Nov 28 , 2016

My Clinton/Kaine sticker will stay on my car for the rest of its life. My political donations have been redirected to the ACLU and the SPLC. We are going to need a lot of lawyers. The country has elected a fascist demogogue who has surrounded himself with white supremacy wackos. Anything could happen. Maybe he will hugely enrich himself with his thousand conflicts of interest and then quit. Or maybe he'll start a war. I refuse to normalize this. I am committed to resistance all the way. I am just starting this book. And reading some Dietrich Bonhoeffer. And thinking about opening an internet cafe so that people have a place to meet and talk. And planning to march in Augusta. Maybe this is the beginning of the end of democracy. Maybe the U. S. survives this and finds a new way. Maybe climate change wipes away all our delicate political structures.

Recently I'm reading a couple of books about churches and religion. They are How Jesus Saves the World from Us: 12 Antidotes to Toxic Christianity by Morgan Guyton. On facebook I saw that he was doing a reading at Maple Street Bookstore in New Orleans and so I got a Kindle version. Here are a few quotes.

Jesus once healed a man with a legion of demons by casting the demons into a herd of pigs who stampeded into a lake and drowned (Mark 5:1–20). Recently I realized that this is what Jesus is doing to our church today. The more that mean, loud Christians behave like stampeding pigs, the more our demons are exorcised as everyone's eyes are opened.

Mercy is dangerous because it involves sympathizing with outsiders’ suffering in a way that compromises the moral distance from which you can self-assuredly judge their behavior.

Ideally, I'm able to show love to both sinners and the victims of their sin, but when there's a power differential, I should show the most solidarity to the person with the least power.

One of the unspoken rules that English majors like me follow is to suspend our disbelief and live in the worlds of the movies we watch and novels we read as if their assumptions about reality are true. Nothing is more obnoxious than the heckler who entertains himself at the movies by loudly commenting on all the inaccuracies and inconsistencies. Of course, it would be even more awful if this loud cynic were sitting next to a friend who made it her mission to argue back that the movie is perfectly infallible on every point. This obnoxious argument is what the battle between modernists and fundamentalists has been like for Christianity. It's time for both sides to shut up and enjoy the movie.

Arguments that you might lose in logic can be won through poetry.
The authority of math is transferred to the one who solves it, but poetry retains its authority over the interpreter.


Nov 6 , 2016

On the way back from haircuts in Bangor, we stopped at Jennifer Wixon's Highland Farm for cranberries and saw these guys. The little guy is Lightning, so named because he was struck by lightening and his burned back took a long time to heal.

The presidential election has been a source of fear and dread and elation. The flutter of the polls and all the October surprises have been unnerving, but now I am anticipating a victory dance on Tuesday night if I have anything left after working the polls in Unity all day. I hope I see some folks in pant suits and suffragette white. I did some GOTV door knocking last week, and now I know a few neighborhoods better. The list in Belgrade took me up and down the fire roads where I got this picture. Some times I knock on a door and an elderly woman is unsure about who to vote for. I ask her to tell me about the first presidential election she remembers. The conversation goes from there. Here is my own story: Port Allen, Louisiana. November 8, 1960. We are poor French Catholics who live near the church. One of six daughters, I have just turned 15. My father, the police chief, is dying of cancer. In bathrobe and slippers, he gets a deputy to take him to the town office so he can vote for Kennedy. He dies 10 days later. I vote. I always vote. And this election over 50 years later has the same feeling of busting through a barrier of intense prejudice. And after this the children will vote. They will always vote.