Monthly Archives: January 2012

Where would I go?

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So….I might be ready to write again. MIGHT being the key word. Every time I’ve tried to pick up that Minor Prophets study I think of the first sentence…and I just put the whole damn thing back on the (imaginary) shelf. I’m not even the same person who started that study in so many ways. The doubt about my writing skill or even my right to be so bold as to think I have a story to tell or a message to deliver comes in waves. Not little boogie-board waves…big giant “haul me out into the ocean on a jet ski so I can ride this wave for a mile” kind of waves.

I also think I’m ready for God to raise up another Dwelling group for me to lead. Which is a HILARIOUS thing to say. I don’t even have friends. Who on earth would I invite??? COMICAL!!!

I can say with full assurance that Jesus is more real to me than ever and that I’d have NOTHING if I didn’t have him. 

But everything else…the constructs and traditions that Christendom has put into place over the last 2000 years…that stuff I doubt. What I doubt is the ugliness of politics, war, misogyny, bigotry, racism, class-ism with the word Christianity attached to it. I look at my friends who think that this life…the life of a Christian…is some easy, straight-forward cake-walk and I have doubts. I may have totally misread but I’m almost certain that there is some stuff about DYING DAILY and CARRYING A CROSS and BEARING ONE ANOTHER’S BURDENS in the Bible?

There is no leaving this God I love but sometimes I think I must be doing something wrong because my walk is not the easy, sunshiny road that I hear other Christians talk about with trite churchy phrases.  I wonder…do they really believe that saying the words “Give it to God” to someone who is in a dark place is getting their hands dirty for the cause of Christ?

“In this life you will have trouble…” feels like my theme verse these past couple of years and yet I wouldn’t trade anything for this journey. I’ve come to far to lay it down and walk a different road. I wouldn’t trade the doubt and the questions for all the shiny clean bumper sticker Christianity in the world. Every question I’ve asked…every doubt I’ve faced…every trial I’ve been given has brought me close to the only one with the answers…and I wouldn’t trade the gift of meeting the Divine in my sleeplessness, tears, and desperation for warm, cozy, and comfortably numb for anything.

I feel like I’ve spent my life answering Jesus’ question from John 6:67 “Will you leave me too?” with “Where would I go Lord? Where would be far enough away that I wouldn’t miss you? Where would be far enough away that I wouldn’t see you in every beautiful thing I lay my eyes on? Where is there to go that your voice wouldn’t be audible in my ear saying the word that has started every sentence you’ve spoken to me for almost 36 years…”Child…”

There is nowhere to go that he isn’t there. And though that is the question I’ve been answering all these years…it is also the answer to every questions.

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Out here on the fringe…

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A friend reminded me today that my blog had been very quiet. So here is some noise for those of you who care…

 

Life out here on the fringe is quiet lately.

Well…I take that back. It’s very noisy in my head. So noisy that I haven’t been able to get the words out onto paper or blog. Some days I can barely line up words in a logical order and make sentences for conversation.

Lately that has been my world. Getting the right sentences out and into emails, conversations, documents, etc. ALL of this has been directed into work. And despite the amount of effort I pump into my work, I somehow still feel angst. I know that they like me. I know that they appreciate me. But I wonder from day-to-day if I’m making any kind of difference? I watch #1 and #2 keep going out into the world killing themselves to make relationships, close deals, and bring in $ and I think “Is what I’m doing helping?” But all I can do is continue to offer my best and hope that it is of value and benefit to others.

I’ve put some of my energy lately into trying to build friendships. I’ve abandoned a book club that wasn’t meeting or fulfilling any purpose. I’ve dumped a Vegan dinner club that was too full of chaos and drama (Things I hate for $500 Alex!?). I’ve joined a book club that is smaller and after 1 meeting feels more intimate and like the possibility of relationships exist. I continue to go to BSF and find that is a nice spot in my week though I am finding no one there who is interested in building friendships. I go to church…somehow alone in a crowd of 1500 people. Yet with all of that said…I am fortunate to have Greg, Tyler (and his family), and some friendly co-workers in my life filling the void that I have for relationship.

With my remaining energy I have been trying Yoga and walking. I know that in the past exercise has helped me fight the blahs and I’m tapping into that more and more as I feel a case of the blahs encroaching on my corner of the fringe. I like the motion and flow of Vinyasa Yoga. It is a workout. I sweat like crazy in those heated rooms. A practice that reminds me over and over to return to my thoughts and to focus on my body for that hour is a blessing to my noisy brain. When I do Yoga I feel strong. I feel flexible. And I feel like there is more to me than just a brain that must fire at rapid pace for work or a heart turned into the enrichment and encouragement of others. When I’m doing Yoga….I feel important…I feel visible to myself.

