Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Swept Up By History -- Overwhelmed By Emotion

And good riddance to the Bushies! It's just so hard to describe how I feel about this transition of power. Eight years ago I witnessed Dubya accepting Gore's concession in front of the Texas State Legislature, and then leaving that building and stepping into a motorcade of Black SUVs...and in my gut I just knew that it was wrong, wrong, wrong... And now, eight years later, a very different Bush -- gray-haired, broken, pathetic -- leaves the Capitol by helicopter to return to Texas, with one last sentimental fly-over the White House before whatever awaits him next, which in my mind should be an obscure and dignified rustication in the wilderness of the Lone Star State, daily thanking God for a system of government that allows him that retirement, rather than turning him over to the World Court in flexicuffs and with a black bag over his head.

Make no mistake here: there has been a tremendous revolution in this country, two years in the making, which we seem to take for granted because the weight of our democratic traditions is so strong that it is hard to imagine it happening any other way. But from where I sit, the changes I see could not be more profound. It represents a complete transformation in the philosophy of governance, and a change-over in the control of the reins of power -- without violence or even the threat of violence, but rather via the ritualized recognition of the changed mandate of the people, and the voluntary surrender of power from those who once wielded it to those whom the people have chosen to replace them.

And already I can hear the Republican Noise Machine tuning up to talk about "the Obama Depression," blaming those who have held power for eight days for the mistakes and failed policies of those who misgoverned this country for the past eight years. But it's not going to work, because the people have seen the light and understand that it will be a long road back, even with all of us working and sacrificing together. The War on Terror, Global Warming, the Mortgage Crisis, Universal Health Care, rebuilding both the physical and the fiscal infrastructure of this country, and providing the next generation with the knowledge and skills they will need to compete in the global marketplace...not to mention the return of our civil and constitutional rights stripped away by the Patriot's a big agenda, but we can get it done. Embittered neofascist naysayers notwithstanding.

Friday, January 16, 2009

If the Matrix ran on Windows

Thought I'd make this random post, since it's been a couple of weeks since I've written anything here, and that really is way too long. So far though 2009 has been pretty laid back: preached once, paid some bills, had good news from my most recent CT scan (which you can read about at One Day Isle), and have generally just been digging out from underneath the holidays. Days have been bright but cold, and with the exception of one tough weekend following my most recent chemotherapy, my energy has been pretty good as well, despite the fact that I'm only generally sleeping now for two to three hours at a time.

Anyway, here's a cute little something from the folks at college humor about what it would be like if the Matrix ran on Windows.

Thursday, January 01, 2009

I'm so glad this wasn't MY wedding....

And I suspect other clergy will immediately empathize. I've had some strange things happen at weddings where I've been the officiant, often around the rings. One of my best moments was when a ring flew loose from the pillow where it had been tied, and I reached out and snatched it in mid-air like it was something I did every day, and handed it to the bride to place upon the groom's finger. And I've also been the victim of a practical joke, where the best man pretended to have forgotten the ring, and all of the attendants pretended to check their pockets until it was finally "discovered" at the end of the line. A very funny moment (and fortunately, they were my friends), but a challenge then to pull the service back to the proper level of solemnity before I pronounced them husband and wife.

And perhaps my best wedding story ever (again, for friends) -- officiating at a wedding for two white water rafting guides on a rock in the middle of the Skykomish River above Goldbar in Washington State. The plan was to pronounce them husband and wife, and put them in a raft to float down to the reception a few miles away, while the rest of us drove ahead to meet them for their big entrance as a married couple. Unfortunately, in the middle of August the water in the river was very low; HOURS later they finally arrived to greet their now-well-lubricated guests with the story of their journey -- "float fifty yards, then pull it over the rocks; float another fifty yards...." Yep Steve, That's Marriage! -- for better, for worse; for richer, for poorer; in sickness and in health; in sorrow and in joy.... At least you guys were dressed for the occasion.

Here's the URL for the video, just in case the embed isn't working....