Interdependent Web: Between winter and spring

Interdependent Web: Between winter and spring

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


Between winter and spring

The Rev. Dr. Carl Gregg suggests rewatching the movie Groundhog Day as a spiritual practice.

Groundhog Day plays with that turning point on the Wheel of the Year with the question of whether Punxsutawney Phil will see his shadow. In the film, Bill Murray’s “everyman” meteorologist . . . is faced metaphorically with that same question: on Groundhog Day (on Imbolc), will he (will we?!) turn toward our shadow (our unconscious, habitual ways of being in the world)—or will we choose to live a more intentional, conscious life? (Pluralism, Pragmatism, Progressivism, February 2)

The Rev. Catharine Clarenbach explains why she loves Imbolc.

Everyone I know thinks February sucks. For me, though the weather is terrible, the month is redeemed by Imbolc, Valentine’s Day, and of course, my own tiara-wearing time—birthday week. But Imbolc, the inauguration of the month, is really the queen. (The Way of the River, February 1)

Maggie Beaumont honors the February holidays by reviewing her life, at the middle of a challenging year.

This week I’ve been identifying my goals for the next three months. I swing between overconfidence and terror. What if I set goals that seem too small? Will my supervisor think I’m shirking? What if I set goals that seem too big? Will my peers think I’m egotistical? After all this time, I keep expecting to find this stuff easy. But it isn’t. (Nature’s Path, January 29

Spiritual grounding

The Rev. Dr. Cynthia Landrum reviews a recent blog post about the need for spiritual grounding in UU leaders.

Our people are thirsty for spirituality. I've done a lot of writing over the years on blogs, and have had three articles in the UU World, and out of all that writing the one piece that people keep talking to me about and writing me about is the piece about doodling as a spiritual practice. (The Lively Tradition, February 3)

The Rev. Erica Baron suggests that the opportunity to connect with the underworld, the world of “the Shaper,” is one of the gifts Pagan UUs offer to the larger UU community.

The Shaper . . . would really like us to leave our brains at the door when we come to worship. It would like worship to be a sensory and emotional experience that takes us to visit the Underworld, rather than an experience where thought has center stage. And this is often what Pagan ritual does. The rituals I have experienced are rich with symbolism, sensory experiences of many kinds, ritual drama and storytelling, and various ways of inducing trance states, all of which are the beloved playthings of the Shaper.

If Pagan UUs can offer worship that has these hallmarks, perhaps we can help our larger religious community to better integrate the part of ourselves that dwells in the spaces deeper than the earth and more intuitive than rational. (Nature’s Path, February 4)

Alison Leigh Lilly writes that relishing choice is one way “not to be an ass.”

There is a famous philosophical paradox known as Buridan’s Ass, in which a hungry donkey finds himself exactly halfway between two identical stacks of hay and, being unable to choose between them, stands there until he starves to death. . . .

Intelligence can only take you so far when you’re bogged down by fear—fear of loss, fear of making the wrong decision, fear of the consequences of claiming your own power to act in the world and owning up to all of the wild possibilities that spiral out from that act. (Holy Wild, February 4)

Some things we’ve learned

The Rev. Tom Schade lists some of the things UUs have learned about racism, applying them to the current Democratic primary race.

Racism is not a secondary issue which will get solved along the way of dealing with other issues. Racism in UULand was not going to go away because we energized our music programs, or started saying "amen" when we liked what the preacher said. Racism does not go away in congregations that have more working class white people in them. Racism must be confronted directly. (The Lively Tradition, January 31)

The Rev. Cathy Rion Starr discovers a reluctance to talk about racism when looking for a preschool for her daughter.

I learned a lot at the school fair. I learned that, even in this system that is explicitly designed with race and desegregation at the core, our educators do not know how to talk about racism, let alone give their students tools to cope with it. I will keep looking for educators who can support my child to think critically about race and racism. . . . (Raising Race-Conscious Children, February 2)