Friday, May 31, 2013

ArmchairBEA ~ nonfiction

We can choose ethics or nonfiction or both for today’s Armchair BEA topic.  I'd rather discuss nonfiction.  I read fiction (adult, YA, and children's), and I also read a lots theology, memoirs, history, science, politics, art, writing, and here lately the psychology of de-cluttering my home.  (I also read the Facebook feed from my friends who post status updates and such, but I don't know whether to classify that as fiction or nonfiction.)

Bloggers are linking up on today's ArmchairBEA nonfiction post.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

BTT (#36) ~ my ideal reading experience

Today's prompt from Booking Through Thursday:
"I want you to think about your ideal reading experience.  Think about the location.  (Your bed?  Favorite chair?  The beach?  Indoors or outdoors?).  Think about the sounds.  (Is there music playing?  Happy children playing in the background?  Utter silence?)  Is there a snack or beverage nearby?  Are you alone or with friends/family (presumably being quiet enough for you to read in peace)?  What kind of lighting is there?  Are you dressed in something ultra-comfy?  What’s your position?  Curled up?  Stretched out?  Now … describe it so that we can all feel exactly how perfect it is … and why."
Not in a hammock...

Not on the ice...

Not on a beach...

Not on a bench...

Not on a Kindle...

Not on a beast...

I read in bed...

...and like my books well done.

(Best of all, of course, is reading to a child.)

Bonnie and Raegan

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Armchair BEA ~ developing as a blogger

This is the day we are supposed to talk about how we develop ourselves as bloggers.  Have you branched out into your community?  Do you partner with other bloggers?  Have you gone "pro" or begun supplementing your income through your blog?  Are you a long-term blogger, and how has your online personality developed over the years?  These are simply ideas.  Think development and tell us what comes to mind.
Sheila wrote:  "If you read this blog you probably have a pretty good idea of what I look like.  Why?  Because my picture is on the right sidebar and used as part of my morning meandering post.  Why do that?   By putting my face on the blog, people who read me feel as though they know me.  For me, I think it increases a comfort with the writer, a feeling you know them, and that is why I do it.  It also helps when you go to bookish events such as the expo [BEA in New York] for people to know you.  When people approach me, they know me by my face."  She also takes business cards, like the one above, when she goes to BEA.  I see her photo on it, but not her name.  Maybe it's on the back?
I've been blogging six and a half years, since January 2007.  I used that header above, showing Yella Cat reading a book, in 2008 when my blog was over-run with cats looking for treats.  I got my cat Kiki involved in reviewing some of the books, and I tried a variety of features like this one:  You may be a bookaholic...

... if you ever stayed up so late reading that you overslept the next morning and were late to work.

And I never finished writing this post.  Yep, maybe I read too late, overslept, and wasn't thinking.  Anyway, I had it set to post at 12:01 a.m.  One minute after midnight.  Only now have I discovered I never finished it and never clicked the Publish button.  Summary:  Over the years, I've tried a variety of things on this blog, but mostly I now write about what interests me day by day.  I don't worry about what you, my readers, think of me.  Maybe I could get a bigger following why, exactly, DO you "follow" me, anyhow? but I'm more interested in pleasing me and enjoying my blog.  When I'm too busy, I don't post anything.  When I have several things to say, I post more than once a day.  If you like the same things, I figure you'll read it.  If not, that's okay.  I'm still having fun.

