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alexroth.jpgIn which Alex talks about her affection for books, her adventure working for a year and a half on Nantucket when she’d never even heard of the place, her fantasy careers of being a psychotherapist hairdresser or running an artisanal snowcone food truck, being a birthday gift for a friend in Australia (and her private time with a koala), and much more.

https://betsyrosso.podbean.com/e/five-questions-with-alex-roth-season-2-episode-18/

donnieIn which Donnie talks about deliberately simplifying his life, the surprising similarities between being an actor and working as a nurse specializing in end-of-life care, the effects on Donnie when he was a teenager of his cousin’s death, the importance of local flavor when he’s traveling, what it means to make people laugh, and more.

https://betsyrosso.podbean.com/e/five-questions-with-donnie-bledsoe-season-2-episode-19/

MaryJaneIn which Mary Jane talks about the unexpected influence on her life of our high school French teacher Madame Alnwick; her time in Europe, Africa, and Hawaii; her sculpting work in plaster, ceramic, and bronze; meeting her Tongan husband on a flight from Salt Lake City; the unique traits she inherited from her Chinese father (who had to flee China as a child) and Mormon hippie mother; and much more.

https://betsyrosso.podbean.com/e/five-questions-with-mary-jane-maumau-season-2-episode-17/

Anderson-Tiffany-HannaMF01.jpgIn which Tiffany talks about being a trailblazing African-American woman judge, her Monopoly acumen, what she learned from being offered an afterschool job at Pizza Hut, the surprises of parenthood, Dave Chappelle, and more.

https://betsyrosso.podbean.com/e/season-2-episode-15-five-questions-with-tiffany-anderson/

Screen Shot 2017-07-08 at 12.27.25 AM.pngYay chickens! Sustainable farmer and best-selling author Forrest Pritchard talks about cat-shaped vending machines that dispense cars, his insatiable need for sunshine and a good soundtrack, patronizing advice that turned out to be true, the joy of stonemasonry, and so much more.

Listen here: https://betsyrosso.podbean.com/e/season-2-episode-14-five-questions-with-forrest-pritchard/

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photo from instagram by @phillyjim

Twentysome years ago, attending
the symphony for the first time,
my friend who brought me advised,
“If you get bored,
just think about sex.”
In the cool plush of the opera house,
Both the symphony and sex seemed
remote and abstract

Tonight, it’s steamy on the wharf
Inside, ascending to
the top tier in the dim,
Lit by chandeliers,
the silhouettes of six thousand souls
Amplified intimacy
Our thighs touching those of strangers
Sweat sticking shirts to skin
Colored lights shining on bare legs

Tonight, there are two cellos and a violin,
a piano and a French horn,
a bearded sleeveless drummer behind his drum set
a host of adamant, emphatic guitars
Voices raised in the brutal pursuit of truth
I’ve never heard her preach before
But she has won a convert

From where we sit I can stare
at the catwalk
feeling the cool metal slats
across my back
where I would lie suspended above everyone
with my eyes squeezed tight
submerging my body in the waves
of music crashing over me
mixing with my salty tears

Loose coils of ropes hang
From the ceiling and I picture
a wooden trapeze swinging across
the theater in a bubble of silence
on it I sit, sheathed in a shimmering blue
costume so sheer it might be painted on
maybe it is painted on
to mirror the broken open revelations
of the singers
by laying myself bare

inspired by Brandi Carlile at The Anthem, May 20, 2018

While you were busy living your life, these important podcasts were posted. In case you missed them, now’s the perfect opportunity to get to know these fabulous people!

nancypoloFive Questions with Nancy Polo In which Nancy discusses the isolation of making art; the diverse occupations of pastamaking, art and graphic design, and running a business; her newfound political activism; and the influence of her Italian heritage on her daily life.

Five Questions with Niraj Ray In which Niraj discusses his journey from growing up in New York to becoming an urban farmer in Washington, DC, the connectionniraj between his new farming techniques and his family’s farming history in India, why strawberries grown in a greenhouse have more flavor, how working on the roof of the Environmental Protection Agency changed his life, and more. Learn more about Niraj’s work at http://www.cultivatethecity.com.

Five Questions with Genevieve Hoffman In which Genevieve discusses the beautiful cold genevieveand quiet of snowshoeing, having an adundance of what she needs, raising chickens with her children, her unlikely decision to move cross country with someone she didn’t actually know very well, and working as a women’s health nurse or, in another universe, a historical landscaper.

This morning I was told we should look in the mirror and see the best self we can be.

In the middle of the night when I wake up to pee and I look in the mirror while I’m washing my hands

I am pretty sure Benicio del Toro smirks back at me.

In the morning when we’ve all overslept

which is so frequently that getting up on time feels miraculous

and I put on a baseball hat because I don’t have time to shower before I drive Zoe to school

I look in the mirror and see

Michael Moore looking disheveled but not too disheveled to ask pointed questions.

When we’ve been walking through the rain on the way to dinner downtown. I duck into the bathroom in the restaurant and see

Richard Simmons in my hair, without the tank top.

When the air is dry or I’ve combed out my wet hair after a late night soccer game, I wake up to Barry Gibb stayin’ alive in my mirror.

Why this odd assortment of male celebrities inhabits my crusty-eyed, rumpled reflections, I do not know.

Is my best self hidden among them? Best if I cultivate my authentic self away from mirrors, looking instead to another face.

I had the privilege of serving as worship associate at church this morning for our Christmas Eve services. These are the words I used to open the service.

Call to Worship 

We come to this place filled with anticipation.

Some of us await a miraculous birth and envision redemption.

Some of us hold out hope for an everyday miracle.

We come to this place with lingering sorrows, or fresh, sharp grief.

We long for what once was or something we never had.

We come with excitement, joy, and gratitude

for those we love gathered around us.

We come together this morning to hear a familiar story told by new voices.

We come to sing old songs that reawaken our hearts.

We come listening for peace, seeking comfort, in need of love.

Let us take this time to practice the peace, provide the comfort,

share the love with our sisters and brothers.

 

Chalice Lighting

 

May the flame of our chalice be a brilliant reminder of the divine spark

Within each of us

The spark that we see in each other’s eyes.

The spark that grows bigger when we share a kindness.

The spark that glows brighter when we laugh together.

The spark that holds steady when we cry together.

On this Christmas Eve morning,

may the flame of our chalice remind us of the star that

shepherds and magi followed so long ago.

May this flame serve as our star today.

The theme at church for November is abundance. Yesterday i was worship associate and wrote this for the call to worship.

 

What we have here is more than enough

Enough oxygen to breathe in and carbon dioxide to breathe out

Enough voices to form a chorus

Enough hands to hold

Although sometimes we are scared to reach for them

What we have here is more than enough

Enough leaves of crimson and saffron decorating the asphalt

Enough puddles to splash in

Enough bird songs to listen to

Although we don’t always notice them

What we have here is more than enough

Enough second chances to offer and receive

Enough stories to tell and listen to

Enough love to go around

 

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