Curmudgeons are churlish, irascible folks. Cantankerous would be another good word. Grouchy another. A snark goes after anyone whose momentary mess up or past indiscretions make them vulnerable to a misery-causing kind of personal one-sided attack on worth and dignity. What to do?
Sermons by Rev. Marti Keller
Rev. Keller explores topics of everyday spirituality, prophetic witness, religious feminisms, and intra-religious teachings. She is especially sought for her contributions exploring the place of Judaism within and without Unitarian Universalism and for the individual.
All sermons are © Marti Keller. All rights reserved. Reproduction without permission is prohibited.
Oscar Wilde once wrote that conversation about the weather is the last refuge of the unimaginative. Not worth having. Perhaps Oscar Wilde was blessed with benign weather, or at least predictable weather, the overcast and drizzle of London and then Paris where he was self exiled. Perhaps there really was little to talk about.
Regardless of gender, we receive persistent messages about the folly of, the downside of anger. An online scroll through quotes and sayings on anger reveals the dominant message: anger is not beneficial, in fact just the opposite, and must be curbed if not eliminated.
This notion of keeping lists as both a practical, psychological, and I would argue as a spiritual practice is perennially popular. List what always makes us laugh. List the transitions in our lives that taught us the most. List the places we’ve visited that have altered our views of the world. List the things we must do before we die.
There are pilgrimages that require some travel, some investment of time and money. But there are so many that don’t. Pilgrimages where we go nowhere, or almost nowhere. That are internal journeys, or mostly. That require our deep attention. That both challenge and rejuvenate us. That provide catharsis, a release. That take us, changed, back home.
Don’t talk to strangers, it would seem, is a global warning. But as adults we may need to relook at this message, keeping what still is true about it, but opening ourselves to the possibility that there is something to lose in keeping silent in our casual public lives so much of the time.