Anatomy of opening a gift


I recently went to a bridal shower and snapped some photos while I was there. While editing the photos later, I particularly enjoyed the progression that emerged as the bride opened a particularly lovely-colored gift.

 

To see more photos, you can visit me on Flickr.
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Eventide

Minneapolis is so pretty in the summer!


Pedal pubs and bowling balls

We had a blast at a day-long party this last Saturday, even if it did take the steam out of Sunday! Below, some of my favorite photos to share with you.


zucchini medallions with chard and sweet corn

I. LOVE. SUMMER. COOKING.

This whole meal (save the lemon) is so fresh and so local, I could eat it a million times. But there are too many other amazing things to eat!

And there is just so much joy to be found in preparing a seasonal, local meal. So I’ll tell you a little about what I did, and you can play from there with your own creations!

1. Bring a deep pot of water to a boil with 2-3 ears of corn.

2. While the water heats up, slice onions, and fry until translucent. Add two sliced zucchinis, and salt and pepper to taste.

2. Begin a browned butter sauce (about 4 tbsp) in another pan. Add fresh minced garlic, green onions, and parsley, coarsely chopped.

3. Chop rainbow or swiss chard into ribbons. Briefly (30-60 seconds!) saute chard in the brown butter sauce and remove from heat. Remove cooked corn from water, slice the corn from the cob and add to chard mixture.

4. Spoon zucchini medallions and onions on to a plate. Top with chard mixture. Sprinkle with feta cheese and serve with a wedge of lemon.

Prep time: 30 minutes. Serves two hungry adults.


Why I’m queer, too

Because I am in a male-female relationship, you’re probably wondering what’s going on with the title of this post. Possibly even Shannon, my friend who called me to this synchroblog on queer theology, might being wondering where I’m going with this. I’ll get there: just hang around, k?

Back to Shannon, aka the Anarchist Reverend. In response to the frustration he’s been feeling about having the same tired conversations on queerness with Christians,

I am calling for a synchroblog on Wednesday August 10, 2011. On that day I want people to blog about what queer theology means to them. I want you to share your story of how reading the Bible queerly has changed your life. I want you to talk about how your sexuality or your gender identity has brought you deeper into relationship with God. If you’re straight and interested in solidarity I want you to share how being in relationship with queer people has deepened your faith and spiritual practice. [Emphasis mine.]

In my typical “better late than never” fashion, I’m hopping on the bandwagon just slightly late, writing this post ON rather than BEFORE August 10, but hopefully within enough time to still be on time. So with no further delay, I give you my thoughts on queer theology, on being bodily and gendered people, and maybe even throwing God into that whole mess.

In seminary, I related more to queer theology than any other. Growing up in a Lutheran church that ignored sexuality more than anything else, and then attending an evangelical high school which treated sexuality as best only when it was heteronormative and non-existant pre-marriage, by the time I arrived in college I was thoroughly confused. Hook, line, and sinker, I believed I would go to hell if I had sex before I was married. Forget caring for the least of these, following Jesus was about purity, and purity was about (the lack of) sex.

In college I had the sense to realize that didn’t make a whole lot of sense, but I didn’t have access to many (really, any) resources that helped me to reconstruct what a faithful sexuality might look like. Enter Seminary. And into my life traipsed all kinds of amazing, amazingly queer theologians who didn’t apologize for being gay; who exegeted the Bible in interesting, innovative, and honest ways; who helped me to understand that my sexuality as a source of strength, beauty, and love.

It may sound strange to some, but I was able to accept myself as a sexual (and therefore whole) person only because I found solidarity in the struggle represented in the writings of queer theologians.

God is not only gender-neutral; God is amply and ambiguously gendered. It is still in vogue for liberal congregations to remove any gendered reference to God in their liturgies and litanies. This is all well and good, and it is true that God is neither male nor female. What is MORE interesting to me, MORE liberating, are all the multiplicities of ways that God is portrayed in the bible as being masculine, feminine, or quixotically neutered.

