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Rain

Don’t go away.

Your water is all that’s needed.

That force that’s so benign.

So destructive.

Keep it coming.

Don’t stop it.

Be it.

It’s summer.

It’s cold.

It’s winter.

It’s colder.

Muscled water? Yes.

Boned water. Yes.

Flexible.

Strong.

Tags:

Poetry

Forgiveness

What is forgiveness? I think it has to do with being compassionate.

Can you really be out of your ego?

Can you really step back and realize that your anger is really not yours?

Can you really let go of the monster inside you?

I honestly know that it is hard to do. I fail miserably trying to do such a thing. I like to hold on to things. I am a Virgo. I am an Earth sign and we are practical minded people who like to control outcomes. So I am personally terrible at this endeavor.

However, the high road is the sweetest and most fulfilling. You really need to get out of your darned high horse, get out the dammed saddle, and start walking the talk necessary to start the conversation. You have to let go and really forgive. This means starting with yourself.

Let go!!

Tags:

Reflections

Law of the Legumes

Roger, also known as Oscar, was a precocious boy who worked at a vegetable and meat store in South East Santa Catarina, in Brazil.

Veggie and meat sores were rare, Roger said, but this was where his sister Lucia worked. She was engaged to be married to the store owners’ second cousin, who really lived in São Paulo, but she was trying to convince him to move south to enjoy a richer spring.

Oscar, or Roger, enjoyed his job very much. He would take inventory of the legumes each second Friday. He’d give the number of legumes to Ignacio, the store owners. If there were any legumes that were unsold, he’d give them to Oscar, on the fourth week of the month. He’d take his veggie bounty and share with his family. The prize was tasty, particularly for a legume lover as was Oscar. It included all sorts of beans, lentils, black beans, white beans, red kidney beans, lima beans, green beans, and sometimes in the novelty of excitement, he’d receive a few peanuts.

Well, it just so happens that on one fourth week, Oscar got his bags of beans, and they were an 1/8 pound of 8 different beans. Oscar said to himself, “Well what am I going to do, carrying these beans in 8 separate bags? No! I’ll put them in a glass jar and combine them!” This he did. He combined them all. Upon taking them home, he realized that cooking all these together was actually delicious to his palate. From then on he could hardly wait till the fourth week to get his 8 types of beans and mix them!

And then there was that one Friday he forgot the jar. It had been a busy day so he had accidentally left the jar all weekend, at Ignacio's store. When Ignacio came in on the Monday after, he found the jar in the inventory closet. He thought Oscar was selling mixed beans, which in his mind would hurt the store’s profitability because mixed beans were not the rage in this busy town of Brazil. Besides, each type of bean cost a different price; it would mean mixing prices and possibly getting a low return per bean ounce.

Ignacio was livid. When Oscar came into the store, Ignacio grabbed him from his neck and tossed him outside the store. He kicked him out and told him to never come back again. He instituted a no mixed-bean policy at the store.

One day, eight full moons later, Ignacio was having dinner at the Lima Bean, a popular restaurant on the main street. Since he had been having a few caipirinhas before eating, he did not notice that the main dish he ordered was a mixed-bean concoction. As he took the first bite, he discovered he could not stop at the second, third or fourth, without taking a breath; he got obsessed. His exuberance got the best of him as he choked and died out of a mixed bean intrusion rummaging through his eating passages.

Karma is the law of the legumes.

Tags:

Stories

Imbibing Water: Jeena’s 2nd Cat Video

Jeena, our cat, and I were actually filmed earlier in the year, but that video was too shocking for the eyes of the PG-13 audience we are trying to cultivate. After all, as much as we want to be hard-core artistes, we aspire to identify with one of Mark Twain’s quotes, “My books are water; those of the great geniuses are wine. Everybody drinks water.”

Speaking of water, Jeena shows us the way she drinks it, as Pink Floyd’s “Shine On You Crazy Diamond” plays in the background…

 

Jeena imbibes water to Pink Floyd’s “Shine On You Crazy Diamond”

 

Credits:

  • Jeena as Jeena the Cat
  • Water Fountain provided by SSL Clarke (their cats’ donation to our kitty)
  • Pink Floyd = Background Music

Tags:

Cat~egory

Lay Sunday—Tomorrow!

Along with my distinguished colleagues, I will be joining in leading the Board of Trustees church services at All Souls tomorrow (Times: 10am & 11:15am). It will be memorable. Come one, come all!

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Events

Lecture on the All Souls/Red Cross Connection

I have the honor of co-hosting the following event this weekend - come one, come all (there will be refreshments)!!!

