Dixie Darr

Say Goodbye

In Church, spirituality on June 26, 2017 at 7:17 am

Although it had only been two weeks, it seemed like a long time since everyone had been together. Last week, we deployed all over the city with messages of love and pride. That was important work. Still, I was happy to see everybody back in our sanctuary yesterday.

Unfortunately, we had to say goodbye to two gentle souls. Jeff and Nhi, quiet, powerful presences who have been a beloved part of our church family, have to leave us.

Nhi is a tiny little person who tears it up on the piano. She could have been the inspiration for Shakespeare when he said, “though she be but little, she is fierce.” She showed us that all music is sacred by often playing secular music instead of hymns. Her choices ranged from George Gershwin (Rhapsody in Blue) to Franz Liszt (Grandes etudes de Paganini, S. 141). On Christmas Day she gave us a mad jazz rendition of Go Tell it On the Mountain (my personal favorite). Fierce. She’s moving to New York to pursue doctoral studies.

Reverend Jeff told us that he was discouraged many years ago from seeking ordination after divinity school because he wanted to work in the community instead of in a church. When he found our church, he found encouragement from our previous pastor and the congregation, and he decided to pursue ordination as a deacon, which he completed two years ago. In the United Methodist Church, a deacon is an ordained clergyperson called to serve people in ministries of compassion, justice, and service in the world. Perfect.

Earlier this year he took over as CEO of the Boulder Community Foundation where his leadership will shine. Boulder’s gain is our loss, however, as the position requires that he move to Boulder County.
We also bid farewell to Pride month. We wish it could go on because we still have so much work to do, and we like wearing rainbows.
Now we need to turn to the future. Pastor Brad told us what’s coming up in the next few months, including our always anticipated movie sermon series in August, our tent service (potluck, yes, hellfire and brimstone, no) in September, and the 125th anniversary of our church in October.
Still I feel some reluctance to move on. You know when you read a book you love so much you don’t want it to end, even when you know you have to turn the page? Like that.

Not Always Pretty

In creativity, writing on June 23, 2017 at 6:58 am

Something remarkable happened this morning. I looked in the mirror and liked what I saw. I can’t tell you how long it’s been since I could say that. It didn’t last. The next time I glanced up, that person was gone. Mostly, I don’t know the woman in the mirror, and I don’t recognize myself in photographs, except old ones from a time when I did regularly look in the mirror.

I don’t give much thought to what I look like anymore, which should be obvious to anyone looking at me. (Stop that!) I haven’t worn makeup for twenty years. I forget to check and make sure that my hair isn’t sticking out at odd angles. When that inevitably happens, I hope you’ll think I’m being deliberately edgy and not just negligent.

Many years ago a colleague asked me what I thought was my best feature. I guess he wanted me to say something like my eyes or my smile because he seemed annoyed when I answered, “My mind.”

I was actually rephrasing an old song from Frank Zappa and the Mothers of Invention that hardly anybody would remember called What’s the Ugliest Part of Your Body – “I think it’s your mind.”

People tell me I think too much, and I definitely live inside my head. It’s different in here and kind of a mess. I don’t always know what I think about things until I work it out here on the page.

Think of these daily posts as a peek inside my mind, unquestionably my best feature.

It isn’t always pretty and it doesn’t show up in mirrors, but it did let me use that silly picture to give you a giggle on Friday morning.

Meet Market

In solitude on June 22, 2017 at 7:29 am

I am not a people person, as I’ve said before, although I probably like you quite a bit. It’s those masses of strangers, especially in big crowds, that make me want to run home and hide, locking the door behind me. My nieces used to call me Auntie Social.

I spend about 94% of my time alone (I did the math), yet I almost never feel lonely. Time spent with friends at church or the gym or occasional meals and meetings are times I look forward to, but I also look forward to going home to my sanctuary, my solitude.

I know most people don’t feel the same. Some people can’t stand being alone. Worse, just the thought of going to a restaurant or a movie or a concert alone scares the bejeebers out of them. I don’t know why. Maybe they don’t read.

I always have a book with me – actually 600+ books on my Kindle – and with a book, I always have companionship.

Rebecca Solnit, author of The Lonely City, describes loneliness as feeling “unhappy as a result of being without the companionship of others.” And Paul Tillich said, “Loneliness expresses the pain of being alone and solitude expresses the glory of being alone.” I’ll take the glory, please.

I’ve been thinking about this since Amazon announced its plan to deliver groceries. I belong to Amazon Prime, but the grocery store is one of the few places I still go. With few exceptions, I do almost all my shopping online. I even conduct my library business online, only going to the library to pick up and return books.

Isaac Asimov wrote a novel, The Naked Sun, part of his robot series, about people who never came into contact with other people physically because they were too afraid of germs. I don’t want to live in that world, if only because I would have to give up hugs.

I understand that grocery delivery offers a welcome convenience to some people and some circumstances. For me, though, I’ll continue to mingle in real life at King Soopers and Sprouts and choose my own provisions.

I can’t spend ALL my time alone.