Monday, April 14, 2014

Turn Around Bright Eyes

I love the song "Total Eclipse of the Heart".
Tonight there is a real eclipse, a lunar eclipse. A blood moon rising.  In fact I might sing about it as it is happening. Not the ENTIRE time it is happening because it lasts for hours and hours. It begins just around midnight and takes about an hour for the moon to become completely overcome by the shadow of the earth. When it is completely covered the moon will appear "red".

I am really excited about it for a number of different reasons.
Since I enjoy making lists, I will enumerate the reasons for you.

1. I love the moon.
2. My son is very excited to watch the eclipse with me and I can't wait to share it with him.
3. This is the first of four blood moons this year that will be visible from our geographic location. This is also called a "tetrad". It has not happened since 1967 and will not happen again until 2032 - at which time not all four will be visible from Alberta. So a good reason to get out and see them all!
4. A Blood Moon Rising is symbolic of a great positive change and new beginning - which I am looking forward to!

Here is some information you can link to if you are interested in more about the Blood Moon.
The image above was copied from the article I have linked you to.

Book review: All The Broken Things


Here are the two main reasons I love this book. #1. It so well written it evokes in me emotion, not many readers are capable of writing in such a way. I wont say it evokes emotion I LIKE - but it is evocative and I appreciate that. #2. At the same time as the writer paints a melancholy portrait of the life of Bo, she injects the hope of relationships. Orange learns to communicate, Bo makes REAL connections with people who care about him. The world is not ONLY a bleak place. Great story.
The book is about the life of Fourteen-year-old Bo, a boat person from Vietnam. Bo is living in a small house in Toronto with his mother, Thao, and his four-year-old sister. The home has been provided for them from the sponsors who paid to bring them from Vietnam. A religious group. His sister was born disfigured as a result of agent Orange. Her name means Orange Blossom and Bo calls her Orange. Bo's mom keeps his sister hidden away and it is Bo's responsibility to care for her when he is not in school.
Bo is a fighter, literally, and gets into fights on a daily basis. He is a talented fighter, talented enough to win, but he never does. He feels a connection to the boy he fights most often, realizing this is the person he has the most intimate contact with on a daily basis.
One day a carnival worker and bear trainer, Gerry, sees Bo in a streetfight, and recruits him for the bear wrestling circuit. Gerry gives Bo a bear cub to raise and train as his own.
Max, Gerry's boss, is fascinated by the boy and gets to know his mother - with the intent of using Orange in his side show to make money. In the process of trying to manipulate Thao, they fall in love. The church tells Thao she has to leave the house. Max takes Thao and Orange and leaves Bo behind. Bo knows he and his cub are alone and he sets out on his own. Living first in the park and then back with the circus Bo and his bear survive.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Church Attendance

For the first 23 years of my life I attended church faithfully. When  I say faithfully I mean, I went every Sunday to3 hours of  meetings, once a week at least to activities. As a teenager in high school I attended an early morning seminary - religious scripture study - every morning for four years BEFORE school and I had 100 percent attendance. I served a full time, 18 month, mission for my church. I think it is safe to say I was a very religious person. In the past ten years I have not attended church at all.

I have visited a friends church once with my spouse and a foster child. I have taken foster children to a Sunday service at a catholic church once. Recently, also for purposes of work, I have attended three consecutive weeks of church in my small community.

When I entered the church the first Sunday I was VERY conscious of looking around to see who I knew from the community in attendance and how I felt about them. I saw a handful of people I recognize. One of the men I saw, has a son who is gay, and who was not supportive of his son's sexuality AT ALL. He has also not been an overly friendly person to me. One of the women I saw, is singly, the most mean and unkind person I have encountered in this community, with unkindness directed towards me repeatedly over a span of 10 years here. Also, two men I saw are two of the kindest men my family knows, and one lady has also been extremely friendly to me. Six of one and half a dozen of the other. I am not there for myself anyway, but I thought it was interesting, in a church that preaches acceptance to all, that the congregation has such a mix of personalities. The reality is that I am not there to judge them, but was concerned for how well I would be accepted. I figured I would live with the mix of people since I am there for work, however I am slightly concerned about the one woman so I will try to be open to my feelings as I move forward. I am not willing to put myself into a situation where I will be treated poorly - even if it is for work!

Now I get to the motivation behind this post today. A woman we have been working with for many years, as a support to our family through fostering and other support agencies, found out I was attending church for work. She came to talk to me about it. I have never seen someone so excited about me attending church. she was saying things like" Whatever it takes to get you through those doors doesn't matter as long as your bum is in that seat.' HA! Then she was telling me how I could download a bible to my I-pad and how to navigate the bible etc. Obviously she doesn't know a few things about me. I know a LOT about the bible and I have no problem navigating it. I am not planning on reading it anytime soon. I have read it a number of times cover to cover. I am not interested in joining a congregation myself and wont be attending church unless it is for work purposes. And last but not least - why get excited over me attending church? It does not make me a different or a better person. It did show me a lot about her though. Sadly.

I can HONESTLY say. I am more spiritual now than I think I have ever been. It has nothing to do with church and although I did not find the church service offensive, I did not feel as though it did anything to enhance my spirituality or my connection to the divine.