Becoming a better blogger ~ bloggers are linking up on today's ArmchairBEA post.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

ArmchairBEA ~ introducing myself

Please tell us a little bit about yourself:  Who are you?  How long have you been blogging?  Why did you get into blogging?
This photo shows me with my brother Billy in front of our family's 1940 Plymouth.  Even though I've loved books since long before this picture was taken around 1944, I've changed a bit, as you can see by glancing at the more recent photo on the right sidebar.  I've been blogging since January 2007, mostly to talk about books with interesting people.
Where in the world are you blogging from?  Tell a random fact or something special about your current location.
I live north of the river in Chattanooga, Tennessee famous for the "Chattanooga Choo-Choo" song and known as "The Scenic City of the South."  Looking north, my home is left of center in the distance.
What are you currently reading?
Clutter Busting by Brooks Palmer (2009) is helping me see that these piles of books are so heavy with negative vibes that I'm not living the free and joyous life I could be living.  As I read, I'm making headway at cleaning out my clutter.
Tell us one non-book-related thing that everyone reading your blog may not know about you.
I got acquainted with my best friend Donna, when she and I volunteered to summarize and ask questions about Charles Frazier's 1997 novel Cold Mountain for our online book group.  We called ourselves the Book Buddies, as part of Oprah's first book club in the late 1990s.  When Donna and I later opened a bookstore together, we named it for our online club.
If you could eat dinner with any author or character, who would it be and why?
Rita Nakashima Brock writes about women's issues in relation to theology.  She and Rebecca Ann Parker wrote Proverbs of Ashes: Violence, Redemptive Suffering, and the Search for What Saves Us, which I rated 9 of 10.  One of my friends heard her in Phoenix recently, and I'd like to talk with her or both of these authors.
ArmchairBEA is having participants do introductions today.  Or we could blog about classic literature.

Monday, May 27, 2013

Monday Mindfulness ~ book addiction

This is where I am at the moment.
"Anytime you undertake any idea or project, the first step is to read a lot of books about it."
Yesterday I read a short article entitled "25 signs you're addicted to books," discovered what happens to book addicts who start new projects, and saw myself behind that book.  Only, my titles were Clutter Busting, Voluntary Simplicity, New Day Revolution, 50 Things Your Life Doesn't Need, and Simplify Your Life.  The last three are all by Sam Davidson, and (confession time) I ordered them yesterday.

I didn't need these extra books to help with my project to rid my home of clutter, since I haven't finished Clutter Busting by Brooks Palmer (2009), which I got from the library, liked, and ordered.  My own copy arrived a week ago and is energizing me as I read it and do some uncluttering every day.  In the meantime, I found a copy of Voluntary Simplicity by Duane Elgin (1981), which I've had for awhile but never read.  It was among the boxes of books I'm sorting and tossing.  So why would I order three more books about revolutionizing my life, getting rid of stuff, and simplifying?  Here's the surprisingly simple answer.  Because I think like this:
So today's "uncluttering" needs to begin with my way of thinking.  I really really really don't need to keep getting more books.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Sunday Salon ~ read and release

Have you ever heard of BookCrossing?  The idea behind BookCrossing is simple label, share, follow.  In other words, read a book and pass it on.  When we register the book, BookCrossing provides it with a special tracking number and a note explaining the concept. We can print out labels with that information or buy packages of labels, if we prefer.  With the information provided, the next person will know what to do, if so inclined.  We can then release our little book traveler for a stranger to find in some public place, like a park bench, a bus seat, or a waiting room.  And you can track the book as it travels from person to person.  Books are out there, traveling all over the world using their very own BCID (BookCrossing ID) passports.

I joined a decade ago, but only released one book "into the wild" before I got busy with other things.  In a conversation with my friend Emily, I mentioned BookCrossing and she immediately got online and joined.  I've been thinking about putting books outside my apartment for neighbors to take (for free) as I try to reduce the clutter, so it was a light bulb moment for me, too.  I've already started setting aside books to register and put on my patio for neighbors.  I wonder how many readers live in the apartments around me.

One of the things I like is the "journaling" about books that have been released.  It's especially fun if you find a traveling book.  Here's the story of that first book I set free in 2003.  Years later, I wrote about that book here on my blog Three Women by Madge Piercy.


