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4.28.2006

A Sighting



I saw a man,
riding a motorcycle,
in downtown Salem,
with a 36" bladed chain saw,
bungeed to the back.

Do not mess with that man.

4.26.2006


Little known fact:

My great-grandmother
(and I am a dead ringer)
was a member of the Lewis and Clark expedition, as memorialized by this statue in the
Columbia Gorge

Running Toward Healing

Tuesday's UPI column

So there I was...

in need of healing, though I didn't really think of it that way at the time. I had recently been involved in a rather nasty sort of pastoral transition, the pastor in question being me. It involved, amongst other things, sexual harassment, conflict and deep disappointment. I had weathered the couple of months of clinical depression that followed and was just getting back on my feet, when I took a short-term interim pastorate. Things were looking up, then four of my parishioners were murdered on my first day. That put things in perspective real fast.

I had previously scheduled a personal retreat for just a few weeks later and I knew that I needed to take it, despite the circumstances. I had 96 hours set aside: Friday noon until Tuesday noon. I left Salem, Oregon, just after one p.m. on my motorcycle. The official plan was to go over to the coast and go a little ways south if weather permitted, or stay at a town named Florence if it rained. The weather did not look good at the out start. My 'Rule' was, no TV, no newspapers, the Bible, but no biker bars. I talk to God on these trips. I initiated my conversation with God with the very simple request of a little sunshine. It appeared, a small patch of blue always before me, but never over me, and I chased it all the way the coast. Refueling at Florence, God spoke to me in the voice of a gas-station attendant, who said,

"You know, you can go a long ways with a little bit of blue sky.”

I realized that this had been the condition of my soul all year; rained on, chasing, but never catching the bit of blue ahead of me. I turned south on highway 101 and rode faster. I realized that I was running when I hit the California border before dark, three hundred miles from home. I'm not sure what I was running to, or running from, but I was definitely running. I slept with the sound of the ocean in my ears, and these words in my head:

"Wherever you run, I AM with you".

I spent Saturday buzzing through the Redwoods and down Highway 1 -- even smaller and closer to the Pacific Ocean. A guardian angel on a BMW bike pulled me over to warn me of an oil spill on the road ahead that surely would have taken me down, and I had lunch with two very old gay men on a Harley and a Motto Guzzi who wanted me to go with them to Baja. It was tempting, but my conversation with them caused me to explain to them and to myself why my commitments back in Oregon really did matter to me. Later, God and I had a nice light conversation about God's favorite color, and I was forced to take a very tiring detour over a mountain. I ended a ten-hour riding day in Bodega Bay talking to a prophetic waiter. I had gotten a notion in my head about visiting a certain church I had once heard about, and asked the waiter for directions. He was surprised at the street names I gave him and asked why I wanted to go into that part of the “Tenderloin” district of San Francisco. I said I was going to church and he said,

“Ah, Well, you are going to Glide Church. You are going to be OK.”

Sunday Morning I got up early and made the Golden Gate Bridge by 9 a.m. I made the 10 a.m. service at Glide United Methodist Church. I had heard a rumor about this place but I was in no way prepared for what I found. It was surreal; on my left was a prostitute who told me that she always “Stays ups for church – it’s the only thing that gets me through." On my right was a guy in drag, I think, and the people in the pew in front of me were from France. They let the band loose, and the stained glass shook. I am normally a strong introvert who dislikes and distrusts “enthusiasm” in worship. But that morning I bumped into the very real presence of a Holy, Righteous, and Rockin' God, and I clapped, and I danced, and I sang, and I cried, and somewhere during a song called "Restore my Joy," it was. I was healed, I carried no more wounds, my biochemistry was the same, my emotions were the same, but I was whole rather than damaged. I don't have any other words for it. I find these words to be totally inadequate. After the service the prostitute said to me "You came a long way to get this didn't you?" I said "About 700 miles", she laughed and said "Looks like longer than that, but it was worth it wasn't it?" It was.

