Mary Beth Writes

Are you Accountable or Flexible?

Written / Winter 2014:

I came home from work 3 hours early today.

 Most of the days of the year I like sitting next to a wall of windows that is a front row seat on Racine. But when it’s super-hot or super cold, those 70’s era windows lose the fight with Mother Nature, and the office can become slightly miserable.

Death and that Space where Love Still Lives

I found a plaque at Goodwill (I lost the photo I took of it...) that made me laugh out loud.

I asked Jesus, "How much do you love me?"   

"This much." he answered.

Then he stretched out his arms and died.

I understand the heartfelt statement of faith and gratitude, but wow, if you are going to laminate your faith statement onto a plaque – maybe run it past a writer first?

The Human Condition on a Monday

I wrote this in the first week of 2014:

A is for apple.

Well, we made it through the first Monday of the year.  Did you twirl brilliantly through your Monday? If so, the rest of us salute you.

Over here in my corner the best I can say is that I didn’t get hurt. I did pretty much what I was supposed to do and I’m going to bed sober and tired.  For many, that would be a very good day, indeed.

But I didn’t write anything profound. I didn’t glean an inmate story that moved my heart or his. 

Anne Hutchinson PERSISTED...

“As I understand it, laws, commands, rules and edicts are for those who have not the light which makes plain the pathway.” Anne Hutchinson

 Who was Anne Hutchinson? 

This Puritan woman was strong and smart. She PERSISTED in teaching Bible studies to women in her own home, which irritated Puritan male leaders who weren't as beloved ... and it didn't end well.  

The Boston Tea Party. "It's complicated..."

Here’s my question. The "Tea Party” touts their patriotism as if they are patriotic and the rest of us aren't. Why? What happened at that first  Boston Tea Party? Why did those early patriots have one?

(If I can write this without looking anything up, I’m giving myself an A.  If I have to fact-check a few things, I am giving myself an A-. If I go looking in the Internet for a Wikipedia article to copy and paste, I will go back to writing about cats.)

Two rocks later: Civilization!

A quern is the 10,000-year old Cuisinart.  The photo I am using today is of a quern found in southern Arizona and set outside the door to the  park headquarters of Organ Pipe National Monument, I recognized it because I’ve written about querns in the past!

Beauty and the Beast (actually, a coyote)

Written 1-30-14 when I was still working at the jail.

Have you seen the sun rise lately?  The sky has been dawning, many of these days, as if someone is pulling rosy pink taffeta ball gowns up out of the long, cold nights.  That shimmering, wild, splendidly intense rose comes up into the world. For a few moments, the snow is pink; the trees are warm with color. I saw a seagull flying that was pink on one side, white on the other.  It is magnificent.

Sermon - "Can I get hurt if I stand in front of an Open Canon?"

“St Augustine wrote; “Thou has made us for Thyself, O Lord, and our heart is restless until it finds its rest in Thee.”

In Thunder Road, Bruce Springsteen sings; “The door is open but the ride ain’t free.”

We have work to do to find worthy scriptures that will inspire us.”

...

What does it mean to say “That’s inspired!”?

What’s a canon and why do theologians care whether it’s open or closed?

What’s the difference between feeling “warm and fuzzy” and “Amazing faith, how sweet the sound…I once was lost but now am found”?

Obscene Wealth and Violent Pirates

I read that today, February 17, is FACT Day!  I get excited about FACTS! You get enough genuine facts and you get a REALITY that works for humans. As opposed to a reality built on greed, drama, megalomania, injustice, and prejudice, which, as you may have noticed, makes life suck.  

Oh, you thought I was talking about the current administration?

Sunny Funerals

First written 2/18/2017

Yesterday was the funeral of Jack Jude. I met him off and on over the years we lived in Racine.  He was a smart, compassionate, wide-thinking, justice-for-all judge in Racine County. We were not close friends but we knew each other, and talked from time to time when we ran into each other in the Law Enforcement Center. Twice, when I encountered complicated legal snafus in regards to the guys I worked with, I called him. He would listen and then suggest options and strategies.

I know Jack’s unexpected death has rocked many lives.