The Quixotic Pastor

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Last Night, I Slept ...

... all night long. Yippee!!!!!!

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

It's 4 am --Why Am I Not Asleep, Dammit

I don't think I have been able to sleep a night through without benefit of a sleep-aid of some kind in about 6 months.

I usually have to get up at least once in the night to pee, and when I do, once I am awake ... I can't stop the thoughts, the anxious round of "What can I do about this ... and this? Oh damn, I hadn't even thought of that" and so forth. So often, I'm damned if I do, damned if I don't ... just plain damned, caught between a rock and a hard place.

Lately, I feel like everytime I open my mouth, I am alienating somebody --including some of the people that are supposed to be helping me out. Unfortunately, I do not have the luxury of keeping my mouth closed.

The tears are right there on the surface --but they absolutely do not quite come. The earliest Christians used to pray for the grace, the gift of tears; the Apostle Paul talks about praying in sighs and groans too deep for words and it would relieve the heaviness of my stress to cry it out. But I just ... can't quite do that yet.

Some of the lay people at my church would be appalled that I don't pray my way through my insomnia. They don't understand that there is a curious thing that happens when I try to pray for my own needs in the middle of the night --maybe it happens with some of the rest of my clergy sibs as well. I start praying in "Jesus' name" --and, unbidden, thoughts of my congregants intrude and before I realize it, I am back on the anxiety merry-go-round [now that's an oxymoron for you] riding the horsies ... and trying to figure out how I got there.

The other night, I meditated upon the serenity prayer, and repeated it mentally [because I don't want to disturb DH, who also is often sleep challenged because of her headaches] ... and thought of two of my congregants who are very active in AA, which in turn started me down another pig path, another rabbit trail ... which would be fine, except I need to be sleeping!

There's an exercise I like to do that used to work to relax me and induce a light trance ... Utilizing a name of God that is two syllables, one breathes in slowly on the first syllable ["yaaaaahhhhhh-"] and breathes out slowly on the second ["weeeehhhhh"]. Simple exercise ... but even that isn't working for me right now.

So I am considering the "Better Living Through Nifty Chemicals" option ... think I'll go take a benedryl.

Friday, August 24, 2007

One More Bit Of Friday Miscellanea

Can I just say that I think Ann Coulter is arrogant and narcissistic ...?

Miscellaneous Friday Notes

It was raining swords and daggers just a moment ago --now it's not. But it will be again soon.
My two cats, Pooter and Corky, have been missing their catboxes a lot lately. In fact, they've even missed the room in the basement where their catboxes are located. I've just mopped the floor in the basement [the part where we like to dance and party] with Murphy's Oil Soap and water. Next, when it's thoroughly dry, I'm going to mop the floor with plain white vinegar. The theory is that, since cat urine is mostly ammonia, a base, the vinegar, which is an acid, will neutralize the cat's pee. We'll see ... in the meantime, my house will likely smell like I'm processing pickles for a few days.

It's a good thing DH and I love the cats --otherwise they might be on a slow boat to China by now.
Tonight I'm going to do something I haven't done in about 20 years. I'm going to make tacos the way my mother used to make them. It goes something like this. Preheat the oven to 350. Brown ground beef. Drain. Add some onion. Pour a can of store-bought chili --real chili like Wolf brand or Austex-- into the meat. Let simmer for awhile until its bubbly. Spoon a generous portion of the chili and meat mixture into taco shells. Sprinkle in cheese and onion. Bake in the oven, until the cheese is melted and the beef stuff is a little dry in appearance. When the tacos cool, try to eat them without spilling the contents onto your shirt.

This is the way we used to eat tacos before we discovered Taco Bell ...

Cultural Friday Five

Sally, one of our RevGalBlogPals from across the pond, offers us this F5 today:

I have spent the week at Summer School studying the Gospel and Western culture, we have looked at art, literature, music, film and popular culture in their myriad expressions. With that in mind I bring you the cultural Friday 5.

Name a
1. Book
2. Piece of music
3. Work of art
4. Film
5. Unusual engagement with popular culture that have helped/challenged you on your spiritual journey.

Bonus: Is engagement essential to your Christian faith, how and why?

Book: Necessary Losses, by Judith Viorst. I picked this one among many because "... those who lose their lives will save them" and because others might not think of it.
Piece of Music: The 23rd Psalm by Bobby McFerrin, listen [I hope.]
Work[s] of Art: Two panels of Matthias' Grunewald's Isenheim Altarpiece, Crucifixion and Resurrection. I have shared these before.
Film[s]: Schindlers List, Places In The Heart, The Color Purple
Unusual: Hey, let's talk some architecture, shall we? How about the Community of Christ temple in Independence, MO, which you can read about here on Wikipedia. Unfortunately the pictures don't do it justice.

Now for the Bonus question ... yes, engagement with the world beyond the boundaries of church is very essential to my faith, because I believe that "God is still speaking" there [thanks UCC] and I don't want to put a period where God has placed a comma [say good night, Gracie]. The world is also where the church's mission and ministry is to take place, and where its witness to God's love, peace and justice is CRUCial ....

Friday, August 17, 2007

Ingredients and Warning Label

Last Friday I was visiting with my friend and fellow activist Kator down in Most Liberal City in the Land of God's Left Hand and somehow we got to discussing the subject of "wouldn't it be nice if certain people had warning labels?" And then, because we thought that was kind of negative, we thought that maybe an "ingredients label" would be better for people.