The ride home was a lark; I played a familiar game with my cosmic travel agent. Here is a true thing --if you play with God, God plays right back. Sometimes on the road I play a challenge game where I name what conditions I wish to sleep under and see if God can produce them. OK, it’s a silly game, but it is fun. That afternoon I requested a place to sleep in the trees with some Mexican food – a modest request. Within an hour I was registered in a little motel and restaurant on a wooded hill run by a very nice Mexican family. The only drawback was when I discovered that the room next to mine was "Sealed by the order of the Coroner." It seems someone had “Checked out” rather permanently the night before. I stayed, and in a perusal of scripture that night found what I took to be a new “Life Verse.”


(Esther 4:16) "Pray for me, and if I perish, I perish."

I do love God's sense of humor! Many miles north the next day, my joy still intact, knowing I would only make it to Grant's Pass, a small redneck kind of town in Southern Oregon, I made my request as ridiculous as I could. I wanted to sleep by a river, find a one-hour photo shop that was open after eight and have New York cheesecake and cognac for a bedtime snack. At nine, photo's in hand, cheesecake and cognac on a patio next to the river; I was left to wonder at the theologically ludicrous notion that the creator of the Universe was spoiling me in a rather personal manner.

Tuesday noon I walked into my home, met my husband who asked if I had a good time. I acknowledged I had. He asked if I had gotten farther than Florence, and I handed him my pictures.

"Peggy, that's the Golden Gate Bridge."

“Yes dear."

“Peggy, that's you."

“Yes, it is.”

“Peggy, that's in California!"

“Yes, it did seem a little weird; very like California.”

“Peggy, what were you doing in San Francisco?"

“Getting healed, sweetheart, getting healed.”


4.20.2006

Freedom Friends Church

Alivia's blog has a nice picture on it from the inside of our meeting room.

4.18.2006

Turning Around

This weeks upi column

So There we were...

On a back road outside of Cave Junction, Oregon. We were having a day off on an extended preaching trip. My best friend and ministry partner, Alivia Biko was driving the Unctionmobile. Our holy transport is an inferno red PT Cruiser decked out with some Holy Ghost flames, a dashboard saint of Margaret Fell the mother of Quakerism, a red #3 cue ball stick shift knob designation the three parts of the Godhead and a license plate that read UNKSHN, because Oregon would not give me seven letters. Unction is a perfectly good word that my Methodist preacher grandfather used to use for any special blessing that came from God. We were headed for the beach and driving through the enclave of Takilma, a small spot on the Oregon-California border, populated by anarchists, peaceniks, heavily armed aging hippies, and an assortment of folks who wouldn't stand out in that sort of a crowd.

We had been discussing the nature of spiritual journeys, and had reached the consensus that it is always better to go forward, rather than back, no matter what the circumstances. Naturally at that point, we realized that we had missed our turn and were on a dead-end dirt road on the wrong side of town. We humbly turned around and headed back into Takilma.

Then we came upon a walking woman. She was beautifully attired in exotic cloth and dripping with dreadlocks. She extended her thumb. In Takilma, this passes for public transport, and not wanting to appear un-local, we stopped and loaded her in. Her ganja perfume was quite striking. She thanked us for the lift and gave us directions to a farm down the road, which she said housed the local volunteer-staffed radio station: read in here pirate-radio, as in Radio Free Takilma. This radio station served the community; calling out the volunteer fire brigade, the staff of the free clinic, or telling a mom without a phone that she needed to pick up a child at the dome school. In between community service, any resident could run their own radio show; turns out we were transporting the mistress of Reggae. When we left her off, we exchanged a mutual blessing, and proceeded on our way.

Immediately my stomach knotted - you know that feeling - the one you have when you have missed something really good, or when you have ignored a nudging of the Spirit. Alarmed, I turned towards Alivia, and it was clear I wasn’t the only one disturbed. She said in a sad tone, “You know, we should have given her a CD.” Alivia is a musician, gifted with a voice that God doesn’t give out very often, and she had that week released her first CD -- we had a box of them in the car.

