Kinshasa Symphony

Once again I am late in learning a story of miraculous musicianship.  The Kinshasa Symphony ( was featured in a 60 Minutes segment two years ago, which I missed; last night they revisited the story as they sometimes do with important segments.  The symphony was the subject of a documentary by two German filmmakers (NPR review here),  which is how most of the world outside of the Democratic Republic of Congo first learned of the symphony.

Carmina Burana

The Feminist Easter

The title was misleading, but only slightly so.  The UU’s service featured one of Farley Wheelwright’s sermons from 2004 titled Easter with a Feminist Twist.  In the sermon, Farley discussed a recent translation of the Gospel of Mary of Magdala, highlighting a quote from it in which Peter asks the disciples:  “Did he choose a woman over us?” It is thinking like that on which the Church was built.  According to Farley

There was no room [in the Church] for another woman [besides Mary, the mother] certainly not one who may have had an influence over Jesus, or, at most, interpreted his teachings in a new, feminine, manner.  Therefore, for centuries, Mary Magdalene was labeled whore, sidetracked, a woman to be ignored.

Blowing Up Judas

While children go about their egg hunts in other parts of the world, San Miguelenses gather at the Jardin to watch effigies of Judas, members of political parties, brujas (witches) and other persona non grata be blown to smithereens.  Afterwards, the lucky swoop upon the debris to take home souvenirs.


I know the clouds well enough that I take an umbrella when they show their rain colors; it may not always rain, but why take a chance?  So I carried the tote all day, arriving home in time to close the door and hear huge drops splatter behind me.  I wasn’t prepared for the percussion of hail on the stairwell’s skylight:  glistening white balls the size of large marbles.  It was over quickly.


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