Today is the first day of spring,
and with that, a new theme here at Bird & Babe.
Love is the new theme and this issue starts it.
More goodness to come. For now, here are different vignettes
of the multiple facets She has.
P.S. I chose this "L" because it has a little loop on it symbolizing that
sometimes Love means holding on and sometimes it means letting go.
A Poem on Love
Love is a feeling.
Love is a choice.
Love is a place, a posture,
Love is elusive.
Love is effusive.
Love is nought sought
and always found.
and never bound.
'The Way of Love'
- The Message translated by Eugene Peterson
1 If I speak with human eloquence and angelic ecstasy but don’t love,
I’m nothing but the creaking of a rusty gate.
2 If I speak God’s Word with power, revealing all his mysteries and making everything plain as day, and if I have faith that says to a mountain, “Jump,” and it jumps, but I don’t love, I’m nothing.
3-7 If I give everything I own to the poor and even go to the stake to be burned as a martyr, but I don’t love, I’ve gotten nowhere. So, no matter what I say, what I believe, and what I do, I’m bankrupt without love.
Love never gives up.
Love cares more for others than for self.
Love doesn’t want what it doesn’t have.
Love doesn’t strut,
Doesn’t have a swelled head,
Doesn’t force itself on others,
Isn’t always “me first,”
Doesn’t fly off the handle,
Doesn’t keep score of the sins of others,
Doesn’t revel when others grovel,
Takes pleasure in the flowering of truth,
Puts up with anything,
Trusts God always,
Always looks for the best,
Never looks back,
But keeps going to the end.
8-10 Love never dies. Inspired speech will be over some day; praying in tongues will end; understanding will reach its limit. We know only a portion of the truth, and what we say about God is always incomplete. But when the Complete arrives, our incompletes will be canceled.
11 When I was an infant at my mother’s breast, I gurgled and cooed like any infant. When I grew up, I left those infant ways for good.
12 We don’t yet see things clearly. We’re squinting in a fog, peering through a mist. But it won’t be long before the weather clears and the sun shines bright! We’ll see it all then, see it all as clearly as God sees us, knowing him directly just as he knows us!
13 But for right now, until that completeness, we have three things to do to lead us toward that consummation: Trust steadily in God, hope unswervingly, love extravagantly. And the best of the three is love.
Books on Love
Selected and introduced by Caroline Kennedy, U.S. ambassador to Japan and daughter of late President John F. Kennedy, this book is a curated book of poems on love as it relates to womanhood and its different aspects. I love this book. I came across it when looking for a book for a sister of mine who was set for a visit a while back. I had begun a traditional of buying a book for a visiting guest and when it came to her trip out to California, this book was calling out to me. This particular sister and I were (and are) in vastly different stages, but we still share the bond of sisterhood and womanhood. It was the perfect gift, and one I confess I held on to for a little while after she left and I had agreed to mail it to her...
I was introduced to this book by its author Andrew Marin and his wife while on my visit to Scotland last year. They kindly gave the Gent and me a tour of St. Andrews, where he is currently pursuing his own PhD in Constructive Theology and Ethics. I had the opportunity to hear firsthand about his own story, how his organization got started, the crazy phone calls that then began to flood in (both from audiences like the UN or the President or those that threaten death and other things). The Marin Foundation builds bridges between LGBTQ communities and communities of faith. Watch this video to learn more about what they are and aren't about. P.S. I love what Andrew is doing.
I heart Madeline Levine. I spoke with her after an education summit at Stanford a couple of years ago near her bookstand. I asked her questions, shared my reflections, as well as, felt encouraged by her affirmations. She then just plopped this book down in front of me and said, "Read it." It is her research over the past 20 years from being a child psychologist in wealthy parts of Marin, California. She is gentle and encourages that the solution is working on our own issues to raise children that can then handle their own complexities and blossom into adulthood with their own wings and not our own. In other words, the help offered at the time may look like nice and helpful to the predicament but in actuality, it only exacerbates it. I found it refreshing, enlightening, affirming, and encouraging since this general geography has been the terrain I have danced in for the past decade. At the time of reading it, I found this book to be particularly insightful in bringing clarity and understanding to what felt to be confusing relationships in which I found myself. Whether a person has children or not or whether those children are little or grown, this book is bound to help anyone understand more about their own story, another's, or the general mountainous terrain in social contexts.
I remember hearing about this book from my mother when I was young. I believe I asked her what it was exactly when rummaging through the books on her nightstand. She told me it was the New Testament (from the Bible) that was essentially rewritten in everyday language and that she found it so easy to read and understand. She loved it. (Little did I know that Eugene was teaching at the graduate school I would one day go to.) He not only was a professor, he was a pastor and is now a strong advocate for the arts. This version, which was the version my mother had, and I believe still has, includes the Psalms and Proverbs from the Hebrew scriptures. I include it here because the New Testament (as well as the Hebrew scriptures), I believe, tells the greatest love story of all and encourages us to participate in that love - by first helping us to see we are unconditionally loved, and second, to be inspired (and empowered) to offer that in our daily lives to ourselves and others. At least, I have found that to be true in my own life. God is love.