Monday, May 25, 2015 – 5:33am
Photo by Romeo Gacad
BY BARBARA MAHANY (@BARBARAMAHANY), GUEST CONTRIBUTOR

We cleared the day, I and the friend I love. I and the friend who these days is measuring her life bar by bar. Each interlude of each day, each interlude when she can muster the strength to be up and not down. Each interlude when the ravages of beating back cancer don’t hold her in their impossible grip.

My friend is one of the ones, blessed ones, who has slipped behind the screen, the opaque screen that so often keeps all of us from seeing the sacred, breathing the sacred, filling our lungs with all that is holy.

She sees everything now.

She’d written me an email that felt almost like haiku, so spare, so distilled to the essence.

She wrote:

“blessings, blessings, more blessings. every minute is bonus. sun. birds. now.”

I listened. With those few words as my prompt, I cleared the day of whatever was due, was demanding, because I knew there was no time to waste; there never is. Because I read her message, and the three letters — n – o – w — that deserved their own sentence, I stopped trying to find a way to wedge in a visit between appointments and meetings. I beheld the miracle of an ordinary Wednesday. I carved out the most precious gift in the world: time. A few quiet hours stitched into the weave of a week.

imageA birdwatcher on Holy Island in Lindisfarne, England.

Credit: Jason Parrish License: Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0).

Because of the words she wrote in her haiku, her insistent plea to be awake to the now, because she mentioned birds and sun, I started to scan for a place that was beautiful, one that offered a strong dose of sunlight and shadow, birdsong and silence. The yin and the yang of the springtime, of life — its dualities so deeply essential.

I thought right away of The Magic Hedge.

We didn’t know when we met there, in the lull of the carved-out hours, just how magic it might be.

The Magic Hedge, you should know, is a wisp of meadow and brush and groves of old gnarled trees. Its paths rise and bend, so do its grasses, the trunks of its trees. It elbows into the lake, Lake Michigan, as if an offering, an outpost, to the rivers of birds who, come warm springtime winds, catch the updraft, fly thousands of miles, from way south in Central America or Mexico or the southern United States, to way up north, to the boreal forests of Canada, or, just shy of the border, nestled in woods along the Great Lakes.

imageMembers of the Cornell University Lab of Ornithology search for birds during the World Series of Birding in Stokes State Forest, New Jersey.

Credit: Stan Honda License: Agence France-Presse / Getty Images.

The river of birds — songbirds, nearly all of them — flows along the lake’s edge; the tracing between water and shore an avian navigational guide as ancient as any there ever was. One of the great North American Flyways, it’s called, and The Magic Hedge is something of a bed and breakfast for the long-distance flocks. Exhausted, their throats parched, their wings so tired from flapping, from floating on air, they settle into the trees, into the brush. They partake of the vernal banquet that is the hedge in bloom.

One of the miracles of The Magic Hedge is that it wasn’t always there. God didn’t put it there. It’s landfill. The leftover earth — the dirt, the rubble — from building a city, from raising a metropolis at the edge of the prairie, and all of it dumped into the lake at Montrose Point in the 1920s and ’30s. Blessedly, Chicago is a city that makes no small plans. It was Alfred Caldwell, a noted Prairie-Style landscape architect, who plotted the hedge’s undulations and meadows, numbered the trees and the shrubs on his planting list. It’s a mere 6.8 miles from the crosshairs of Chicago’s cacophonous epicenter at State and Madison, the zero-markers of the straight-lined grid that measures the city, border to border.

Yet, to step into the hedge, not half a mile from the rushing roar of Lake Shore Drive — a flow of exhaust-spewing cars and burping, back-firing motorcycles — not a mile from the urban drama and squalors of Uptown, a Chicago neighborhood that’s long teetered on margins of every kind, to step into the hedge is to be swept, to be wrapped in the birdsong, the branches in bloom, the tender insistent unfurling of the season, whatever the season.

imageBirdwatchers spot birds during the Birding Rally Challenge at “Aguas Calientes” near the Machu Picchu sanctuary in Cuzco.

Credit: Ernesto Benavides License: Agence France-Presse / Getty Images.

To step into the hedge is to surrender to the sacred. We hadn’t guessed how sacred it might be. It didn’t take long to figure that out.

Right away I noticed a flock of the two-legged kind, the human kind. Most of the flock were sporting long-nozzled lenses, pressed up to their eyes, pointed toward treetops. I tapped one such fellow gently on the shoulder and asked what the flurry was about.

“Came here on a text that there was a hooded warbler, but it hasn’t been seen in 20 minutes,” he kindly told me, not bothered at all that I’d asked.

Now, a hooded warbler, you should also know, is a wee little thing, one not often seen, apparently. It flies in saffron-colored robes, and for once I’d say the female is even more luminous than the male (but that’s getting ahead of the story). The hooded warbler is enough of a rarity, enough of a gem upholstered in feathers, that busy birders hard at work at their day jobs, drop everything when a text comes in that one, just one, is flitting through The Magic Hedge.

imageA grey-hooded warbler.

Credit: Kishore Bhargava License: Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0).

I felt a quiver of thrill as I leaned against a fence post, awaiting my friend. And that’s when a scarlet flash appeared before my eyes. Right there in a branch I could reach out and touch. Mind you, papa cardinals in my backyard do not allow visitors. This one, a proud papa, practically begged me to pat down his feathers.

That’s when I first felt the tap on my very own shoulder: Magic was settling in for a visit.

