Friday, August 19, 2016

Five Minute Friday: Team

Intro:

All the way from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, the Olympic Games have been raising a world-wide ruckus—even deflecting social media interest from the presidential race in the USA! Imagine that! I haven't been watching, but the team spirit necessary to participate in many sports just may be the reason Kate gave us team for our Five Minute Friday prompt.

cathedral bells
Campanile at the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels, Los Angeles,CA.
Photograph © leah@suntreeriverdesign.com

FMF:

As a performing musician and as an enjoyer of most types and eras and genres of music, I know music always includes groups or teams of sounds, instruments, and performers that each do their own things, but at the correct times, rates, levels, and intensities. Even the audience for a musical performance needs to gear up and team in correctly—have you ever been at a symphony concert where newcomers to symphony hall do not realize one does not applaud between movements of a symphony that's in two, three, four or more movements?

Part of making music is discerning how to get from one note to the next; just as much, the rests or breaks or silences between notes in various parts of the performance team are as vital to the whole as the notes that sound and resound. In some ways a symphony orchestra – whether small classical size from Haydn or early Beethoven, or majorly mega post-Romantic size as from Richard Strauss – is the ultimate music team. But then again, The Symphony Orchestra performs from a carefully rehearsed, fully notated score, so a jazz ensemble may be even more or at least as much a team endeavor, because each instrumentalist needs to listen and be exquisitely aware of their time to blend, to riff, or to shine in silence.

"If we have no silence, God is not heard in our music." Thomas Merton

Outro:

Writing about teams and music reminds me of The music of the spheres from the hymn, "This Is My Father's World." God coordinates all movements and actions of every part of creation to score a perfect ensemble, better than any Olympic, HS or pro sports team, better than the most highly acclaimed world-class symphony orchestra, jazz band, or vocal choir. God is free enough not to interfere with what's happening; God is resourceful, grace-filled, and creative enough to redeem and reconcile mistakes and mishaps.

five minute friday team five minute friday button

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

summer 2016 summary

Getty Garden summer 2016 summary header

Emily P Freeman's What I Learned this summer already is live and the linkup ends in three days, so here are some June and July highlights, a couple of August romps. I'll do my own August reprise at the end of the month. As usual, I'm making this partly "What I Did" and partly "What I Learned."


Blog Content and Writing Ideas

Five Minute Fridays and Three Word Wednesdays are a major way to go in order to keep actively blogging; besides ideas and inspirations, they provide easy fun ways to discover new blogs and meet new friends. In fact, most of the summer I only wrote to those linkups, though every week I've posted my adult SS notes on Urban Wilderness/City Paradise. I print almost nothing these days, and especially since it's a lectionary study group [one pericope per week], I even might benefit from my own ideas aome day.


July Rehearsal Concert @ Hollywood Bowl

holly wood bowl banner summer 2016
LA Phil at Hollywood Bowl summer 2016


July Open House at Corita Art Center

Corita sale table summer 2016
Corita Kent for sale summer 2016
Sister Corita sale items summer 2016


August Excursion to the Getty Center

Getty Center 11 August 2016 Getty Center 11 August 2016
Getty Center 11 August 2016
Getty Center 11 August 2016
Getty Center 11 August 2016
Getty Center 11 August 2016
Getty Center 11 August 2016
Getty Center 11 August 2016
Getty Center 11 August 2016
These are Novel and Surprising!

Getty Center 11 August 2016
London Calling Exhibit Banner • Kitten and Girl by Lucian Freud (Sigmund's grandson)


Saturday?....no, August Friday in the [Griffith] Park

Griffith Park summer 2016
Griffith Park summer 2016
Observatory on the Hill

Griffith Park summer 2016
Griffith Parkn summer 2016
this green and brown is so California Currents

Griffith Park summer 2016
Still Loving Chrome Orange wherever I find it!

Griffith Park summer 2016
Serious Drought • Save The Drop LA


New Blog Page

Despite its not being finished or complete, I learned it was fine to post the theological trajectory page on this blog that I've wanted to do for quite a while.


