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Guns and Roses: A May Day Wish

I'm putting this cartoon early, so people don’t think “Oh, a gardening blog, BORING.”

I’m putting this cartoon early, so people don’t think “Oh, a gardening blog, BORING.”

Someone gave me a persnickety clematis years ago, and it is supposed to curl around my beautiful moon gate.  My effort to embrace gardening has been going better than my turn to yoga, but only just.  I have a hard time with the whole patience part.  But this particular little (reputedly flowering) vine seems determined not to give up.  She makes her way up just a few centimeters, for a few months each year.  I just checked this morning, and there are two new shoots coming out of the dry twigs near the dirt.  Maybe this summer we will actually have a clematis bloom.

Truthful solidarity seems to me to be that fragile but tenacious.  Candid, neighbor to neighbor conversation about the streets, schools and shops that we share are hard-won.  With streamlined check-out queues, stamps.com, mega-church anonymity, and segregated private and chartered schooling, I don’t have to make even trivial chitchat with the check-out guy at Kroger, or visit with a woman holding a weirdly shaped package in line at the Post Office, exchange more than a passing peace during worship, or awkwardly discuss bilingual education with a Latina mother.  If I am not intentionally courageous – if I don’t risk wary looks and profound disagreement – I can stay happily within my own, myopic, specialized little perspective on our lives “together.” Read more

London Calling

the_clash

There will (probably) be no guitar-smashing in “War and the Christian Tradition,” but I encourage DDS students to sign up for it anyway.

The English talking heads are dignifiedly divided on the legacy of Lady Iron.  I skipped the big movie about her, choosing instead to replay favorite scenes from other movies (Billy Elliot, Brassed Off, The Full Monty) and to hula hoop to The Clash’s “London Calling.”  I recommend this intricate scene from Billy Elliot, set to “London Calling,” which draws me like a bee to blackstrap molasses to listen always again to “Clampdown.”  (A writer for Mother Jones posted this related gem.) Steve Nallon, a Thatcher impersonator from the popular English show  “Spitting Image” said on this morning’s BBC that she was fun to mimic because she was so straight forward .  She was brutally direct about the destruction going on under her name. Read more

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