Don’t do too much with the transitions between slides or segments, okay? It’s not an action movie or video game, it’s a meditation. Dissolve or fade should be fine for your needs. I save anything fancier for the very end of the segment.
There has been a lot of conversation among the people of the cloth (my cloth is organic cotton and occasionally fleece) about vaccinations. Are they available, are clergy in Group One or Group 1B or Group 2, and what should I do if I’m under 75 but have two co-morbidities and live with someone who works in a nursing home?
God help us, we don’t know what we’re doing because we have never done this before.
If all of the states had fairly well-oiled scheduling machines up and running to administer the vaccine, we would have a clearer understanding of when AND HOW we will be getting that much-desired shot in the arm.
If your state has a clear system, that’s wonderful and congratulations.
My state (commonwealth) has not rolled out information or availability in an organized fashion. There is a lot of confusion, rumors and hearsay.
My feeling is that because there is not a clear plan, clergy should get the vaccine if it is offered to us. It is not “taking someone else’s place in line” when there is no line but a crowd milling around waiting to hear when and where to go.
If someone contacts you to say, “You are clergy, your job is to be among people, please go get the vaccine here on this date,” I hope you will go without guilt or hesitation. The sooner you are immunized, the sooner you can start to become emotionally and spiritually ready to be in proximity to humans outside your “bubble” again.
We know (although there really needs to be an information campaign about this) that we will not be 100% protected against COVID-19 even weeks after our second booster shot, but we will be much, much, much safer and if we do contract the novel coronavirus or its variants, we will become much less dangerously ill than we would have without the vaccine.
We cannot throw off our masks after the first vaccine and start visiting people. First of all, our own immunity will not be very high until a couple of weeks after the second shot. Second, there is a slight chance we can still be carriers of the virus. HOWEVER, we will certainly feel far less anxious presiding at graveside, connecting with members of our communities in the parking lot or at the food drive, and bunding up on porches to chat with folks through the window.
Some of us who live alone will be able to spend unfearful time with other vaccinated friends, and given that we have suffered almost a year of total isolation, this will be a mental health boost of inestimable value.
We can also minister in informal ways to health care workers who have been de facto chaplains in this time. The ministry of healing, support and grief work with this population is, and will continue to be, crucial and should be prioritized, but by whom? I don’t know, but I do feel that those of us who feel called to reach out to those workers won’t be able to start doing so in person until we are also vaccinated.
If you want to refrain from scheduling a vaccine so that someone else can get there first, I support that completely. I just wish we could be sure that someone else will take that spot and no doses go to waste.
If someone invites you to get a vaccine, I hope you will go and get it. We have taken on a tremendous pastoral and spiritual burden in the past almost-year. The vaccine allows us to follow the good advice to put the oxygen mask over our own faces before we try to administer life-giving air to anyone else.
Good morning, darlings, and yes, I am STILL HERE.
Blogging much less during the pandemic (doing pastoral check-ins weekly on Facebook Live), continuing to function in the Speilbergian mode of ministry (how are you all doing preparing worship and producing it? I am spending probably 6-10 additional hours per week doing the tech aspects, how about you all?), taking care of my terminally ill beagle love, fighting the winter doldrums and total social isolation, and last week hitting a brick wall of rage and emotional exhaustion as I watched white American terrorists attempt a coup.
I am off this week, heading to an Airbnb in Maine with my woofer and taking an online course with the New York Center for Jungian Studies. The speakers promise to help us make sense of the madness in America from the perspective of Jungian archetypal psychology, which I am looking forward to. I have been studying the matter from the perspective of crticial race theory, totalitarianism, toxic Christianity, economics, propaganda, the power of social media and sociology. It will be interesting to look at the collective psyche and archetypes.
For right now, however, I want to look at the disgraceful and inexcusable job VOGUE magazine did with its cover of Vice President Kamala Harris. This is making headlines, and yes, it is important. If you have been reading this blog over the years, you know that images are powerful and that they make a visceral impression. Images can make and break reputations.
Let’s look first at images of the Veep that capture her as the dynamic, strong, powerful, beautiful woman she is. Pay attention to lighting, framing, the architecture of her suits and the simplicity of her accessories that add a bit of curve and traditional femininity to her outfits.
Now look at this disastrous VOGUE cover:
This is Anna Wintour’s fault, and I hope she feels the heat all the way up under her helmet hair.
