Saturday, April 18, 2009

"Truth" the musical ends, Hallowell book out

The companion book to go with the cd of our hospice singing group is now out. Cover art by Terry Sylvester. (available on our website and Hallowell website.)

Easter was the last day of the New England Youth Theater performance of the original musical by Steven Stearns and Peter Amidon called "Truth", a wonderful tour de force by high school students.

Wangari Matthai in Brattleboro

So honored for our church choir to sing my setting of Great Trees for Wangari Matthai, Nobel Peace Prize winner (see earlier blog post) for her work. Artist Terry Sylvester presented her with the lyrics of Wendell Berry's beautiful poem on birchbark which she held and sang with while we sang to her, read from it during her speaking. A regal, brave and intelligent woman she is. See the movie about her by Alan Dater and Lisa Merton called Taking Root the Vision of Wahgari Maathai, "How the simple act of a woman planting trees changed a nation".

Suzannah and Nathan

"Nathan, Will you cause her pain?" "Yes"
" Is that your intent?" "No"
"Suzannah, Will you cause him pain? "Yes
"Is that your intent?" "No "
*To Both*
"Will you share each other's pain and seek to ease it?"

"Suzannah, will you share his laughter?" " Yes"
"Nathan, will you share her laughter?" "Yes"
*To Both*
"Will both of you look for the playfulness and gleeful exuberance in life and the joy and fun in each other?" "Yes"

What a lovely rewedding celebration by Suzannah Armstrong Park and Nathan Morrison in Bratteboro; in order to be with their northern friends they had a second saying of their vows at the River Garden with wonderful music and love all around. They vowed to share their dreams, to "take the heat of anger and use it to temper the strength of their union, to seek to never give cause to break their pledged respect, to hear what is truly said and own what they speak, to
create, protect and celebrate the space for new life and new love to be always present in their union, to nurture each others hearts, bodies and spirits; fully loving, living and listening and always growing together, becoming a blessing to the world and this community in which they dwell."

"A community is the mental and spiritual condition of knowing that the place is shared, and that the people who share the place define and limit the possibilities of each other's lives."
Wendell Berry's words they asked us to hold and guide this pair with our sturdiest legs and softest hands and we said YES! Congratulations.

Gratitude practice

I loved this response to a friend's query on Facebook asking for suggestions to help her to stop brooding about the past and fretting over the future. Sean Keilen gave me permission to quote him:
I have a few suggestions. Doughnuts. Risotto. Wines from Alto Adige. Shakespeare's Sonnets. Yellow socks. Wit. The TLS. Hanami. Old photos. Arts and Crafts houses. 30 Rock. Lost. Wisteria and lilac. Lemons and limoncello. Coffee. Arrested Development. Impersonations. Public parks. Movies. Northern California. Latin. Southern California. Fountain pens. Bird's nests. A soft bed. Morning light. Moonshine. Also: Django Reinhardt. Cy Twombly. Andrew Goldsworthy. Rachel Whiteread. Jenny Holzer. The Master of the Embroidered Foliage. Blossom Dearie. Italo Calvino. W.H. Auden. Rachel Podger. Sophie Mutter. Tennis. Showmanship. Phaleristics.
MJ Ryan speaking on gratitude practice suggests looking at whats right with one's self and the world by noticing three good things (blessings) about the world and self and everyday asking yourself "What three good things happened to me in my life today? What was my part in it?". In doing so we connect to our inner and outer resources and there fore more satisfied with our lives. Joy broadens our attention and cognitive capacity.
breathing out is generosity
breathing in is fullness

spring Seder supper/holy week

Our church had its annual Seder supper before our Maundy Thursday service. Ecumenical service on Good Friday at Center Church and then Easter morning back at Guilford Community Church, Guilford, VT. Easter dinner at home with friends.