Archive | Church Matters

The Church of Prince and the Revolution

Today is the 62nd birthday of Prince Roger Nelson. Anyone who reads this blog knows that he’s part of a holy trinity for me, the other two members being Aretha Franklin and Stevie Wonder. But not everyone realizes that our astrological charts continue to affect others long after we die. This is important because our Lord in Purple hailed from Minneapolis, the heart of America’s broken heartland, where George Floyd was so flagrantly and unrepentantly executed by law enforcement officials that his murder launched a worldwide revolution. Had he been alive Prince surely would have been the first to raise holy hell. He loved his hometown fiercely–never really left–and was so down for revolution that he named his band after it. If the depth of his social justice commitment was not fully recognized during his lifetime, that’s only because he kept many of his good works behind the scenes. Which only makes me love him more.

His genius was recognized, though, and it continues to offer a collective intimacy necessary to fight the good fight, because it continues to remind us how unique and desirable we all are–how worth fighting for. Trust that he would be on the forefront of today’s protest lines today were he alive. And trust that he is moving just as powerfully behind the scenes today— composing the perfect lyric, backbeat, howl to raise us from the ashes of institutionalized white supremacy.

So I believe that on his 62nd solar return—when a person’s energy is most felt— we may still call on Prince for support, practical magic, and inspiration. Indeed, may this poly-everything, third-eye-winking, putting-the-Gem-in-Gemini reign as the sign of our times. Purple love to all on this turbulent Sunday in America.

Sky Inside Service: Blessings of the Flesh

Because this Memorial Day weekend finds many of us still sheltering in place, let’s find the sheltering sky inside. Tune in tomorrow to an IG Live at 1pm EST for Sky Inside Service, my nonchurchy church, for invocation, recitation, spiritual staycation. (See also: Prince, Aretha.) This week’s theme: Blessings of the Flesh. Yep, you read that right.

For a private reading or ritual, book here.Postscript: Here is the video of this service.

My Corner of the Sky Inside

It was a beautiful morning full of the bittersweet longing that defines middle-age, regardless of whether you’re coupled up, family’d up, quarantined up. I woke before the sun, made strong French-press coffee with cream, finished reading my detective novel before springing into the day. Maneuvered mini-car Minerva over the bridge to pretty-pretty John Lindsay park from which I walked miles and miles up the Manhattan side of the East River–steering clear of the runners (oy vey), nodding at all my fellow masked travelers. On a patch of waterfront grass as far from the madding crowd as you can find on a NYC morning, I flopped down to pray and meditate and swan in soft unkempt sun. Only a particularly curious squirrel crept up, and she kept a respectful distance as I pulled down my mask and breathed in big big air. By then it was 9 am so I cruised over to the Tompkins Square greenmarket to fetch gorgeous spring produce (strawberries! ramps! mint! pea shoots!) and mediocre peonies (even mediocre peonies are peonies) before scooting home, Roberta Flack pouring out of the speakers. Back home I baked skillet cornbread and pickled watermelon radishes while jabbering on the phone with a friend about a disappointing love.

From a corner permakitten watched through greenly slitted eyes–judging my backsliding as only a feline can judge.

Now it’s midday and I’m already worn out and at loose ends. That’s not pandemic. That’s the sadness that finds us in all the places quotidian pleasures can’t reach. You know: those corners we just don’t feel held. Come mid-life, only the foolish believe those corners fully disappear.

So, dear ones, no nonchurchy church this afternoon. This is a day for reception rather than inception–for rest rather than rigor and wonder even when you can’t wander. Mary Oliver wrote: “My job is loving the world.” It’s all of our jobs, really. Love up your corner of the sky today. I suspect I’m poised for a three-hour nap and a to-go tequila cocktail. Then next Sunday (5/24) we’ll Sky-Inside together. Mark those calendars: (5/24) at 1pm on Rubyintuitionbk IG Live.

"All, everything I understand, I understand only because I love."
― Leo Tolstoy