be present

tonight i stood staring at the sky as the clouds flew by so quickly my breath paused in my chest.  in awe that this world spins and that stars and moon poke out from behind white and gray masses of rain to come, eventually, someday.

you said putting babies to sleep was good for your soul.  and that typography made you giddy with excitement.  and my heart jumped a little inside my skin.

story poured from your lips like paint sweeps across canvas.  you crafted words into shades and shapes of vulnerability that made me weep for your pain while bursting with proud astonishment at your courage.  words cannot be so well crafted by myself in this moment to accurately describe my hope in hearing and holding your life.

goodness, your affirming laugh makes me want to be myself forever.  how could you have done this to me?  you who could disappear at any moment, maybe never to return.  my little girl heart pounds and my feet curl underneath me as i hold my knees, attempting to hold in my feelings.  i shall never know if i succeeded.  i secretly hope i did not.

i cannot believe we begin again tomorrow.  fresh, new.  sliding between my sheets and covering myself in the weight of many, many blankets i wonder at the beauty of tomorrow.  as the clouds continue to glide across the sky, i pray.  oh spirit, breath take up all the space.  come into my home and my days and my life until i burst with you.  be present.

original post: be present.

growing pains

today i walked up the hill for the second to last queen anne farmers market.  i have grown to love my thursday evening routine.  buy a head of lettuce, walk through stands of fresh goodness, smile at all the people.  after purchasing a grilled veggie quesadilla for dinner i made one last stop and picked out a bouquet of flowers for our coffee table.  i walked home, treasures in hand, crunching leaves under my boots, thinking.

inside all the excitement of a new season, there still exists that slight ache of change.  i remember someone saying once that every change, no matter how great, comes with grief.  because every change means letting go of what was.  i think new seasons parallel some sort of growing pain.  transitions are like waking up in the middle of the night with a cramp in your leg because your body, apparently, has to get bigger and stretch itself out.  growing is good, but still the stretching itself takes a bit out of you.

i am exhausted and thrilled at the same time.  i am overwhelmed and impatient.

sometimes i wish we could transition without goodbyes.  i wish fall could move forward without sunshine disappearing and without the queen anne farmers market ending.

original post: growing pains.

Broken Trees

Broken trees

growing up out of marshy waters.

Black boney hands

reaching for a life that only comes with time,

only comes with spring.

Gray hovers over—

Blankets. Dampens.

Yet the bare trees must echo promise

if you look at them long enough

Let your imagination give them life!

I beg you

Dream.  of green leaves and ripe fruit.

Let the choking fog of reality become the sweet sap of hope.

Life is already here

but not just yet.

Little one, imagine!

Dream of budding life.

Live like spring is present, and it will come.

the courage to continue

When I ordered my decaf white chocolate mocha, I knew it was time to write again.  I haven’t actually stopped, but clearly nothing has made it to the eyes of others for weeks.  Even falling behind for a few short days left me swimming in the lessons that daily fill my brain.  I have been trying to pinpoint what caused the sudden stop in posting.  Despite the short list I have mentally compiled, none of my brainstorming seems to be accurate or beneficial to regurgitate.  As I sit now, I have decided that focusing on the courage to continue trumps any discussion surrounding reasons for the pause.

So, the courage to continue…

Courage and confidence seem to be swimming in the same stream of thought these days.  In highlighting my lack of confidence, my lack of firm trust in my own intelligence or abilities, I have found that life takes much more courage to live out than maybe it should.  Granted there are multiple ways to look at courage, but I am inclined to think at this moment that courage is somehow linked to fear.  If courage is the ability to do something that frightened one, then there is an integral connection to courage and being afraid.  I don’t want to be overcome by fear.  I don’t want to be approaching everything in my life with a courage that implies the constant presence of fear.  I could say that I have mustered the courage to begin writing here again, but that would suggest that I have been afraid to sit down and compile my thoughts into coherent sentences for others to read.  Maybe I have been afraid, but if I have not, courage may not be the correct term to describe my beginning again.

I guess there are times when I am hyper aware of the words that we use and the way that they color our thoughts and attitudes and life.  Whether I have found the courage to post again or not, here I sit, determined to once again share and determined to confidently approach life without accommodating a spirit of fear.

 

I’m back.

 

Memories

The secretary placed a glass of ice water on a silver coaster next to the Response magazine on the coffee table.  As always, so many things were swirling through my brain, but everything paused when I saw the detail on the coaster through the bottom of the glass cup.  It had a pretty engraved design; quite fancy looking.  I recognized it.  My grandma had those coasters.  I used to lay them all out on her coffee table.  They were surprisingly weighted, but not heavy or chunky.  As a little girl, my grandma let me hold them and stack them and place them in organized rows.  She let me be a little girl.

Sometimes we don’t forget easily.  One little thing brings back a flood of moments and words and experiences.  The presence and aroma of some long ago time meet us right where we are with one glance of an etched silver coaster.  It is bittersweet to remember.

 

Christian Spirituality: Social Justice

I am an extremely slow reader.  This is my fault.  I used to be quite fast for my age.  At some point, years ago, I stopped reading and instead skimmed pages, acquired a quick overview, and made intuitive leaps.  Sadly, this has sufficed and consequently done little to motivate change.  I find myself discouraged by how poor my reading abilities have become and in my shame, it is hard to pick up a book and take the baby steps back to the reading speed I long for.

Maybe the Church has gotten away from its call to Social Justice because at some point, years ago, it stopped really doing the work that it takes to move forward.  Yes, we can still define community and we intuitively “understand” what it means to be Just; what it means to buy a burger for that homeless man, but really, we are ashamed to admit that Social Justice somehow got lost among our act.  We have not been reading the material.

If in fact this is true and we are quite ashamed of our current ability to accomplish this task that should be ingrained into our DNA, my heart saddens at shame’s ability to paralyze the heart longing for change.  The humility it takes to revert back to the baby steps we should have been incorporating into daily life ages ago is so intensely hard to face.  The patience it takes to slowly wade through our deep-set habits of skimming defies our culture’s push to always be moving so quickly and efficiently with little regard for integrity.

 

—thoughts from reflection paper #2 on Welcoming Justice by Charles Marsh and John Perkins