“What would happen if one woman told the truth about her life? / The world would split open.”
Poet Muriel Rukeyser

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

History Made

Back in the primary he was not my first choice, but he was when I voted today... tonight I wept to see history made...thank God the voting was so decisive, thank God there is no doubt who we wanted....I have hope for the future....(and am glad I don't have to start packing)...

Desert House of Prayer: A Silent Retreat

Tomorrow, after a full morning of meetings (and some filled with "complaints") I will head off with a parishioner, who is also a Benedictine Spiritual Director, for a silent retreat. This woman invited me to go away for some time of silence, prayer, and renewal, and I am grateful. We are going here. I have purchased sketch paper, charcoal pencils, colored pencils that can also be water color pencils, and grapite pencils. I hope to draw. I hope to reconnect with that side of me that loves to connect with nature through drawing. I am not a good artist, but I am good enough....besides, drawing is like meditation for me...so, I care less about the technique of my art.

I will be gone until Friday morning, giving me two nights and the better part of two days to slow down and rest.

Since life continues to be complicated at church with numerous dynamics at play (sigh)...I hope this time is not only restful but restorative....

Election Day

The first time I voted was in 1976. I was 19 years old and a junior in college and took my voting privileges seriously. I did my homework and voted for the candidate I thought would do the best job for our broken country. That election the candidates were Gerald Ford (R), and Jimmy Carter (D). My first Presidential election and I voted Republican even though I was (am) a die hard liberal. I voted for Ford because I liked him, but also because I did not trust Carter....I did not trust someone coming into the White House with a Christian agenda. It's the only time I have voted for a Republican Presidential candidate, although I have voted for Republican governors and green party officials if I like there policy stands.

Since 1976 I have voted in every election except one, 1984 Ronald Regan and Walter Mondale...and that was only because I could not get to the polls to vote...for some reason. Of all the times I've voted for President my vote has been cast for the winning candidate two times, 1992 and 1996, all the other times I have voted for the loser.

My criteria for casting my ballot is based on social justice issues, offering equal opportunities for all that this great land offers whether that is medical and dental care or education or employment. I believe that sometimes government has to set the standard for justice because we won't: states will have huge variances in their policies - citizens in one state will have rights that citizens in another will not, the right to marry or to decide when and or whether to carry a pregnancy to term, a minimum standard for health care that all citizens are afforded so no one goes with out doctor care, hospitalization, mental health care and dental care....sometimes we need the federal government to make us accountable to the needs of people around us. I think we need the government to put forth regulations that control the extremities of our corporate, free trade, global and market industries.

So, tonight we see what happens with this election....it's clear, based on the issues I care about which candidate I chose....now I just hope I don't have start a job search in Canada...

One thing has changed in the last 32 years since I cast my first vote. I now believe that religion should have and must have a voice in politics. I believe we need our politics to reflect the vast differences the people of this nation hold in our beliefs and values, and not have them predetermined by a vocal minority.