Not many minutes later, my beautiful friend arrived. A cap pulled tight over her head. Wide-lensed glasses shielding her eyes. The cures for cancer are taking their toll.

We stepped into the birdsong, I and the friend I so love. The woods were achatter, aswoop, as spread wings crisscrossed the sky, as Ws made Xs over our heads. We followed a trail. We talked about those things that matter when you are staring down cancer. We talked of surrender, and healing and prayer in multiple tongues. And that’s when yet another cardinal decided to not be afraid. He hopped onto the grasses that spread between the forks in the trail right before us. He hopped closer and closer. This was a hedge alive with very brave birds, alive with a rare sort of courage.

imageVisitors scan the skies for Bald Eagles at the Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge’s “Eagle Festival” in Cambridge, Maryland.

Credit: Micah Walter License: Getty Images.

We did what you do when a cardinal befriends you: We crouched down low. We stayed very still. We barely moved a blade of grass. We whispered his name. He hopped closer and closer. And then his life’s mate, not quite so resplendent in her hausfrau feathers of drab brown and washed-out red, she plopped onto a fence post. She must have beckoned him. He darted away, leaving us slack-jawed at just how close he’d dared to come.

We wound this way and that. We paused at a grove of mayapple, one of the woodland’s underthings caught in the act of spreading its umbrella of wide-berth leaves. We marveled at the ruffled furls of the papery bark on a birch tree. And then we came to the flat slabs of rock, the ones that soak up the sun like a hard-shelled tortoise, the ones just inches away from the lap of the lake.

That’s when a kite-flying fellow appeared out of nowhere. One minute no one was there; the next, there came a man spinning his arms around an invisible spool. We couldn’t see at first what he was doing; it looked like some form of tai-chi, the way he swooped his hands and his wrists through the air at the edge of the lake. But then he called to us: “I made that,” he said, nodding toward high in the sky. We peered into the clouds and the sunbeams and that’s when we spied the red dot.

imageA flock of cardinals in Virginia.

Credit: Skip Steuart License: Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0).

By then, the man with the kite on the string, he’d wandered close to our rock. Without prompting he told us:

“I wake up every morning, thank God for another day. You never know. I thank God every night, thank God for another day. You only got one life.”

And then, not long after that, he was gone. Poof. Vanished. Lost in some haze. He’d wafted in long enough to tell the two of us to savor the moment, the minute, the hour. Each and every interlude.

Which was precisely what we’d been doing, were doing, will do. We promise.

Once he was gone, had slipped away into the thin air from which he had come, my friend with the cap pulled over her head, she slipped down her dark-lensed glasses, and, looking straight at me, she said: “I think that was an angel.”

We both did.

imageA bird-watching enthusiast looks on as waves of cranes return from foraging for food during the day to spend the night in the marshes near Linum, Germany.

Credit: Sean Gallup License: Getty Images.

We stayed on the rocks. We talked about life. We talked of the hard parts. We talked of the parts we so love. We whispered barely a word about cancer; there wasn’t much need to. We sipped mineral waters, ate clementines, dabbled spoons in two tubs of yogurt.

And then we got up, to meander some more. And there was more magic. The details of which I needn’t spell out (for this is getting to be too long a tale, though some tales are worth it). As we got to the edge of the hedge, though, as we got ready to step back into the day, into the bustle, we spied the last two insistent watchers of birds. They were poised in that way that birders are likely to be: lenses to eyes, pointed to limbs and to sky.

And that’s when we saw it, saw them, without any lenses, without any help (of the man-made kind, anyway): the rare and elusive hooded warbler, a pair of them to be precise.

First mama, then papa. We watched, from our post alongside a log, as they darted and played in the trees. The afternoon light shone on the saffron-hued robes of mama warbler. She perched at the end of one very high branch, just sat there, practically glowing, making certain we inhaled the whole of her glory.

And we did.

The friend I so love leaned her head on my shoulder. And we stood in the hedge beholding the magic. Beholding the love.

GS Chapel

“God is not a microwave.”

The sermon delivered at the Chapel of Good Shepherd at the General Seminary today by Hershey Andrael Mallette of the class of 2015:

Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations baptizing them in the name of the Father and the of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything that I have commanded you.  And remember I am with you always, to the end of the age.  —Matthew 28: 16-20

Today I stand before you with an incredible task. I am charged with bringing you all Good News when all I can think about is how I am angry, and sad.

But I am reminded of something that the beloved Professor Andrew Irving once said to me in the fall of Middler Year:

I remember coming in to class, frustrated and bewildered about any number of things that were happening in 2013… the school had no money, my classmates were transferring or withdrawing, and there was a cookie shortage in the refectory!

I came to class and much like I did today, I announced my vexation and misery.

And professor Irving said, “Hershey, Jesus did not promise you happiness.”

With that, Let us return to the text:

Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations baptizing them in the name of the Father and the of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything that I have commanded you.  And remember I am with you always, to the end of the age.

after reading this again and again a little something stuck out,

And when I say a little something, I mean a very little something.

It’s that comma in the very last sentence of the book of Matthew that literally gives me pause. The comma or pause used in this last sentences sets off what is formally called a parenthetical element, but most of us would just call it extra information. But in this case, this added information adds focus to the original idea.

I am with you always, to the end of the age.

I once had a conversation with Mother Mitties about this comma, and she pointed out that in Greek there is no punctuation but since I don’t read Greek, I’ll trust the good Holy Ghost-filled people at the NRSV and they [added] a comma for a reason.