I’ve said it before…The life of a fringe-dweller is lonely. It is isolated and you are lucky if you have a few friends who understand your place in the world or who at least understand that you are a bit adrift…never quite fitting in…belonging to no one. But it is also a life that has a great deal of freedom. With the freedom of the fringe comes the right to disengage with other people’s negativity and their expectations. Also the freedom to let your voice be heard is less threatening because no one has any claim on who you are, what you say, or has to share in the consequences.

Every day I wonder what I’m doing in Denver. I wonder if I’m supposed to be at this job…live in this apartment…and have this life. I try to imagine new ways to engage with life and community…sometimes something manifests and sometimes it doesn’t.

The fringe has never so full of noisy doubts while so eerily quiet.

And the fringe has never been so rife with opportunity…

 

Learning to Trust Myself

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Today a dear friend asked…
How are you feeling?

And I replied…
A mixture of loss and hope.
I’m starting this year more alone than ever,
more certain of who I am than ever,
and I’m trusting God to do something to change what needs changing in me,
and to bring me to a new place.

I read those words with the pain of knowing that I’ve lost so many relationships in the past year. Some I’ve lost because of bad decisions, guilt, or judgement. Some I’ve lost out of the human tendency to grow away from relationships that are stale. Some have been purposeful due to my keen desire to remove vampires from my life. And some have simply not been able to withstand my move to Denver.

And yet, I have also met some very delightful and dear people this year. In Albuquerque, in Denver, and elsewhere in my travels. I have been blessed with delightful new friendships (Adrienne, Tyler & Jocelyn), deeper friendships (Cara & Linda S), and changed friendships (too many to name).

Mostly I continue to feel adrift. Alone so much of the time. Maybe I am adrift because for the first time in my life I do not have the constant physical presence of another female in my life as friend, sister, & mother. I have no one to give those same identities back to. I’ve never thought of myself as a woman who needs other women…and yet…I am adrift.

I have a pretty strong theory about why I feel adrift…but for now I will just say…

This year I’ll not be making resolutions.

Instead I am going to strive to live each day for itself. I will take better care of my own heart and mind, and of  the hearts and minds in my care. As often as possible, I will bring strong, positive energy to every situation and I will try to leave every person I encounter better off than when I first met them. I will try not to stumble into more relationships that drain me of my good nature and positivity. I will not allow anyone in my past, present, or future to define me. I will be who I am supposed to be and I will have courage, grace, and love on my side. I will be still…more often. I will wait…more quietly. I will stop apologizing for what I don’t know and be assured that what I do know can be of value to someone…perhaps many someones.

And I will trust myself.

I will trust myself when I warn myself not to go into stranger’s basements. I will trust myself when I tell myself not to listen to doubters and haters. I will trust myself when I send up a red flag that being friends with someone is dangerous and could be blood-suckingly bad. I will trust when my body says I need rest and provide it. I will trust when my heart says I need to cry and never make excuses or believe what the world says about weakness. I will trust my intuition when it says to write…poetry, prose, memoirs.

Finally, despite any fear, doubt, or uncertainty that may arise, I believe that God is still worthy of my trust…and I’ll move in that direction…come what may.

Words

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where are the words
the ones that move forward
the ones that set free
where are the words

where are the words
the ones that bring healing
the ones that are filled with love
where are the words

do they come in secret?
do they rise and set with the sun?
are they forgotten upon being spoken?
are they lost to us?

where are the words
the ones that calm hearts
the ones that dry tears
where are the words

where are the words
the ones that are heard in whispers
the ones that shout so loud the chest rattles
where are the words

do they not make enough noise to stir up trouble?
do they not bring enough peace to calm the storm?
are they overtaken by the wind?
are they missed by unlistening ears?

where are the words you ask?
they are in my whirling mind
they are in my stirring heart
they are in my lungs waiting to be screamed
they are tickling your ears
they are boggling your mind
they are here
they are there

the words are
faith
hope
love
grace
truth
courage
laughter
passion
strength

these are not words owned by a preacher
these are not words owned by a boss
these are not words owned by a mother
THESE ARE THE WORDS OF SHE WHO WILL NOT BE MOVED

so when the words seem missing
look at her
the words are there
in her
on her
all over her
she is a tree planted by the water

And she will give them to you
Share them with you
Until you have a set of your own
Until where the words are is YOU