Interdependent Web: Trump derangement syndrome, more waters rising, resilience and rest, beautiful people

Interdependent Web: Trump derangement syndrome, more waters rising, resilience and rest, beautiful people

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


Trump derangement syndrome

Andrew Hidas described the symptoms of what many liberals have been feeling for some time: Trump derangement syndrome.

My symptoms include sleeplessness, periodic depression, a first-ever obsession with cable news, and the tiny hairs on my wrists snapping to attention every time my phone lights up in that way it started to do sometime last year with little snippets that usually included the words “Russia” and “Trump Administration” in them.

My night-time sweats include fear of a ruined environment, a ruined economy, a ruined health care system, a ruined world order, fear of the end of the world itself. (Traversing, May 27)

The Rev. David Pyle, drawing on his background in military intelligence, could not believe that members of the administration have kept their security clearances.

If you can ask the Russian Ambassador to set up a covert communications channel in order to dupe US National Security and Counter-intelligence and not only get to keep your security clearance, but avoid being immediately arrested on espionage charges, then I am just dumbfounded. National Security no longer means what it once did. (Facebook, May 27)

More waters rising

The Rev. Lynn Ungar responded to news that the U.S. would be pulling out of the Paris climate accord.

The fact of the matter is that the current administration works out of an ideology of “getting tough.” The primary value is expressing dominance, not achieving goals that would be of real advantage to the citizens of the US. We “get tough” with our allies rather than looking at how we could cooperate to mutual advantage. . . . We “get tough” by eliminating regulations, without bothering to pay attention to whether those regulations serve the common good, or whether there might be different regulations that might serve everyone better. . . .

The goal is to demonstrate power and control. . . . There is no weighing of costs and benefits. There is no search for creative solutions. There is only the goal of winning, and you know that you are winning because someone else is losing.

It is, in short, the epitome of both white supremacy and toxic masculinity. And it could be the death of us all. (Quest for Meaning, June 1)

The Rev. Dan Schatz shared a song for our times, “There Are More Waters Rising,” by Saro Lynch-Thomason.

I thought of this song when I marched through the streets of Philadelphia the day after Inauguration, with my child beside me holding a sign that read: “March today and work everyday for justice, equality and compassion.” I remembered its words when airports filled with demonstrators, and immigration lawyers became the new heroes of the age. I heard its melody as I worked with my Unitarian Universalist congregation to reach out to immigrant communities made vulnerable by the government’s actions. Its echoes came to me as I watched the fires burn at Standing Rock. I sing it again today as we face the very real impacts of climate denial and environmental policies that place profit over responsibility. (The Song and the Sigh, June 1)

Resilience and rest

John Beckett provided his definition of resilience, and practical ways the obtain it.

Resilience is not some mystical substance some of us are born with and others aren’t. Resilience is a virtue, and like all virtues it can be cultivated. Resilient people don’t “come back stronger than ever.” They survive and they keep moving. Sometimes what doesn’t kill them really does make them stronger. Sometimes they buy time till they can make a change. Other times they adjust their goals to a new reality.

Resilience is not a panacea – sooner or later we all die.

Resilience is doing what must be done, no matter what. (Under the Ancient Oaks, June 1)

The Rev. Karen Hering explored the soul-renewing practice of keeping Sabbath.

Keeping Sabbath or Shabbat is a practice that honors time’s place in these mysteries, its long reach and its wholeness present in every momentary glimpse we get of it. By stepping out of our efforts to measure time and to use it toward productive ends, we are invited to step into time’s deeper reservoirs and to receive the gifts it has to offer. As we do, we experience time’s ability to befriend the soul and nurture it with the wholeness and mystery the soul needs to thrive. (Karen Hering, May 29)

Beautiful people

The Rev. Vanessa Southern shared fond memories of her recently deceased Aunt Anne.

The Annie I knew, all these years ago, wanted life on her terms. She was grand and sweeping, adoring and indulgent, a bit changeable sometimes, but generous unfailingly. She had a big heart and the world almost seemed inadequate to hold it. I had never seen anyone like her. And I don’t think I have seen many like her since. And I owe my life to her. (Medium, May 27)

The Rev. Amy Zucker Morgenstern told of an encounter with a parishioner who reminds her of a prickly, delicate, beautiful sweet gum tree seed pod. (Sermons in Stones, May 30)

drawing of prickly seed from sweet gum tree
© 2017 Amy Zucker Morgenstern