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even as the welcome mat seemed sharp withdrawn from the place where i felt my truest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;

What I’ve been grazing and grooving on……

sunset blog
I’ve been squeezing the last drops of juice from January,
the one month each year that sometimes feels like vacation
because our gardening business settles down for a long winter’s nap
and I can throw myself more into projects I’ve been saving for the big quiet
but this year has been cheeky,  as the sap is already rising,
and so I’ve been hours in the trees,   pruning,
and I’m sore from the hard and cold and a stiff sort of sleepy.

My blogging process looks a lot,  in my mind,   like gardening and cooking;
I tend what’s growing in my heart,  writing down snippets and making bites of art
and then gather the bits into bouquets
or cobble into soup or salsa or pie
to serve up fresh and in season here every week
(a small lyrical café,  I imagine:))

ladder blog

but I’m a wintery sort of tired this week up here pruning away
(and I skipped a week already,  didn’t I)
so I’m going to serve them straight up,  the munchies I’ve been grazing on,
the clippings of what I’ve been loving (like turnip greens and their sweet baby roots).
Feel free to snack on the whoosh and whisper of it all:

 ~ There’s  fierce beauty in spending less than we make.

~Urgency is rarely true,  and is always a lie when it’s compulsive.

~ We are –  all of us  –  lovely to God
(don’t let shame hiss at you otherwise)

rail bloggy

 ~  “Hope is a conclusion we stay in
as we hope our way through hopeless circumstances.”
-Robin MacMillan

~There is something profoundly and deeply right with each of us.

~it takes me back home to the healer of my heart,  whispering in the cold,  brave sunshine
how Love walked right into this thumping ache of mine,  went tenderly to the room
where I feel broken,  and moved in bearing balm and comfort and courage
and “where does it hurt?”
and when the wind outside was howling chaos,
became the greenhouse where my fiercest flowers grow.

~ “…the air a library and the record of every life lived,  every sentence spoken,
every word transmitted still reverberating in it.”
-Anthony Doerr’s  All the Light We Cannot See
(potent read and a terrible beauty)

moody blog
 I'll soon be down from the trees and back in my heart's kitchen,
 stirring up something hopeful yummy to serve
  but didn't want to go silent so long so here is my little offering.
Much love and light and lift to your astonishingly beautiful heart - xoxox
(little drawing to give away a copy of my February issue zine,  Ripplesongs;
 leave a comment
 and your name goes in the fuzzy hat)

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