HEADS-UP SAN MATEO, CA: Justice Action Mondays, Flash Advocacy

Unitarian Universalists of San Mateo California


Rev. Benjamin Meyers, Minister, Unitarian Universalists of San Mateo

Rev. Ben Meyers and the Unitarian Universalists of San Mateo (UUSM) invite our neighbors in North Central San Mateo to join with us for Justice Action Monday on  May 1 from 5:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m. at UUSM, 300 E. Santa Inez Avenue, San Mateo, CA  94401.  Phone: 650-342-5946  Office Hours:  Tu-Fri 10-5

This week we’ll write (or draw if you’re inclined) the seven-step scientific process on postcards and send them to climate science deniers. Don’t worry, we’ll have a cheat sheet with the seven steps and the six deniers and their addresses ready for you to use. Materials, snacks and stellar company provided.


“The race is now on between the technoscientific and scientific forces that are destroying the living environment and those that can be harnessed to save it. . . . If the race is won, humanity can emerge in far better condition than when it entered, and with most of the diversity of life still intact.”
― Edward O. Wilson, The Future of Life

HEADS-UP SAN MATEO, CA: Justice Action Mondays, Flash Advocacy

UU San Mateo

Justice Action Mondays: Flash Advocacy!
Monday, April 17, 5:30-6:30 pm
Beck Hall

Rev. Ben Meyers of San Mateo, California

Rev. Ben Meyers and the UUSM Congregation invite our neighbors in North Central San Mateo to join in Justice Acton Mondays. This week, we’ll be standing tall with Planned Parenthood. We have five one-minute actions to choose from using pen and paper, clever apps on your phone, and compelling social media shares straight from PP’s emergency guide. Come learn what’s going on and how to #resist.

Bonus: Get fired up and learn more about UU Justice Ministry’s Immigration Day on May 15 in Sacramento!

Unitarian Universalists of San Mateo (UUSM), 300 E. Santa Inez Avenue, San Mateo, CA  94401 Phone: 650-342-5946  Office Hours:  Tu-Fri 10-5

not with a bang but a whimper, three poems

BARUCH, THE BAKER

Your heart is smarter, my Baruch,
then your head,
which is smart indeed –
and your hands and gnarly fingers
are smarter still.
They fashion bread from
cream-colored flours,
silky to the touch.
Kneading the dough
patiently, patiently
letting it rise
while I sleep –
safe, in my bed.

Up at six a.m. we walk sleepily
down a lavender-gray street,
an apricot sun peeking at us
and, rising higher in the sky,
it seemingly follows us to you.

Cheer-filled arrival with greetings
and smiles from dear Baruch and
warm sugar smells, yeasty scents
and the sight of golden loaves,
some voluptuous rounds and
others, sturdy rectangulars.
You have baked cinnamon rolls,
a child’s delight, pies and
sticky buns too…and cookies!

“We’ll take a French bread” my Mom says
pointing to a crispy brown baguette.
“And a raisin bread.”
She adds …
“We’ll need that sliced.”

I watch your hands flit gracefully
like butterflies in a green valley
stopping here and then there
to pull fragrant loaves from display
and slicing them, neatly packaging,
then reaching down over the counter
you hand me a little bag of rugelach.

As I look up, reaching for your gift
I stop breathing, arrested by
a wisp of blue on your forearm.
I am studious, a reader, dear Baruch,
I know what that tattoo means …
Looking down, with a whisper I choke
“Thank you, Baruch!”
swallowing that lump of sadness,
trying not to show my tears.
What right have I to tears?
But then you, dear Baruch, come
bounding round the counter
with warm hugs and soft tissues,
as though I was the one hurt.
From that day forever more,
I saw you only in long sleeves.

At lunchtime, I demanded –
“Mom, tell me about Baruch.”
And she does.
I am pensive over our meal,
canned marinara and slices of
of your baguette.
Dear Baruch, with each salty bite
I eat your tears and
the blood of your daughter.
Nights she stares at me from that
sepia photo by your register.

Baruch, did she, like me, assume
a grown-up life
of school and jobs,
marriage and children?
And you! You must have assumed
the tender comfort of
her love in your old age.
Do you hold the vision of her
young and happy in your
brave, kindly old heart?
Does your ear still play back
her childish laughter,
the sound of her voice
begging for a story?
Do your warm brown eyes still hold
her smile in remembrance?
When you see little girls like me,
does your anguish grow?