Tomorrow is the kickoff for Armchair BEA.  While others are attending Book Expo America and the Book Blogger Convention in New York, we'll be doing our own book thing with each other, right from the comfort of our own armchairs.  Details from the organizers:
"On Monday, we will have a quick kick-off post with a brief summary of what to expect throughout the week.  On Tuesday, we break the ice and open up the excitement to all of you with our annual introductions.  In New York City, bloggers, authors, and publishers will be networking throughout the week, and it is during this time of Armchair BEA that you get to do a bit of networking from the comfort of your own home."
We book bloggers who are participating in ArmchairBEA (sign up here) are to choose five of these questions for our Tuesday introductory posts:
  1. Please tell us a little bit about yourself:  Who are you?  How long have you been blogging?  Why did you get into blogging?
  2. Where in the world are you blogging from?  Tell a random fact or something special about your current location.  Feel free to share pictures.
  3. Have you previously participated in Armchair BEA?  What brought you back for another year?  If you have not previously participated, what drew you to the event?
  4. What are you currently reading, or what is your favorite book you have read so far in 2013?
  5. Tell us one non-book-related thing that everyone reading your blog may not know about you.
  6. Name your favorite blog(s), and explain why they are your favorite(s).
  7. Which is your favorite post that you have written that you want everyone to read?
  8. If you could eat dinner with any author or character, who would it be and why?
  9. What literary location would you most like to visit?  Why?
  10. What is your favorite part about the book blogging community?
  11. Is there anything that you would like to see change in the coming years?
Are you signed up?  Let me know if I should visit your blog this week.

The Sunday Salon's Facebook page has links to other blogs.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Caturday ~ cat bag

I adopted this cat last year as a gift for my friend Donna.  It was made by my friend Emily, who loves to sew.  The inner lining of the straps even looks like cat hair protecting the ears.

Emily sells her creations online through her Mtn Frankle Creations, and this is her description of this particular Cat Face Tote Bag:

This cute bag was upcycled from a fleece dress. It has an appliqu├ęd and embroidered cat face on the front. The heart shaped nose and whiskers are gray colored while the eyes are the usual dark yellow with black vertical stripes. It is 10 inches across the top with two 7 inch black padded straps that are black and white striped underneath. There is a dark yellow button with embroidered spider-like legs at one strap and my signature button at the other strap. The sides are 10 inches long that end diagonally at the 14 inch scalloped bottom. It is lined with a shiny black material.
fleece dress, button, thread
This smart idea I found on Facebook looks like something else Emily might make.

Friday, May 24, 2013

Friday Five ~ dogs or cats or what?

Jan @ RevGalBlogPals wrote:  "In my experience in the United States, people are either 'Dog People' or 'Cat People.'  As the graph above illustrates, not everyone is limited to those types of animals.  So I am wondering about pets and experiences with them."

1.  Are you a DOG or a CAT person?  Or OTHER?
I have had a number of pets turtles, puppies, fish, kitties, salamander, and a hamster named Herman, for example but the ones I have bonded with have mostly been cats.  Kiki Cat, who came to live with me in 2001, was the most loving pet I ever had.  So I guess I'd call myself a "cat person" because I had a very special "person cat" until she died last year.
2.  Who were the pets of your childhood, and what were they like?
When I was nine years old, a neighborhood boy and I were splashing in rainy puddles when a bedraggled kitten found us.  My mother said it looked like a drowned rat (well, mouse the kitten was very small), and Micky's mother wouldn't let him bring it into their house.  After due consideration, Mother decided to let me keep the kitten.  I named her Duchess, and she slipped right into our family like she had always belonged there and grew to be very regal indeed, a beautiful soft gray cat with white paws and a white spot below her chin that seemed to swing back and forth like a dog's tag when she walked.  Duchess had her first litter of kittens in the drawer on top of my socks and underwear it must have been the softest place available to her at the time.  When I was in high school, we rode the regular city buses to school and home again in the afternoon, yet Duchess was always at the bus stop to meet me.  How did she know which of the buses that ran every 20-30 minutes all day would be the one I rode?  I don't know, but her internal clock was set and there she was, waiting to walk home with me.  She was a special cat.
3.  What pets do you have now?
Because my roommate's cat Sammy will turn 18 tomorrow, I have not brought another cat into our home.  I'm afraid it would bother her too much, even though she pined for Kiki when she died last summer.  Sammy is skittish and doesn't like being petted unless she rubs against my leg first, and then I'm allowed only a short touch before she runs away.  She has become friendlier since Kiki died, however, and now comes to tell me "meow" when she wants food or somebody to clean her litter box.  That's real progress for a cat who was tossed out in a parking lot where my roommate worked Sammy didn't even know how to eat yet.  Donna had to mother her by giving her a bottle and later teaching her how to eat solid foods.
4.  Have you ever had any unusual pets in your household or visit your home?
It's been too long for me to remember the details about how and why we got a golden hamster, but I do remember Herman. He wiggled and squirmed and turned in our hands so much that one of my children said, "Herman, the Squirmin' German!" All three roared with laughter, and that strange moniker became his name. Since I was the one who spent the most time with him feeding him, cleaning his cage, giving him water, and trying to find him when he escaped he became plain ole Herman to me. Herman had a small wire cage with a rattling metal wheel that he would run in, frantically, rapidly, daily, hourly it seemed. The bottom of his cage was covered with cedar shavings, under which a hamster could sleep all covered and snug.

