Interdependent Web: More than one piano lesson

Interdependent Web: More than one piano lesson

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


More than one piano lesson

The Rev. Dan Harper suggests that, like learning to play the piano, becoming a Unitarian Universalist takes sustained effort.

[In] today’s immediate-gratification society, Unitarian Universalism can be a tough sell. I mean, why take piano lessons when you can stream great music online? And why learn how to think when Twitter tells you all you need to know about the world? (Yet Another Unitarian Universalist, January 25)

Diana McLean listens to the lessons of recovery from a serious injury.

It happens a lot, to all of us. Part of being human is falling down and getting hurt . . . and another part is getting back up, dusting ourselves off, and getting back to our lives, sometimes very slowly and gingerly. We're not steady on our feet (literal or metaphorical) right away—we stumble, we limp, maybe we even choose to sit down and wait a while before trying again.

Eventually, though, we usually do try again, and gradually, we regain our confidence. Maybe we're never quite as carefree in certain circumstances again . . . but we adapt, and we regain our balance, become more steady, and rediscover our own strength. (Poetic Justice, January 24)

Snow in our bones

John Beckett offers a meditation on Imbolc as another opportunity to begin again.

If you committed to a spiritual practice at the beginning of the year, continue it. If you didn’t, pick up one of these practices and commit to doing it every day. Make it a part of your life. Let it work its magic on you, helping you to separate what you really want from what you think you’re supposed to want. Let it help you separate your true will from your whims . . . and from the insecurities the advertising industry works to exploit.

As we celebrate Imbolc, let us use this cold, slow time of the year to prepare ourselves for a warm, vibrant Spring. (Under the Ancient Oaks, January 26)

Meghann Robern delights in a recent snowstorm.

I have always known I loved the snow and the cold, [but] I’ve discovered this weekend that after nearly twenty years in southern California, I have been missing, at a deep, primal level, this connection with the snow and the cold. All my ancestors are European, from Scots to English to Vikings and beyond, and it shows in my complexion and my enormous bones. . . . Hours of meditation and prayer on my part paled in comparison to the effect of mindful walking in the snow, feeling it crunch under my feet with that distinctive sound. I stare at how it sparkles, in sunlight, and moonlight, and how it reflects the man-made light so powerfully that one can walk around in the winter night as if it’s barely sunset, despite it actually being hours later. (Nature’s Path, January 24)

A shared life in a shared world

The Rev. James Ford explains why the annual meeting of the Fraters of the Wayside Inn (a clergy study group) means so much to him.

I look at the crowd, all united by being UU clergy who have expressed some interest in Universalism, but not a lot more. Some I love dearly. Others I do not. But all of them, there is with them a relationship that I realize will indeed only end with death or the steps toward death. Without really realizing it I find I have made that commitment in my heart. . . .

I find something sweet . . . [in] watching people live their lives, having watched an older generation all but pass away, having watched my own crowd move into eldership, watching younger people come in with all the mess of their lives. (Monkey Mind, January 28)

The Rev. Tom Schade introduces the first report of the UUA Task Force on Covenanting and shares his perspective.

It's all very blue-sky and out there, but it has been a chance to step back and re-think that which seems permanent and unchangeable. . . . My observation is that most UUs are very much in favor of changing the UUA in general, but respond to even the smallest suggestion of a particular change with great suspicion. Even redesigning a logo can generate a lot of negative reaction. I think lots of people really want a well-hidden and barely noticeable change that will generate a lot of money, plenty of new members, and a way to resolve the humanist-theist debate that brings peace and lets them win. (The Lively Tradition, January 22)

The Rev. Gretchen Haley answers a question posed to her study group: “ What time is it on the Clock of the World?”

It’s dark. Dark like 6 a.m. in winter dark. Dark like wind howling and disembodied whispers, dark like the disorientation of being awakened suddenly to a child’s call: mama.

Has there been any other time? They call one certain period “the dark ages,” but haven’t we always lived mostly in the dark, on the verge of dawn? The scale of the world is too big to be otherwise. (Another Possibility, January 26)

The Rev. Dr. David Breeden’s humanism affects his views on economic inequality.

My belief system requires me to fight for economic justice. . . . A shared life in a shared world. Honest disagreement about economics and politics, of course. But attempting equity and equality is a moral imperative for Humanists because we know that human beings must solve human problems. (Quest for Meaning, January 28)