going on a jet plane.

I am off to San Francisco in the morning–there on business during the week. I will not be able to attend communion on Sunday because ye olde Sabbath is going to be spent dawn to midnight on convention coverage for the association i work for. but it’s okay, because Grace Cathedral has plenty of opportunities, even though I’ll miss the choral mass. *sniffle*

quick note for those curious: my trip to the neighbor’s of the seminary went well, but they have not decided to take me to the next level. I am disappointed, but there will be many other windows opening, I’m sure of it.

I will be available by email, but if any revgalblogpals are in that area and would like to reach me, there is a link through which you can text me at here.

And because I haven’t had time to blog about it, just mentioning I went to shawl ministry this week. The time flew and I met some wonderful ladies.

Okay, I’m going to go now because I’m hungry for breakfast already and I have to sleep before I can fly.

And I’m glad I have learned to check “What blog am I posting this to?” because i just almost sent this to revgals.

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Authorial Confusion

There is another blogging media professional with an online handle very similar to mine, and I’m a little concerned that with people’s occasional misspelling of my handle to galleycat, there might be a problem. The other GC is also a magazine editor, and her “galley” to my “gally” is the literal extension of what is, in my case, a pun.

“Gally” is the nickname of the anime character “Battle Angel Alita,” and I chose to be Gally because at the point when I picked it, I felt like a fallen angel being plucked up and stitched back together from leavings from a junkheap. I picked “cat” because for years I’ve had my first name associated with cat. Later, when I moved from newspaper to magazine publishing, I thought it was funny that my online nickname (well, one of them) had a homophonetic relationship with my profession.

But on the net I am much more well-known as “Helcat” or “Deviathan.” So heretofore I don’t think the confusion has been a problem: until recently, Gallycat has been near exclusively my faith identity.

But now I’m editing a weekly advice column for revgalblogpals, and I’m wondering if it’s not time for me to rethink my handle. (I’ve long wanted to be “Irreverend Blue Jeans,” after “Forever in Blue Jeans“, but I don’t want to be mistaken for a clergy member.)

But because I am a mediabistro member as well, I’m wondering if a name change is in order. I’ve been trying to put “Helcat” behind me for years, and “Deviathan” is a throwback to my horror-writing days. But would it create even more confusion if I did change my faith-id?

At any rate, don’t miss this week’s Ask the Matriarch column. We’re fine-tuning the schedule, but it should continue to be a weekly column for some time to come.

Friday Fruit

Today’s revgalblogpals friday five assignment was to pick from the following list five things and go where the spirit takes you. Alternatively, pick a fruit to go with each.

I may, later, go where the spirit takes me, but given the press of work today I’m just going with the fruit.

Love – Strawberries
Joy – Lemon (must be the dishes)
Peace – Starfruit
Patience – Cantaloupe (Whaddya mean we can’t elope?)
Kindness – Peach
Generosity – Tomatoes
Faithfulness – Apple
Gentleness – Kiwi
Self-control – Tangerine! (I’m allergic to oranges and related fruits, but I love them!!!)

Quick update…

…Since I’m writing up the revgals post in another window and realized I should share something too–

We’re going to Chincoteague! For our second dating anniversary, DFH and I are going to stay at Miss Molly’s Inn, a bed and breakfast out thataway–and the very one that Marguerite Henry wrote Misty of Chincoteague while staying at. No one has ever done anything like this for me in 20 long years of serial monogamy. I’m so glad I’m marrying this one for good. (He kind of surprised me with it by announcing it on a community blog that he knew I read–and while some might think that’s a bit out of it, I’m not real big on surprises of that magnitude because they can throw my life out of kilter. The surprise still counts, totally. I’m dazzled.)

Anyhow, the main reason he didn’t want to totally spring this on me is because I will be in San Francisco the week before for business. I’m hoping I can make it to Grace Cathedral while I’m there. But anyhow, he wanted to make sure that I’d be okay with going away with him for a private retreat after being away for a week. Are you kidding? Take me away, sweep me off my feet! And given how much I love the Misty of Chincoteague books–I think Stormy was my favoritest book EVAR when I was under 10 (with “From the Mixed Up Files of Ms. Basil E. Frankweiler”, but that’s another meme)–this is a long-anticipated event. I feel like a kid during Advent right now–three weeks until Christmas, and each day a little window to open in the meantime.

One of those windows is an email I got today, beckoning me to that intersection of vocation and occupation I’m always talking about. I’ll be visiting a someplace close to VTS next week. 😀

I’m redecorating!

I need to get back into tagging my posts. This one falls into “see what I can do with CSS after many moons of no practice.”

Anyhow, the header image is one I laid out in photoshop, mixing up faithspaces, urbanspaces, and naturespaces. i’m short on raw files for urbanspaces so I know I’ll be doing more than that soon. The photography has been going really well of late, so I’m just having fun at this point. But over the next few weeks the loungespace will be completely modified from its current template to one that’s completely new, and I’ll be updating the sidebar and footer with lots of new links and information on stuff local. I’ll be writing book reviews and providing links from Amazon that you can use to shop for the books, and just generally kicking up the content quality of the lounge to reflect what I hope will be a renewed vigor for spiritual pursuits.

