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Friday, May 8, 2009

Friday Five A Bugs Life

Sophia posted this FF "As I was walking the beach today, I was surprised and delighted to find it swarming with ladybugs. The sweet little red beetles are one of my favorite insects and also my daughter's blogname--though as of this morning she was thinking of changing it to Butterfly. I'll keep you posted.

This got me thinking about spiritual insect trivia: Did you know that medieval mystics and theologians esteemed the bee for its dedicated work and transformation of ordinary ingredients into sweetness? That Spider Woman is an important creator Goddess to many Native American tribes? Or that Francis of Assisi was reminded of Jesus not only by lambs being led to slaughter, but also by worms (think "I am a worm and no man" from the Psalms)-- so he picked them up and took them out of stomping-vulnerable spots?!
In that spirit, this week's Friday Five is a magical mystery tour through God's garden of creepy crawlies!"

1. Ladybugs or ladybirds? Pillbugs or roly-polys? Jesus bugs or water skeeters? Any other interesting regional or familial name variations?
Lady bugs, Pillbugs, waterskeeters, can't think of any others.

2. Stomp on spiders, carry them outside, or peacefully co-exist?
Arachnoiditis! Stomp on them, crush them, get a tissue and smash the buggers! No Buddist I, in this situation

3. Favorite insect?
Maybe the Lightning Bug-is this regional-Ohio!

4. Least favorite?
Mosquito. They come for me. I'm the parakeet in the mine.

5. Got any good bug stories to share?
Once when I was about 7 I told my mother I had a bug in my ear.I could hear it moving around in there trying to get out. It was midsummer and I had been playing outdoors. My father scoffed. But my mother believed me! She put a lit flashlight to my ear and the bug found it's way out. True story!

Thursday, May 7, 2009

The Retreat

The pictures you can find on google, amazing!
I went to the retreat this weekend. Let me clarify, it was a retreat sponsored by Congregation Beth Simchat Torah, the only LGBT synagogue in NYC and the largest in the world and the spiritual home of BL. It's the shul that refused marriage to us because I am not Jewish 6 years ago. (note, they did rent us the shul, but we had to hunt for our own rabbi, a lovely rabbi, Ellen Lippman who has her own synagogue in Brooklyn and a Christian partner.)
For a while, after BL joined, I attended services and became part of the community,and really enjoyed them and except for the Jesus problem, was considering becoming a member. Then the marriage issue came up. I mean, for Christ's sake! This is the only place of it's kind in NYC and embraces, orthodox to reform and plenty of people are coupled with non-Jews (as the head rabbi likes to call us.)
So I went to the retreat with a chip on my shoulder that just kept getting bigger as the weekend went on. I found that we were not in the usual accessible  cabins-that we usually have. This was Bl's fault. She forgot to ask. But they gave the extras of these to parents with children! and refused to switch one when they realized I needed one (I need a seated shower or I fall down.)
As you can see I was carrying around this big chip that had a tendency to grow.
I approached the new president to ask him about ways of making non-Jewish partners more welcome. He said "Well it is a Synagogue!" Ow, that chip was starting to hurt!
This will be my last retreat.