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Both Sides of the Fence

A Tosa resident since 1991, Christine walks the dog, cooks but avoids housework, writes and reads, and enjoys the company of friends and strangers. Her job takes her around the state, learning about people's health. A Quaker (no, they don't wear blue hats or sell oatmeal or motor oil), she has been known to stand on both sides of the political and philosophic fence at the same time, which is very uncomfortable when you think about it. She writes about pretty much whatever stops in to visit her busy mind at the moment. One reader described her as "incredibly opinionated but not judgmental." That sounds like a good thing to strive for!

In praise of where we are

Spiritualty, Wauwatosa

When you open the main section of today's Milwaukee Journal Sentinel,  above the ads for Summerfest, the Lubar School of Business, and "Freedom from ATM fees" at M&I Bank, you'll find a couple arresting images. They stopped my bucolic breakfast of  organic strawberries (two pints for $4 at Outpost) and yogurt (not organic but cheap enough at Pick N Save).

On page 2 is William Underwood, obediently wearing his holstered handgun in Louisville's New Bethel Church, where Reverend Ken Pagano is celebrating the second amendment with a call to armed worship.

I'm a Quaker, and peace is a big deal with Quakers. So the notion that worship and weaponry belong in the same space (or same sentence for that matter) is pretty odd to me.

I'm also pretty sure that the Second Amendment of the United States Constitution is not in the Bible.

On page 3 is a picture from Cebu prison in the Phillipines--not this image, but one taken from the same tribute to Michael Jackson staged there yesterday.

"He is like the God to them. It is Michael's music that gives them international recognition," a security consultant of the Cebu Provincial Detention and Rehabilitation Center said in zinhuanet.com.  

Is it just me, or does anyone else think there's something . . . unusual . . . .about 1500 prisoners doing a full-out Bollywood dance production number that seems to confuse the poor departed Jackson with the archangel Michael, "Captain of the host of the Lord" (Joshua 5:13-15)?

I closed the newpaper and offered my own little prayer.

Thanks for living in Wauwatosa, Wisconsin, Lake Wobegon-like place of mostly pretty sensible, pretty decent people who, given the choice of being dull or being whack-jobs, choose the former. And I mean that in a good way. 

Thanks for not being in prison--or imprisoned by fear and paranoia.

Thanks for the gift of enough resources and safety to have the luxury of being reasonable and ordinary--most of the time.

When the world looks too weird, go outside. Walk your dog if you have one. Feel the wind and the sun. Smell what smells there are and seek the dappled shelter of treeshade. It helps put things in perspective.

Count your blessings.  In this place and this moment, most of us do not have to be at war with anybody but ourselves. And who'd want to do that on this glorious day that God -- or some other kind of extraordinary grace -- made?

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