Sisters in Scripture
Caricature or Character: Your Call    01/20/2021
All eight of us kids piled out of the station wagon once we got home from church on Sunday morning. Depending on our age, we skipped, ran, rode Mom’s hip, sat on Dad’s shoulders, or tottered on tiny "high-heels” to the front door. There was the initial putting away of hats and gloves and a scramble for the bathroom—someone always wailed or cried at that point. Then we scattered ourselves over the couch, across the arms of the chairs, or stretched out on the floor to listen to Dad read the "funnies.” 

He got into character for every one. He knew exactly how the Sarge barked at Beetle Bailey, how the antics of Dennis the Menace brought out Mr. Mitchell's exasperated bluster, Blondie’s sweet, high-pitched call for Dagwood. He filled us in on the high adventure where last we left of with Prince Valiant. Ellen leaned in so close over Dad's shoulder that his collar was wet from her mouth. He knew how to deliver a punch line and we all laughed with delight, though no one more than Dad himself. We were not even distracted by the smell of bacon frying in the kitchen. Perhaps it was all a clever ruse to keep the bacon from being snitched before it ever reached the table. 

Later, my sisters and I would spread open Parade Magazine to read up on glamorous Hollywood celebrities. It was there I was first introduced to the whimsical art of caricature. Sometimes I would take pencil in hand and practice it on my sisters and brother: give Terry cross-hatch pigtails that stuck straight out, Laurie's glasses covered half her face, draw Don with crossed eyes, just for the fun of it. My efforts were not well received. 

Caricature: a rendered image showing the features of its subject in an exaggerated or oversimplified way. 

 Here are a few I remember from Parade Magazine back in the day:


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Feast of the Epiphany 2021    01/06/2021
For this first newsletter of 2021, I offer you three poems gleaned from Christmas cards that span 30+ years: 1987, 2000, and 2021. And then some music at the end that really ushers in a new year!

Feast of the Epiphany

Today, January 6th, is the traditional Feast of Epiphany, the story of the Three Kings or Wise Men. It is also the day the Eastern Orthodox Churches celebrates Christmas. Let us take some time to re-read Matthew 2:1-12 and reflect on this familiar story and the invitation it holds for us.

This poem was received in 1987, as sent out by Archbishop Raymond Hunthausen. He referenced it as "from an Iranian Christmas card."


If, as with Herod,
we fill our lives with things,
and again with things, 
if we consider ourselves 
so important that we must fill
every moment of our lives with action,
when will we have the time
to make the long, slow journey
across the burning desert
as did the Magi?
Or sit and watch the stars
as did the shepherds?
Or brood over the coming of the child
as did Mary?

For each of us
there is a desert to travel
a star to discover
and a being within ourselves
to bring to life.


I wrote this poem for our Christmas letter in 2000, the turn to a new millennium. Remember when Y2K seemed scary? 

I offer it to you again twenty years later--though it feels like so many more. Once again we find ourselves on the cusp of change beyond our doing, perhaps, even, beyond our understanding, compelled nonetheless to grapple with its meaning in our lives and world, with the rare opportunity to make choices that affect the future.  
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