I don't have any photos of Herman, but this one from Wikipedia looks a lot like him.  He was a smart little fellow who knew if he tried long enough and hard enough, he could open the door of his cage. He would wiggle and squirm and chew and bite: ch-ch-ch-ch-ch-chunk, ch-ch-ch-ch-chatter, ch-ch-ch-ch-ch-chuck-chunk. And POP after awhile that door would open! He especially liked the corner behind the four-drawer file cabinet, though I can't imagine how he knew it was heavy and hard to move. Poke along the side with a broom handle, and he'd run behind. Poke behind the file cabinet, and he'd run to the side. Poke and prod long enough and Herman would make a mad dash to the sofa and climb inside from underneath. He had probably made the hole in the cloth as his escape hatch. Sometimes we could see him moving along inside the material, safe from us humans who really did NOT want to cut up the sofa and make him run for the other end. Eventually he would emerge, hours or days later, and someone would grab him. Sometimes he would choose to run around the cushions, and all it would take to catch him was a still hand waiting along his path. Soon he would dash right into the hand and be caught. And poor ole Herman went back to work: ch-ch-ch-ch-chuck-chunk, ch-ch-ch-ch-ch-chu-chuck, ch-ch-chat-ch-ch-ch-thunk-ch-ch.

We had Herman during the time I was deciding whether I really wanted a divorce, a time when I often felt frustrated and overwhelmed. There came a day when I was sitting in the kitchen floor, leaned back against the cabinets, with one of the children saying something like, "It'll be okay, Mom." I was thinking about a husband, not a hamster, but I heard a suspicious sound: scritch-scratch-skitch. I shushed my child and said, "Listen!" Scratch-skritch-scrunch-scratch. Slowly, quietly, I leaned toward the corner cabinets and the sound was even plainer. Scritch-scratch. Uh-huh, in case you were wondering, Herman had been AWOL from his cage for several days. Scritchity-scritch-scratch.

I felt under the edge of the cabinet doors. A hole! There was an unseen opening in the corner where the cabinet makers had not entirely made everything fit together; after all, who would ever know, right? Who is likely to get down in the corner under a three- to four-inch toe-inset to check? A six-inch hamster, that's who! Slowly I opened the corner cabinet and reached around to discover a space between the dishwasher and the cabinet shelves. And there was Herman, who had happily settled in by bringing shreds of this and that to furnish his new home.

For an animal I never bonded with, Herman and I have a lot of history together. One night I was sitting in the den after everyone else had gone to bed. As usual Herman was fighting his cage door: ch-ch-chuck-ch-ch-ch-chunk-thunk. I was about as down as I'd been that summer, knowing that I had to leave that marriage, and there's that hamster, chewing like crazy on his cage door. Finally, I said softly to him, "What's your problem, Herman? We feed you, we exercise you, we give you plenty of water and sawdust and everything else you need. Why are you fighting so hard to get out?"

