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Friday, March 13, 2009

Friday Five Mid Lent Crisis

Sophia said "A pastor of my grad school parish once gave a fascinating reflection, at about this mid-point in the season, called "How to Survive the Mid-Lent Crisis"! As I recall, his main point was that by halfway through the season we have often found it very challenging to live up to our original plans....But, he suggested--on the analogy of the healing and reframing of our life plans that can happen during a mid-*life* crisis--that that can be even more fruitful.

So here's an invitation to check in on the state of your spirit midway through "this joyful season where we prepare to celebrate the paschal mystery with mind and heart renewed" (Roman Missal). Hopefully there's a good deal of grace, and not too much crisis, in your mid-Lenten experience!"

1. Did you give up, or take on, anything special for Lent this year?
Well, since I just got back from a fabulous cruise I guess you know the answer to this. Actually, March is the end of our Fiscal Year at work, so work is particularly hectic as we prove to our overseers at the Federal Government that we are training, placing and keeping in employment for 90 days individuals with disabilities, by closing cases in large numbers. This is a bi-yearly event-March and September, State and Federal. The worker bees are tracking down lost clients and recording the information. It's bad this year as many people are having trouble finding and keeping work, and people with disabilities are usually at the bottom of the barrel.

2. Have you been able to stay with your original plans, or has life gotten in the way?
Life always gets in the way.

3. Has God had any surprising blessings for you during this Lent?
Not yet. Still waiting...

4. What is on your inner and/or outer agenda for the remainder of Lent and Holy Week?
Well, we just made our Passover plans, and I just made my Good Friday plans.

5. Where do you most long to see resurrection, in your life and/or in the world, this Easter?
Beloved and I are in couples therapy to deal with our "lack of space issue." I hope to see some resolution here that won't break the bank or put us too far outside of the city.

Monday, March 9, 2009

My Olivia Experience-Part !

IGuana be your friend!

When I was a young lesbian in the early 70's, I walked into Oscar Wilde Memorial Bookstore-just closed last week due to the economy-then owned by founder Craig Rodwell. In those days he didn't have many books to sell, so I knew most of his stock, but I visited often because I liked him and I was always hopeful that there would be something new. That day there was a record album. It was by Meg Christian. Who's this? I bought it and took it home and it was a lesbian singing songs about lesbians, mostly folk songs and one very funny song about being in love with her gym teacher. This was the first record that the Olivia Collective put out. They made a lot of records after that. Chris Williamson's "The Changer and the Change," was my personal favorite. I can't remember them all. Later on someone mentioned to Judy Dlugacz, a member of the collective that was dissolving by that time, that it would be nice to be able to take a vacation with just women. With that suggestion, Olivia Cruises was born.

We just returned from our second cruise. Judy charters Holland America ships, resorts, or river barges and markets to the lesbian community, though we had mothers and daughters and sisters and several straight couples on our trip. The entertainment, Arianna Huffington, Kate Clinton, Vicki Shaw, Renee Hicks etc is always fabulous, the parties are well done. What's different is that everyone is friendly. We traveled as a couple, but always had people to dine with, to talk to. We met people from all corners of America, Israel, Canada, Great Britain. We heard the most amazing stories, great and hair raising. One couple from Missouri told us about being in a Barnes and Noble-they were not 'obvious' in any way. They were confronted by a group of girls who told them to just stop being lesbians. It was not Gods way!  They were not wanted around here. Shocking stories!

Out of 1800 women I ran into one woman I knew in the early 70's in New York. She moved to Canada to be an architect and is now retired in Florida. I also ran into someone I used to work with at a volunteer counseling center in the early 90's. We'll stay in touch. We made some great new friends, too.

All in all it was a wonderful vacation. I'm sorry to be back. I want to go again!