“Turn around” I said, "Take us back, and I'll try and find her! -- Rats! God put a real-live radio lady in the car, and we almost missed her!”

Alivia executed a beautiful, full speed U-turn, and back we went into Takilma for the second time. We found what we thought was the track into the ferny woods onto which our lady had disappeared. In this part of the country you want to be a little cautious about whose vegetable patch you enter unannounced. I walked onto the land, hoping I was on the right place. I met a man coming down the trail.

"Hello Friend -- I'm looking for the radio-lady."
"Hello Yourself, She just signed on -- back there in the trailer."

I walked up a narrow path in the brush until I saw a rusty old, beaten down trailer. I barged right in. Inside it looked like the space shuttle. The radio lady didn't look surprised to see me; perhaps this lady was not surprised by much.
I got down on one knee and pleaded.

"I had to come back - You see, I'm a traveling Quaker preacher, and Alivia, who you just met driving the Unctionmobile, has just this week released her first album of truth music. We're here to preach and sing the Gospel tomorrow in Cave Junction. We should have given you a copy of the CD before we dropped you off. Could you, would you, please, oh please, give my best friend her very first radio air time?"

"Of Course, I’d be glad to.” said the reggae princess.
She asked me to write down what song she should play, as well as the info on our gospel gig.

”Now, go get back in your car so you can hear it." She dismissed me with a regal wave.

I picked track 4, Art of Life; lovely song, very nature based - not too Jesus pushy- just right for Takilma, I thought. I thanked our radio patron, hugged her, laid every blessing I could think of on her, and ran for the car.

“Drive Livi, and get that radio on!” Then, the mellow tones of our new friend came through the stereo speakers.

"Friends, this is Sister Mona Lisa, and as you know this is usually an all-reggae show, but today we have had a visitation."

She went on to talk about her lateness for her shift, the unusual pick-up by traveling Gospel ladies in a flamed out car, and my return and request.

"It is amazing to me how the Most High makes Herself known in our lives" she said, "I thought I was late, but God had something else in mind, and now I have the great honor to give Sister Alivia Biko her very first air time. Praise Be. Blessings on you, road sisters, you just keep on preaching the Good News - here is The Art of Life."

Then we heard Alivia's voice, but {bold}not{/bold} singing Art of Life, she was singing Walk On, a song that is a refrain interspersed with powerful bursts of Scripture. Alivia was on the air for sure, but God, not I, had called the tune! I whooped, I hollered, I noticed that Alivia was pretty quiet.

"What do you think? How do you feel?" No answer.
"Liv, are you ok?" No answer.

Hand waved in front of her face. No response. I gently put a hand on the wheel.
"OK, were gonna slow this car down, OK? - That's it, lift your foot off the gas pedal, pull over just a little, that's right, stop real gentle, I think I'll drive for a bit."

I got out, and opened Alivia's car door, got her out, supported her buckling knees, got her in on the other side, and off we were again. She recovered herself shortly after the tears started to flow.

Friends, take it from me. In Christ, there is no such thing as lost; not physically, not spiritually. You may think you are on a detour, but don’t count on it. The Most High will make Herself known. Participate, listen, be open, follow your leadings, grab the opportunities you are given with both hands. Turn back if you have to. All things are possible. Glory -- nothing less -- is around the next corner, but she may be wearing dreadlocks and have her thumb out.
Don't miss her!

Alivia Biko’s music including the two songs referenced above may be heard at
AliviaBiko.org

4.12.2006

Orville's Clivia

A guest post from my sister in law Elizabeth Senger of Onalaska, Wisconsin

I remember a discussion--was it a decade ago?

A specific date eludes me.

It was a discussion of whether a seed could possibly be worth such a high price. Only a small quantity was available. The catalog would send only two seeds, with a guarantee that one of the two would be yellow.

The ordinary Clivia Miniata takes four years from seed to flower. The yellow Nobilis variety or Salome hybrid could take seven or eight years before it flowered. He wondered aloud (in a speculative, measuring, matter-of-fact manner) whether he would live long enough to know.

