Swinging doors and celebrate me home…..

So why,  in the wild, wild beauty of this sweet breath of God,
is church even a thing?

I remember the way my soul drew up taller when the couple climbed from their car
to meet us in the field where we used to play like banshees until the organ began to play.
They were our Sunday school teachers,  and had arrived to be here on a Saturday afternoon
for something that I don’t now remember.
It didn’t matter – they had come and we were together,
all the other kids and I,
and when the husband grabbed my hands and swung me playful like a ragdoll,
the music of that smiling gesture landed
firm that I belonged.

Here in this place where the music rolled out rich like Sunday dinner to call us all inside,
I felt more than bone and birthday and bottom lines
to the One who threw open doors that let me tumble giggling on the lawn.
We were -all of us – invited and so the belonging ran deep
like a river running through
and  i ran free for as long as believed it.

To have once belonged like this is a treasure stored and I hold it dear
even as the welcome mat seemed sharp withdrawn from the place where i felt my truest
and I have it always, the option to stay mad and serve up blame and why couldn’t they see
that my bad behavior was a howl of pain
and not a slot marked “damaged” where I felt neatly filed.

But I couldn’t see my own truth so how can I bring the gavel down.
The whole,  “So what if i don’t fit;  I still belong,
would take me decades to learn to hold.
Maybe they never held it for themselves,
and in the end I found the door and safer pasture.

Many doors later,  I find myself drawn still to those dotted,  grazing hillsides
for the very and only reason that I love the whole community thing.
Really,  really love it when it works  – when it’s inclusive
and supportive and accepting and come on in – the stuff of home
and togethering and chairs pulled up close around the table and celebrated joy
and circle the wagons in our grief and,  yes,  dysfunction because it’s family,
but fumble on and forward fall and figure it out because we’re for each other and we’re what we’ve got.
And there’s shared hilarity in even this.

Yeah,  it’s the shared part that I love,  even as my love for independence dances rowdy
on the graves of ways that have died.
To be curious together.  Vulnerable together.  Knitted together strong
and yet each thread celebrated
for it’s own unique flavor and shade.
This is the stuff of riches.

So i haven’t given up on “church” because I love so hard the hope of a local community
that is bigger and more diverse than anything that I could build alone.
The risk it seems I have to take to go there – to move toward connection,
is worth the pounds of fear I have to lose each time
I draw near and get real.

“A dysfunctional family is any family with more than one person in it.”
– Mary Karr

“There’s nothing that makes you more insane than family.  Or more happy.
Or more exasperated.  Or more…….secure.”
– Jim Butcher

If you follow along and read the words I write down here,   you have my everloving thanks!
I appreciate the time you take and hold that dear.
Thanks for coming along this Summer on this journey of a small-ish series.
I appreciate your company so:)

A little video I made for you…….

 

A trust-fall back into the flow…..

Sometimes,  when I barrel into a block with my writing,  I wriggle free
by doing this something that comforts loose the flow
and I wonder if it’s an odd quirk of mine,  or do you do it too:
list-making.
I love lists.
Sometimes the list becomes the thing.
Like today,  when I’m trying to back into a project I started in the Spring,
because I still can’t seem to find the front door.
These times I often go around back and see if there’s a little service entrance
where I won’t feel so conscious of my muddy-ness
and I can sit on the porch and leave my shoes to dry
while I walk on, barefoot,  inside.

I began a series back in March to explore the stories stirring in my heart
about my messy dance with God on this noisy planet,
rocking always,  this world,  to the strobe lights of scattered messages,
sweet and sullied,  soothing and strangling.
To discover more what really fits for me and who am I anyway
in the wide river of this mystery.
Yeah,  just a little tidbit to chew on.
Then life splintered down pretty hard and I pulled back for awhile.

So I’m offering up my list
as I do a trust-fall back into the flow……

Religion vs. Spirit
(when I speak of “religion” I’m not calling out specifics.  No disrespect.
I mean fundamentalism,  which can disease any set of beliefs or thoughts)

~ Religion dries;  Spirit is fluid.

~ Religion  is push;  Spirit is flow.

