Amelia just watched the Royals complete their nuptials. I was interested in the Cardinal or Priest’s words regarding transformation. He said, our role is transform humanity, transform our partners; never through coercion or reformation. Now I am all for the separation of church and state, but I am often confounded by those who espouse ‘brotherhood’ and ‘charity’ and ‘selfless giving’ when speaking as an elected official, all the while clouding the realities of these words in their political practice.

My spirituality is often more solipsistic or hurmunculain, as I am usually incapable of fully submit to the ‘blind acceptance of a higher power.’ Resigning to the will of others is rather counter initiative for me. When I go, I go to a church in Stillwater, and the choice was based on the name of the town (seems a good place for contemplation) and for the architecture (built in the 1700s), and for the attention to music (one of my favorite parts of the ‘gathering’). Denomination and religion are secondary to these things. My sister was a religion major, and the philosophical notion that religion is a story for popular manipulation is nothing new to our dialogues while we both embrace a wide range of practices and spirituality. Both my parents were raised with strong religious backgrounds but mixed church with ‘nature as sanctuary’ often for me as a child.

This morning is one in which it is appropriate to re-visit my own wedding, which was performed jointly by a Buddhist Priestess art critic and a gay performance artist/poet who received his ministry status from the back of Rolling Stone magazine; their words were layered with the words and music of many writers, historians, and artists. The service was filled with symbolic ritual that celebrated love and the reality of human suffering a good healthy start to married life. Also a great metaphor for married life was leaving the wedding in a small boat, for an island cabin, just of the coast only to be temporarily lost in the fog. My father’s compass reading brought us out of the fog into the only safe harbor for miles on the rock-bound coast, and while we were late in arriving at our remote honeymoon retreat, we were safe and had managed to test many of our vows in the very first evening when set adrift alone on the sea in conditions that allowed for no real vision.

So since Amelia spent the morning in the wake of royalty, religion, and the world’s political theater, she can not help but write about the overarching message of those delivering this morning’s service. “The most important thing is love, and joy, peace and harmony.” This fits nicely into my utopian vision for the future of my home and my town. Seems good that I am willing to suffer personally for this expansive vision; the need for harmony and accuracy seems to be too much to ask for at the moment. 

I wonder how many local government officials are religious or spiritual, and how many of them are governed, internally, by a sense of love and joy and peace and harmony. I wonder how many read those words and are so disillusioned and damaged that the idea of love and joy and harmony in local government is impossible for them to grasp. I wonder how many of them can feel and apply these practices to their day, and to their civic role.  I imagine how marvelous it would be for them to apply these humanistic attributes to a town meeting environment. I contemplate whether they are capable of feeling harmony with their populous; are they capable of finding joy and love even in diversity of vision and viewpoint? What makes a person incapable of this act? It is my dying wish that rather than limiting our collective sense of harmony to only those who share the same views, they could open their hearts and minds a smidgen and start to feel the power of harmony that emerges from respecting the feelings and voices of everyone in their electorate.

Amelia knows she is capable of love and joy and peace and harmony, and that these words, when combined with truth and justice and respect and accuracy are in fact the best ingredients for a well-baked cake, a well laid marriage, or a productive civic landscape. Congratulations William and Katherine- I wish you all the best, and call me if I can help in the transformation to a more gender equal, economically responsible, harmonic union of the personal and political landscape!

And, to the citizens of Frelinghuysenfolly I want to extend a sincere and hopeful and joyous invitation to come to the next town meeting, because the township committee, again, wants to vote on the limitation of public speaking at town meetings (even though they already voted on this issue once since January 1st). Perhaps they have been working on the swing vote and hope to pass a resolution to limit the public’s ability to speak for only 5 minutes- an act that many are sure the ACLU will be deeply interested in- as they were in Vernon, NJ recently.

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