Imagine how much easier pastoring and other church work would be if everyone had a "Nutritional Facts" label imprinted on their foreheads which described their make-up and under what circumstances they functioned well or functioned poorly ... just like a food product, dietary supplement or pharmaceutical.

And sure enough, a couple of days after that conversation, Kator sent along her very own nutritional facts label, and challenged me to produce my own. We also talked about how this might be a wonderful pre-marriage exercise for couples to do, and talked about how beneficial this exercise might be to people in many different circumstances.

So here's my "Nutritional Facts" label for Rev. Dona Quixote ... see what you think:

Nutrition Facts: [Rev. Dona Quixote]

Ingredients: mischevious moonshine; new wine of spirit; effervescent champagne joy; prophetic piss and vinegar; fire-roasted chili pepper smart-ass salsa; loving, gentle lamb; rambunctious ardent ram; persistence of pig-head; seething, simmering just-below-the surface passion sauce [serving suggestion: douse with brandy and light like a torch –poof!!!!], filet of fierce tenderness of mama bear, cream of caring, Good Humour happy-dance ice-cream delight, buttery rich lusciousness of tongue, speech and thought, ornery wild oats not yet sown. Minimal amounts of china-closet clumsy bull, savory of senseless shyness, mysterious moodiness and inscrutable closed-mouth clam may be present.

Serving Size: 1 Person, Super-sized, Voluptuous and Delicious

For Best Results:
This product performs admirably under the following conditions: presence of good humor, thoughtfulness, graciousness, good food, drink, meaningful conversation, encouragement, generosity of spirit and love, and big hugs.
Generous amounts of wine, women and song will greatly enhance this product’s flavor.
Despite this product’s propensity for intensity, regular times of reflection, isolation and solitude are important to maintain this product’s potency.

This product is volatile under certain conditions. Please note for your safety that:
· Contents tend to function poorly and possibly disappear mysteriously from your pantry if exposed to any of the following: micro-management and other forms of condescension, rigidity of thought and/or practice and other forms of inflexibility, petty criticism, manipulative behavior, nagging, whining, willful ignorance, gossip and other forms of inauthentic and unhelpful speech.
· Contents may EXPLODE if exposed to high levels of the following: recalcitrant technology, unexplainably slow traffic, arrogance, greed, selfishness, bullshit and boredom, and nearby explosions of other products.

Made in Dallas, Texas xxxx xxxx xxxx

Friday 5: Word Association Redux

From Reverend Mother:

This one is patterned off an old Friday Five written by Songbird, our Friday Five Creator Emerita:

Below you will find five words. Tell us the first thing you think of on reading each one. Your response might be simply another word, or it might be a sentence, a poem or a story.

1. vineyard
Mmmmmmmmm .... wine... yum. Actually have a visual of Willow Vineyards, a Michigan vineyard high on a hill that overlooks Grand Traverse Bay and has an incredible view --it is a wonderful place --and I bet Lutheran Chik has been there. Michiganders take note.
2. root
Depth --genealogical depth, depth in one's community--and nourishment.
3. rescue
What I find myself doing an awful lot of ....
4. perseverance
It's one of RDQ's [that's me] main ingredients, although it is listed as "persistence of pig-head" --see the post above this one
5. divided
Thinking about that classic parenting tale: two children have to share a candy bar. One cuts it in two, the other picks the piece s/he wants ... If only all of life were like that.

(Each of these appears in one of the readings from this Sunday's lectionary.)

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Feeling Sick-ish

Bleeeeeaaaaaaahhhhh ...

The inside of my sinus cavities are stinging, my ears are stuffed up and I have a headache.

I have one of those low-grade fevers that makes one feel bad, but not bad enough to go back to bed, know what I mean?

Debating on which med to take --desire something effective that won't make me sleepier than I already am. Think I'll go try some of DH's advil cold and sinus.

Maybe I'll snort some chicken broth too?

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Click to view my Personality Profile page

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Heaven Is Not A Merit Badge ...

Every so often I remember the obvious in so new a light that my memory takes on the character of revelation.

While reviewing this Sunday's lectionary passages, I remembered: Heaven is not a merit badge.

I'm not a Girl Scout [another obvious statement to anyone who knows me!] going about the life of faith so I can fill up my sash with those fancy little patches or buttons and display it proudly on my chest.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

zucchini, broccoli, and cucumbers --oh my!

One of my congregants has a large garden and has blessed me with scads of fresh produce.

The tomatoes are ripening in the window. These we'll eat in slices ... with salt and pepper or creole seasoning ... when they're a tad more ripe.

But what about the zucchini, broccoli and cukes? More than any two people, DH and me, can eat?

Well, there are several large zukes suitable for grating into freezer bags in 2 cup portions for zucchini bread, in the winter when turning on the oven is a good thing. This I will do.

I'll probably deep fry some of the smaller ones. Yum. Some may go into a salad for tomorrow night's dinner, sliced, raw.

As for the broccoli, some will be steamed as a part of tonight's dinner --the rest I will prepare and freeze tomorrow.

The cukes are just screaming to be made into refrigerator pickles ... or maybe into canned pickles. I have the jars, I have the grape leaves --pickling spice for brine can be picked up at our local grocers. I even have white vinegar, that I purchased to clean the coffee maker, but cukes/pickles are more important.

Of course, there's always cuke and onion salad ... and cucumbers and yogurt.

And there's always the opportunity to share with others just as these were shared with me ...

What would you do with these fruits of the earth, the yield of God's hand?