Interdependent Web: A time of ghosts and hope, beyond monsters and saints, opinions and passions

Interdependent Web: A time of ghosts and hope, beyond monsters and saints, opinions and passions

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


A time of ghosts and hope

Helen Rose’s New Year’s resolution is to let go of the ghosts of her past.

I freely admit that I’ve done some shitty things and I’ve caused pain. I wish there was a way to make sweeping reparations. I wish there was a way to show the people I harmed that I have changed, to show them I am so sorry, and to show them kindness where I have not in the past.

The problem, however, is that a lot of the damage was done while I was drunk or high. I don’t know who all these people are, and I don’t know the nature of my wrongs—I only know that the wrongs have occurred by the holes in my life where dear friends once stood. . . .

I suppose my choices moving forward will have to be a living testament to my journey. (I Am a Journey, 12.30.18)

Tina Porter resolves to greet each day with wonder.

[When] I wake up set to “wonder mode,” rather than “dread mode,” it will look like someone who is consciously asking her self and her body “what can we do today?” And it won’t just be a list of tasks, but a series of conversations about what is possible, what is important, and what can lie dormant for the day. It will be a day-long conversation about values rather than a tick or two off the list. . . .

It will look like an invitation to curiosity, a beckoning to becoming, a wish fulfilled. (Tina L. Porter, 1.1.19)

Aging has given James Ford a new perspective on the New Year’s holiday.

I’m rather surprised at how that singular fact has hung in my consciousness. In some ways just a mark on a calendar. On the other hand by all our social conventions I am old. Young old by some calculations, but inescapably, old. In many ways I genuinely feel the fact of that being old.

And. Of course. Dying is in my thoughts. I know we’re all dying. From the moment we draw that first precious breath, there will be a last one. But, me, I’m just a bit closer to my own personal intimate demise. There is no pretending left. Not that there’s been much. But. Today. In this New Year. I am old and death is not far away. (Monkey Mind, 1.1.19)

Beyond monsters and saints

Writing about reflexive demonization in the #MeToo movement, Liz James writes that, “sooner or later, we are going to need to start having conversations with more depth to them.”

We are going to have to stop sorting everyone into “monster” and “saint” in the #metoo movement. Sure, there are monsters who need to have all power and voice removed, but that’s not the only story. This crap is so prevalent that it is also committed by men we love, men we respect, men who also do many good things. We need room for complicated feelings, for redemption, for learning. (Facebook, 12.31.18)

Molly Brewer offers a helpful guide for how to compliment someone’s appearance without being creepy.

If what you want to compliment is something about their body—shape, skin color, size, proportion—that they can’t easily change, or came with at birth: keep that to yourself, please.

But if what you want to compliment is something that was an active choice on that person’s part—a hairstyle or color, a clothing choice, a well-placed accessory—something they clearly put effort, time, or expense into choosing? Absolutely mention it to them. . . .

Because yes, you’re still complimenting them on their appearance. But what you’re REALLY doing is complimenting them on their TASTE and the way they decided to express themself through their choices. (Facebook, 1.2.19)

Opinions and passions

John Beckett responds to a recent New York Times column suggesting that paganism was a new civic religion for the United States.

A Pagan-based civic religion requires no creeds or doctrines. It is a religare that binds us together through shared culture and values.

It begins with reverence for Nature and a realization that while we are not the children of the same God, we are all the Children of the Earth, and that includes non-human persons too. Our fate and the fate of all our children is a common fate. If we understand at a religious level that we are part of Nature, we are far more likely to elect leaders who reflect Nature-supporting values and who will enact Nature-supporting policies. (Under the Ancient Oaks, 1.3.19)

Jordinn Nelson Long has a deep longing for home—and a transient vocation as a minister.

How do you find a place to root when you serve at the will of a people?

How do you make a home in a place where you are other, and every house and rock and history belongs to someone else? How do you find a place to attach and deepen, when you must always be willing to act in negation of any meaningful sense of home–must be ready to cut ties, leave, and not return?

. . . . I have thought about this. . . . as my husband and I have wondered whether and where to find a home where we are, something with land, a neighborhood, a possibility of greater rootedness for children who are not made of air. (Raising Faith, 1.1.19)

Jake Morrill shares a thorough list of his social media and communication choices and preferences.

Mostly, Facebook seems like a floating ship of ennobling acquaintanceship. I like to follow your lives and your thinking, as you respond to what the day brings. I like your pictures of family and friends, and your opinions and passions. Many times, I’ve had my mind changed or been inspired or moved by what you post. So, thanks. (Facebook, 1.3.19)