He kept trying to escape, ch-ch-chewing, ch-ch-ch-ch-chucking. And suddenly it hit me. Yes, it sounds like a cliche, but I was struck by the thought: We are just alike! I, too, have food and clothes and everything I need. I, too, am unhappy in my cage. Herman, I understand. I took him out of his cage and held him, though he still wanted to get away to some place nice, like that little cubbyhole in the kitchen.

Herman didn't have the option of divorcing me or leaving town or leaving his cage, for that matter. But I got him a big glass aquarium filled with cedar chips and more space to run. Umm, it didn't have a door, and the top had to be covered, but Herman had more room. And he never, ever (as far as I know) experienced anything like this:

Hamster Wheel Gone Wrong
If the video quits working, watch it on YouTube.

5.  What have you learned from your pets?  Give one recent example, if possible.
I've  learned they are a lot like people.  My Kiki cat could be quite adept at lying for a good cause, but sometimes we had to laugh at her.  When my roommate Donna would come home from work, Kiki would tell her she had not had her afternoon treats yet ... and Donna’s cat Sammy would come running to sit on the piano hoping Kiki could convince the human that they were poor, pitiful, starving kitties who never got their treats on time.  The only trouble with their scheme was that I was usually right there in the room.  Donna would look at me and say to Kiki, "But you already HAD your treats."  Kiki, the more talkative of the two, said plaintively, "Maiow mew mew."  Donna said, "Yes, you did."  Kiki replied, "Meow miahow mew!"  Donna says again, "Yes, you DID."  Kiki, "Meow miaow MEOW, myou."  They never seemed to notice that humans communicate with each other as well as with them.   Finally, Kiki would give up and plop in the floor with her back to Donna, and Sammy would sigh.
BONUS:  Pictures or anything else related to animals you love.
I think this post probably has enough photos along with that video to count as a bonus.

Beginning ~ amid illness and suffering

"She arrives glowing from the effort of running, strands of red hair coming loose from her kerchief (she tucks them in, marks on her neck like bruises on fruit.  A few minutes late but not enough for anyone to mention it.  Is almost surprised to find herself in the wards once more amid illness and suffering (on an evening such as this).  Her mind is elsewhere."
Girl Reading ~ by Katie Ward, 2011, fiction

Having posted information about this book when I got it from the library, I know the seven chapters are peopled by girls and women caught in the act of reading, and the book celebrates women in culture over the last seven centuries.

This first chapter is about "Simone Martini, Annunciation, 1333," and now I'm curious about why she's late, why she has bruises on her neck, what she's doing amid illness and suffering in the wards, and what's on her mind that is "elsewhere."  Like Tracy Chevalier's Girl With a Pearl Earring, this novel revolves around art.  I've already discovered the cover is a close-up of the artwork above.  Each woman in each chapter is, as it were, caught reading.  Who are these women, and will we be told what they're reading?

Gilion at Rose City Reader hosts Book Beginnings on Fridays. Click here for today's Mister Linky.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Unlearning what is false

"A religion is as much a progressive unlearning of false ideas concerning God as it is the learning of the true ideas concerning God."

— Rabbi Mordecai M. Kaplan (1881-1983), founder of the Reconstructionist movement of Judaism

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Armchair BEA ~ 2013 agenda

Tuesday, May 28:   Introductions and/or Classics
We kick off the week by starting with introductions of ourselves.  Last year, we changed things up by having everyone answer questions from a pre-determined list.  It was such a hit, that we are doing it again.  The questions and more information will be posted in the weeks leading up to the event, so you can plan accordingly.

