Tag Archives: Lord of the Rings

Why the dearth of playlists

Perhaps you have noticed a lack of playlists being posted. This means a lack of exercise has been taking place.

There is a reason.

Plantar fasciitis.

Some days it is better. Some days it is really bad.

I miss the exercise and plan today to do something about that. It may mean small walks. It may mean more stretching. But look for playlists to resume shortly.

In the meantime, check out this shirt that I will be wearing.

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Filed under Exercise, Music, playlist

Laundry night in NYC

Frodo walked into Mordor,
even though one does not simply do that,
to destroy a ring of power.

Dorothy followed the Yellow Brick Road
to find the wizard who could return her to Kansas.

A shepherd, left 99 sheep behind
to search for one that was lost.

With the knights of the table round,
Galahad sought the Holy Grail.

I’m looking for a lost sock.

13 October 2018
Manhattan, New York

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Filed under New York, Photo, Poem

The Until We Meet Again Tour – 22 July 2016 – birthday edition

The  Until We Meet Again Tour took an interesting turn on this birthday.

The plan had been to go to the office to do some more cleaning and packing for the move.

Yesterday afternoon, however, my colleagues in the organization Ecumenical Women found themselves without a facilitator for a retreat. Would I help them out, they asked. Of course I said yes. I thought I might go to Riverside Park for a bit after the retreat ended.

The retreat was held at 475 Riverside Drive, right around the corner from the Shire. It ended at 1:00 but conversation lasted until 4:30.

Walking back to the Shire, I realized how oppressive the heat was today, and may be the rest of the weekend.

I went to the gym around 6:00 as planned. After the workout, I decided I did not want to do the heat. I ordered dinner.

And then began watching The Lord of the Rings films. That’s usually a Christmas activity with Tricia and Eric, Sean passes, but we did not find time for it last Christmas.

With the city under a heat advisory most of the day tomorrow, this seemed like a moment when I might have time to watch all three. The Balrog just grabbed Gandalf. We’ll see where things end up.

And there was cake today as my colleagues celebrated my birthday, singing twice.

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See you along the Trail.

 

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Filed under Family, Food, Friends, Movie, New York, Photo

Dick Wherley: choices made, choices lived

“We are going to walk across the country as part of a witness for nuclear disarmament.”

I am sure those were not the first words that Dick or Cathie Wherley said to me. They are among the first I remember.

Tricia and I arrived at Noble Road Presbyterian Church in Cleveland Heights as co-pastors in the fall of 1985. Dick and Cathie served on the Session – the church governing board.

Sometime that winter, they announced their resignations so that they could take part in the Great Peace March for Global Nuclear Disarmament.

Their faith led them to work for peace in many ways and many places. Seeking racial justice in Cleveland Heights. Working to end gun violence in Cleveland. Advocating for sanctuary for their sisters and brothers fleeing war in Central America. Calling for an end to U.S. arms sales.

Now their faith called them to make another witness for life, the life of the planet. With about 1,200 people they set out from Los Angeles for Washington, DC around March 1. About two weeks into the march, the marchers learned that the supporting organization had declared bankruptcy. The marchers gathered, pondered, thought, dreamed, and planned. On March 28, a smaller group, including Dick and Cathie, started out again.

Dick often drove a support vehicle because of his health. But he and Cathie and the GPM made it to DC. When the march came through Cleveland, about 30 Noble Road members marched with them. A dozen of us went to Washington for the end of the march.

Upon returning to Cleveland Dick and Cathie plunged back into the life of the congregation, the community, and the peace and justice movement. Transitional housing and the inclusion of our LGBT sisters and brothers in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) became two areas of particular concern.

The simple reality though, was if people in Cleveland gathered to act in compassion, pursue peace, and do justice, Dick and Cathie were present more often than not.

Dick’s health continue to falter through the years. He appeared in person less often and in the spirit more regularly. His spirit remained strong and true.

This week, Dick died peacefully in his sleep.

My prayers are with Cathie and her children, Joanne, Rick, Tom, and Sandy and their partners and children. May their memories be blessed; may they find comfort in their grief; may the rejoice in love shared and love that binds them together still.