He had seen his share of seed catalog hyperbole. As a serious plantsman he did not succumb to such things.

Still, the idea intrigued him.

The seeds came from Thompson and Morgan (UK). They were planted immediately. Care was taken with every variable: soil, drainage, feeding, day and night temperatures, even the temperature of the water!

However, even under his very able ministrations, one seedling didn't make it. The remaining plant was potted on each season, making growth over several years from a thin shoot to a thick sheaf of strap-like green leaves.

Years went by.

They were not passive years. Nor were they easy ones. Our regular discussions included plant diseases and human ones as well. We spoke of mealybug and lab results. Still he maintained an active form of waiting -- paying attention and tending to needed tasks at the proper time.

When he judged that the Clivia had approached flowering size, he let the white fleshy roots become pot-bound, top-dressing the pot with home-made compost sieved by hand.

A flower stalk began to emerge. Weeks of suspense ensued. Our regular phone conferences on the care and progress of the Clivia became daily reports. The buds remained pale green as the stalk lengthened with no hint of color.

His joy was well-earned the day the buds opened, revealing a creamy butter yellow with a deeper center.

He lived to see it bloom more than once.

I saw it in person in August 2005. The original plant was pushing the soil up out of the pot, and had two large side-shoots crowding for the light. It was in need of repotting.

So he and I had yet another conference on the subject of the Clivia, this time at his bedside instead of over the telephone. Every detail of the planned procedure was talked through in advance, like consulting surgeons.

The operation would take place on the wooden picnic table in the back yard. The plant would be carefully taken out of the pot and the soil removed. The difficulty would be to discern which of the intermingled brittle roots belonged to the parent plant and which to each offspring. Once untangled, the original plant would be returned to its pot, and top-dressed with more compost. The two "pups" were to travel home with me.


The offspring are doing well. They are a bit thin and still too small to flower. But each is putting on new growth, thickening up at the base to form that characteristic fan shape. The news that the parent plant has bloomed again as soon gives me hope.

I know that years will need to go by. I will need to engage in active waiting as he so admirably demonstrated.

I know that even with my best ministrations, loss can occur.

I know that they will be yellow.


The Discipline of Spiritual Adventure

Tuesday's UPI column

So There I was…

Halfway across the state of Texas working on a spiritual discipline.

I am mildly allergic to the entire concept of discipline. It smacks of work. It stinks of tedium. These things do not call to me. But I do desire to be a deeply spiritual person. Not the kind of pop-faith consumer who has a new guru or path with every season. I am ready to settle down: to choose one path and stick to it, and spend the second half of my life mastering it. To do this I am afraid that I must practice a spiritual discipline or two.

The purpose of practicing any spiritual discipline is twofold: to aerobically exercise the soul and to increase awareness of The Divine. The traditional practices of prayer, fasting, simplicity, and so on, have great merit, and I occasionally work at them. But I have found a new discipline that suits me, and stretches me in ways I never thought possible. It is the discipline of Spiritual Adventure.

The Discipline of Spiritual Adventure is not just simple thrill seeking, but the intentional choosing of the less certain way in order to allow the Divine maximum room to move. When we are outside of our comfort zone, when we are on an unknown path, our senses are heightened, including our spiritual senses that so often lay dormant as we proceed through life on autopilot. We pay more attention to detail. We are aware of, and communicate our thoughts and desires, more diligently to our Designer. We listen better.

Choice is an essential piece of Spiritual Adventure. We must acknowledge, embrace, and take responsibility for the freedom we are given as eternal children of a Divine Creator. An adventure that is not freely chosen is a detour at best, and sometimes a nightmare. Many of us use our freedom to so fill our lives with busyness, structure and control that there is no room for adventure. We do this almost with out thinking, unconsciously barricading our life against the unknown. But I tell you, it is still choice; it is intentional, and intention counts.