Either way, I offer you my own translation…

The Hershey Mallette Community Colloquial Version of Matthew 28:19-20:

Jesus says, “Go out into the streets, hit the blocks, every ghetto, every city, every sleepy suburban place; live with the people as you work to bring God’s Kingdom. Baptizing them, bring them into the familial bond of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Teach them about the freedom in God’s love. And know, I got your back, cause it just might take a while.”

I am with you always, to the end of the age.

***

If you leave here today, and remember nothing else that I have said, remember this!

God

Is Not A Microwave

But! Slow work does not mean you can say No to the work.

God is not a microwave. What I mean is, God seldom does anything instantaneously, rapidly or straightaway! I’m sure you know this, especially after spending any amount of time at General Theological Seminary.

God didn’t make the world in an instant.
God didn’t flood the earth, or recede the flood water the day after it rained.
God didn’t make Abraham a nation in prompt fashion

God is not a microwave

God didn’t deliver the people of Israel from Pharaoh instantaneously
God didn’t deliver Moses from the wilderness directly
God didn’t make Israel, Hear O immediately—how many times did the prophets say that to the same people? And Poor, poor Job…how long did the restoration of that one household take?

God is not a microwave

God didn’t restore Jerusalem over night
God didn’t make the dry bones live in an instant…it took time!
First they rattled,
Then the bones came together
Then the tendons and the sinews attached themselves
Then the flesh appeared
And the skin covered them
That’s four or five reconstructive steps and they still had no breath!

God is not in the business of rapidly, and carelessly creating or restoring things.
God didn’t bring any of us through our respective discernment processes quickly.
Emily Beekman and Kim Robey can testify that God has not inspired me to move speedily to submit any of my forms through out this entire three years!
And God must be taking sweet time fashioning every heart and mind in this room to know what it means to do justice, love kindness and to walk humbly with God.

I could go on and on and on about how slow our God is … but you get my point. God takes God’s time. So, knowing that we serve a God who will outwait us, and in our rush to smooth over, cover up and justify the pain of the past year, we cannot fall victim to the temptation of what theologian Dorothee Soelle calls Christian Sadomasochism. Christian Sadomasochism looks at any situation where God’s people are getting hurt, people are suffering, and say that it’s all for the best, because we’ll grow from the pain. We want to justify suffering so fast that we’ve almost already convinced ourselves that what that the events of this past year have actually made us a better General Seminary.

We’re almost convinced that the catastrophe that stunted the spiritual and material work of our community this year has been in our best interest. There aresuch things as growing pains. But there’s also unnecessary suffering that God did not intend for us. There is avoidable, worthless, man-made suffering. We’ve had our share of that this year. We cannot claim to be disciples of Christ and twist man-made pain into God-ordained suffering on a redemptive cross.

Friends, we now must make up for lost time!

Can you imagine a time in history when the world needed those of us who call ourselves disciples more than in this the past year? More than it does now? Social movements, resistance and revolution are erupting all across the nation and world. The people in the cities are crying out to God and to the church. And while cities and hearts were on fire, we have been stuck here in Chelsea Square wasting time trying to detangle ourselves from the webs of privilege and patriarchy that strangles the love of God.

James Baldwin writes, “Not everything that is faced can be changed, but nothing can be changed if it is not faced.” If we try to write the history of the past year as something we went through together and have now emerged on the other side as a stronger community and school, then we are doomed to repeat the same mistakes.

God is not a microwave.

I am not precluding personal growth out of adversity. Lord knows, I wouldn’t be standing here on the shoulders of my ancestor, if I didn’t believe in that. There are no limits to God’s redemptive powers. But that doesn’t let us off the hook.

To love this school, to love this church, to love ourselves, we have to tell the truth about ourselves. The only hope we have is in God, who promises to outwait us. In Jesus, who came on Earth in solidarity with the marginalized, to make the dream of God known, and in the lavish gift of the Holy Spirit that fortifies us to fight structures of power, principalities and the spiritual forces of evil.

But God is not a microwave…

I think that is why Jesus says at the commissioning, I am with you always, to the end of the age.

Yet! God’s slow work does not mean no work. The fact that God is slow, does not absolve us from the mission Jesus has given us. In fact, it means that our work is all the more urgent! We have no time to waste. We must listen to Jesus:

Go!
Make disciples,
Baptize believers,
Teach people to love God, and each other,
And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.

This commissioning, is hard work, it is challenging!

How do we make disciples? Making disciples is more about what we are doing, than about indoctrinating, selling or convincing others that we have a good thing that they needed or should wanted.
We make disciples when we discipline ourselves to honor the particularities in the lives of all people in which God has entrusted to the care of community and hold their stories with reverence.
We make disciples when we welcome LGBTQ folks in our churches as family members and siblings and firmly and in love challenge those among us who seek to put limits on a limitless God.
We make disciples when we work for the freedom of the oppressed. When we personally and as an institution attend to the ways that racism, sexism and homophobia have weaved their way in to the fabric of our Episcopal Church lives.

I know we all think we are way too learned and sophisticated to ever be racist, sexist or homophobic. But before you tune me out listing in your brain all the black folk, women, queer folk and poor folk in your churches, stay here with me. If it were true, if we were too evolved to be racist, sexist or homophobic, then we wouldn’t need to proclaim good news to the hearts broken by the misuse of power and irresponsible exercise of privilege in this room, in this Church and let alone in this world.