Frodo Baggins, in The Fellowship of the Ring, expresses a wish to have been born at another time, a gentler, kinder, less-troubled time.

Gandalf reminds him that none of us choose the times in which we live. “All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us,” the wizard gently says.

Dick Wherley decided what to do with the time he had. Dick chose life. He chose faith. He chose love, peace, and justice. And he lived his choices well.

Thanks be to God.

See you along the Trail.

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Grace Ji-Sun Kim on Consumerism and Overconsumption

Graces BookIn a post that originally appeared in Ecclesio.com and then on her own blog, Grace Ji-Sun Kim shares an excerpt from her book, Colonialism, Han and the Transformative Spirit.

Here are some teasers that may inspire you to check out the blog and the the book:

One of the problems the Western world is facing today is how to live a life so that all of humanity can flourish and not just a select few wealthy people.

When one looks at the world today, an inescapable fact is the vastly unequal distribution of assets, wealth, affluence, and life prospects. We live in a world where a relatively small number of people, about one-sixth the world’s total population of approximately seven billion people, have a preponderant share of the planet’s wealth and resources, while a significant majority of the remaining six billion lead lives marked by insecurity, poverty, misery, disease, and death.

Today, as capitalism and consumerism drive the modern version of colonization known as globalism, the gap between the haves and have-nots widens beyond anything ever known in history. This unequal distribution of wealth is taking a toll on the fragile planet and ecosystems that we all belong to. What drives the rich to consume all the resources is understood to drive the economy, so many of the rich people’s practices are not challenged or even questioned.

After reflecting on the perils that the drive to consume pose to people and planet alike, Kim presents an alternative vision:

The real wealth of a nation is its people, and the purpose of development is to create an environment for people to enjoy long, healthy, and creative lives.  The good life is defined by the use of money to help people have decent, fulfilling lives. The good life is not having “more and more” but “enough” …

Kim addresses the tension within which humans live – a tension between freedom and limits – a tension expressed in Genesis 3. She goes on to explore the human role as a “steward.” She notes that too often humans chose to act, not as the stewards God intends us to be, but as bandits: cue Kurosawa and The Seven Samurai. 

The image of the steward intrigues me. Tolkien plays with the question of stewardship in The Lord of the Rings trilogy. In 1992 – as the United States marked the 500th anniversary of the invasion by or arrival of (depending on one’s point of view) of the Europeans in what we now know as the Americas – I preached a sermon contrasting the role of conquistador with steward. As Kim notes,  “It is not easy being God’s stewards, living in a garden where so much more is possible than is beneficial.”

Kim notes the warnings we are receiving about the consequences of our current consumer lifestyle of overconsumption. And she wonders if we will heed the signs and examine and change our ways of “being and living.”

There is much to ponder in the post. There are many topics for conversation. I encourage you to check it out!

See you along the Trail.

 

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Not quite the same

Wandering through the Half-Price Bookstore on Thursday evening, I came across several versions of The Fellowship of the Ring, The Two Towers, and The Return of the King. I decided that watching the trilogy – or at least as much of the trilogy as I could – would prove fitting entertainment for what could be my last night in the Shire.

I own the extended versions – they reside in Cleveland and serve as the basis for a family Christmas tradition. I pondered buying another set but, to save some bucks, opted for the original releases. They only cost $2.00 each.

I have enjoyed watching them – about half at the Shire and half at the Shire on the Hudson. Good, good stuff, just not the same as the extended versions.

It has been a good ride. I am glad I got them. I can’t wait to see the extended versions again.

See you along the Trail.

 

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Which way to Mordor?

Some run marathons.

Some swim.

Some bike.

Others view.

A tradition at our house in the days after Christmas, at least most years, involves viewing Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings trilogy.

It makes for a long day. It makes for a fun day that involves – marveling at the cinematography, deepening an appreciation of the artistic accomplishment, anticipating favorite lines, giving thanks for friends as good as Frodo’s, wishing for a birthday party like Bilbo’s (at the age of 111), renewing a desire to visit New Zealand, and more.

Today the marathon began. It will fill the day.

Which way to Mordor?

See you along the Trail.

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