Saturday, January 07, 2017

Baaa


Seven Sheep


Sheep gotta eat


Self Portrait OR There's One in Every Family

Wednesday, January 04, 2017

The Facebook Monster

Initially, I was disinterested in social media. It all sounded like a big time-suck, and I didn't want any parts of it. Then the tech guy at the school where I was working at the time said that the adults needed to get involved with social media, to find out what it was all about, to learn why it was so captivating for the students. He urged us to get Facebook accounts.

It was great fun. Soon I was in several-times-per-week contact with friends far away. They posted pictures of their families (ye, gods, that guy I watched grow up next door is a grandfather already!), their travels, their quilts. It was wonderful. In short order, I'd reconnected with a couple of high school friends, lost these many years; reconnected not just on line but over some lovely lunches together. I enjoyed learning what they had made of their lives. People shared their pleasurable as well as poignant moments. I felt connected. Sure, there was the gal who seemed unable to make any kind of a move without posting ("took a shower"), and I let go of her pretty quickly. But, by and large, I enjoyed it.

Over the eight or nine months leading up to the 2016 election, however, my Facebook content took a turn for what ultimately turned out to be the worse. It was so gradual that at first I didn't even notice that I was reading way more moral outrage than I was reading glorious grandchildren. I watched as "friendships" dissipated -- people unfriended those of a different political persuasion. Then it happened to me: I found I just didn't want to read any more of Lulu's adoration of a certain comb-over. I quietly let her go. But the dis-ease that I was experiencing didn't go away and I discovered that it wasn't the Trumpists who were impacting me so much as my own peeps -- the other bleeding-heart idealistic liberals!

I came to realize that I was getting most of my news (and editorial content) from Facebook, from the political sites I'd begun to follow, but even more by the constant denouncing of the deplorables. It was getting to me bigly. In an effort to seek some balance, I stopped reading Huffpo and subscribed to The New York Times. That helped some. But in the weeks following the election, the political posting has become all the more fervent, as if somehow, some way, ranting (word used in the kindest possible sense) could make things different.

My wise husband said, "Facebook is like meeting someone you know on the street. You have a few seconds of chat/catch-up. You ask about the family; you speak about your vacation. You don't hold forth about what's happening (or not happening) in DC. You pet their dog and you move along."

I'm in process of re-evaluating my FB involvement. I've disconnected the few political sites I had espoused. I've unfollowed (but not unfriended, just in case) the most outspoken, single-focused preachers. I'm thinking hard about whether to stop Facebooking entirely. It would be healthier for me to pretty much stick with the Times for my news, and not have these political sidewalk conversations that make up such a big part of FB. But how else would I know about Bobbi's daily gratitude (which I seldom comment but always ponder), about dear Anne in England and what's going on in her world, about the perambulations of my seminary classmates, and the wonderful photos of everyone's children and grandchildren? And the quilts, above all, the quilts.

No cow pictures here. I don't want this to be a Cranky Old Woman post. I'm just sharing my current thinking and waiting to see how it evolves.



Tuesday, December 20, 2016

The Birds

It's that time again.

An important part of Christmas for me since I've become a blogger is to publish my friend Frank's poem that he shared with me many years ago. I've shared it each year with my readers, and -- God willing -- I will do it again next year, and the next and the next.





THE BIRDS



IT WASN'T THAT HE DIDN'T LIKE CHRISTMAS


HE ENJOYED THE HOLIDAY FUN

ALL THE BRIGHT COLORS AND SUDDEN GOOD WILL

AND THE CHILDREN'S HAPPY SUSPENSE


BUT HE COULDN'T BELIEVE IN CHRISTMAS

IN THE INCARNATION I MEAN

GOD LIVING A MAN-LIFE LIKE HIS? WHAT FOR?

IT JUST DIDN'T MAKE SENSE TO HIM



HE SAT BY THE FIRE

WARM IN HIS HOME

ON CHRISTMAS EVE ALONE

THE FAMILY GONE OFF TO MIDNIGHT MASS



HE HEARD A THUMP AT THE WINDOW

AND THEN ANOTHER

SOME MISCHIEF BOY OUT FOR FUN HE THOUGHT

HE WENT TO THE WINDOW TO CHASE HIM WITH A GLANCE


BUT FOUND NO BOY

BUT A SPARROW FLOCK

LURED BY THE LIGHT AND SIGHT OF WARMTH

HAD TRIED TO COME THROUGH HIS WINDOW


THEY HUDDLED NOW IN THE SNOW

WITH NO PLACE TO GO

AND HE FELT COMPASSION FOR THEM

HE PUT ON HIS BOOTS AND JACKET AND SCARF

AND OUT HE WENT TO OPEN THE GARAGE

TO GIVE THEM SHELTER


BUT THEY WOULD NOT COME

SO HE TURNED ON THE LIGHT

BUT THEY WOULD NOT COME


HE WENT AND GOT BREAD

AND THREW IT MANNA LIKE UPON THE SNOW

A PATH TO FOLLOW

BUT THEY WOULD NOT COME


HE TRIED TO HERD THEM IN

SHOUTING AND WAVING HIS ARMS

BUT THEY WOULD NOT COME


I'M SCARING THEM HE THOUGHT

I'M SO BIG COMPARED TO THEM

AND DIFFERENT


IF BUT FOR A MOMENT I COULD BE A SPARROW

I COULD LEAD THEM THROUGH THE DOOR

I COULD LEAD THEM THROUGH.....THE DOOR