Entries in "spirituality"

December 25, 2006


Rev. Terry Kime, the former interim minister at the UUSC, offered the two prayers below to her Chatauqua congregation in December 2005. She found them in A Contemporary Celtic Prayer Book, by William John Fitzgerald:

Prayer at Rising:
Bless our work this day, from morning's waking till night's folding.
Bless our comings and goings, the spinning of our labor and our lives.
May the ones we meet be the better for it.
Bless this day, bless this journey, bless the work.

Prayer at End of Day:
May the sun go down on anger, stress and worry.
May the sun go down on problem solving and planning.
May the sun go down on rush and deadlines.
May the sun go down on this day's work, now done.
May the sacred circle of the sun frame our day in blessing.
May it signal bright days ahead, new energies and emerging hopes.

September 01, 2006

food for thought

NB: This blog entry was redistributed with permission in the CoolCleveland eNewsletter, also available online.

Yesterday I attended Convocation, drawn by the promise of ritual and the prospect of hearing Michael Ruhlman, author of Case's Common Reading for this year, speak. He wrote The Soul of a Chef: The Journey Toward Perfection more than 5 years ago, and so I hoped that his speech would go beyond the book into more elaborated thinking about what it takes to become an expert in one's chosen field. He did not disappoint.

He addressed head-on a criticism he has probably heard many times about his writing on cooking: Isn't it frivolous to write about fancy food in a time when there is so much serious stuff happening in world politics? His answer started with this assertion:

"Great cooking, in the end, has such power because it allows us to connect with our past, our future, and all of humanity, if we let it. I believe that America's insatiable appetite for food and cooking know-how is really the beginning of a spiritual quest for the bigger things: a search for meaning, order and beauty in an apparently chaotic and alienating universe."

President Eastwood looked quite comfortable listening to Ruhlman's speech up until that point, but when Ruhlman made his next main point, suggesting that sharing what he learned about master chefs brought into relief how all of America has become a culture of mediocrity, the President started to look a little nervous...

Continue reading "food for thought"

April 12, 2006

Anne Lamott at Amasa Stone at Case -- part 2

If you missed Anne Lamott's visit to the Case campus last Friday, I have written a little bit about it already... but part 1 was more about me than about her. In part 2, I want to try to remember what she said, which is tricky, because I did not take many notes.

John Ettorre called Anne Lamott "a poet and a mystic and a prophet and a patriot and the most honest, most moving, most luminous, soul-stirring Christian writing today, perhaps in the entire English language. And all from lefty Marin County, across the bridge from San Fran."

Continue reading "Anne Lamott at Amasa Stone at Case -- part 2"

April 08, 2006

A spiritual experience in Amasa Stone Chapel - part 1

The first thing I did after dropping my daughter off at preschool on Friday morning was to drive to Borders to pick up copies of the books by Anne Lamott, which I hoped to have her sign after her keynote appearance at the end of Case's Humanities Week. All day I was giddy with anticipation.

I walked over to the chapel just before 3:30, and as a Case community member I was allowed to enter. I was chagrined to discover that they had books for sale in the vestibule, and had worked with Joseph-Beth to arrange these sales. I knew that I was going to need to do penance for spending money on Anne's books at a "non-independent" bookstore... and sure enough, during her conversation with Tim Beal, Anne reminded us more than once to go look someone up at Amazon, but buy our books from an independent bookstore. In penance, I'm posting a link to this about.com listing of independent bookstores in Cleveland, which includes my favorites, Appletree books and Mac's Backs. I promise to buy all the books that Anne recommended during her visit, and to buy them from one of these stores.

(click through to read more)

Continue reading "A spiritual experience in Amasa Stone Chapel - part 1"

April 02, 2006

a song for a hopeful spring Sunday

Today at the UUSC, we sang this beautiful lyric by Lloyd Stone (1934) to the melody of "Finlandia" which was originally written by Jean Sibelius in 1899:

This is my song, Oh God of all the nations,
A song of peace for lands afar and mine.
This is my home, the country where my heart is;
Here are my hopes, my dreams, my sacred shrine.
But other hearts in other lands are beating,
With hopes and dreams as true and high as mine.

Continue reading "a song for a hopeful spring Sunday"

February 24, 2006

I never even met her...

... and yet I'm finding the entries about a delightful little girl, written by her grieving father at Dear Elena, so compelling. Elena passed away on Wednesday night, after a very sudden onset of bacterial meningitis. She was not quite seven years old.

Elena's dad is an acquaintance of my husband's, and so this brush with death seems too close to home. Both Scott and I were relieved last night when our daughter said she did not want to do our dinnertime ritual of discussing one bad thing and one good thing that had happened that day. It will be very hard to talk about the death of a child with my daughter... but I hope we will find a way, so that we can be present at visiting hours this weekend.

All we can do, really, is to hold each other and the present moment in our focus, even through the unimaginable pain of such a loss.