• Let’s think the unthinkable, let’s do the undoable. Let us prepare to grapple with the ineffable itself, and see if we may not eff it after all. Douglas Adams
    Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency

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Other Blogs

  • Unsettled Time
    We are living in unsettled time. Wp Rnpt has ended the time between time, the Days Upon the Year in which time is upended and unordered, but time is still not aligned fully. We have space in which action exists, in which we can uphold the world, set ma’at in its place, the leverage to […]
  • Just a quick note
    I’ve updated my bio page with a link to Les Cabinets Des Polytheistes, where my story “Spine of the World” is published (and in which people can play Spot The Netjer if they are so inclined), and my less-specific webspace Suns in Her Branches, which is broader than this space (which is specifically for reconstructionist-derived […]
  • Opet article is up
    And can be read here.Filed under: Patheos Links
  • On Falling in Love
    For a long time, whenever I wanted to talk about the experience of conversion when I found Kemeticism, I talked about falling in love. It wasn’t just “Oh, this religious concept works for me,” it was a passionate thing, an […]
  • Eclipse Magic
    I am eight. I have been given a subscription to the magazine Sky & Telescope as part of our preparation for Halley’s Comet, and I read through it, earnestly trying to make sense of the articles, studying the pictures. I […]
  • Hills of the Horizon: The Past is Another Country
    The problem with extrapolation from history is that nothing is testable. The evolution of a religion over time is not a predictable and easily comprehensible thing, where we can look at a point in time and say, "It was like this then, so it would be like that now." The process of deciding what needs […]

In the Cold There Are Candles

The sanctuary is bright, bright, the severe Puritan white of everything moderated by the jeweltone quilt hung in the front and the two immense squares hanging from the balcony windows on either side, two immense squares bearing names, remembrances, handprints, love expressed in pen and quilting, years of life. Most from the forties or fifties spanning to the nineties, one 1982-1990 with photographs of a family laminated to the fabric.

The disco ball rotates over the chancel as we are called to sing, and we sing “Deck the Halls” with all the promise of Advent, we strike the harp and join the chorus in the house of remembrance, in the gathering chill of winter. Candles are lit, so many for the many recent dead, some also for hopes, for joys, the bowl for candles brimming with lights.

I look through the order of service, read the texts of the music I missed when taking the little ones down to the nursery, and half-laugh, as one of the pieces, listed as ‘sung in German’, is translated “There’s no getting along with some people.” The church is packed, overflowing, which I was expecting from the parking, expecting because it is the parish minister’s farewell sermon, and she has been there about as long as I have, a little longer, though without the five-year gap in the middle. It makes the sound on the balcony difficult, and I strain for hearing.

Two of the youth – one on the piano, one a vocalist – are performing Orbison’s “Blue Bayou”, and I cannot help but remember, looking out at the square of the AIDS quilt with the quote from e. e. cummings, that reads “WHO WIELDS A POEM HUGER THAN THE GRAVE ?“, and they say it is a song for Advent, about longing and reaching, and it is that, but I think of the video for the Traveling Wilburys, The End of the Line, and the empty chair with Orbison’s guitar, remembering him in his absence. (And I think of Tom Petty, and I think of George Harrison, and I think….)

The parish minister speaks of love, of support, of this place and what she has learned there, which is much of why I go there even though it is not my local church, still drive back towards it, to the warmth in the cold, the blazing candles, the disco ball. She tells stories, good ones, painful ones, she begs us to be kind and put the hymnals away in proper order, she mentions a problem with the drains that makes us laugh. I go down to her receiving line, I hug her twice, we talk, as we do on occasion, and she mentions being pleased I’m getting published, and I mention I lent a copy of the book to John, and she says she will read it after he does.

The church, brimful, has unloaded into the common room for coffee hour and it is so loud and crowded it nearly makes me – already leaky from the quilt, the poem, the sermon, the candles – nearly cry from overwhelm. I put away my nametag and flee into the basement to find the babies, and sit with the youngest nestled against my chest for a while in the quiet of the playroom, not surrounded by the overwhelming and above all noisy love of this home of spirit.

We the people look east for love, the guest, the rose, the star. The crowning of the year comes, and it may be cold, and we may mourn, and there will be partings, but there will still be candles lit for joy and sorrow, in the candleburning dark of the year.

(Haven’t managed one of these for a while.)

Tangled Up In Blue

I mutter, rummaging through my supplies cabinet, wondering where I stashed my bluing. The water is running in the tub already, and I go back to check on it several times before I think to look in the chest where I have been storing some Craft supplies and find it there, both bottles.

I drizzle […]

On the Naming of Cats (and other Things)

It’s been a while since I’ve been competent to write. Which is sort of a problem all around, given how much of my life and my work are built around the writing.

A bit less than two weeks ago, I decided to read through a couple of webpages that had discussion of traits that are […]

Can’t Take It With You

The service ended on the vehement command: “Spend the afternoon! You can’t take it with you!”

I feel the church year proper has begun at last.

Rank by rank again we stand, from the four winds gathered hither. Loud the hallowed walls demand whence we come and how, and whither.

There are times I feel […]

Unitarian Revival Meeting

The new church year begins, and as is the habit at ours when the weather allows, it began out on the common with music and performance and bagpipers.

We were exhorted to wake up and see wonders. The children played on the grass.

A second staff has been added where the rainbow pride flag blows, […]