Remembered and Re-Learned

On my theological trajectory page one more time I observed doors to my further participation only can be opened from the other side. Within the past week I also learned, remembered, became aware, that despite my currently trying to rebuild a life of service and participation almost from scratch (but not quite, because I have skills, background, and experiences all waiting and ready to go), and despite my observations that Previous City was not cutting it for me in the least, I recalled Good Friday 2007 lunch with the interim pastor back in Previous City. I won't make the detailed list here, but between North Minster and North Park I was doing exactly the ministry I prepared to do, though not nearly as much of it as I assumed would begin happening—you expect opportunities to expand rather than contract. A fair amount of teaching; a little preaching. Some graphic design, street evangelism, various varieties of music off and on.... other random ministries; all that ended with new pastors at both churches. Movin' on now in Current City.

Note to self: no wonder I'm grasping and holding on so tightly to my Sunday morning Adult SS teaching gig. No. Wonder.

summer 2016 summary header
emily freeman summer 2016

Friday, August 05, 2016

Five Minute Friday: Happy

This time we get to write for five minutes to Kate's happy prompt.

surfboards stacked
under the sea

Scripture reminds us, commands us, encourages us to rejoice. The God who inspired the Scriptures claims us with joy! A few years ago on the old online theology forums someone mentioned that despite joy permeating the text of scripture, happiness is more grounded, more "milk and honey" more everyday life achievable and... enjoyable, too. Latter-day Saints sometimes talk about God's Plan of Happiness. That sounds mundane and ordinary, but isn't day by day by week by year the entire idea of gospel-centered living?

The promised land of milk and honey means streams and rivers to water the grass so cattle can feed, cows produce milk, people make cheese. Bees mean fertilized crops; bees mean jars of sweet honey on the shelf, drizzles of honey on your home-baked bread. Desert streams mean irrigation for olives, figs, pomegranates, vineyards, barley and wheat. All that vitally inter-related good eatin' outta the good earth leads to conversing and connecting around the table. Happy you're here for me, I'm here for you, happy all of us are here together for each other. Happy is plain, everyday, just for today, one step at a time. Happy is a life you "don't need a vacation from," as Kate's button states.

# # #



PS: Happy also means living in the moment // living in the moment often leads to happiness. Earlier today when I was at the judicatory offices for a meeting, the surfboards and fishes in my header images made me happy and convinced me to Five Minute Friday.

PPS: These 5 minutes writes are supposed to be unedited, but happily I took the liberty of changing my original land of milk and honey description from past to present tense.

southwest california synod offices five minute friday happy
five minute friday button

Wednesday, August 03, 2016

Three Word Wednesday: 14 Years Together

Today for Three Word Wednesday, Kristin Hill Taylor celebrates 14 years together married to Greg! Claiming that 14 year mark makes me feel prescient that I didn't write an actual blogoversary post this year but instead included desert spirits fire @ 14 as part of my July On A Page monthly roundup. I had no foreknowledge of Kristin's activities but probably wouldn't have done double blogoversary posts, so having such a perfect fit for the prompt delights me.

desert spirit's fire 14 years

Over the past decade and then some I've narrated bits and pieces of this blog's history and probably not enough of my own history; the archives will show you some. If you're online much, you've probably noticed starting a blog has become one of the things to do—that also was true back in 2002. In May 2002 I'd finished a year long certificate – mini-MBA – in Community Economic Development. As with most of my classmates who didn't do the program because it related to their current employment, I hadn't found a job during those two semesters, so I planned to network as much as possible during the coming year(s). I'd serendipitously heard about the CED program on the radio at exactly the same time I found out the possible worship specialist gig (not church musician, though it might have evolved into that) I might have returned to the east coast for no longer could happen. Since the beginning of time in terms of my agency to make life choices, everything had been more skills for inner city ministry; some people say urban, but I say "inner city" and I intend inner city. My very first internet venture had been a city site in the now defunct MSN groups; the page still was active during 2002. Post-another graduation with summer 2002 wide open before me, in my decision to blog I knew the subject had to be my second passion that interacted constantly with my first love, cities—that would be theology! I listed combinations of possible blog titles and read them out loud to assess what went down best. Desert spirit's fire won. In addition to four more theology blogs, over those fourteen years I started a dozen blogs for different subjects; recently out of necessity and in a quest for semi-saneness I began reposting some of my urban and design best blog posts on desert spirit's fire in order to simplify my life and unify my online presence.

