Some big things have happened over the last few months. I agreed to chair the Membership Committee at church, the UUFA. I haven’t actually been on a committee for several years, and I’ve never chaired one, but apparently I was recommended for it, and the people I’ve asked to join with me agreed because they think I’m a good choice and want to be a part of it with me. I feel very flattered by that and grateful to have such wonderful friends in our UU community. We have a big task ahead of us: restructure and build our membership services to create a more welcoming and stimulating environment for our members. I’m hoping to get more involved in adult religious education.
My parents stayed with us for eight days over Christmas. We saw the new Sherlock Holmes movie, ate out a couple of times, spent Christmas Eve with my sister and brother and their families. The big deal is that not once did we have any arguments or altercations with my father. He was not too provocative or defensive, and we have learned how to not bite the hook! My mother’s health was sketchy, mostly because her doctor is tweaking medicine again. It is difficult to see her weak and unstable on her feet, plus it feels like she’s just wasting away. It’s like hugging a little bird, she’s all bones. I was feeling very stressed before they arrived. They don’t sleep in the same bed, or the same room for that matter, and my mother can’t climb stairs very well, so she slept downstairs on the futon, and my father slept upstairs in the spare room. I was starting to make myself feel stupid worrying about sleeping arrangements and my mom using a walker and the house being filled up with two more people’s stuff. Then I decided that I can’t change my mother’s disease, but I can be with my mother. I can’t change my father’s eccentricities, but I can be with my father. Favorite line from my daddy this visit: “He fled the country. We heard he’s in Illinois.”
The most upsetting development is the marriage trouble of some close family members. There is mistrust, falling out of love, no common goals, infidelity, perhaps some mental illness, certainly mid-life crisis. More on these topics later.
We spent a long New Year’s weekend with my best friend in Hartley and her family and their friends, and it was terrific. Then school started again, and it’s back to work this week. At the UUFA we’ve kicked off another round of Small Group Ministry and started on Tuesday with a topic I wrote, “Nothing is Sacred.”
As the Christian mystics state, 'God is Nothing' He is Utterly Other; He is the VOID.' Eckhart proclaims, 'Thou shalt love God as He is, a Non-God, a Non-Spirit, a Non-Person, a Non-Form.' Tauler describes God as 'The divine darkness, the nameless, formless nothing.' In Jewish mysticism we find frequent reference to the conception of God as Nothing. It is when these mystics proceed to making affirmative statements about the nature of God that misevaluation occurs. God cannot exist in the sense that we normally mean existence. As with things, whatever we say God is, he is not.
Heretics and Spirituality is meeting again, and we’ll be reading The Dictionary of the Khazars by Milorad Pavic for the next several weeks.The novel takes the form of three cross-referenced mini-encyclopedias, each compiled from the sources of one of the Abrahamic religions (Christianity, Islam, and Judaism). In his introduction to the work, Pavic wrote:
"No chronology will be observed here, nor is one necessary. Hence each reader will put together the book for himself, as in a game of dominoes or cards, and, as with a mirror, he will get out of this dictionary as much as he puts into it, for you [...] cannot get more out of the truth than what you put into it."
In personal reading I’m more than half way through the fourth Barker and Llewelyn book, The Hellfire Conspiracy, by Will Thomas.
No resolutions yet this year.