Yesterday afternoon I went to an ICE Out of Marin rally and then to a meeting with the Board of Supervisors. These are the remarks I shared during the public comment portion of the meeting. I spoke right after our parish minister, the Reverend Marcus Hartlief who spoke with passion and eloquence. I think we made a good tag team of UU ministers:
“When I accepted ordination into the ministry I pledged to speak, act and live as a voice of courage and of hope; to champion justice, freedom, and compassion and to serve all those who are in need.
Whether or not it was explicit, I believe all of you on the board of supervisors and our sheriff made a similar commitment when you accepted an elected office in the County of Marin.
You are here to serve the residents of this county, and most particularly those who are most vulnerable.
I know you try. I know that sometimes the decisions you need to make are complicated and not easy. This one is simple.
Our immigrant neighbors are living in fear. Their families are being torn apart. Their cries of anguish and despair should be stirring all of our hearts and calling us to compassionate action. We MUST stop cooperating with ICE. We MUST stop publishing the damn release dates of those who have been incarcerated. We MUST provide a sanctuary where all who are vulnerable are safe. I pray, along with Reverend Marcus, that wisdom, compassion and courage will guide your decision. Thank you.”
What a week it has been, and it hasn’t even been a week. We met on Monday night this week because this Wednesday, our regular day, is a holiday.
Having class on Monday was difficult, and they even moved us to a different room. Change is hard, and I find myself so much less flexible than I have been in the past. I joke about it, but it is true. Following this program requires paying close attention, having a meal replacement every 2 1/2 hours, drinking enough water, avoiding food-centered situations, and planning time to exercise. This increased lack of flexibility and attention to detail should serve me well, however, when we go back to eating real food.
Most of class was talking about why we regained weight after previous diets. The discussion was moving as people shared their personal stories. There were so many themes that resonated with me. My weight gain over the years was fairly gradual, and I was thin until my early 30’s. Twice, I took Kaiser’s weight management class and lost about 20 pounds each time, but then my weight crept back up because I relaxed and assumed that regaining it would take decades. Magical thinking is so common. “Broken cookies don’t count because the calories have all fallen out.” “I am still 25 years old, have a fast metabolism, and can eat whatever I want.” “Finish your food, don’t waste it.” “If it is free, eat up.” That last one comes from growing up working class, and going to college on a full but barely sufficient scholarship. It has always been hard for me to turn down anything free.
This time is going to be different. Life will still happen, and there will be challenges, but I am learning that this is a lifelong commitment and that I will always need to pay attention to exercise and to what and how much I eat.
Life definitely happened this last week.
On Thursday, I learned that Wendi Winters was one of the victims of the shooting at the Capitol Gazette in Annapolis, Maryland. I knew Wendi when I served my ministerial internship there in 2006-2007. She was a fierce, brave, quirky, and compassionate woman. She was an active church member, volunteering with the youth of the local church and the district. What a loss. It is reported that she was moving toward the shooter when she was killed, trying to protect her co-workers. That was so Wendi. Tears came often this week. This is the first time that someone I know has died because of a shooting rampage. Unfortunately, it will likely happen again.
Baltimore Sun article about Wendi.
On Saturday, I attended a rally with over 1000 of my closest friends at the West County Detention Center to protest the current immigration policy and demand that ICE be abolished. It wasn’t a march, so I brought my camp chair. It felt good to be able to sit down and be counted. The images of small children, ripped from the arms of their parents, have tugged so strongly at my heart. Love has no borders; we are ALL children of God.
Monday I got a cortisone shot in my shoulder which I hope helps, but when I drove home from our evening meeting, my car was hit in the right rear end by someone who ran a red light. As my car spun around in the intersection, the other driver sped off onto the freeway. I was stunned and shaken, but relatively unhurt. I have aches and pains today, but that isn’t all that unusual given the arthritis I have in multiple joints. I am not so sure about the car. The side airbags went off, and the right rear wheel was at not-normal angle. I did a police report and the car was towed. We have insurance and are waiting on the adjuster. Hopefully it won’t be totaled as it is a great car, if an older one. It felt weird that it was a hit and run, that the guy did not even stop to see if I was OK. But it also felt very good that three witnesses stopped and checked on me, two gave me their contact info, and one called the police, moved my car out of the intersection, and waited with me until the police came. Look for the helpers, as Mr. Rodgers advised. I was lucky they were there and very lucky that I was not seriously hurt or even killed. Even if the car is totaled, it is only a car. Life is so precious.
(My stats for the last 5 days – down 2 pounds, drank 5 gallons of water and exercised for a total of 280 minutes. My total weight loss so far is 31.7 pounds.)