A big shout out to Mike over at Rude Armchair Theology for giving my ego a much-needed pat on the back and for helping start the kind of community I’m craving. Thanks for welcoming me aboard there. And I have to give a shout-out to the recently ordained-to-the-deaconate person whom I always wished I could spend more time with at St. Anne’s, now blogging at Fare Forward.

Finally, this is my week for Wednesday Festival at RevGalBlogPals, and the weekly theme is blogfun. I’ll be visiting round the ring all week to do my own rounding up (and introducing myself as the latest assistant lay matriarch), but send me your nominations at wednesdayfestival at gmail dot com.

Reclaiming my childhood

I think I mentioned at one point feeling very sad at annual council because I kept seeing all these young people running around –in their late teens and early to mid 20s–and realizing that had my life not been seriously derailed in 1984 or so, that might have been me during the early 90s.

As it is, however, had that other life materialized, I would not have DS. And a great many other ifs would undo most of my life as I know it. So that isn’t productive.

But I have noticed that much of my extracurricular activity of late is centered around the 13-year-old me. During my early teen years, my mother lost her job at the church I grew up in, and we moved from that parish, which had a healthy, vibrant youth community and people I could almost call friends (I was a very awkward preteen and got picked on a lot, but I know now just how many of us share that lot) to a parish where I was the oldest child, not feeling very childlike at all, and forewent going to church proper in order to attend to the nursery, my first part-time job, where I dealt with a three-year-old with what at the time seemed to be Tourettes.

So, to add to the things I’ve reclaimed from my early teen years (such as swimming and knitting), I went back to that church we left in 1983 or so this weekend. Not only is my rector still there (as emeritus–he retired in 1988, but his life with that church has spanned more than 50 years), but the new rector, The Rev. David Teschner, gave a sermon that touched me deeply, connecting scripture to a call for peace and journeying onward to a story from the Hindu tradition.

He opened the sermon with a tale that I think will resonate with my revgalfriends–I’m paraphrasing:

Two fundamentalists from a lakeside town were distraught that a woman had been chosen as their new pastor. But opting to look like they were being good sports about it, they invited her, as they did every new pastor, on a fishing trip at a nearby lake. They were delighted, when they got there, that the fish were biting like they never had before. But as the afternoon wore on, the new pastor realized that she needed to get back to the church for an important meeting.

When she said as much to her two fishing fellows, they looked at each other and shrugged. “Sorry, ma’am. With the fish biting like this, there’s no way we’re going to leave until they stop. But you can swim back to shore–it’s not far to the church from there.”

She was horrified–she couldn’t swim! But her protests fell on deaf ears.

When it became clear that the two men were not going to take her back to shore, she said a quiet prayer, hopped out of the boat, and walked on the water to get back. The two men stared after her, astonished.

The first one turned to the second one and said, “You know, I can’t believe they sent us a pastor who can’t swim.”

You know, this is the same church I went to almost every sunday for close to ten years. I missed a few summer services, but this is the church I was confirmed at, soloed in the choir at, had every role in the Christmas pageant at, acolyted at, had my first crushes at (Rob Seward and Ed Pollard, where are you?), learned macrame at, and a whole bunch of other things that shouldn’t end in ‘at’. And it was everything I could do to not burst into tears at the beauty of the church, which I remembered clearly.

I went back to my other childhood church–which is even prettier because it has that amazing mid-19th century feel to it–only six months ago, and while it evoked feeling– i was married there, and the marriage failed; I was in the choir there, but the choir director was later charged with sexual misconduct; my grandmother’s funeral was there. Maybe that’s why I felt so full of sadness while I was there. It was my grandmother’s church and I associated its smell with my grandmother, while at C&G I associate its smells with growing up. The same sexton is there. The choir members of my youth, those that are still with us, are still there.

They even sing the same Sanctus.

My mom worked there for many years, and I remember clearly long hours spent exploring the balcony, the undercroft, the secretary’s office supply drawer (and the sound of her typing.) We used to scrabble up and down the hillside in the back at the foot of the large water tower–that you really can’t see anymore because all the trees are now tall enough to conceal it. We found great big rocks back there that we brought home and tried to break open to see if we could find fossils. My grandmother’s house was a short walk down the road, and the red doors I saw when I came back to faith in 2003 were those of my childhood church.

And I shared that story of my conversion with the rector. He told me he had something quite like it happen to him.

It’s really amazing when it does happen, but.. bringing it home is nothing short of astonishing.

Thank you, Fr. Teschner.

Meanwhile, my son is 13. And I wonder, when he grows up, what of this time will he want to reclaim? What can I give him that will burst out anew 20 years later?

We’ll see, but the fact that he listened to that sermon quite intently is a start.

And on that note, I’ll share with you a funny the DS came up with all by himself today.

Mom, there are so many kinds of Christians! Episcopalian, Methodist, Presbyterian, Catholic, Orthodox, Unorthodox….

I burst out into laughter, and he beamed. He’s been trying to land his own punch line for some time now, and I think there’s hope.

P.S. I have some pretty pictures up at My Empire of Pesticide-Free Dirt, one of my other weblogs.