Costume 8

This is the last in this costume series and now it’s revealed. My sister was not wearing a costume but she contributed to the festivities by showing off her ballet skills. Her daughter was more interested in dinner than ballet at that particular moment, even though they performed together. My sister loved to dance and loved the costumes there too.

Taken in 2009, Lake Matinenda, Ontario, Canada. My sister died of breast cancer in 2012.

A is for Avarice

Welcome to 7 Sins and friends, where each letter will be one of the rich diversity of emotions that we experience.

I choose avarice first because two of the sins start with G, so avarice will stand in for greed. The meaning is not the same, but they are related.

Avarice: insatiable greed for riches; inordinate, miserly desire to gain and hoard wealth.

Greed: excessive or rapacious desire, especially for wealth or possessions.

So they are related. Have you felt avaricious or greedy? I am always greedy for books, I love books. I have a fence with a community library now, to try to free more books from my clutches, back to other people, but I still have more books than bookshelves.


When I was in fourth grade, I won a summer library reading contest. The books were chosen from a list. The newspaper sent a reporter to take a picture. He started piling books on a table in front of me. I objected! He was piling up different books from the ones I’d read! He explained that it didn’t matter, it was just a picture…. I didn’t really approve but I let him take the picture with the wrong books.

Avarice makes me think of our present election and the people running. We seem to admire people who build great wealth for themselves, but don’t we admire those people who do brilliant things for the world and for other people more? What do you think? And what do you feel?

The photo is George White’s father: this George White. This is my mother’s mother’s father’s father. He and his wife raised a Congregationalist missionary, George White,  who witnessed the Armenian genocide in Turkey in the 1910s. My grandmother wept reading the romance Lorna Doone at age 16 as they left Turkey, not knowing that they were fleeing the country.



7 Sins and friends

My blogging from A to Z this year is titled 7 sins and friends….. sins? I am thinking about emotions and how many our culture says are bad or that we should not feel. Men are encouraged to be strong and silent and women are encouraged to be nice. “Feel good all the time!” says our culture. But we can’t, won’t, don’t.

People say, “Try not to feel that way.” Now when someone says that to me, I think, that is a feeling that they are not comfortable with, but I am comfortable with it, enough to express it. We label feelings with value judgements. Happy is a good feeling, anger is terrible, but really it is all neurological information. It is part of our system for exploring the world, just as touch and taste and sight and hearing help us explore the world. Imagine if we could not feel fear: a toddler walking off a cliff because they have no idea to be afraid. And without pain, we would not pull our finger back from being burned. If we can’t grieve, we can’t truly love.

I sat down yesterday and made a list of emotions and feelings, from A to Z, and I have more than one for each. I will only choose one for each letter, at least that is the current plan, but think of the richness and complexity of human feeling. Why don’t we celebrate it instead of excoriating it? And doesn’t every human have the full spectrum of feelings? We may not be comfortable with a feeling or have a name for it, but I think we all have all of them.

The photo is from Halloween, 2005, dressed up for church.