Credit:  Salon
Our first genre discussion will revolve around classic literature.  Ideas for discussion include a list of your favorite classics, books you would recommend to a non-classic believer, or even what draws you to keep reading those classics over and over again!
Wednesday, May 29:  Blogger Development and/or Genre Fiction
Day 2 we talk about how we develop ourselves as bloggers.  Have you branched out into your community?  Do you partner with other bloggers?  Have you gone "pro" or begun supplementing your income through your blog?  Are you a long-term blogger, and how has your online personality developed over the years?  These are simply ideas.  Think development and tell us what comes to mind.

The book-ish focus will be genre fiction.  What draws you to a specific genre?  Do vampires, zombies, or witches float your boat?  Or, do you prefer the heat of romance?  Recommend your favorite genres and/or books and help build reader TBR shelves a bit more!
Thursday, May 30:  Giveaways and/or Literature
We take a break from official discussions on Thursday to allow participants to hop around the web and enter blogger-hosted giveaways!  Start planning your giveaway now!

The genre of discussion is general literary fiction.  Which works of art have changed your life?  Be creative and make a list outlining books featuring specific subjects (i.e., animals, recommended prize-winners, outstanding authors, etc.).
Friday, May 31:  Ethics and/or Non-Fiction
We get back into discussions on Friday with the heavy topic of ethics.  Do you have recommendations to new bloggers to ensure credit is given to whom/where credit is due?  Have you had an experience with plagiarism?  How did you deal with it?  What are the guidelines as bloggers that we must follow?

We bridge the genre gap from fiction to all things non-fiction.  Do you read non-fiction?  Why or why not?  Is there a specific type of non-fiction that you prefer to read (i.e., historical, true crime, memoirs, biographies, etc.)?  What is the perfect book for a first-time non-fiction reader?
Saturday, June 1:  Keeping it Real and/or Children's/Young Adult Literature
What exactly does "keeping it real" mean?  The meaning lays in keeping.  How do you not only grow an audience, but how do you keep them coming back for more?  If you have been around for years, how do you keep your material fresh?  How do you continue to keep blogging fun?

Our final genre focuses on the younger crowd:  children's picture books and young adult literature and everything in between.  What are the top 5 (or more) books that every child should have on his shelf?  If you are an adult who reads YA, why do you keep going back for more?  If you are not a reader of these books, think back to your childhood and share your favorites from your younger years.
Sunday, June 2:  Armchair BEA Wrap-Up
On this final day, we encourage you to wrap-up the week with your favorites and highlights of the week.  Did you learn something new?  Did you connect with a new-to-you blogger?  What was your favorite discussion topic?  Do you have ideas for future years?  You can write your own blog post and link it up, but we also encourage you to take our end-of-event survey.
If you are interested, click here for Armchair BEA registration.  If you wonder who else is doing this, click here for the list of participants for 2013.  According to the comments here, they'll publish questions on the Armchair BEA blog "prior to the week of the event."

Monday, May 20, 2013

Review policy

Bookfool has a New Review Policy about reviewing books, so it seems like a good idea for me to formalize my own policy.  I'm going to use some of her ideas here.
1.  REAL BOOKS I read "real" books, paperback or hardback, and have no interest in e-books.   I underline and write in books and tag pages with Post-it notes so I can use the book while teaching.  Besides, I love that new-book smell, which I enjoyed this very minute because UPS delivered two books. ------>

2.  NO SPECIFIC DATES I don't accept books for review on specific dates.  Being retired means that I can pretty much do what I want, when I want, unless I over-commit myself.

3.  NO PROMISES Any books accepted for review are subject to being tossed if they don't work for me.   If I don't finish a book, I probably won't write about it at all.  I reserve the right to say nothing about the book at all.

4.  UNSOLICITED BOOKS — These will be reviewed if and when I choose to read the book.  I reserve the right to read what I want to read when I want to read it.

5.  EMAIL ME To request a review, write to me at emergingDOTparadigmATyahooDOTcom.  I won't reply unless I'm interested in your book.

