Catching up

FranZimSmithHello all! The world has been blog free from me lately, but for a quick spell, I am back. Where has the world’s least disciplined blogger been? What has she done? Does anyone care? If so, here is a recap.

Walking – with a mere 76 days to go until my camino, I have been out walking a lot. Writing vs. walking has walking winning. Alliteration unintended! Last Monday was my final day of vacation, so I got out there and did 7 miles… with my pack on, despite choosing a local bike/hiking path where one would expect to see an actual backpacker. I’m glad I did it.

Vacation – so yes, we went on vacation. We were being prudent so we went for a few short days, not an entire week. Instead of our usual beach trip to Ocean City, NJ, we went to Cape Cod. Our little rental was so lovely, and the journey was one of the most relaxing ever. In the end I am more of an OCNJ person than a Cape Codder, but I did love it and can imagine returning for another short stay. It was a richly peaceful and prayerful time, a period – albeit short – of relaxation and happiness for our family.  I loved it and feel so grateful. Cape Cod Collage

Wedding – my great-niece got married on Sunday. It was the first time family wedding since Mark and I got married 9 years ago. We had a wonderful time at the joyous event. One really has a sense of time flying by watching everyone grow up and grow older. The wedding made me very teary eyed, as I wished so hard that my mom could have lived to see how the family grew. Of course, she watches from above, at least that is what I believe.Wedding Collage

Brexit – I am a full-blown Anglophile. While I have traveled far and wide, no country has touched my heart more deeply than England. Arriving there always feels like going home, so great is my comfort and joy to be there.

In the olden days of money making and money squandering of my life, I visited the UK often, approximately 10 times from 1981 to 1996. I had good friends there, so I always had a place to stay and people to see. Regrettably, I did not always go farther afield than London, because that city is my true love. In any case – you get my point, I love that “green and pleasant land.” (Of course there is this reference for all of the 80’s hipsters, although for a different city in that green and – well, you know.)

hqdefaultThis long preface is to day that I am devastated by Brexit in a multitude of ways that span the deeply personal to the financial to the political and cultural. What really burns me is that many who voted to leave now feel regret. WTF? Sorry for the F, but seriously! John Oliver, a Brit who became a US citizen (bad language ahead in the video, you have been warned) did not mince words on the topic.

Pope Francis – He says that the Church should apologize to gay people. WHAT?!? How could he???? As for me – I’m grateful that this man is saying things that upend the world;. I find that very Jesus-y. If we are really listening to Pope Francis (and to Jesus ultimately) we should note the history and context of remarks. (Here is a great link regarding that from James Martin SJ.) For all those who are fretting about him changing any teaching, don’t count on it.

POPE-ARMENIA-PLANEPope Francis will continue to annoy and upset pretty much everyone. He has not “changed” any “rules,” and as I said, I am doubtful that he will. What he has done is to try to open hearts. When people see him as a destroyer of the church I want to shake my heads. I find myself thinking, “are we reading and living the same Gospel?” As a quick note, the Pope also called the Armenian Genocide genocide, which is way more controversial than many other things. But good for him, this was a dark chapter of history that must be called out and named.

Happy Independence Day – It is the 240th anniversary of the United States independence. I am not anti-American at all, I am glad to be American, grateful, but I am also not a patriotic type by nature. There are great things and moments in our history, and there are some awful ones. Here is where my pragmatic detachment comes out, at moments like these when my critical eye is very critical.

I grew up in a very super patriotic home, that was more of a “thing” in a different way in the 60’s and 70’s. We were always respectful of the US flag, treating it very specially, and I was nurtured in a “love-it-or-leave-it” environment. As a younger person, I was into it 100%, but as I grew into my adolescence, I began to question every single thing. Guess what – I still do!

As I spend this particular July 4th, deep into the soundtrack of Hamilton,  I find reflect a great deal on how this country began, and where we are now. This does not seem to be a great moment in our history, but I remain hopeful for better days ahead.

With that, I will close with one of my favorite songs, the only “patriotic-ish” one that I sing! Being a dirty, filthy hippie at heart, I am using this Joan Baez version. May we all find some peace and joy this July 4th. I’ll be back… eventually!


3 thoughts on “Catching up

  1. Ah, so many topics, so little time 🙂

    I’m listening to “Faded” by Alan Walker as I write this and that’s how many of us feel following Brexit. Fortunately I am multi-passport-ed but we will all be affected, whatever passport we hold. It is a sad development. I remember my father telling me of his childhood in the town I grew up in with public houses flourishing signs saying “no dogs, no blacks, no Irish”. That was the 1930s. An old friend of mine used to talk about the moral equivalent of recession/depression i.e. economic insecurity which is what underlies this event. The signs in windows may be different but the sentiment is the same and the continent of Europe is in danger of going down the same path. Please God, let us have learned from our mistakes.


  2. Glad I saw this! I missed your writings! Sounds like you are living life in a good way! Think of how all your experience informs these responses! So interesting where God sends us and what we bring back.

    Regarding Pope Francis, people need to get over it. As you said, are we all reading the same Gospel? Change is hard….but we are called to take part in a personal conversion EVERY day or what the H is the point?

    Thanks for including John O as I never saw this but my daughter told me to watch it.

    Camino coming up!


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