Tuesday, May 29, 2007

for Cindy...a blessing prayer and deepest gratitude

Cindy Sheehan has resigned from....her work as an peace activist. I have never met Cindy, but her work and tireless commitment to the anti-war effort has been moving, deep, costly for her, and heroic.
And, for her, and many others, to no avail.
There seems to be no end to this crazy mess of an unnecessary war...
There is peace worker fatigue and people, I think, feel helpless thus apathetic about this war, which we will pay for later.

but, for Cindy...
I want to thank you for your courage and your voice,
your unrelenting stand
for holding our Congress, on both sides of the aisle, accountable,
for being one amazing woman.

My prayer for you is love....and stillness...
wholeness and rest...
and blessing upon blessing upon blessing.

Sunday, May 27, 2007


This is a picture of my sisterfriend who is a paksanim and moksanim in Korea. A scholar/professor (paksanim) and also a presbyterian pastor (moksanim), she recently presented a paper at a biblical scholarship conference. When I see her, in the midst of her colleagues, who are all male, I am amazed and curious and feel for her. Many of them, from what I understand, aren't always on the same page as her in the academy. Obviously, she is in the minority as a female scholar--and she worked hard and was extraordinarily persistent in obtaining her tenure track post. I know she is a voice of liberation and justice for those on the fringe and underrepresented, but it is draining and hard work. Prayers and blessings to you, dear Yeong Mee. It is my honor to be your friend and colleague.
Love, karlassi

Monday, May 21, 2007

my soul restored

Today I spent much of the day at pottery class and in the studio. I continually am amazed at how time flies when I am working with clay, and how much I love being in the company of other clayartists. It is such a wonderful community...and when I am there, whether it is cleaning up my muddy workspace, testing glaze combinations, trying to save a wobbly pot, or wishing I could do something better or know more details about something else, the studio experience always refreshes my heart and clears my mind and fills my soul.
Today, I made two bowls. One a five pounder, and the other a six pounder. I confess, though, that I am tired of bowls and am going to throw some nice mugs and tumblers in terracotta so that I can try my hand at maiolica or majolica There seems to be a disagreement as to whether it is the same thing, or different. My current pottery teacher says it is different technique, but I am not so sure. I think it has to do with the country. In any case, I am going to try it!

Friday, May 18, 2007

privilege and honor and rights

Yesterday, I had the opportunity to celebrate the 1,000 signer of the Religious Declaration of the Freedom to Marry in Massachusetts, sponsored by the Religious Coalition For The Freedom To Marry The signer was the Right Reverend Gayle Davis, The Episcopal Bishop Suffragen of the Massachusetts Diocese. One very dignified and cool and courageous woman, if you ask me. For me, the event was amazing and inspiring...Governor Patrick showed up as did the Speaker of the House, the President of the Senate, all who spoke passionately about working together to NOT allow a vote on a constitutional amendment that would define marriage as strictly between a woman and man. There were a good many state legislators there, which was heartening. I was particularly moved by the presence of the lineage of clergy who founded this movement and took stands for the freedom to marry in places and congregations and cities where they stood in defiance with their denominations or religious groups as well as public opinion...I am grateful. Humbled and grateful.

And yes, I contacted my legislators, one of which thinks it is fine to put minority rights against public opinion. Unfortunately, one of the things we as a human race do not do well at en masse is protect those who have less power.
I am not so sure why my marriage is such a threat to others or the moral fabric of the country. Even if it were, it is not the job of the government to legislate morality, but it is the job of the government to protect the civil rights of its citizens. I love this quote from Thomas Merton on Sojourner's daily email:

I have the immense joy of being [human], a member of a race in which God became incarnate. As if the sorrows and stupidities of the human condition could overwhelm me, now I realize what we all are. And if only everybody could realize this! But it cannot be explained. There is no way of telling people that they are all walking around shining like the sun.
- Thomas Merton
from Conjectures of a Guilty Bystander

In any case...it was a privilege to get to be there, to sign the document myself, and to see democracy in action.

Friday, May 11, 2007

peace day

The original intent in the establishment of Mother's Day was that it was to be a day for women to call for Peace. Julia Ward Howe, in 1870, wrote the Mother's Day Proclamation to unite women against war...inspired by the work of Ann Jarvis, who organized Mother's Work Days (beginning in 1858). The purpose of the Work Days, or Work Groups were first, to improve sanitary conditions in military camps for both sides of the Civil War, and then later, shifted focus on the reconciliation of Confederate and Union neighbors. In the late 1850's! How progressive and edgy!

Howe wasn't sucessful in her attempt to get formal recognition for Mother's Day, but we still have her prophetic call:

"From the voice of a devastated Earth a voice goes up with
Our own. It says: "Disarm! Disarm!
...Let women now leave all that may be left of home
For a great and earnest day of counsel.
Let them meet first, as women, to bewail and commemorate the dead.
Let them solemnly take counsel with each other as to the means
Whereby the great human family can live in peace..."

Wow. These words are better than bouquet of teleflora flowers or a box of chocolates. (Don't get me wrong, I love flowers, and someone dear to me is a florist who is one of the most generous and loving and committed people I know.) But, let's get to the root of things....let's celebrate Mothers Day in its orginal intenti--not the way that Hallmark hijacked it...by working and talking and creating our dream of peace for the devastated Earth and the great human family....

I love you Mom~