There is a rumor that Vice President Harris’ team approved a different image than this one, and that this is the one that went to press. Accident? NO WAY. Anna Wintour has been running Vogue for six hundred years. She knows exactly how important this image is. Decisions were made.
Whether that rumor is true or not, this cover is insulting. Those colors are the Alpha Kappa Alpha colors, which is appropriate and a nice shout-out, but everything here is a rumpled mess. The set is INCREDIBLY SHODDY!!!! Who slapped those swaths of fabric up there like that and thought that was okay!?
Why does the Vice President look squinty and uncertain?? There are literally HUNDREDS of images of this remarkable, history-making woman looking at the camera with fierce confidence, charisma, blazing intelligence, COME ON!!! WHAT THE HELL! NOW I’M JUST YELLING!
There wasn’t a more empowering pose and angle? They had to slap her on that wrinkly satin and shoot her so that the eye falls first on her legs and not her face? AND WHO THE HELL DID THIS LIGHTING? DID ANYONE? I REFUSE TO BELIEVE IT. NO ONE COULD HAVE POSSIBLY LIT THIS SHOT.
This looks like a photo taken on someone’s phone the moment the VP walked in with her team. It was the moment the shoot director asked Madame Vice President “could you just stand on the set for a moment, we want to take some height measurements” and then sent her in for a cup of coffee and consultation with the photographer. This set was NOT FINISHED.
I am angry, and you should be too.
This should have been a glorious cover befitting its subject. Instead, it is slipshod, amateurish, not even remotely comparable to other Vogue covers of important women. As such, it makes a statement.
I have no doubt that Anna Wintour’s crack damage control team will concoct some sort of excuse for this debacle and that the Vice President will be far too busy to further engage with the story. She has much more important things to do. But you and I will keep paying attention to how media powers use their billion-dollar machine to influence the public image of leaders. Will they mythologize, will they flatter, will they diminish?
Pay attention. None of it is unintentional.
As the stress mounts and I pray not to be lead into the temptation to listen to the terrible news incessantly and fall into mental exhaustion of my own volition, I have a few coping methods.
One is prayer.
One is helping someone or an organization in a concrete way.
One is cooking for neighbors (especially my neighbor Jim who LIKES shoveling snow and clears my walk every time we get a snowfall, which we just did).
One is going back through photos of beautiful places and times I have been blessed to see and live.
One is looking at make-up and clothes online.
Don’t judge!! It’s very therapeutic to scroll through all the pretty things!
In so scrolling, I just came upon a sale at Loft (which is the Anne Taylor brand’s less-pricey line).
Since we’re almost all wearing headsets and earbuds all day, not to mention masks that can snag on hoops and such, many of us may be putting many of our earrings on hiatus. Check out Diamond Jewellery Studio’s wide range of diamond engagement rings if you’re searching where to buy engagement rings in Melbourne.
The stud earring sets at Loft looked pretty darn decent. Shiny, happy things in your earlobes isn’t going to solve any of the world’s problems but it is nice to show up with a bit o’ sparkle next to your face.
Stay shiny, my loves.
After my cranky post about BOOMSticks, I do want to say that if you have not discovered the absolute wonders of highlighters, which are a dear friend to PeaceBang, you can experiment for a $6 commitment with these by very affordable brand Colourpop:
My fast ministry face includes a tinted moisturizer to even everything out, concealer under my eyes (which have been prepped with an SPF eyecream by Origins; I use a Retinol eyecream by Murad overnight), a lip color, eyebrows filled in, and a swipe of highlighter over the highest part of my cheekbones and at the tip of my nose. If I wear my glasses, I look fine with no mascara or eye make-up (which I love wearing, but I’m talking an under-five minutes look here).
Highlighter is that touch that says “I’m awake and alive and even though I haven’t left the house in so long that I’m starting to hallucinate, I am READY TO DO THIS THING!”
If you want to put forth your best face, skin care is a MUST. You have to be devoted to it. Cleansing, exfoliating with gentle products, moisturizing. For the best tips about makeup and skincare products, visit https://emeraldspa.com/.
Make-up won’t do much for any of us if we don’t faithfully take care of our skin. Highlighter is a wonderful way to put back the touch of glow on your fresh and cared for skin that time hath taken away (but you’ve gotten so much wisdom, experience and fun along the way, who cares? We can fake that glow!).
MWAH! Go be glowing and beautiful.