It is not a spiritual adventure if you are treading a well-worn path. Fresh road is required. Navigating not by memory, but by a combination of reason and trust. To practice this discipline you must become aware of crossroads when you come to them. Often they are not marked or obvious. Daily we make decisions that will change our entire future; often it is only in hindsight that we see it. The discipline of Spiritual Adventure says that we can develop foresight and a present awareness that allows us to be fully conscious participants in our choices. And beyond that it tells us that the universe is trustworthy and that we can renounce fear, and trust our Creator and our own spiritual senses to keep us away from real disaster when we choose uncertain paths. A crossroads is a pivotal place where fear wrestles with obedience. It is one of the best places I know of to develop discernment, or wisdom listening.

But we do not seek this discipline purposeless, we seek it with the desire, the craving, to see with our own eyes the movement, influence, and evidence of the Divine. We can only see this when we get our plans, agendas and ourselves out of the way. There are no preplanned spaces in my Daytimer for miracles.

Spiritual adventure can be fun, but often it isn’t. It is always stretching. Even a genuine miracle can be scary at the time -- just ask Jonah. It doesn’t always feel safe, but practiced properly it is safe. In fact, it is much safer than living a spiritually unaware, unawake life.

Simple risk taking is betting on your luck, or your skill; and like any bet the odds can be good, or the shot can be a long one. Spiritual Adventure presumes that there is another player, and that the other has your true best interests as its goal and guiding principle. This is an essential truth: yes, the house always wins, but you and the house have intimate connections.

When we walk in expectant, Holy boldness, we are alive to the moment, holding only the ground we stand on, ceding all else to possibility. Divinity loves this. It makes excellent dance partners of us, and Divinity loves to dance. Often Divinity leads, but it enjoys just being with us, and lets us lead if we wish. Divinity loves to protect and to play. At times, Divinity loves to party.

So that is how I got to a spiritual crossroads in the middle of Texas. I was on a cross-country motorcycle ride and it was a spiritual adventure. I had planned my trip as carefully as a human can plan. But I also had learned to trust the unexpected, and listen for the voice of the Divine coming from strange quarters. On a day that the weatherman predicted to be clear and warm for the entire state of Texas, I encountered Divine providence in the words of an unusually bold stranger. I had stopped for gas at a town aptly named “Junction”. Sitting on the porch of the gas station was an old lady, nursing a soda in the afternoon heat. She watched me pump gas, she watched me pay for gas, and just as I was getting ready to leave she said:

"Where Y'all goin?"

"Up to Sweetwater via Abilene."

"Fixin' to take the highway?"

"Yes Ma'am, straight north from here."

"Don't."

"Excuse me?"

"You don't want to go that way -- you want to go up the back way through Eden and San Angelo."

(Generally speaking, I don’t care for people telling me what I want and don’t want)

"But my map shows the road through Abilene to be shorter."

"You deaf? (Pronounced deef) Or are you just not listenin’, girl?"

"Is there construction, or something I don't know about on the road to Abilene?"

"You're kinda' stubborn, ain'tcha ? Or maybe you're just not a bright chile?
You do as I tell you, Ya hear?”

"Yes Ma'am -- Thank-you."

She just wasn't the kind of lady that you argued with and expected to win. I decided to follow her advice. The roads she put me on were smaller, and longer, but all went well. About halfway north I did notice some black storm clouds off to my right, but the sun shone on me the whole way. At last I pulled into Sweetwater and got a room. I turned the TV on in time to see a news report that Abilene had gotten hit by a freak thunderstorm that afternoon; they had 6 inches of rain, flash flooding, golf-ball sized hail and two tornado cells. All of this directly on the route I had planned, and because of “Our Lady of Junction”, all precisely one county east of me.

