Interdependent Web: A season of surrender, navigating chaos, supporting each other

Interdependent Web: A season of surrender, navigating chaos, supporting each other

A weekly roundup of blogs and other user-generated web content about Unitarian Universalism.


A season of surrender

Following a UU Lenten practice, Tina Porter considers the concept of surrender; in her case, surrender to a chilly midwestern climate, when she would prefer to live someplace warmer.

I give up. I surrender to the reality of my life. That I live here where the temperatures fluctuate as drastically as they do in the southwest, just lower.

I surrender, happily and without regret, to the life I have made, the choices that have led me here and to the snow that gathers on the brand new leaves. (Ugly Pies, March 2)

Navigating chaos

For the Rev. Robin Tanner, the months following the 2016 election have reminded her of navigating her flooded neighborhood as a ten-year-old child; she offers these words to help us cope with chaos and panic.

It will feel as if there is too much to feel, too much to offer compassion for, too many people to protect and love; love and protect them anyway.

If you break silence and speak out or if you are bold or if you do something that shines, even your allies may come for you; shine on anyway.

You will try and fail; try anyway.

Your greatest heroes will disappoint you, especially up close, get close anyway.

You will be confused and unsure of what to do next, do what is next anyway.

You will say the wrong thing and you may look back horrified at something you once did, speak anyway.

There will be kindness and joy in the midst of pain, feel it all anyway you can. (Facebook, February 24)

The Rev. Karen Hering finds the crowdedness of practicing democracy to be a challenge, and welcomes the wisdom of Pema Chödrön.

[Democracy] is a crowded thing requiring that we cluster and convene, especially across our differences; it also requires a friendly spaciousness of heart and mind that makes civil exchanges possible, even in a crowded room. This is what democracy looks like . . . . making room for many perspectives and ideas and for a respectful and creative exchange between them that will result in something new. True democracy not only involves crowded gatherings, but also the underlying spaciousness that makes them possible. It requires clearing space for the crowd and also for new voices, new conversations, new understandings and for a growing appreciation of the common good. (Karen Hering, March 1)

Someone asked Maggie Beaumont how she responds, as a Wiccan, to our current political situation.

All around me is reason for despair, but also reason for hope. More of my companions are deeply engaged than I’ve seen in decades. More actual work is being done to reduce racism, ageism, sexism, ableism, and what I have to call religionism.

I know, as I said at the beginning, that everything goes in cycles. The pendulum swings, sometimes farther and sometimes more briefly. May the present cycle of oppression and doublespeak be brief, may the hard work continue and may it be effective; may the pendulum swing back toward center, and may we dwell in a fair-minded place longer than before. (Nature’s Path, February 24)

Kim Hampton asks important questions why we don’t look to our own past for historical parallels.

Why is most of the comparison to another historical moment that of Nazi Germany and Fascist Italy? Why are most people looking to Europe to make the comparison and not to our own history? (East of Midnight, February 24)

The Rev. Madelyn Campbell celebrates the subversive power of art.

Since the time that the prophet Nathan told King David a story about a rich man who stole a sheep from a poor man to provoke David to do the right thing, people have been using art as tool for justice. Use art. Go and see art. Support it. Make art.

Art is dangerous. It’s subversive. And it’s important. What will you subvert today? (The Widow’s Mite-y Blog, February 23​)

We hold each other up

The Rev. Dr. David Breeden writes about the failure of individualism, which comes to us through Christianity and Transcendentalism.

A look at the results of two centuries of individualism in the United States reveals a nation that is violent and divided; a nation of despair and quick fixes. A nation of fake news, otherwise known as lies. The results of individualism don’t look good. The contradictory and conflicting claims of the right and left wings of Christianity reveal only how we got into the problem in the first place. The claims of Transcendentalism don’t appear to have produced positive results either. It is doing the same thing in a different set of clothes. (Quest for Meaning, March 2)

Doug Muder shares a recent sermon, titled, “Why Be a Congregation?”

If the Unitarian Universalist vision is going to be anything more than just a pleasant daydream, we need allies. We need each other. . . .

We come together to hold each other up through difficult times. On days when you are feeling intimidated, you can be with people who have courage. When you feel yourself slipping into despair, you can look into the eyes of people who still have hope. Maybe today I do that for you. Maybe tomorrow you do it for me.

We join together because we are stronger that way. We need each other. (Free and Responsible, February 27)