Dear Baruch, our dear Baruch
how will you set your child free
from that faraway land and
cold, unmarked mass grave?

The eyes are not here
There are no eyes here
In this valley of dying stars
In this hollow valley
This broken jaw of our lost kingdoms
The Hollow Men, T.S. Elliot

© 2008, poem, Jamie Dedes, All rights reserved; photograph of a holocaust survivor displaying his arm tattoo courtesy of Frankie Fouganthin under CC BY-SA 2.0 license


SOME MOTHERS HEARTS HAVE STOPPED

Some mothers’ children stare unseeing
No sweet, wet baby kisses from blistered lips,

. . . . songs unsung

No wedding portraits to dust and treasure
No graduations or trips to the sea

. . . . just their bodies to bury

crushed
beaten
stilled

by the engine of nihilism

Limbs cracked and broken, bellies torn
Faces purpled, hearts stopped

Hearts stopped …
. . . . hearts stopped

Some mothers’ hearts have stopped

Some mother's children

Some mothers’ children

“It was a slow and brutal death for so many,” Trump said as he announced the attack on a Syrian airbase, retaliating for the use of chemical weapons by the Assad regime. “Even beautiful babies were cruelly murdered in this very barbaric attack. No child of God should ever suffer such horror.” 

“Mistah Kurtz-he [lives]
….. A penny for the Old Guy …

Leaning together
Headpiece filled with straw. Alas!”

The Hollow Men, T.S. Elliot

© 2015, poem, Jamie Dedes, All rights reserved; photograph of some mothers’ children killed in the Syrian Civil War, Ghouta massacre/uploaded by Bkwillwm to Wikipedia under CC BY 3.0 license (I believe it may be a screen shot from a news video)


THE DOVES HAVE FLOWN

what must it be like for you in your part of the world?
there is only silence, i don’t know your name, i know only
that the fire of Life makes us one in this, the human journey,
trudging through mud, by land and by sea, reaching for the sun
like entering a ritual river without a blessing or a prayer
on the street where you lived, your friends are all gone
the houses are crushed and the doves have flown
there is only silence, no children playing, no laughter
here and there a light remains to speak to us of loneliness,
yet our eyes meet in secret, our hearts open on the fringe,
one breath and the wind blows, one tear and the seas rise,
your grief drips from my eyes and i tremble with your fear

This is the way the world ends
Not with a bang but a whimper.”
The Hollow Men, T.S. Elliot

© poem, 2016, Jamie Dedes, All rights reserved; Mindanao Bleeding-heart at London Zoo, England courtesy of Drew Avery under CC BY-SA 2.0 license

JUSTICE ACTION MONDAYS: Flash Advocacy

Unitarian Universalist Church of San Mateo California

Rev. Benjamin Meyers and the congregation of the Unitarian Universalists of San Mateo (UUSM) invite friends and neighbors in San Mateo to take part in Justice Action Mondays: Flash Advocacy. This Monday/April 10, we’ll write postcards protesting the elimination of the National Endowment for the Arts.  We’ll continue making posters for those participating in the local Climate Marches in San Jose and Oakland on Earth Day, April 29. Snacks, supplies and pleasant, like-minded company provided.

Justice Action Mondays: Flash Advocacy!

Every Monday from 5:30-6:30 pm in Beck Hall
Unitarian Universalists of San Mateo
300 E Santa Inez Avenue
San Mateo, CA 94401
650 342 5946
Office Hours: Tu-Fri 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.


Apropos this effort: Lesson Fifteen: Practice Corporeal Politics. Power wants your body softening in your chair and your emotions dissipating on the screen.  Get outside. Put your body in unfamiliar places with unfamiliar people.  Make new friends and march with them.” Prof. Timothy Snyder, On Tyranny: Twenty Lessons from the Twentieth Century.

The quote and recommended reading suggestion are from me, not UUSM. Justice Action Mondays are, however, a good way to implement this lesson and something that can be implemented by any organization almost anywhere in the world.

Peace! Hope! Joy!

Love, Jamie