When you have choices to make, does it seem at times that Wisdom is silent? Does this frustrate you? Cause you to be afraid? Confuse you? I would ask you first, if you have had times in the past when the right choice and true path was clear. If you do, then you can rest confidently in the knowledge that if it was important for you to choose one way over the other, that wisdom will show up. If you do not feel that clear direction, then be happy! You may be facing the prospect of Spiritual Adventure. Choose the less certain way this time. Listen to the crazy stranger. Make the expressed intention of your heart to make the most room for The Divine to move. Then proceed, with alert attention, listening ears, and a light step. Watch and see the handiwork of The Sacred. Miracles may happen, strangers will speak Truth, and Angels will become your comrades. And you will grow -- I guarantee it.

4.09.2006

Mad Max Greenhouse Surprise




My father, Orville Senger, left this planet to pursue other interests on September 30 of last year. I am in the process of deciding what to do with what remains of his terrestrial interests. One of them was his greenhouse that is attached to our garage. My father could make anything grow, but as much as he liked the plants he liked mechanical supports to the plants. His greenhouse had mechanical systems that recorded and controlled temperature, humidity, air flow and degree of light.These systems were both passive and active, he designed and manufactured them, mostly from scratch. They worked 12 months of the year. I had some limited knowledge about how they worked, but it was a full time job to keep them all running. When he left us, I just shut everything down for a while. Since he always talked to the plants I went out and explained the situation to them. A few of them gave up life right then and there. I found good homes for as many plants as I could, took a couple into the house, put the amaryllis that would sleep for the winter into hibernation. There were only a few things left out there, and I decided that they would have to fend for themselves with just the physical protection of the greenhouse. One large plant that I did not have the heart to chuck into the compost was a large Clivia. It is a tropical plant that is supposed to be difficult to get to bloom. Father's bloomed every year. My sister in law had saved two of it's offshoots, called pups, last summer. I figured that it would probably not survive the winter without heat.

It is spring now, and I have finally had the heart to spend some time out there cleaning up. I brought up the Amaryllis and woke them up. The clivia had some burned leaves, but was alive. I am getting ready to plant seeds. Yesterday morning I went out and watered. My eye caught a flash of color to the back of the clivia - I turned it and discovered a large bloom. I spoke many kind words to that plant.


4.08.2006

Living on borrowed time


The Average Life span
of a woman in Zimbabwe is now 34

4.04.2006

Movie Night




Great movie recommendation over at Alivia's site

"Born into Brothels" is not a fun movie but it is a very good movie.
Hard to breathe at some points because these children are
given dreams and then their dreams are in such peril.

Also watched "The Constant Gardener" this week.
Movies about Africa really get to me these days

Losing Your Voice

today's UPI column

So There I was…

Sitting in the front seat of a Land Cruiser just outside of Gitega, Burundi, Central Africa. I was working as a peacemaker, teaching for a Burundian Trauma Healing Organization, and I was in trouble, deep trouble. We had been delayed outside of town and it was now dark. It was the fall of 2003 and there was a war going on. The roadblocks went up at dusk. We had been stopped by a patrol that was probably government soldiers, might have been rebels, but it didn’t matter, because they were hostile, drunk, and pointing AK47’s at us. My host, who was driving that day, spoke quietly and calmly with the captain of the patrol. He told them the truth about who we were, who the “mazungu" (white woman) was. He told them that I had come to teach people how to “Make straight the hearts bent by the war”. He pled our case and talked us out of a very dangerous situation.

His voice was our only weapon, our only protection, that night.

At least he had his voice.

Dan Hunt of Ontario Canada lost his voice last year. When James Loney, Christian Peacemaker in Baghdad was kidnapped in November, he was in double jeopardy. He was a westerner suspected of collusion with the occupying force, and he was a gay man. While the families of the other hostages spoke out in the media, reminding the world of their plight, James’ partner Dan, went into hiding. While the other families could seek broad help, support and prayers, Dan had to be quiet out of fear that James’ orientation would become known to his captors in a land where one of the few things that most people agree on is that the penalty for being gay is death.

When you lose your voice out of fear for your life, or the life of someone you love, you have been robbed of a sacred, God given right. Of all creatures on this planet, we humans are given the gift of voice; the ability to tell our own story, to share what we know, to share ourselves with each other.

