One award for nobility of spirit, three recipients

Posted by on 05.15.09 | 10 Comments
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This week the Virtual Tea House has been graced by receiving an award called ‘Noblesse Oblige’.

From the Oxford English Dictionary: the term noblesse oblige “suggests noble ancestry constrains to honorable behavior; privilege entails to responsibility.” Being a noble meant that you had responsibilities to lead, manage, etc. You were not to simply spend your time in idle pursuits.

I have vibrant peasant blood and have never even had a past life that wasn’t filled with pot-washing, foot-soldiering, or braiding some princess’ hair… so I can’t speak coherently to the work of nobility. However, in this lifetime, what’s struck me among a few other things is that we are our brother’s keeper. This award is a generous reminder of the real work* of the Virtual Tea House: to engage the spirituality of everyday life; to be my brother’s keeper in a new-fangled way.

From the blog-oral (did I just make up a word?) history of this award, it is given to a blog which:

1) manifests exemplary attitude, respecting the nuances that pervade amongst different cultures and beliefs
2) inspires; strives to encourage and offers solutions
3) has a clear purpose that fosters a better understanding of sociology, political science, economics, the arts, culture, sciences or belief systems
4) is refreshing and creative
5) promotes friendship and positive thinking

As I cogitated on who to give this award to, my mind wove May Day ribbons around all my friends on One Single Impression and their sweet and profound blogs. Matter of fact, the award was actually given to the Virtual Tea House by one of these friends, Deborah Godin over at The Cloud Messenger, who exemplifies the best qualities of nobility: she is generous, attentive and wise. Notes From The Cloud Messenger. Thanks again, Deb!

I ended my ponderings with deciding on awarding two very different blogs. The first is the work of Phil Wyman over at Square No More

The by-line on his masthead: My birthday falls on the same day as Martin Luther’s. Does that make me a reformer who gets to be chased around like he is some kind of heretic, or is this just a coincidence? These are my thoughts on spiritual life, and mission.

And from his blogger bio: I pastor a church in Salem, MA called The Gathering. My wife Beverly is just gorgeous, and I don’t speak Welsh well enough to be happy about it yet.

My Photo

What I respect about Phil is his openness to learning and growing. While he is an evangelical pastor by ‘trade’, he sees his work as very simply to be a friend to the world instead of retreating from it. Living in Salem, MA, he has huge respect from the witches, pagans and earth-worshippers that abound there, and is in almost constant inter-faith dialogue with those, as well as other marginalized, groups. He’s funny, profane, profound and accessible. I love his blog because I always feel connected to what he’s doing, to his wide-open heart.

So here’s to you and your blog, Phil. You treat your spiritual nobility like it’s as common as water or an old well-loved, holey t-shirt. Thank you for that.

The second blog that’s receiving the Noblesse Oblige award is Via Negativa. I don’t know Dave Bonta, but I thoroughly enjoy his curiosity about life and his constant connection to the natural world. His blog is a wealth of excellent writing, observation, reflection and image. He as several blogs, all connected not by theme, but through the eyes and heart of this renaissance-guy. I look forward to his front porch morning poetry.

So here’s to you, Dave. You wear your nobility like it’s a magnificent oak, or a lady’s slipper, whichever has your attention for the moment. Thank you for sharing your gifts of observation and reflection.

before coffee

Dave, before coffee

after coffee

Dave, after coffee

Those of you who receive this award are requested to do the following:
1) Create a post with a mention and link to the blogger who presented the Noblesse Oblige Award to you.
2) The award conditions must be displayed in the post.
3) Write a short article about what your blog has thus far achieved preferably citing one or more older post to support.*
4) The blogger must present the Noblesse Oblige Award to blogs in concurrence with the award conditions.
5) The blogger must display the award at any location on their blog.

* 2nd of 3 Movements
* Jack’s Foiled (Im)Mortality Plan

Have fun with this award, Phil and Dave, and thank you for your nobility of spirit. You are both ‘your brothers’ keepers’ in particular, creative ways. Grazi.

Oh, yes, you observant ones say, ‘but the title says 3 awardees’. Here’s to the third awardee for its nobility, gentility and grace. This flowering crabapple watches over my front courtyard and the aroma, just for this week, is intoxicating. Damn is it a fine tree! And she is not required to pass on the award, as her blog is full of other things, like ships and shoes and sailing wax, stuff like that.

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