Hello Summer!

Summer entered the Pacific Northwest yesterday, specifically the Portland, OR area, ablaze in sunlight and blue sky. Of course, lest we’d forget our geographic location, the occasional cloud covered the sun. Yet, that did nothing to deter the soul from dancing.

In reading yesterday, I came across a poem by William Wordsworth that spoke to how I felt with summer outside my doorway and what memories of its gala arrival would mean for me months down the road.

I share with you here, Daffodils, by William Wordsworth:

I wandered lonely as a cloud
That floats on high o’er vales and hills,
When all at once I saw a crowd,
A host, of golden daffodils;
Beside the lake, beneath the trees,
Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.

Continuous as the stars that shine
And twinkle on the milky way,
They stretched in never-ending line
Along the margin of a bay:
Ten thousand saw I at a glance,
Tossing their heads in sprightly dance.

The waves beside them danced; but they
Out-did the sparkling waves in glee:
A poet could not but be gay,
In such a jocund company:
I gazed—and gazed—but little thought
What wealth the show to me had brought:

For oft, when on my couch I lie
In vacant or in pensive mood,
They flash upon that inward eye
Which is the bliss of solitude;
And then my heart with pleasure fills,
And dances with the daffodils.

(emphasis added)

Featured Image Attribution: Jaesung An from Pixabay 
 

Ways You Can Participate in Change

Following up on my post from last Monday, I’ve compiled a list of resources in which you may find information and/or interests from which you may find a way to help make a change.

These items were found in various circulated newsletters, blog posts, and my personal reading. As I publish this list, to my knowledge all links are working. Let’s hope nothing messes them up in their transmission to you.

I encourage you to find your way in our current situation to make a change in yourself, your community, your workplace, your church, your family, and on and on. It’s the only way things can become different–we all have to work together.

Anti-Racism Resources (start here) includes books, films, documentaries, social media groups, family-related books and moves, and more. Take a look here: http://bit.ly/ANTIRACISMRESOURCES.

75 Things White People Can Do To Address Racism a listing of 75 actions that will move forward in improving the balance in our communities. Read through and pick something you can do and will do. Although this list has been around a couple of years, it still seems quite viable and worthy of our review. https://bit.ly/37k1kGc

Books on Anti-Racism

Websites to Explore:

Dorothy Greco is a writer, author, journalist, photographer, pastor, and much more. Recently, Greco posted Dear White Friends: Ignorance and Apathy Are No Longer Options. Not only is the post excellent reading with respect to systemic racism and anti-racism, but Greco also offers many resources for you to explore these topics. Two other outstanding posts on this site are: How Not to Lead a Discussion on Race and Systemic Racism Is Real: Here’s What You Can Do About It.

Anthony B. Robinson is another writer, author, theologian, and pastor hosting a blog on his site. He graciously posted a letter written by his wife, Linda Jambor Robinson, titled Dear White People. Mrs. Robinson is an educator, artist, and grandmother. In her letter, she provides guidance to us in this time of continuing racism. Also provided are other resources in the form of books, sites, movies, and more.

Scraping Raisins is a site hosted by my friend, Leslie Verner. In 2016, Leslie posted 70+ Race Resources for White People. This list is as solid today as it was then, and I highly recommend it as a source again of books, movies, podcasts, etc.

News Article:

Amy Wang, a reporter for The Oregonian/Oregon Live, prepared an article entitled 35 Books About Race, Recommended by Black Portland Writers. It is an extensive list of books including a reference at the end to the Literary Arts, a Portland nonprofit, that has a collection of talks by Black writers available at its The Archive Project. These talks are free.


Though I haven’t read or examined all the items listed above, I’m comfortable in including all of them here, as they come highly recommended by others whom I trust.  Please add additional resources in the comments section of this post.

Thank you for reading this post and for your interest in making a change in the ongoing racial and ethnic injustices happening in our world.

 

 

Featured image attribution: JamesDeMers from Pixabay 

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Pandemic Firsts

We writers manage to find plenty to say about the pandemic. Some of it is uplifting. Some not so much. Yet, we are writing to keep ourselves sane, and so we write whatever touches us.
 
Today my husband and I experienced a first. And it brought to mind several other firsts that have happened during the pandemic. 
 
This first was a follow-up visit for each of us with our primary care doctor via Updox, like Zoom. Neither of us had had a medical visit via technology before, and so had no idea what we were to do before, during, and after. Despite that, everything went very well.
 
How many other firsts have come our way since the quarantine began here in Oregon?
 
Here’s my shortlist. Based on a Phase II notice from our county today, it looks as if we’ll have plenty of time to add to it.
 
  • Grocery shopping online with curbside pickup.
  • Church worship via Zoom and using Facebook Live.
  • Attended a two-day writing workshop using Zoom.
  • Some of our choir members formed a small virtual choir.
  • For the first time, we searched the BBC reruns of our favorite shows. Now we have! And it’s a date every nite at 8:30 pm PST for Midsomer Murders.
  • New estate planning documents required two witnesses. Our attorney instructed us to witness the other’s signature due to unusual circumstances. Our next-door neighbor was our second witness. We signed documents on the inside of our storm door. Our neighbor watched and then signed from our front porch. Not your usual law firm conference room signing.
  • Prescription refills from a local pharmacy delivered to our door.
  • Celebrating birthdays and certain days, like Mother’s Day, without the usual gathering with family. We managed a short visit in our yard keeping accurate social distances. I sure missed the hugs!
  • And last, but not least, you think if you’re quarantined in a pandemic, you will come to no harm. Not so! A week ago, I was baking and couldn’t find my bottle of vanilla. I grabbed our two-step kitchen step stool and climbed to look for it on the top shelf of my spice cupboard. I found it! How it got there I don’t remember, but where I ended up I’ll never forget. I stepped down and then in a split second realized I had landed on my tailbone and hit my head on the floor. An unforgettable moment, which daily through pain reminds me to never do this again!
Any firsts happening for you these last few months that might not have happened if not for the pandemic? If you’re willing to share, feel free to leave a comment below.
 

experience, quote, Oscar Wilde

 

Featured Image Attribution: Marjon Besteman-Horn from Pixabay

 

Cool June Days

I dedicate this post to Rev. Joshua Dunham, our former Associate Pastor and Youth Leader. Joshua brought light and understanding to the words of Micah 6:8 in a sermon a few years ago. Since then, I have read it, studied it, and prayed on it. God bless you, Joshua!


These are cool June days.

First thing each morning, our black Bombay kitty, Ignatz aka Iggy, cries to go outside. He doesn’t like being indoors, but he complies with our nightly wishes to stay in. Depending on the weather, he may change his mind.

Today and for the lasts few days the morning air is cool, the sky gray. Occasionally, a beam of light slips between these tall trees, and then it’s gone. Continue reading “Cool June Days”