Saturday, January 17, 2009


I have several long blocks to walk each day--at least twice--in the cold. My body is moving, caught in tension between sweat and freezing; my mind seems to find this conducive to thought-fragments that seem... eye-catching, like shiny potsherds.

Contemplating the curious habit of claiming iconic figures who were (or may have been) Unitarian or Universalist (or UU, even) as a way of claiming legitimacy, which seems to serve as a device for not really having to actually know much at all about those figures as real people both worthy and painfully human, brilliant and flawed. Jefferson, the apostle of freedom--and slave-owner (oh, wait, not a marble saint, so don't claim him any longer?), or ... oh hell, there's a long list.

Fine, hero-worship. That's fine, and even useful. But know your heroes as human. Iconoclastic, fine too--but while you're pillorying others for their failings and imperfections, watch your hypocrisy level (just where were all your clothes made, and by whom; what were they paid and what were their working conditions? There are more slaves today than 150 years ago; "ours" labor out of sight...)

Can we manage to make useful pots from all our feet of clay? Watching everyone walk on the potsherds is both painful and so very old and tiresome.

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