Refrigerator magnets. Overstuffed bookshelves. Piles of paper on the kitchen counter. To me, it's all visual clutter, and I say: Get rid of it! I like clean surfaces. A couple weeks ago we reorganized a section of our basement. After we cleared out some "stuff" we decided to get rid of the shelf … [Read more...] about Clutter Creep: Now you see it, Now you don’t!
I knew it was going to be a special worship service when I heard the Introit, a stunning rendition of?I Ain't Gonna Study War No More (by our bass soloist, Bob McDonald). Last Sunday we had a guest preacher at Western Presbyterian, the Rev. Jim Atwood, who is passionate about the cause of ending … [Read more...] about A Litany to End Gun Violence
Today I invoked some of the freedoms which I enjoy under the First Amendment: The freedom to peaceably assemble. The freedom to petition. The freedom to speak. Do you remember the other two freedoms? If you do, you go to the head of the class! Few people can recite our five freedoms. Our reason to … [Read more...] about One Voice from the “March for Gun Control” January 26, 2013
After the school shooting in Newtown, CT, there is much talk about mental illness. It's an important topic, and one our nation needs to address, both through dialogue, and through regulation. I'd like to state two assumptions -- then raise the issue of language. Assumption #1) Most people do NOT … [Read more...] about Mental Illness — Ingrown Toenail vs. Gangrene?
Life is fragile every day, it's a fact. But there are some days that bring this fact to our mind. This afternoon a friend/colleague died of cancer. Cynthia Bolbach was a wise, witty, spiritually profound person. She made the world a better place with her common sense, her vision, and her ability to … [Read more...] about Life is Fragile
How do you handle paper clutter? I don't mean bills and bank statements, because to me those are relatively easy to manage.?For me, paper clutter is mainly things I've written: sermons, short stories, old letters, columns, articles, etc. Many of these predated my current computer, so I've had to … [Read more...] about What I Found In My Archive
As I unclutter the house, I fill a donation bag. It feels good to know that someone can make use of something I no longer need or want. I set an internal limit. If the item is worth $20 or more, I take a picture and post it on Craigslist. Last week I listed a number of items, including a pair of … [Read more...] about Clutter, Craigslist and Father’s Day
I've been thinking about Stuff. We all have lots of Stuff, probably more than we need. Chances are it's getting in our way: out of season clothes that clog the closet, fondue pots and mismatched Tupperware that get in our way in the kitchen cupboard, or unused electronics that line the steps to … [Read more...] about Stuff: good, bad, ugly
Yesterday, March 26, was my daughter's 25th birthday. Happy Birthday to her! I could not be prouder! Yesterday was also my mother's 83rd birthday. My first daughter was born on my mother's 58th birthday. I could joke that I planned it to make it easier to remember birthdays. But March 26 just seems … [Read more...] about For the Filing Cabinet (or not)
Jane Kenyon has a wonderful poem called Otherwise?which has come to mind twice lately. Last week I got a breathless phone call from my daughter that began: First of all, Mom, you need to know that I'm okay.? That is not my favorite sentence. She was calling from her car on the shoulder of the inner … [Read more...] about It Might Have Been Otherwise
I was at Holy Cross Abbey all week. It is silent and prayerful, so it's the best place on earth for me to get writing done. It is also beautiful and there are an abundance of cows in the pastures around the guesthouse. The things it lacks is just as important as the things it has in abundance -- no … [Read more...] about The People You Meet in Silence
Stuff serves you, or it gets in your way. Stuff enhances your life, or it makes you stumble. Stuff makes your life more beautiful, or it clutters your life with the unnecessary. Stuff takes energy many times over: to earn the money to buy it, to spend the money shopping for it, to maintain it, to … [Read more...] about Stuff Is Not Neutral: Clutter Edition