Old Time Religion

IMG_2907Religion and agrarian life fit well together. Maybe this is became most religious traditions developed well before the Industrial Revolution, urbanization and the rise of the Middle Class society. Many of the Biblical stories that I grew up with had farming theme and rural roots: Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, Cain and Able (hunter vs farmer), Joseph’s dreams that provided Pharaoh with a vision of what to do with his grain, David the shepherd, angles announcing Christ’s birth to shepherd in the fields,  Jesus’s parables, Paul’s list of the Fruit of the Spirit, etc.

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Theatre Review: Camp David

P1060889Mention former president Jimmy Carter and you will most likely get sighs from liberals and scowls from conservatives. Milquetoast. Failed presidency. Worst administration since FDR. Did more after his term in office than during… Why would Arena Stage commission a play about his presidency? First, Arena Stage has a mission to develop and promote new plays. Second, Arena Stage seeks scripts that relate to the climate of its hometown of Washington, D.C. Third, Arena Stage sponsors the American Presidents Project, which is developing plays about our national leader’s lives, in office and home. Molly Smith, Arena Stage’s Artistic Director and the director of this production adds additional justifications:  To say that this is one of the most important stories on our stage this season is an understatement. In this city, at a time when our legislatures are deadlocked, it’s important to be reminded of a time when people from very different cultures, religions and perspectives sat down to create peace….  Continue reading

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From the Book Shelf: Run from Judgment, by Edward Cline

IMG_2944Winter should be a time for reading good novels by the fire while the snow drifts and the birds raid the feeders outside the windows. Had I not been plowing so often this year, I might have done this. You have seen enough of those snows, and read enough of those stories. But, as the snows have melted on their own recently, I have been able to return to finishing Edward Cline’s third Novel of Suspense about Merritt Fury, Run from Judgment. When I purchased the set from Mr. Cline, he summarized that in Whisper the Guns “I dealt with Red China”, in We Three Kings “I dealt with the Saudi’s”, and in Run From Judgment “I dealt with New York”. In Fury’s final adventure, he certainly does have his judgment on what business moguls have done to the freedom of our economy and political system. Continue reading

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Farm Life: Chains

P1060832In the country, one’s trust that Spring is truly here is when one is willing to take the chains from the tractor’s tires. A Winter as harsh that this year’s has been would have been nothing more than skidding and slipping without tire chains. When we purchased our tractor last summer, I included on the accessory list a set of chains. The seller found a pair for the rear wheels, stating that this would be sufficient… and Winter was a long time off. The first snow in early December caught me off guard (it was predicted to be less than two inches), thus I was dragging the sets of chains out from the garage to put on the tractor in five or more inches of snow. They have only come off now. Continue reading

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Theatre Review: Epicene, or The Silent Woman

P1060809Some years ago, a co-worker & I were conjuring up an activity for a group.  The hospital unit we worked on had a particularly pronounced number of personalities on it.   As social groups are prone to do, in confined spaces, these personalities were becoming more and more into their style of thought, with the predicted conflicts.  This reminded us of 1970’s disaster movies. Remember Jaws, Earthquake, The Poseidon Adventure? These were movies with pronounced characters: the leader, the love interests (male and female), the hysterical woman (rarely a man), the scientist, the joker, the old couple, et al. Parodies of this genre turned the melodramatic form into situation comedies, such as Gilligan’s Island and Lost In Space. Still, the same types of characters were arranged within each disaster scenario and plot sequence.

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Liberty’s Messy Business

Individual liberty and social justice become messy business when opposing belief systems present conflicts between two or more people.  Were we a homogynous society, guiding our lives by one understanding of truth, we would not have the conflict, but liberty would also be a mute point.  Adding private businesses into the decisions, and something as simple as documenting someone’s wedding in photographs and celebrating a couple’s union with a cake become collision points.  Every wedding has it disaster(s) without anyone needing to kick the leg out from the bride’s and groom’s head table. Continue reading

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No Lambs, Just Mutton

Well, March came in like a Lion, and is going out pretty much the same way.  Humpf. (Linda did get peas and onions planted yesterday, at least).  How’s the rain on the West Coast?

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