~Religion is strain; Spirit is release.

~ Religion is punitive; Spirit is creative.

~Religion is flint sharp and squint to balance scales;
Spirit is lightning strong and redeeming what is.

~Religion is pity,  for it stands above and apart;
Spirit is compassion,  for it identifies with and meets.

~Religion is strive for perfection; Spirit is permission to thrive.

~Religion accuses and shames; Spirit reveals and restores.

~ Religion is performance; Spirit is presence.

~ Religion drives; Spirit woos and calls.

I’ll be back around with my stories and songs as I bob on down this river and see where it takes me.
Thanks for being a place where I can share it safe in the borning.

“Everyday I wonder how many things I am dead wrong about.”
– Jim Harrison

“I’m here to be me,  which is taking a great deal longer than I had hoped.”
– Anne Lamott

Sharing below a little video I made for you;

Breath blowing free through the curtains of our being…..

Come ride this wind of my breath tonight,
fill up the hollows until I can sigh
smooth and untangled from the rhythm of the trouble
I seem to be borrowing from all my tomorrows.

Won’t you help me curl my breath around the smoulder
of some thinking overheated
by the worry I’ve been keeping,
secret fears grow unseen in the thick of my gray matter,
shut away from light like the mushrooms
my friend grows in the dark of her garage
and when she showed me how fast they sprung up we smiled proud
of her musty crop of fungus,
but my runaway assumptions are a tiresome sort

and I want to throw open windows to the truth,
to let the light slice through
until my own free breath
is blowing through the curtains
of all my shut down places,
filling up with nakedness and fresh supply and God.

God,  I’ve heard,  is in the breath.

Releasing breath into every place of need,
to you and for all that you love.

“Smile,  breathe,  and go slowly.”
– Thich Nhat Hanh

A breather of a video – a short shot of air for your heart
with love from me:)
(another little bite on free-breathing…..because my writing was always cobbled to be heard and not just seen)

 

 

A barefoot mercy…..



I wrote a post and hurled it up “on time” – my self-imposed deadline,
then took it down again for the love of you and I
and the scurry of words which needed a good bit longer to marinate.
Felt like I was forcing them through a sieve instead of letting them be
what they wanted to become.
So I’ve got lots of space here
that I’ll
just
let
breathe.
No fillers.
So interesting to sit with this discomfort.

Mercy – it’s what I tried to wrap words around.
Such an evocative word,
mercy.
Mercy and forgiveness.
Since the words aren’t crisp yet,  I’ll leave you with these brilliant ones:

“…we are always the ones
who need to be absolved,
taken back into our hearts.
I forgave myself for the fisherman’s words and behavior,
for taking on his ugliness and making it something I believed
to be true about myself.
His words had gotten on me and then in me,
and then I had hoarded them,
building evidence that I was right about being fundamentally wrong.”
– Anne Lamott

And I’ll share my first video (happy sigh)
on my fledgling youtube channel.
Come see,  if you like.

 

 

 

 

 

My father and the sea……

I cannot separate my love for my father
from my love for the sea.
They meet and merge like the tides.

Each year,  when we were young,
despite his longing to vacation in new places,
to satisfy his thirst to explore,
he would carve out a week to gather by the sea
with my mother,   my sister and me,
and lean into the rhythm of the wind and the waves
that smoothed back the furrows of his busy forehead
and I’d watch his eyes go soft
to the soothing of surf and sound.

They relaxed,  those deep brown eyes,
because there was room enough,
and space and calm and time enough
to hear the light
and see girls in the sand,
even ones that were hard to see.

That great wide sky
and vast rolling water
un-pinched and turned my father’s face
and sometimes his eyes would find mine
and stay awhile.

I lived for those moments
when the sea and he would look at me.

I wonder at the power of fatherlove
and breathe grateful thanks
for love that looks and sees and smiles
and believe that my father’s love will find me always
as sure
as the shore
meets the sea.

“Fountain of sorrow,  fountain of light,
you’ve known the hollow sound of your own steps in flight,
you’ve had to hide sometimes,  but now you’re alright,
and it’s good to see your smiling face tonight.”
– Jackson Browne