This is not political work. This is spiritual work. If you leave saying you heard a political sermon this morning, you’ve missed the point. This is a matter of the soul, yours, mine, all of us here today.

The truth is, when we engage in the beautiful chaos of community, people will want to be with us. We will baptize them to welcome them to this family, making its slow dirge through time and space toward the Kingdom of God. We baptize in the name of Love that created all things, in the name of the One who embodied Love and in the name of the One who is the presence of Love in our everyday life. The thing that is so important and so incredible about baptism is that it is an experience that bonds us forever in love to God, and we have absolutely no idea what that means!

That is when the hard work of this mission continues…
Teaching disciples to obey all that Jesus commanded. Jesus commanded us to love God with all our heart soul and mind and to love our neighbors as ourselves. How do you teach this countercultural, non-instinctual, unpopular way of existence?

I have no clue. But here is what I have learned about love. I have learned, love is uncomfortable. And trying to make love comfortable is what makes it even more uncomfortable. Planning every outfit for dates with coordinating makeup and accessories. Trying to be on your best behavior and practicing your lines to make sure that what said is exactly the right thing in every situation. The desire for perfection, the desire for perpetual prettiness is what makes love unbearably uncomfortable. In fact it is a lie and there is no love in that.

I learned that meeting the uneasiness of connecting is love. That involves always knowing you could be wrong, lots of listening and knowing when you have said enough, and importantly, knowing when you need to take a break. Ultimately loving requires great amounts of self-awareness and honesty.  It’s tedious, and it’s tense but it’s true.

I think teaching people about God’s love is all about the way we understand love in our closest relationships.  Perhaps one way we embrace and teach Jesus’ command to love God and neighbor is through the super-slow work of creating trusting relationships in Church and community. This totally axes the top down shallow model of corporate church growth, where politics and proclivities are taboos. The love I think Jesus commands his disciples to live values mutuality, relationship and shared experience.

This love requires us to be in continual prayer to be delivered from the love of comfort; from pursuit of fortune and fame; from the fear of serving others; and from the fear of death or adversity. I believe, that is why at the end of the commissioning in Matthew, Jesus says, “And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”

This is hard, messy, slow work!

I am with you always, to the end of the age is the assurance that our marvelously, meticulous God is working through each and every one of us. With great care, and painstaking strategy, the God of providence is fulfilling the ultimate meaning of existence, within every eon, every era, and age.

The Good News is this—God has made provision for each of us, in the person of Jesus Christ. We approach this altar perhaps for the last time together, to present ourselves, our souls, and our bodies, to be made one body with Jesus in prayer so our habit becomes righteousness and our instinct kindness.  So that with Jesus at the head our work may continue to bring the Kingdom

We disciples make our sacrifice of thanksgiving not just this graduation day, but daily. So, Let the spirit in you baptize all that you encounter in every ghetto, every city, and sleepy suburban place. Proclaim the freedom of our God in Jesus to every language, people and nation. And model the saving possibilities of following Jesus’ commandment to love in every situation.

That is our mission!! And it ain’t for the faint of heart, or for the compulsively tidy. And frankly, some days you just won’t be feeling it!

We go back to the text for help, the commissioning begins, “When [the disciples] saw [Jesus], they worshiped him, even though some doubted…” The disciples worshiped Jesus, even though some doubted. Our call is to do the same, knowing that all authority in heaven and on earth has been given to Jesus!

We worship Jesus, even though we doubt
We worship Jesus, even though our school is in turmoil
We worship Jesus, even though it seems no one will come to our rescue.
We worship Jesus, even though our friends, mentors and colleagues are moving on.
We worship Jesus, even though you may not have a first call or a job.
We worship Jesus, even though our debt to income ratio is nuts!
We worship Jesus, even though black women and black men are being slain in the streets by state violence.
We worship Jesus, even though women make 80 percent of what men make EVEN in our Church.
We worship Jesus, even though there are those among us in the Church who wish for the return of the “glory days of the 1950’s”
We worship Jesus, even though justice seems far off!
We worship Jesus, even though…
We worship Jesus, even though our mission is hard, painful and grueling.
We worship Jesus, even though we may be sad and angry.
We worship Jesus, even though we have seen the worst and the ugliness of Church institution.
We worship Jesus, even though we doubt, and we make disciples, we baptize, and we teach love.
We worship Jesus, as we participate in the slow, attentive and compounding work of Love

This is our mission!
And this mission should give us pause…
Only because stopping is not an option.

***

Ms. Mallette’s bio, from Grace Church in New York City, where she is a pastoral resident:

Hershey Mallette is native North Carolinian. She was baptized and confirmed at St. Ambrose Episcopal Church in Raleigh NC. She was educated at North Carolina A&T State University, and Howard University before entering the M.Div. program at General Theological Seminary. She has worked with the National Episcopal Church to form and educate young adults of color and has interned with Canterbury Downtown student ministry at NYU. Hershey describes her spiritual journey as a life spiraling in control.  Through the influences of sage grandparents and elders, many wise priests, loving friends and family and spirit-filled communities both spiritual and secular she is met and guided by God’s immeasurable grace each and every day!  She currently serves the community at General Theological Seminary as Chief Sacristan and is honored to be here at Grace Church serving as Pastoral Resident.

Episode Music 

Please note that this page is for reference, not discussion. Leave updates in comments: They will be deleted after we update the page.