Monday Mindfulness ~ dancing for joy

Roberta Bondi, one of my seminary professors, made me aware of this one on Facebook when she commented on it.  Let's all dance like no one is looking or cares.  Be joyful today.
“Nobody cares if you can't dance well. Just get up and dance. Great dancers are great because of their passion.” Martha Graham
This one's for my dancing friend Emily.  You go, girl!

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Sunday Salon ~ anyway


It was rainy in Nashville on Friday, but my friend Donna and I enjoyed attending a dialogue between Janis Ian and Miriam Therese Winter at Scarritt-Bennett Center.  The event was heralded as "When Worlds Collide: Two Jersey Broads on Life, Love, and the Holy Spirit."

Janis Ian, whose first release was Society's Child, has won two Grammy Awards the first in 1975 for her song At Seventeen, and the second in 2013 for Best Spoken Word Album for Society's Child: My Autobiography.  This year, she beat out Michelle Obama, Bill Clinton, Ellen DeGeneres, and Rachael Maddow, saying in her acceptance speech, "I keep thinking there's a punch line in here somewhere.  An ex-president, a first lady, and three lesbians walk into a bar."

Miriam Therese Winter (called "MT" by colleagues, students, and friends) is Professor of Liturgy, Worship, Spirituality and Feminist Studies at Hartford Seminary.  She has a penchant for exploring new and more authentic ways of living faith fully in a constantly evolving universe.  That sounds like all scholarship and research, but she is at heart a singer of songs whose recording Joy is Like the Rain went Gold in the 1960s. Here's a professional version of the song, and here's a one-minute piano version.

Society's Child: My Autobiography ~ by Janis Ian, 2008, memoir
It was the best of songs, it was the worst of songs.

But it was my song.

I was twelve years old, sitting in the back seat of our station wagon with my brother beside me and my father's guitar in my lap.  I'd picked my time carefully; we were headed from our home in New Jersey to my grandparents' apartment in the Bronx, so I had at least forty-five uninterrupted minutes to get my parents' full attention and play them the first song I'd ever written, "Hair of Spun Gold."
Paradoxology: Spirituality in a Quantum Universe ~ by Miriam Therese Winter, 2009, religion
Paradoxology.  About twenty years ago, this strange, wise, wonderful word appeared in a flash of insight and took up residence in me.  I did not know what to do with it, so I let it settle there in the soft underbelly of my spirit.  Like a sacred talisman infused with shamanic energy, this shard of the Holy Spirit, cautiously yet consistently, contributed to what I now would call a radical change in perception.  It helped me see what I needed to see and encouraged me to embrace it.

It all came together for me one day in a classroom filled with students.  While speaking about something I do not recall, I heard myself pose these questions:
  • Why are the liturgies I celebrate called paraliturgy?
  • Why are the biblical stories I tell called paraphrase?
The first face-to-face meeting of these collaborators, according to Janis, was "three hours of bonding over laundry and quantum physics."  It was fascinating to hear these two on Friday evening.  I especially like how MT, as she's called, plays with words.  In the first chapter, from which the above was quoted, she speaks of paradigm and paradox, paraphrase and a parallel universe.  She titled the chapter "The Amazing Para Maze."  John Seigenthaler moderated their dialogue.


A version of this list of sayings is attributed to Mother Teresa, though it appears to have originated with a college student named Kent M. Keith in a 1968 pamphlet titled “The Silent Revolution: Dynamic Leadership in the Student Council.”  Emily, who did her research, brought copies last week to everybody in our Bible study class.
People are often unreasonable, irrational, and self-centered.
Forgive them anyway.
If you are kind, people may accuse you of ulterior motives.
Be kind anyway.
If you are successful, you will win some unfaithful friends and some genuine enemies.
Succeed anyway.
If you are honest, people may deceive you.
Be honest anyway.
If you find serenity and happiness, some may be jealous.
Be happy anyway.
The good you do today may be forgotten tomorrow.
Do good anyway.
Give the best you have, and it will never be enough.
Give your best anyway.
In the final analysis, it is between you and God.
It was never between you and them anyway.
The Sunday Salon's Facebook page has links to other blogs.