From the Solemn Gloom of the Temple

From the solemn gloom of the temple
children run out to sit in the dust,
God watches them play
and forgets the priest.
– Rabindranath Tagore

On an unstable day filled with hail bursts and wind gusts and a lightening strike or two, I watched Bill Maher’s movie Religulous.  It was, in a word, horrifying.  A horrification most likely amplified by the weather. Luckily the tree which always threatened to wipe out our house in such weather is gone.  Sadly, so is neighbor who refused to chop it down. But I didn’t do it.  Honest.  His was a natural death.

Bill Maher is a comedian with a nighttime talkshow which is, like all talkshows these days, highly politicized. He’s also famous for being an outspoken atheist and pot smoker.  Religulous (an anagram of religious and ridiculous) is basically about people whose beliefs cannot be swayed by any amount of logic. I don’t know how he rounded those folks up. That must have been some casting call.  

I’ve known and worked with Muslims, Jews, Sufis, Hindus, Witches, Satanists, Atheists, Agnostics and Transpeople of all varieties.  Not to mention a plethora of Christians.  Most did not feel the need to convince me that their path was the only one.  Oh, one particular Charismatic Catholic claimed that God had a message for me through her and it wasn’t good news. But since she specialized in only channeling dire warnings from the Supreme Being about my fate in the hereafter, I didn’t pay much attention. Although when you’re a child, it’s always upsetting to be bullied by God’s Special Whisperer.

Which brings me back to, how did Bill Maher find so many people who have no doubt they are absolutely right? The Bible was written by God; Mary was a virgin, Jonas lived in a whale and Jesus never had sex.  And if you doubt any one of these “facts” you are going to hell, even if you follow the commandments to the letter.

To me, this is intolerance and bullying. Because. . . 

I hope your celebration of spring is full of love and completely devoid of any discussion of hell.

I’ll take the garlic but hold the lamb

The most romantic thing this Valentine’s Day at my house is not this pink hydrangea given to me by my husband:


But a leg of lamb stuffed with four heads of garlic.  Five whole pounds of lamb!  Bought cheerfully from the county’s most expensive butcher.  Not by me.

Hubby’s idea of valentine bliss:


Generally I neither cook nor eat lamb.  I don’t care if Hubby’s great grandfather was the number one sheep rancher in Utah.  The smell of a leg of lamb roasting in the oven all day long will never, ever leave the house.  I don’t care if you have a Fabreeze scentalator in every single room.  I don’t care if you douse yourself in perfume until you’re declared an environmental disaster area.  Eau de Lamb sticks to everything.

Three hundred and sixty four (plus or minus) days a year I avoid cooking lamb but it’s frigging Valentine’s Day and my hubby, with all his oddities, keeps me well-supplied with wine and chocolate all year long so what heck. I’ll smell like lamb for a few days.  It’s what you do for love.