Season 1 || Season 2 || Season 3 || Season 4 || Season 5 || Season 6 || Season 7

Season 1
Episode 1.01: Smoke Gets in Your Eyes
Featured: Caravan by Gordon Jenkins (as Don takes the train home at the end)
Closing Song: On the Street Where You Live, Vic Damone

Episode 1.02: Ladies Room
Featured: I Can Dream, Can’t I, The Andrews Sisters
Closing Song: The Great Divide, The Cardigans

Episode 1.03: The Marriage of Figaro
Closing Song: PS, I Love You, Bobby Vinton

Episode 1.04: New Amsterdam
Featured: Glen plays Liszt’s Liebestraum on the piano.
Closing Song: We’ll Take Manhattan, Ella Fitzgerald

Episode 1.05: 5G
Featured: Blue in Green, Miles Davis

Episode 1.06: Babylon
Closing Song: Babylon, Original Cast Recording (Written by Don McLean)

Episode 1.07: Red in the Face
Closing Song: Botch-A-Me (Ba-Ba-Baciami Piccina), Rosemary Clooney

Episode 1.08: The Hobo Code
Featured:The Twist, Chubby Checker

Episode 1.09: Shoot
Closing Song: My Special Angel , Bobby Helms

Episode 1.10: Long Weekend
Featured: Volare, The McGuire Sisters

Episode 1.11: Indian Summer
Featured: Agua de Beber, Astrud Gilberto

Episode 1.12: Nixon vs. Kennedy
Featured: Metro Polka, Frankie Laine

Episode 1.13: The Wheel
Closing Song: Don’t Think Twice, It’s Alright, Bob Dylan

Season 2
Episode 2.01: For Those Who Think Young
Opening Song: Let’s Twist Again, Chubby Checker
Featured: Song of the Indian Guest, from “Sadko,” by Rimsky-Korsakov plays when Betty descends the stairs.
Closing Song: Again, Song of the Indian Guest, Rimsky-Korsakov

Episode 2.02: Flight One
Featured at Paul Kinsey’s party: Congratulations Honey, Baby Washington and Crooked Woman, Edd Henry
Featured: Ue o Muite Arukō (The Sukiyaki Song), Kyu Sakamoto, in the Japanese restaurant
Closing Song: Temptation Is Hard To Fight, George McGregor & the Bronzettes (this also played at Paul’s party)

Episode 2.03: The Benefactor
Closing Song: Lollipops and Roses, Jack Jones

Episode 2.05: The New Girl
Featured: Theme from a Summer Place, Percy Faith and His Orchestra, on the radio as Don and Bobbi drive

Episode 2.06: Maidenform
Opening Song: The Infanta, the Decemberists
Featured: How Mable Get Sable Cha Cha Cha, David Carbona; when Peggy goes to the strip club

Episode 2.07: The Gold Violin
Closing Song: Break it to Me Gently, Brenda Lee

Episode 2.08: A Night to Remember
Closing Song: Early in the Morning, by Paul Stookey, performed by Colin Hanks

Episode 2.09: Six Month Leave
Closing Song: I’m Through With Love, Marilyn Monroe

Episode 2.10: The Inheritance
Closing Song: Telstar, The Tornadoes

Episode 2.11: The Jet Set
Closing Song: What’ll I Do?, Johnny Mathis

Episode 2.12: The Mountain King
Closing Song: Cup of Loneliness, George Jones

Season 3
Episode 3.03: My Old Kentucky Home
My Old Kentucky Home is sung by Roger during the episode
Paul and Jeff sing Hello My Baby
Closing Song: Memories of You, Ben Webster

Episode 3.04: The Arrangements
Closing Song: Over There

Episode 3.05: The Fog
Closing Song: Me Voy a Morir de Tanto Amor by Alberto Iglesias (also featured when Betty is dreaming in the hospital)

Episode 3.06: Guy Walks Into an Advertising Agency
Shortly before the lawnmower scene: Come on Twist, Jody Reynolds
Closing Song: Song to Woody, Bob Dylan

Episode 3.08: Souvenir
Closing Song: There’s a Small Hotel

Episode 3.09: Wee Small Hours
Closing Song: Prelude to a Kiss

Episode 3.11: The Gypsy and the Hobo
Closing Song: Where is Love, Oliver!

Episode 3.12: The Grown-Ups
Cosing song: The End of the World, Skeeter Davis (1962)

Ep 3.13: Shut the Door. Have a Seat
Closing song: Shahdaroba, Roy Orbison

Season 4
Ep 4.01: Public Relations
Closing song: Tobacco Road, The Nashville Teens

Ep 4.02: Christmas Comes But Once a Year
Closing song: I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus, Teresa Brewer

Ep 4.03: The Good News
Featured: Sidewalk Surfin’, Jan and Dean
Featured: Old Cape Cod, Patti Page
Sung by a character: The House of the Rising Sun
Closing Song: Pacific Coast Highway by David Carbonara

Ep 4.04: The Rejected
Featured: Signed DC by Love; we hear a cover version by Brave New World (during the party that Peggy attends with Joyce)
Featured: Ruby in the Dust, by Micky Moody (again, at the party, while Peggy smokes pot)

Ep 4.05: The Chrysanthemum and the Sword
Closing song: I Enjoy Being a Girl sung by Doris Day

Ep 4.06: Waldorf Stories
Closing song: Up the Ladder of Success, Skeeter Davis

Ep 4.07: The Suitcase
Closing song: Bleecker Street, Simon and Garfunkel

Ep 4.08: The Summer Man
Featured song: Satisfaction, The Rolling Stones
Featured song: The Big Rock Candy Mountain (while the children play musical chairs)

Ep 4.09: The Beautiful Girls
Stan Rizzo sings Petula Clark’s Downtown.
Petula Clark’s I Know a Place was heard in the PJ Clarke’s scene.

