Letter From New York 11 28 15 Walking toward Christmas…

First Sunday in Advent.  Christ Church Episcopal. Shooting at Planned Parenthood. Obama. Media and Society. Pope Francis. Kampala, Uganda. John F. Kennedy. Erdogan. Putin. Climate Conference. Justin Trudeau. Queen Elizabeth II.

Christmas. Pandora.

It is the Saturday after Thanksgiving.  I’ve been up for a while but am still rubbing the sleep from my eyes while sipping my second cup of good, strong coffee.  It is a long, lazy day ahead of me. 

The day is very grey and the deck of my house is wet with the results of light rain through the night.  In other words, it is drear out there.  The unseasonable warmth has receded and I am warming the interior of the cottage with the soft sounds of “Cool Jazz Radio” on Pandora.

Today, at 3:30, young Nick is coming over and we’ll do what we do every Saturday after Thanksgiving.  We will put up the tree and decorate the cottage for

Christmas.  I will begin to play Christmas music and the season of celebration will commence.

Tomorrow is the First Sunday in Advent.  I enjoy the sense of community I get from attending Christ Church Episcopal.  Back, a long time ago, a friend of mine described herself as “quite spiritually moist” when asked by her boyfriend, an evangelical Christian, if she didn’t feel something was missing in her spiritual life?

I guess I might describe myself as “spiritually moist” myself.

Yesterday, I almost started to write a blog but didn’t.  The shooting at the Planned Parenthood clinic in Colorado Springs affected me rather badly.  What, ANOTHER shooting? 

For reasons I don’t quite fathom, it rocked me; I felt broken in some way.  Obama has said, “Enough is enough.”  True but how to achieve it?

Today is better.  I got up and wanted to write.  The coziness of the cottage is alluring.   I could sit here and do my best to ignore the world but how can I?

On January 20th, I will start teaching a class at the local community college called “Media and Society.”  Can’t turn my back on the world while teaching that class…

300,000 people attended a mass in Kampala, Uganda offered by Pope Francis on his first trip to Africa.  Another 150,000 young people attended a “pep rally” at an unused airfield.  Francis urged Ugandans to be “missionaries at home” by attending to the old, ill and abandoned in that country.

For all his many flaws, John F. Kennedy was a beacon in his time.  Francis is a beacon of hope in this time.  In Argentina, he was known as “the bishop of the slums” of Buenos Aries. Now is the Pope to the slums of the world.

Paris, if it is even possible at this point, has increased security in advance of the Climate Change Conference coming there this coming week.

The young man who was the mastermind of the Paris Attacks on November 13th, planned more attacks, on Jews and on transport and schools.  He had grand plans for terrorizing France.

Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan is hoping to have a private moment with Putin at the Climate Change Conference in Paris, hoping to tone down the tension that has been rising between Turkey and Russia since the Turks shot down a Russian warplane.

On his way to the Climate Conference, new political heartthrob, Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada, stopped off at the Commonwealth Conference in Malta.  He, of course, toasted the Queen of England, Elizabeth II and commented that she had seen more of Canada than most Canadians.  She responded: thank you for making me feel so old, said with a smile.

Yesterday it was nearly 66 degrees.  Today it is 37.  I am tempted to curl up in the cottage and ignore the world but I won’t.  I’m off to the gym after a Thanksgiving break and then to the Dot for food and this afternoon, the tree.

Despite the world’s woes, I am going to push myself toward my inner Christmas self and celebrate what is right with the world and not what is wrong.

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