Sunday, August 14, 2011

Poem for Sunday, Religulous, Virginia Museum Birds

By Kate Braestrup

Blessed is the spot
And the house
And the temple
And the city street
And the human heart
And the clinic
And the sidewalk
And the bridge
And the riverbank
And the refuge
And the stony beach
And the flowering orchard
And the cliff top
And the ice floe
And the barley field
And the deep woods
Blessed is the place
Where mention of God has been made
Where God's love has been offered and received
By human voices, by human ears, by blessed human hands.


From Braestrup's Beginner's Grace: Bringing Prayer to Life.

We had planned to go downtown to see an exhibit at the Folger Shakespeare Library, then to see Jody Marshall perform in a park in Virginia, but the rain that wasn't forecast till evening arrived in the morning, so we ended up having a less ambitious day. Not that it wasn't exciting: Adam got up very early to go to the first official track practice, then later in the morning Jules came over to pick up my neighbor's kitten, whom she is giving a home. I hadn't seen her in ages so it was great just having her here, and we brought the kitten over, which most of my family enjoyed (Rosie and Daisy being notable exceptions -- there was hissing and some batting again). My neighbor was very sad to say goodbye to the kitty but her husband was back from his trip and suffering again from the dander allergy.

We had French toast for lunch and started driving downtown, but it was pouring on the Beltway. We stopped at Montgomery Mall at my request because Bath & Body Works was having a giveaway, saw that it was still raining, and decided to go home for a while to see whether the weather improved. I was ambivalent about being outdoors much anyway because smoke from the Dismal Swamp fire in Virginia is apparently reaching our area, and the first time I ever had an incapacitating migraine, it was triggered by a forest fire in Quebec whose smoke had drifted all the way to DC. We need the rain in the area but by late afternoon we had concluded that even if the concert wasn't canceled, the grass was going to be awfully wet for a picnic. So we ate our picnic food at home for dinner. Then we watched Religulous, parts of which were really interesting and appalling, but Maher's ranting against the mass evils of all religious belief at the end sounded as crazy as the guy who thinks he's Jesus' descendant. I have as little tolerance for atheist extremism as for any other sort. Here are some of the birds at the Virginia Living Museum:

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