Ep 4.10: Hands and Knees
Closing song: Do You Want To Know a Secret?, The Beatles, instrumental performed by Santo & Johnny.

Ep 4.11: Chinese Wall
Closing song: Welcome to My World, Jim Reeves

Ep 4.12: Blowing Smoke
Closing song: Trust in Me, Etta James

Ep 4.13: Tomorrowland
The song that Megan teaches the children is Il était un petit navire ( There Was A Little Ship), discussed here.
Featured (when Don jumps into the pool): Hot Dog, Here He Comes, Tri-Lites.
Featured (in the California diner): The Name Game, Shirley Ellis
Closing song: I’ve Got You, Babe, Sonny and Cher

Season 5
Ep 5.01: A Little Kiss Part 1
Featured (played as Sally wakes up and wanders through the apartment) Ebb Tide, played by Ken Griffin
Featured (played as an instrumental at a party): The In Crowd
Featured (sung by Megan): Zou Bisou Bisou, by Gillian Hills

Ep 5.02: A Little Kiss Part 2
Closing song: You Don’t Have to Say You Love Me, Dusty Springfield.

Ep 5.03: Tea Leaves
Closing song: Sixteen Going on Seventeen, from The Sound of Music.

Ep 5.04: Mystery Date
Closing song: He Hit Me and It Felt Like a Kiss, by The Crystals (written by Carol King and Gerry Goffin).

Ep 5.05: Signal 30
Featured: Beethoven’s 9th, 2nd movement, the scherzo, played by Pete on his new stereo.
Closing song: Beethoven’s 9th, Ode to Joy.

Ep 5.06: Far Away Places
Featured: The Beach Boys, I Just Wasn’t Made For These Times, played at the LSD party.
Featured: I Should Not Be Seeing You, Connie Conway, as Roger and Jane leave the party.
Featured: The Beatles, I Wanna Hold Your Hand—Don whistles it in his flashback of coming home from Disneyland.

Ep 5.07: At the Codfish Ball
Featured: Meditation, Antonio Carlos Jobim, as Don and Emile carry the bags.

Ep 5.08: Lady Lazarus
Featured: September in the Rain, performed by The Wedgewoods, was suggested by Ken as a substitute for the Beatles for the Chevalier Blanc ad.
Featured: Don listens to Tomorrow Never Knows from Revolver (The Beatles).
Closing Song: Tomorrow Never Knows continues.

Ep 5.09: Dark Shadows
Closing song: Sweeping the Clouds Away, performed by Maurice Chevalier.

Ep 5.10: Christmas Waltz
Featured: The Christmas Waltz, performed by Doris Day, in the bar as Don and Joan talk.
Closing song: The Christmas Waltz, performed by Nellie McKay.

Ep 5.11: The Other Woman
Closing song: Girl, You Really Got Me Now, The Kinks.

Ep 5.12: Commissions and Fees
Closing song: Butchie’s Tune, The Lovin’ Spoonful

Ep 5.13: The Phantom
Closing song: You Only Live Twice, by John Barry and Leslie Bricusse, performed by Nancy Sinatra

Season 6
Episode 6.01/6.02: The Doorway
Featured: The Francis women attend the Nutcracker
Featured: Sandy plays Chopin’s Nocturne in E Flat Major, Op. 9. No 2 on the violin
Closing Song: Hawaiian Wedding Song, Elvis Presley

Episode 6.03: The Collaborators
Featured: Aria during Don and Sylvia’s love scene is Casta Diva from Norma by Bellini.
Closing Song: Just a Gigolo, Bing Crosby

Episode 6.04: To Have and To Hold
Featured: I See Her Pretty Face, The Grand Prix
Featured: Friends I Haven’t Met Yet, by Blue Sandalwood Soap, plays while Don and Stan get stoned.
Featured: The Devastator, Stormy
Featured: A Teenager Feels It Too, Denny Reed
Featured: Bonnie and Clyde by Serge Gainsbourg and Brigitte Bardot plays in the Electric Circus while Joan and Kate get their groove on.

Episode 6.05: The Flood
Closing Song: Love is Blue by Paul Mauriat

Episode 6.06: For Immediate Release
Featured: Get Back to the Westside, The Steam Machine; at the brothel
Featured: Baby Jane by Mitch Ryder & The Detroit Wheels; at General Motors before the presentations.
Closing Song: Autumn Leaves, Cannonball Adderley

Episode 6.07: Man With a Plan
Closing Song: Reach out in the Darkness, Friend and Lover

Episode 6.08: The Crash
Featured: Going Out of My Head, Sergio Mendes & Brasil ’66; on the radio while Don listens at Sylvia’s door.
Featured: Dream a Little Dream of Me, Ozzie Nelson; on the radio in the scene where Aimeé seduces/molests Dick.
Closing Song: Words Of Love, The Mamas and the Papas

Episode 6.09: The Better Half
Closing Song: Always Something There to Remind Me, Lou Johnson (written by Burt Bacharach)

