Drums in springtime

When you hear the sound of drums and cymbals outside your apartment coming from somewhere down the street, of course you go out and find out where they’re coming from. It was the West Coast Lion Dance Troupe performing in the small parking lot of the hardware store near us. It was fun to watch the brightly-colored lions dancing in the warm February sunshine:

West Coast Lion Dance Troupe

This hardware store, formerly independent, was bought out by a small locally-owned chain of hardware stores. Since they were bought out, they’ve been doing things to attract the attention of passers-by. In addition to the lion dancers, the local animal shelter had a tent set up and was promoting adoptions of small pets. Not a lot of people came, but we were all smiling.

After I watched the dancers, and glanced at the terrarium with a lizard or something in it, I started walking home — and as I walked I wondered why our UU congregation doesn’t do things like this to attract the attention of passers-by. I know what you’re going to say: “Most UU congregations try to hide from passers-by.” Well, I’m not feeling that cynical today, when it’s so warm and sunny and the faint smell of perfumed flowers permeates the air and makes my eyes itch. I think we’ve just never thought about inviting a lion dance troupe, or (honk!) an activist street band, or or some other community arts organization, to perform in front of our building. Maybe if we had sales goals to meet, as retail establishments do, we’d be thinking more along those lines. Not that I think we should have sales goals per se, but you know what I mean.

UUA logo: our version

Carol and I have been playing around with the new UUA logo. Carol doesn’t like the way the flame in the new logo is disattached from the candle-chalice thingie. I don’t like the way the sides of the chalice-thingie act as walls which keep the flame from being seen from the sides.

Mind you, it’s way too easy to be a Monday morning quarterback. No logo can ever be perfect, and certainly the UUA logo is a pretty good design, and more than adequate. But it’s way too easy to play around with graphics on our laptops, and Carol and I had nothing better to do on a sleepy Saturday morning, so we spent half an hour revising the UUA’s logo. Here’s what I came up with:

UUA Logo Mash

Update: June 24, 2018: The above logo is now released under a Creative Commons license; please attribute to “A UU”.
Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.

Compare it to the official UUA logo below. See what I mean about the sides coming up around the flame in the official logo?

UUA Logo Official

(Now that I look at this again, I wish I had made the sides of my version even lower, but I’ve already wasted too much time playing with this.)

Jesus said something like (and I’m paraphrasing here): “Neither do people light a candle and put it inside a red and orange bushel basket, the walls of which extend halfway up the flame, so the people below us cannot see the flame.” Buddha supposedly said (another rough paraphrase): “Thousands of candles can be lit from a single candle, and the life of the candle will not be shortened; but if your candle is inside a red and orange chalice thinige, others will burn their fingers trying to light their candle from your candle.” The new UUA logo is a pretty accurate graphic representation of what our denomination is actually like; my revision of the logo represents the way I wish our denomination were.

Update, 3 hours later: Ah, what the heck, I might as well make the things the way I like it — here’s a version with even lower walls, and now it looks like the “U” is kinda lying back and the candle is standing up inside it:

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