We must fairly say that James took the first risk; opened eyed and clear-headed he walked not into simple danger, but compound danger to be a peaceful presence in the midst of chaos. I call this courage. The kidnappers put his life in yet more immediate jeopardy. But if the kidnappers asked Norman Kember about his life, he could talk truthfully about his dear wife at home. James would have to lie and say he was single, or face a worse death than he already faced. It was religious fundamentalism that robbed him, and Dan at home, of the freedom to speak truthfully about their lives.

I define religious fundamentalism as the assertion of absolute truth and completeness of one’s own beliefs and practices to the intentional exclusion of the possibility of truth in the beliefs and practices of others. And whether it is Christian, Jewish, Islamic, or whatever kind of fundamentalism, it is a scourge and a plague on humanity. When it is mixed with the power of governance you get false theocracy. When it is mixed with weapons you get death. You get the Puritans and witch trials, the Taliban blowing up Buddhas, the bulldozing of Hebron, the Janjaweed riding in on horseback in Darfur. It is the progenitor of inquisition, crusade, pogrom and Jihad.

Our founding fathers had some real genius. They protected the human voice. They protected religion while separating church and state. I am a Quaker, a once persecuted religious minority. I have benefited greatly from their wisdom. One of my Quaker foremothers was legally hung in Boston, pre Bill of Rights. Part of my religion is that I am not willing to kill, not for anything -- that is just the simple teaching of Jesus. But there are things I would die for, and the separation of church and state is one of those things, and the free voice of people like Dan and James is another.

On that dark African night three years ago my friend’s truthful voice saved my life. I pray that we never spare tongue or pen or anything else in the protecting and publishing of every human voice.


4.02.2006

Totally Frapped!

Woo Hoo! Ask and Ye shall receive.
I should have known that those pins were chosen by someone
who knew and could do something about something.
Thanks to Beppe for literally putting us on the map!
Can't wait to see who else comes out as convergent!

frapper Quaker map

4.01.2006

Tom Fox memorial song

Well, you belong to the ages when they start writing songs
about you. Our friend Derek Lamson, West Hills FC, Portland, Oregon
is a bluesman of great renown. He has written a song about grief,
disbelief, and hope in the aftermath of Tom Fox's death.
You can hear and download the song at Alivia Biko's music
page. Links are welcome. Derek will read comments here or on
Alivia's guestbook.

1000 th visitor!


Dave Carl from the great State of Arkansas is the One Thousandth visitor to Silly Poor Gospel! And this on the one month aniversay of the Blog. The prize, Dave, if you e-mail me a snail address will be a copy of Friend Alivia Biko's CD The Art of Life

I have been in Arkansas, although it was during the remnants of Hurricane Agnes, and I am afraid I didn't see much beyond the windshield wipers. I do remember wondering how it came to get it's name. How does the modifier AR change Kansas? I do remember that Arkansas had more hills than Kansas so perhaps the AR signifies 'bumpy' therefore 'bumpy Kansas'. Or perhaps Little Rock was settled by Pirates thinking about pillaging Witchita, as in ARRGH-KANSAS!

Dave has been taking me to task for endangering children back in the archives of last month which is always appreciated.
( I mean that!) I no doubt have pirates in my family tree.

oh Frap! - no pin for us

So this is a cool little map/gizmo

But I can't figure out how to put myself or anyone from FFC on it.

The red and white pins are out (designated EFI and FUM)

We aren't really unprogrammed, and we all know that the way Friends use liberal and conservative you can be both at the same time! (yeah, us)

I want a purple Convergent pin.

Stuff I am tired of

I don't want to hear any more white people telling me that they are in favor of immigration as long as it it LEGAL - that it is only law breakers that they oppose.

Some of my people cam through Ellis Island, but a lot of my people have been on this continent longer than that - I don't think that they stopped to get their green card from the Iroquois or the Cherokee. And does it count as legal immigration if your people came over in chains in the bottom of a boat? Unless you have a tribal registration you are an illegal immigrant or the decendant of one.