Episode 6.10: A Tale of Two Cities
Featured: Harper Valley PTA, Jeannie C. Riley; when Don, Roger, and Harry arrive at the party.
Featured: Rag Ahir Bhairav, Ravi Shankhar; plays during the hookah scene at the party.
Featured: Found Love, Fly-by-Nites, playing during the party.
Closing Song: Piece of My Heart, Janis Joplin

Episode 6.11: Favors
Featured: Why Oh Why, Little Alice (at dinner with Ted, Pete and Peggy)
Featured: Stranger On the Shore, Acker Bilk (playing in background at bar with Don drinking)

Episode 6.12: The Quality of Mercy
Closing Song: Porpoise Song (Theme from Head), the Monkees

Episode 6.13: In Care Of
Featured: Band of Gold, Don Cherry; when Don punches the preacher in the bar
Featured: Moon River is playing in Joan’s apartment on Thanksgiving Day.
Closing Song: Both Sides Now, Judy Collins (written by Joni Mitchell, this is the Judy Collins mega-hit version)

Season 7
Episode 7.01: Time Zones
Featured: I’m a Man by the Spencer Davis Group (when Megan arrives to pick up Don at the Los Angeles airport)
Closing Song: You Keep Me Hanging On, performed by Vanilla Fudge

Episode 7.02: A Day’s Work
Featured: Elenore by the Turtles (during Don and Sally’s car ride)
Featured: Your Name and Mine by the Acorns (while Don and Sally are at the diner)
Closing Song: This Will Be Our Year, by the Zombies

Episode 7.03: Field Trip
Closing Song: If 6 Was 9, by Jimi Hendrix

Episode 7.04: The Monolith
Featured: Meet the Mets (sung by Don)
Closing Song: On a Carousel, The Hollies

Episode 7.05: The Runaways
Featured: You Make Me So Very Happy, Blood, Sweat, and Tears (on the stereo at Megan’s party)
Featured: Turkey in the Straw; opening notes played live at Megan’s party
Featured: Petite Fleur, Sidney Bechet, played live at Megan’s party
Featured: How Much Can A Man Take, Big John Hamilton; heard when Don and Harry are at the bar
Featured: Betty listens to Wagner’s Abendlich Strahlt der Sonne Auge on the radio
Featured: Savoy, at the end, in the Algonquin
Closing Song: Only Daddy That’ll Walk the Line, Waylon Jennings (written by Jim Alley)

Episode 7.06: The Strategy
Featured: Don and Peggy dance to My Way, by Frank Sinatra.

Episode 7.07: Waterloo
Featured: The Best Things in Life Are Free, lyrics by B.G. DeSylva and Lew Brown, music by Ray Henderson

Episode 7.08: Severance
Featured: You’ve Got What I Like, by Christopher Blue, in the diner on the radio after Di and Don return from the alley.
Featured and Closing: Is That All There Is?, by Peggy Lee, in the opening scene as well as the closing.

Episode 7.09: New Business
Featured: Goldigger, by Jay Ramsey, in Stan’s office when Pima comes in.
Featured: The Train, by The Souls, in Pete’s car.
Closing: C’est Si Bon, by Yves Montand

Episode 7.10: The Forecast
Closing: The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face, by Roberta Flack

Episode 7.11: Time & Life
Featured: Please Come On To Me, The Clovers, in the bar as they all drink beer, continuing as Joan gets up to leave.
Closing: Money Burns a Hole in My Pocket, Dean Martin

faithful:

From Part Two:

Again, this is not essentially a theological discussion, but rather it is a look at how a question of belief was used to gain power – to usurp power and to use it to turn aside an original, spiritual intent.  It set a pathway for hundreds of years of history that were to follow – not just for the west, but ultimately for the whole world.

The Council of Nicaea established the doctrine that Jesus Christ is in fact God.  Now one would naturally suppose that this would be a good deal for the followers of Jesus.  But there is a school of thought that says that it turned out to be just the opposite—a really unfortunate thing. Now, instead of being able to feel an immediate connection with the magical, mystical Jesus, a being of love and compassion, there was no direct connection at all.  Instead, from that time onwards, one had to go through a priest, and only the priest could have a spiritual connection with God – nobody else could.

Now there are priests in most religions, and many of them are very kind, good, gentle people.  Some of them have upheld the strengths of societies for thousands of years. Nothing here is meant to detract from that – or to disparage in any way the many thousands of brave Christian saints and martyrs, who were genuinely heroic and sincere in their faith.

But there is a difference between the positive use of power and oppressive dominance.  And the western world was heading down a path that would lead to the latter.

We all know that order is necessary in the universe.  Without it the trains, the buses, and even the planets would all run into each other.

There is order too in the natural ways of animals. When a mother hen guides her chicks along the path,  she may give a stern knock or two to a wayward one who keeps wandering off—because they need to stay together to be safe and to find food.  She is the mom, and she organizes which way the family is going. She is clearly in charge, and her use of power is positive; it keeps everybody safe.

This natural order of things is entirely opposite to the kind of dominance that the chicken farmer exercises.  He fattens up the chicks, not for the chicks’ benefit, but to get them ready for the chopping block.  He too is in control, but there’s a big difference.  His is not a nurturing control, but is the control of exploitation.

The Council of Nicaea, in determining what one should believe and how one should practice one’s faith, set a precedence of dominance that endured for centuries, and that ultimately helped set the course for how the modern world relates to many things, including the environment.

