I'm under siege. They feel to me like a celebration of war, and I worry about those who have survived real wars, where banging and booming mean the loss of lives. I'm pretty sure the neighborhood dogs agree with me (amidst the booming and banging, I heard a man walking down the street calling, "Tasha! Tasha!" I'm guessing Tasha is a dog that got scared and ran away as any reasonable creature would under siege.)

Seattle will celebrate again the sounds of power and speed at Seafair, a tradition with Blue Angels who fly right over our house all week (I'm pretty sure I once saw a pilot's nose hairs as he rattled this house.) There are boat races, too. I cannot abide this celebration either. 

Still, it is important to me to celebrate so much that is fabulous, especially with my acute awareness that this country and this world are not as loving as I would like them to be, as they could be. The afternoon after the church's welcoming ceremonies, Ann and I watched the US women resoundingly win the World Cup. Now that's something to celebrate: powerful women kicking and stretching their way into a future that maybe could be a place where women have more choices about how to lead their lives. 

My partner Ann, pastor Ann, CYF director Hannah, Soccer Phenomenon Carli Lloyd: all are gifts in the present and hope for the future. 

So much is terrible in this world, but so much is right, too. After all, last week the Supreme Court declared me a full citizen with its ruling that gay marriages would be recognized throughout the country. 

As we often sing at the end of our church services: Go now in peace. And as is implied: go now with love; go now with hope.







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