Sunday, January 13, at 1p.m. in the Chapel of All Souls:
Lecture on the All Souls/Red Cross Connection
Mary-Ella Holst, President of the All Souls Historical Society and a fount of knowledge about our church and its myriad activities over the course of our nearly 200 year history will present an account of the historical connections between All Souls Church and The Red Cross. This year’s recipient of the Forrest Church Award for Humanitarian Service is Gail McGovern, President and CEO of The American Red Cross. If you aren’t already proud about being part of this institution and its activities, when you hear this story you will be! This fascinating program will be hosted by Heart & Soul board members Miles Chapin and Victor Fidel, author of The Quest for Religious & Community Identity: The Story Behind the Architecture and Evolution of All Souls Church, New York City.

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Triple Couple: An homage to Reverend Cheryl M. Walker

The Great Reverend Cheryl M. Walker.

Put on your best foot forward is a saying my mother told me. No one does it better than Rev. Cheryl M. Walker. She performed our ceremony. By the same token, we have been fortunate to be friends with couples whom she has married. In her honor, I write this little bit of words to express how grateful we are for her ceremony and for being a part of our friends’ nuptials. Our dear friends, Eric & Diana in the picture below, invited us to their wedding in Chicago just a few weeks ago. And we were so fortunate that Lauren & Sean invited us to their wedding just 2 years ago. Our Unitarian Universalist-ness is something we have in common, surely, but we are bonded by Cheryl. It’s her “Words to the Couple” that bring a plentiful of tears to those unsentimental types like myself that make this ceremony so unforgettable. Granted our picture below doesn’t have black nor white bow-ties, no gala dresses; it’s the only one I have of us three couples after a lovely brunch at the W-Hotel close to the Chicago Union Station, ah, but she has been at the altars granting the wisdom that a couple needs to hear…”Don’t make the same mistakes…make new ones…” “Remember to thank each other for the little things that annoy you because they make you who you are” “Take these first 10 years as the first 10 stories of a skyscraper…and build on the tallest masterpiece…” “You’ve planned for a wedding, but marriage is uncharted territory without maps…” “Work hard at your relationship, but remember, you are worth doing the serious work of rest…honor and celebrate the mystery of your existence…” et cetera… There’s something really celestial when she talks to those 2 people up there, who are locked in step, holding on to hands and sweating, lots of sweet sweat, of nervousness, and comfort, and gladness and passion, and impatience for a drink and a kiss, in front of in-laws and in-loves, and it’s all going so fast, you wish you could capture the seconds of a wedding when you’re the one up there in the chancel, the one in-front of your partner, you’ve held that person and now you are being held, it’s nuts, it’s crazy, and it’s happening so fast, you really wish you could say, hold on, can you talk slower, forget everything and remember it all, can this last longer, can you possibly contain it…you can’t. You can only live it for that second, for that moment, the toast will come so much later, but this moment, when it’s just you and your partner and the person marrying you, that person officiating better be on point, you’re not listening or are you, you are if it’s…Cheryl, with her stable voice, really stations you; there’s something about her poise, her way of saying with a language that’s hard-core energy: “it’s all right, just listen to me and you’ll be all right”. I’m a Jesus fan, in about the same fashion that I’m a Cheryl fan-atic. I know it may seem controversial, but what else do you think Unitarian Universalists are…but that!
The world would be a better place if Cheryl married every couple, but that’s just my humble opinion. After all, we did suggest that she should let people know that she has 100% retention rates among those exchanging vows before her…

Here is to you Cheryl: Cheers & Blessed Be!

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Reflections

Quickie of a Soliloquy

“Ground control to Major Tom…”

I love David Bowie. That’s all I need to say…

Today.

Next stop, 11:30PM

Tonight.

Dinner on its way.

I dine like a Spaniard, late.

But afterwards, I can say:

I ate.

Tags:

Poetry

Eat wholesome

And do it with pleasure
Don’t be shy
In the end, it’s all digestion
So you might as well enjoy the
biting and munching and
scrumptious living of it all
Eventually breakfast will come
and you’ll start again
you only got today
you only got this moment…

Tags:

Poetry

Award Winning All Souls!

I want to deeply thank the Congregation of All Souls for offering me the 2012 Presidents Award at the All Souls Annual Meeting yesterday (Sun, February 5th, 2012). It was surreal, especially since I was sitting up front and when our former board president, Nancy Northup was introducing the award, she was describing someone familiar, and then I realized, “she’s talking about me!” The congregation really surprised me. It was a special moment. A complete surprise! The text of the award reads, “All Souls Church Presidents Award presented to Victor Fidel for Scholarship that inspires the congregation to cherish its history, February 5, 2012.” I also want to thank my wife, Heather, for being my strength in completing book that defined this award, The Quest for Religious & Community Identity: The Story Behind the Architecture and Evolution of All Souls Church, NYC.

2012-02-05VictorAcceptsAwardFromNancy 
Nancy presents the award to me – she has such a lovely, elegant smile.

Award02
The Award. The text reads: “All Souls Church Presidents Award presented to
Victor Fidel
for Scholarship that inspires the congregation to cherish its history,
February 5, 2012.”

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