In seminary my concentration was in the exegesis (interpretation) of biblical texts, and so I want to share with you the many-gendered ways in which theologians uncovered God behaving in the bible.

God is portrayed in that protective, fatherly, strong-shouldered fortress mentality in which his masculinity seems inevitable. God is a bulwark. We all need a little more bulwark in our lives, and we will all at one point or another be called to be a bulwark to a neighbor in need. God is also a wise woman in proverbs, portrayed as instrumental in creating the world at the beginning of time, and nurturing her children into health and well-being. God is our mother as well as our father.

And God is also neuter. One of my favorite stories in the bible is the Annunciation story. You know the text–in the Gospel of Luke, the angel Gabriel visits Mary and tells her how the Holy Spirit will overshadow and impregnate her. You can’t tell in English, but interestingly enough, the pronoun for Holy Spirit in Koine (biblical) Greek is neuter. Meaning, not only is God impregnating Mary with Jesus, but God does it completely devoid of God’s masculine identity. That Jesus is the result of a queer pairing certainly opened me up to the opportunities and joys we might all experience if only we embraced whatever queer plans God has for us and for the world.

My queer friends taught me how to be an ally by not being one. I’m going to go ahead and wait while you click through that link and listen to Shannon explain why the term “ally” is simply not that helpful. (While you’re at it, check out his list of resources for allies, too.)

The number one thing I have learned from queer theologians and from my queer friends is that while we’re not all the same, we’re not all that different, either. My experience of sex, sexuality, privilege, etc., is of course different from Shannon’s, Kim’s, Lissa’s, Erik’s, Justin’s, Abby’s, Jane’s, Maggie’s, or any host of “straight” people’s experiences. But my sense of the erotic, as defined by Audre Lorde, is wildly, radically similar to theirs: in the awe-some discomfort of entwining one’s soul with another’s; in the banality of long-term relationships; in the power of love to pull each of us outside of our selves and to work for justice.

We are all quite different from one another, and that is how we are the same. No one’s sexuality is the same as anyone else’s. We’re all queer. And because of our shared queerness (one might say “our shared humanity”), we will work for justice together.

I know that this is not necessarily a statement that will be all-around well-received, and I’m okay with that. Labels and names are good and useful, and I understand their function and even their necessity. I will listen and understand your reasons for using them (or not), and then I will employ them happily and with gusto. But when it comes down to it, I will work for justice because you and I? We’re different, and thus we are the same.


the big reveal

The decision is made! Can you believe it?! Head on over to my newly-minted style blog (“newly minted” so I don’t have to bug people reading here, about stuff they don’t want to read about) for more about which pair I chose, how I made the decision, how to get a pair of your own, and to see more photos. And if you like the new blog, give me a follow, eh?


birthday baby

My birthday was last week, and I walked away a very happy, very lucky woman:

  • I am now the proud new owner of an iPad2! Yowz! I have faithfully named him Moo, after Katie Sokoler’s cat. Katie doesn’t know me, but I love her photography and I love her cat.
  • My family is loving, supportive, generous, and takes me out to pizza every time I turn 29.
  • Officially, I have been taken in as a “Member in Discernment” with the UCC Minnesota Conference. Meaning, I have officially been approved to *pursue* ordination as a minister in the United Church of Christ. Read: “pursue” doesn’t mean automatic (or even assured) ordination; there’re lots more steps to take. But nevertheless, this is is a big step, albeit of many.
  • B took me out to an amazing dinner at In Season (review at Heavy Table)

Finally, all of YOU were so sweet and awesome and voted on your favorite pair of glasses from Warby Parker last week (and no one even teased me, which I was wholeheartedly expecting!). So very soon, you will be rewarded with my decision on which pair of glasses I’ll be purchasing (ZOMG!), but I’m still working on a little project for the big reveal. I know, it’s terribly suspenseful! But you won’t have to wait long!

Until I reveal my ever-so-dramatic decision, here’s a teaser for you: the glasses in the photo of me and B below (while I like them a lot), are NOT the glasses I have chosen to buy, although they were the obvious frontrunner from your votes. DRAMA!