I believe that – somehow – the people live on in the memories of those left behind. While that was comforting to me from my perspective – the living perspective – I found I had a lot of questions of what that would mean from the other side. What would such an afterlife seem like to someone who had died?
I’m a Unitarian Universalist. We have a set of seven principles that help us with questions of morality. The death penalty bumps up against four of them at least. Despite that, I do have a nagging suspicion there are certain acts that so violate societal norms that – yes, they should merit death. But I can’t say – specifically – what they are.
Last year we had a couple of garden spiders that were as colorful as Pepper, our rental parrot. I left them alone out there to spin their webs, catch their bugs and crawl around wherever they pleased. In the fall, if I found them in the house, they were dead.
I wrote that line and had some ideas I wanted to convey. But it was still too early. The emotion I felt was too deep. It came from somewhere in my reptilian brain and defied any attempt to put it into language, short of a cross between a low growl and a plaintive howl to the sky.
We wrapped up our Sunday School curriculum with a lesson on atonement and reconciliation. The UU church doesn’t have a formal way to handle these concepts. However a number of other religions do. The lesson plan suggested we mention Yom Kippur and the Sacrament of the Penance as examples. I would have been happy to… if I knew what either of them was.
We’ve been focusing our Service Sundays on the plight of the homeless these past few months. This time, the kids from all the classes got together for a letter writing campaign in the art room.
“How are they going to get the letters?” asked one little girl about five or six. I explained we were writing letters to people who could help the homeless rather than the homeless themselves. That opened up a can of worms.
It wasn’t enough to hear, but to actually listen. I had some sounds that weren’t “sounds” in the sense we could hear them with our own ears. I found a recording of humpback whales moaning in the ocean. I also found the eerie whistling of the aurora on Saturn coupled with the low windy sounds blowing out from the sun across space. I also found the steady, rhythmic tapping from a pulsar, spinning in space like a cosmic metronome.
The recommended song was – of course – If I Had a Hammer. Looking in my vast audio archives, I discovered three versions of the song to choose from. I had the Trini Lopez version. That was a hit back in the early sixties, but sounds a bit dated now. Completely opposite of that, I have a version by Leonard Nimoy, of all people (should have been called If I Had a Phaser).
I feel bad not giving Zachary a more dignified send off, but it was obvious he had gone gently into that good night, leaving his mortal coil at room temperature in an enclosed area for a couple of days.
P was a little bent, making her arms go round.
E looked a little flat, sitting on the ground.
I received several invitations to join a group on Facebook. This one was called “Putting CHRIST Back in Christmas”. As an English major, I’ve always disliked people contracting “Christmas” down to “Xmas”. It always seemed to me if it was going to be reduced to anything, it should be “+mas”. Well, it turned out I was mistaken about a couple of things.
Jingle Bells was written in 1857 by James Lord Pierpont who happened to be a Unitarian. Because of this “special” connection to the song, we sang the complete version of Jingle Bells in Children’s Chapel on Sunday morning.
Before you ask, the complete song does not include any references to Batman.