Desert Spirit's Fire! remains "my more formal theology," but I've been bringing more of my everyday life into it. You know the description: theology • ecology • liturgy • life. After hearing only snippets of my history, someone in Previous City remarked how I'd kept growing my résumé in spite of everything, and yep, I have, and this blog has been major in helping me articulate my sacramental and other theologies, particularly in between times when I haven't been teaching on a regular basis.

Congrats to Kristin and Greg on 14 Years Together! Considering all the places I've lived where the dishwasher was broken, a new dishwasher sounds like a helpful accessory. You easily could say Desert Spirit's Fire! and I have been 14 Years Together, so I'm giving myself a shoutout, an atta girl, a hat tip, and wistful hopes for fourteen more years and counting of blogging...
three word wednesday button

Sunday, July 31, 2016

July on a Page

july 2016 on a page button

Here's my July 2016 experiences/learnings roundup!

It looks as if Emily P Freeman isn't doing an end of month linkup, but if I discover she is, I'll link to it and add her button to my post.

Tuscan scene

• Valleys have a well-earned reputation for growing excellent fruits and veggies; slopes of the surrounding hills help nutrients flow down and create rich soil that helps grow nutritious, highly desirable produce. None of us was there, but still we know how the renaissance, the literal rebirth of culture and creativity trickled down from the Florentine Hills into the Tuscany Valleys. Not a very different process from growing good fruits and veggies! For the past couple of months I've lived in a well-developed, industrialized valley... and

sherman way street

• I've been loving the whir swish buzz of traffic along the street because I love to #ListenToTheCity.

sherman way cactus

• I always enjoy having cactus neighbors; typically they photograph well!

sleep again

• I'm still working on sleep (though sleep didn't make my list for June).

desert spirit's fire 14

• On Saturday 16 July desert spirit's fire celebrated #AnotherBlogoversary—14 years! Holy!

• A succulent sizzler lunch and conversation with former roommate AC.

• Is that a [dry] wash/arroyo or is it the #LosAngelesRiver?

christmas in july

• 17 July we celebrated Christmas in July using the RCL readings for Pentecost 9. Worship bulletin was our usual B&W, but I made a fun colorful version for this blog.

• Interim pastor told me I was a "crisp theologian" during SS; I don't know if she meant super well done altogether or only crisp edges, but whatever is fine with me. Pres of congregation thanked thr morning's "guest musical stars"—me and the vocal soloist. I provided guest keyboards 3 July Sundays in a row.

Holy. Holy.

hollywood bowl
hollywood bowl
hollywood bowl
hollywood bowl
hollywood bowl

• Free concert at Hollywood Bowl with #TheDude and #LAPhil! Holy! Holy!

hollywood bowl

• Although I've joined several meetups, this was the first I attended. So happy to meet new friends at the venue; conversation and communication continued online during the week afterwards.

saturday sky saturday sky

• Scary skies don't always turn into storms and can create cool camera captures.

Corita Center Open House
Corita Center Open House
Corita Center Open House
Corita Center Open House
Corita Center Open House

• Corita Art Center Summer Open House – Holy. Holy. Holy—Holy!!!

• ¿Está todo el mundo en todas partes salvadoreña? Sometimes it feels that way, but then when I'm in West LA I realize nah, not everyone everywhere, only in my non-Sunday world.

• Sepulveda Blvd is the longest municipal street in the whole entire world—43 miles worth!

• Valleys have a reputation for providing excellent fruits and veggies; good stuff descends from the surrounding hills to become part of the rich soil and then that nutritious, highly desirable produce. We know The Renaissance, the rebirth of culture and creativity made a way into the Tuscan Valleys from the Florentine Hills. Not so different from re-growing and re-vitalizing human lives? For the past couple of months a well-developed, highly populated industrialized valley has been home... I hope, I trust, this #SFV is part of my own renaissance, a true rebirth.