It started out harmlessly enough.  But, in the view of many, it took out all the mystery and magic of the original Jesus; it set up rules, organized, codified, and generally put everything firmly and irreversibly into the physical realm, under the control of the bishops. For the Church as an institution, there was no more seeking the Kingdom of Heaven – only a consolidation of earthly power.

Catholicism, or official Christianity as it was for centuries, is by no means unique in following this trajectory — but it does provide an excellent example of how to destroy the life of the spirit. The fourth century AD has long been recognized by some as a pivotal moment when one could say that the life of faith fell out of heaven and down to earth.  It set the followers of the gentle Christ off on a path of dominance.

Over the centuries the impulse to maintain firm control led to greater and greater violence.  Heresies had to be suppressed, as did witches, infidels, and mostly just about anybody who didn’t fit into the right mold.

After massacring an estimated 60,000 citizens of Jerusalem in the First Crusade, succeeding crusades followed a similar pattern, including crusades in southern France in the thirteenth century against the Cathar heresy, in which tens of thousands of French citizens were massacred.

The Inquisition followed, in which people were burned at the stake – witches, scientists, heretics. In England people were burned at the stake for translating the Bible into common English.  Translating the Bible into the common language was a no-no because it undermined the power of the Church as the sole intermediary between God and man.

This sort of thing never happened in India. For one thing no one was burned at the stake. For the most part, the tradition of ahimsa has always been followed, and is still strongly in place today.  The saints and heroes of India practiced austerities; they fasted, they may have starved themselves.  But the eastern spiritual tradition does not advocate dominance, suppression, or the massacre of heretics and dissenters.

Instead, in the land of Hinduism, everyone pretty much tries to get along.  Varying and entirely opposing schools of philosophy co-exist and respect each other.  There is a presence of kindness.

India has not been entirely immune though from this cult of dominance that has spread across the earth. One of the primary targets of this pursuit of dominance is the natural world.  The natural world is about life. Dominance is about death, and because it is about death, it is a danger to all living things – the animals, the birds, the people, the air, the oceans, and the forests.

Going back to history again for a moment — along the way, with the advance of “civilization”, the New World was “discovered” (though it had been there all along).  An untouched continent, where 600 million bison roamed across vast planes.  Within one hundred years, only 600 of these magnificent animals remained.  This was the advance of a wave of death.  This kind of wholesale destruction of nature and the animals never happened in India.

The forests in India, and at one time all over the earth, are sacred forests, filled with spirits, beings and presences, as well as the sacred birds, animals, trees and plants.  They are holy places. But to the invasive spirit of modern “development”, they are no such thing – only an opportunity to take what is on or under the earth – trees, plants, coal, oil, minerals, all is to be taken.  And the implied question that is posed is, “What good is a forest if it cannot be useful?”

For those with these intentions, there is no perception whatever of sacredness, and even worse, one has a sense that it is not just that the forests are being destroyed in the name of greed, but that even if there were no products to be taken from them, that they would be destroyed anyway – precisely because they represent the wild, the sacred, the holy, that which is not controlled by man, that which belongs only to the Gods.

One is reminded of the ten-headed demon Ravana, who killed the monkeys of the forest who so heroically fought on the side of Rama.  They were miraculously brought back to life by Brahma.  The demon waged war against the monkeys because they were sacred creatures who were emblematic of the forests.

This war is not over, and the forces that seek the destruction of the natural world and all that is sacred are alive and well. Standing up to defend the innocent, the sacred, and all the living world is what is required – and clear sight about what is actually occurring in our world today.

Restoring the sacred groves, the sacred forests, and inspiring the young, and all people, to view the natural world with reverence — and refusing to abandon the forests to the forces that seek to destroy them —  is one of the most worthwhile things that one can do in life.

Originally posted on Voices and Visions:


In 325 AD, the First Council of Nicaea was held.  This was the first Christian council of bishops.

Though this is all a little obscure, there is a point to having a look at the First Council of Nicaea.  It wasn’t just a long-ago, irrelevant event, important only to Christian theologians and of no relevance to anyone else.

It was, on the contrary, a stepping stone setting off down the path that a part of the world has followed from that time until this –  which has impacted the whole world – and continues to do so.

It illustrates a pattern, a mindset, and a modus operandi – a handbook in how to exercise dominion – which may be said to have led down a long, unfortunate road to the Crusades, the Inquisition, the Age of Exploration, and even today, to the mindset that believes that the earth, the environment…

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Joan of Arc

I know this now. Every man gives his life for what he believes. Every woman gives her life for what she believes. Sometimes people believe in little or nothing yet they give their lives to that little or nothing. One life is all we have and we live it as we believe in living it. And then it is gone. But to sacrifice what you are and live without belief, that's more terrible than dying.--

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Beannacht

On the day when
the weight deadens
on your shoulders
and you stumble,
may the clay dance
to balance you.

And when your eyes
freeze behind
the grey window
and the ghost of loss
gets in to you,
may a flock of colours,
indigo, red, green,
and azure blue
come to awaken in you
a meadow of delight.

When the canvas frays
in the currach of thought
and a stain of ocean
blackens beneath you,
may there come across the waters
a path of yellow moonlight
to bring you safely home.

May the nourishment of the earth be yours,
may the clarity of light be yours,
may the fluency of the ocean be yours,
may the protection of the ancestors be yours.
And so may a slow
wind work these words
of love around you,
an invisible cloak
to mind your life.

John O'Donohue, Echoes of Memory

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