Becoming Art and Poetry 2023
We are all we're becoming.
We are all we've done.
We are all we are dreaming.
We've only just begun.
Poet Cat Dixon shares a poem about First UU and what it meant to "become" the church administrator those many years ago when she first came to work here.
"The Sanctuary in the Springtime"
After the office work is done, I stroll
into the sanctuary with its large windows,
white pews, red carpet, and sit on the altar’s steps
and pray. The sunlight streams through the glass—
tiny rainbows appear along the organ’s balcony.
The blooming tree outside snows her petals—
a white garden path calling each home.
God’s here, not the God of my childhood—all
doom and punishment—but the God I finally
found when I was abandoned by man.
When He makes His next appearance, I’ll rest
my head on His shoulder, whisper my devotion,
and become His secretary writing up
sermons and announcements—not because
He will require it, but because I’ll have to.
-- Cat Dixon
Mary Kay Douglas-Peters hand-painted this large-scale Belonging banner hanging in our sanctuary.
Michael McAtee shares his first-ever attempt at poetry. It was inspired by his “becoming” during his first year at 1st UU and his experience at a yoga retreat in the little fishing village of Yelapa in Mexico. Hence the title!
The Yelapa Effect
I often think of the famous butterfly effect
As I watch the undulating flight of its namesake
How the gentle flapping of its wings may lead to the fiercest of storms
It is famously this effect that makes it impossible to perfectly predict the weather
Though much of weather is governed by some of nature's most immutable laws
Not every flap leads to such a storm
But for some they would not exist without their gentle nudge
The world is at once chaotic and predictable
So let us continue flapping our wings of kindness, love, and joy
With the awareness that a fierce storm of the same may result.
-- Michael McAtee
Award-winning artist Bob Bosco has participated in more than 70 exhibitions nationally and regionally. He shares "'The Joy of Becoming" -- simply a celebration of the privilege of being part of the becoming process. You can see more of his artwork at bobboscoart.net.
Poet, minister, and former math prof Sarah Voss shares a poem from when she pledged long ago to be her best self, even if that self isn’t the so-called norm. When, nearly four decades ago, she first came to this church, she was in crisis mode and found here a place and people that supported her in the spiritual growth she needed to do. So she quit teaching math and went to seminary, and then after a few years (and unplanned) she came back again. She is happy to report that she is no longer in crisis mode, but her spiritual growth is still happening, and she hopes it will always be happening.
to greet people with respect
to be true to yourself
to die glad you lived
To choose your
in linear time,
that stones speak
the same earth language
and even butterflies
-- Sarah Voss
Artist Eddith Buis, best known for directing the J. Doe Project, the Lewis & Clark Icon Project, and sculpture installations at Gene Leahy mall in downtown Omaha, shares this beautiful painting of Katrina Schmidt's boys to capture a part of their becoming process.
Poet Heidi Hermanson, published in Midwest Quarterly and the Omaha World Herald, part of many public art projects, recipient of a Nebraska book award, and author of "Waking to the Dream" and "Cocktails with God," shares her butterfly-inspired poem.
While the Sink Fills
In summer I forget about time,
watching butterflies float
in pale sunlight, quivering
concentration, munching grass.
Tissue-paper wings move
slowly, slide across this forty-yard
field, carelessly seize the breeze.
Transforming from nothing
Disguising like grey earth.
Lying on my green meadow
quilt, butterfly lands
on my face, inquisitive,
tender unexpected kiss,
slowly folding and unfolding
wings. That other exchange
and sky, it’s not much,
but it might be enough.
I transcribe your words
on my wings.
Retired UNO professor Henry Serenco shares the various stages of his pottery art in his art show at St. Mary's College Hillmer Art Gallery that runs until Friday, April 28th, 2023. Featured here are works from 1963 to 2015 using various firing techniques, including high fire, pit fire, & the last three, low fire, as well as different glazing techniques. Most notable is the metal-type glaze created by Serenco for his fourth featured piece. These pieces all represent people and movement. The first piece is inspired by the queen in Snow White. These pieces visually represent his evolution as an artist and his commitment to the environment as he created energy-efficient low-fire techniques as his career progressed. Many of his pieces are for sale!
All pieces are reserved by their respective creators and used by permission. Reproduction prohibited.
Douglas Lee-Regier, a teacher, massage therapist, and longtime Unitarian, is married to Krissa Lee-Regier. In this poem, he shares how they have become who they are together and what their life might be from here on out.
Together 36ish years, married 35 –
What can we expect now?
We’ve run all the tapes of misunderstanding,
so we call them by number
We’ve had all our children and then some
Enough grands to fill a shoe.
Now do we get to hunker down?
Be on retreats more,
Find an old creaky porch swing?
Harmonize our song even more?
We’ve crooned our love songs the whole time –
Formed a pact of mutual admiration and respect
Held each other up
Stood for each other in battle lines and peace demonstrations.
Sometimes they can’t tell us apart,
Though we look not alike all that much.
Well, maybe our hair is whiter, our energy a little low.
But we still carry quite a load together.
Now we get to coast a little,
Forgive each other’s faults a little more
Speak the words of love a little softer
Holler hardly at all.
Now is the time of easy travel
Going through the storms without fear
Finding solace in being together in different rooms.
Knowing the other will always be there.
The fences are mostly down now,
The obstacles smoothed or out of sight.
We’ve come together to do a job
And look back with great delight.
Guidance and help we’ve had not a little
Nodding to each other with a look up above.
We know there’ll be a day when we take our leave
And can say well done, smile, cry, and celebrate.