Voyages of Discovery

How could I have expectedthat after a long life I wouldunderstand no more than to wake upat night and to repeat: strange,strange, strange, o how strange, howstrange. O how funny and strange.Czeslaw MiloszI notice that today is the anniversary of many things, but they include how on this day a long time ago Christopher Columbus launched off on his last voyage of discovery. And, on this day not quite so long ago the Beagle launched, carrying Charles Darwin on his voyage of discovery.Here I am now … [Read more...]

Next Steps

It was such a high, being elected the next minister of the First Unitarian Church of Providence. Exhilarating. Affirming.Then a small emotional crash.And now, what follows...Now that we're planning on moving to Providence, it means we get to spend a small fortune fixing up the house. Doing, you know, all the things we never got around to doing for ourselves in the almost eight years we lived here. Sigh...The contractor begins on Monday, so we're spending much of the weekend moving things out of … [Read more...]

Snowy Egret

Snowy EgretA late summer night and the snowy egrethas come again to the shallows in front of my houseas he has for forty years.Don't think he is a casual part of my life,that white stroke in the dark.Mary Oliver … [Read more...]

Ananda Claude Dalenberg

Why don’t we get drunksit all night facing the moon“opening our hearts”as men did long ago? last night was full moon, but too cloudy. one bottle of sake soon lunchtime today you stopped byyour ship sails from Kobe at six. eight years: San Francisco, thebeaches, the mountains, Japan. Quiet talk and slow easy pace.with your rucksack to India,Europe, return ease of the world, the light … [Read more...]

Rains are Coming

As I write this I understand a major rain storm is rolling toward us.When I count my blessings, living here in New England provides many of them. I love the culture. I love the history. I love the countryside. I love the cities. The roaring Atlantic ocean breaking on the shores of Maine. Northampton and the Berkshires. The Freedom trail. The beauty of Vermont and New Hampshire. Connecticut. The Cape.Nearly all thoughts of living in Providence and Rhode Island are a delight to … [Read more...]

A Note to Senator Clinton

Today I sent the following to Senator Hillary Clinton at her Congressional email addressDear Senator Clinton,Please, for the sake of the party, and vastly more importantly, for the sake of the nation; it is time for you to step aside and let Senator Obama begin his national campaign.You have fought tooth and nail.And you came within a hair's breadth of winning.Your future is bright. You will continue to serve the nation and the world in many ways. Perhaps as the party's vice-presidential … [Read more...]

A Brief Thought About Science Fiction and Particularly Robert Heinlein

Part of the whole process of "search," engaging in the process that hopefully leads a minister within our liberal tradition to a "call," that is employment, is lots and lots of self-revelation. One thing I've said a lot in a lot of different contexts, including here at this blog, but out of various interactions with folk along the way to that election this past Sunday to serve at the First Unitarian Church of Providence, really, really hit me: was how much I owed Science Fiction for what I call … [Read more...]

Rabindranath Tagore

Rabindranath Tagore was born on this day in 1861. Tagore was the first non-European to win the Nobel Prize for literature, in 1913.Of particular interest to me is how following his father, a leader of the Brahmo Samaj, a Hindu-reform movement inspired in part by both English and American Unitarianism, Tagore would be closely associated with this spiritual movement for the whole of his life.(By the bye, as frequent visitors to this blog probably know, I'm quite fond of Wikipedia, using it … [Read more...]

Remaining Agnostic About Agnostic Buddhism

The following is an essay written by Victor Lapuszynski. Vic is an old friend and Dharma companion with both a strong practice and a reflective habit. Here he shared a note taking umbrage with my Batchelorphilia, making some very strong points. I think they should be considered by anyone engaged in the conversation about the shape of Batchelor's Agnostic Buddhism.I had thought to write something to you in response to an older post, but procrastinated. Then you mentioned Batchelor again, and … [Read more...]

Phoebe Ann Coffin Hanaford

Phoebe Ann Coffin Hanaford was born on this day in 1829.One of the first women ordained as a Universalist minister, she was the first ordained in New England. Raised a Quaker, Hanaford was a successful writer, and was active as an abolitionist and suffragist. She was ordained by the Hingham Universalist church in 1868.Her first pulpit was in Waltham, Massachusetts, then she accepted a call to New Haven, Connecticut where she also served as chaplain for the Connecticut Legislature. Later she … [Read more...]