Wednesday, December 28, 2005

merry christmas

this is my first christmas without my mom. i was lucky enough to be invited to spend it with my half-brother (from my father's first marriage) and his family in north carolina. i had a nice time, they are a really nice family. i grew up ... i suppose "alternatively" being a new yorker, so it's always interesting for me to see how people live in america.
my brother's family go to the methodist church and i have been with them during a prior visit. we went to church on christmas day but there was no communion! i have to say i feel pretty weirded out about not receiving communion on christmas. i know it's not like easter or anything, but still. i guess i'll have to wait till this coming sunday, new year's day.
the first anniversary of my mother's death is coming up on jan. 8 and i'm finding that this whole first year i have felt mostly relief and that's pretty much it. taking care of her was difficult. before she got ill she was really difficult. alcoholism is such a devestating disease.
now that this first year is winding down, i'm starting to separate the person from the disease of alcoholism and i'm starting to miss her, the person, my mother. she was so entrenched in her disease it's taking me a long time to remember her apart from it.
i think that god has completely transformed her, removing her soul from her body, which truly was a prison, she is completely god's light.

Saturday, December 10, 2005

confession dread

i'm an associate of the community of the holy spirit, an episcopal convent, which means that i'm a lay person (although there are ordained associates) who follows a rules of prayer, goes on retreats, and goes to confession twice a year. i hate confession. it ties in with my confusion over the concept of sin, redemption, salvation. i was told as a child that i am bad and i have so tied that in with my concept of sin that i think of confession as a chance for the priest to hear how bad i am. it's an internalized message that no amount of intellectual understanding will erase.
so, i've been making this a focus of my prayer and meditation. one thing i heard today in an al-anon meeting helped me look at it in a new light. the meeting i went to was on the first step, "we admitted we were powerless over alcohol, that our lives had become unmanageable." the reading was about how we may not have an issue with alcohol, or may not have an active alcoholic in our lives at present, but we can sustitute the word alcohol for other words like people, places, things. what i heard at the meeting is that when i think i can control other people, places, or things, i get far away from the one who really does have that power, god, and my life becomes unmanageable. i suddenly thought that maybe one definition of sin that i can relate to is that when i think i'm the one in charge, that i have control, that i am powerful, that is sin.
i am just starting to get a concept of how far i have to go yet. i feel like plato's man in the cave.
fortunately, i'm not the one in charge. there is a god and i'm not it.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

katrina dog for adoption

isn't he adorable folks? his name is foxy and he is from new orleans. i am fostering him through the companion animal network, who sent volunteers down there to rescue him. he is 1 and a half years old, friendly, gets along well with children and other dogs. there are hundreds or even thousands of dogs completely on their own in the areas devestated by hurricaine katrina. god alone knows what he did to survive, but survive he did. and now he's living in luxury on the upper east side, lounging on the sofa, playing with my dog, waiting for a permanent home.
it's so easy to associate foxy with mary and joseph during the advent season. joseph and mary, like foxy, feared for their lives, had no place to stay, were watched over by god. which is dog spelled backwards. it reminds me that god watches over us all, the holy family, dogs in trouble, lillies of the field, birds of the air, you and me.
if you or anyone you know is interested in adopting a dog who needs a home like no other dog before, email