Monday, July 04, 2016

A happy Fourth

* I'm sitting here with a mud mask on my face. As one does in summer. (Another "gift" of perimenopause: a greater likelihood of breaking out).

* I mostly stayed home today. It wasn't quite death-hot as the sun was mostly behind clouds but it was pretty hot. I did run out to grab some soil for tomorrow afternoon's lab and then right back home.

* I finished all the blocks for the floral-garden quilt (the geometric one with the "nile green" (actually, the color is more what is called "eau de Nil" - I am surprised to see there is a difference)  mixed with floral prints). It's going to be about 80" by 80" when done, so I think I'm going to wait until a free Friday or Saturday afternoon and take them down to church and lay them out on the floor of the Fellowship Hall instead of trying to make space in my house. If I moved furniture out of the living room I could manage it, but, meh: moving furniture.

* I also started the newest top - "Line Dance." Just cutting and piecing a few nine-patches at this point. But it's nice to have something new to work on.

* Yesterday's service was short but nice. We did a breakfast and to my surprise, we had nearly as many as we have on a non-holiday Sunday (usually holidays are slack). Lots of food so I wound up taking a bunch of muffins home, and will have to freeze them.

One thing in the message that particularly struck me: that one of the beauties of our system of government, of how the rights we have are protected: we are free to disagree with the government. That robust and strong systems are able to tolerate dissent. And by extension, I suppose, the weak and insecure ones are those that work to quash it. (And at the same time, the speaker pointed out: being able to disagree without becoming disagreeable is perhaps the "responsibility" side of the "right" to disagree....with all rights there come responsibilities)

And that just strikes me as interesting thinking about some people I know who won't brook someone saying an idea they have is a bad idea. Or some systems that have established in our country (sub-bureaucracies, if you will - things like HOAs) that sometimes go a little wild and try to shut down those who raise principled objections to what they are doing. The idea that the strong can tolerate dissent and the weak and insecure cannot. Perhaps that struck me because I tend to see a parallel in people - the insecure people are the ones who look for someone else to blame when they mess up. Or they look for someone to criticize or put down. Some of the most difficult people I've had to deal with in my life, when I looked back on it, I realized that a lot of what they did was due to insecurity. (I am insecure in some ways myself, but I try to avoid letting it allow me to hurt other people or do things like not own up to it when I mess up)

We also sang, among other things, "America the Beautiful," which actually was first published as a poem in a church-affiliated magazine (The Congregationalist). It's not our national hymn ("God of our Fathers," in its own right a good song, is) and sometimes I think maybe it should be. ("America the Beautiful" - the words to it - was written by Katherine Lee Bates, an English professor, in the 1890s. There are a LOT of hymns we sing whose words were written by women....)

I dunno. I know it's currently fashionable to point out the flaws and faults of the country, and perhaps in some ways we've lost our way a little with some things (the whole mega-bank thing, for example, that tends to squash the "little guy") but I guess I'm enough of a Platonist and tend to believe in "ideal forms" that I can look at things like "America the Beautiful" and go "That's what it could be....that's what it should be" but also be able to see the good I've commented before, there are a number of countries in the world or times in the past where I could not be doing what I am doing (working to earn my own money, owning my own home, living alone, going shopping and driving alone) because of my gender. And there are a few places in the world I wouldn't be too welcome because of my particular faith....

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