Solitude

Solitude Quote St Therse Shrine ImageI’m still here – just enjoying some solitude. Hope everyone had a great summer (or winter, should you live south of the equator!) and is moving into autumn with joy. (Or spring!)

My friend Cassidy Hall posted this quote on Twitter the other day, which inspired me to create this image. The photo was taken last May when I was at The National Shrine of Saint Therese in Juneau, Alaska.

John O’Donohue was an Irish poet and philosopher, a former priest, and he died suddenly in early 2008. I can still remember the shock of learning of his passing. His legacy lives on in his work. I highly recommend learning more about him. Right around the time of his death this interview was released; it is a great listen and I think you will be enchanted with the conversation.

Speaking of good listens, I highly recommend listening to the work of Cassidy Hall, Kevin Johnson, and Carl McColman via their podcast, Encountering Silence. You will find soul stirring conversation that invites us all into deeper silence. Sure – talking about silence seems counterintuitive, but I hope you will follow the path of words that will lead you to a remarkable solitude.

America the beautiful

ATB Lemon Bougainvillea

Lemon and bougainvillea, Tucson, AZ June 2019

For all of my complaining, I do love this land. If I didn’t, I would not have so many issues with what has happened and with what continues to happen. During the past week, a friend mine was posting photos of all 50 states, many of them taken by her during a lifetime of travel. Another friend sent a video of his 4th of July on Lake George. Between the two of them I was inspired to do something.

From last August to this moment I have been to Arizona three times, New Mexico, Texas, and Pennsylvania twice, to Florida, Alabama, North Carolina, Maryland, Massachusetts, Connecticut, New Jersey, and Tennessee  once. The big one was going to Alaska. I flew there stopping in Seattle for about 2 hours – does that count?

Not every state ended up in this little video, but lots of places did. So yes -while I complain a lot, I also love the great and remarkably diverse beauty of the United States. Everywhere I went, politics aside, I met the nicest people. America is indeed beautiful.

None of this gets anyone off the hook for the ugly behavior that treats human beings as less than human. Maybe we can rise to the promise and ideal that all men and women are indeed created equal. And if you  – like me – believe in God, that we are all each created in the image of that same God. How can we mistreat others or diminish them if we think of it like that?

Hello

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Hello out there! Is anyone there? It’s been a minute, hasn’t it? Normally my absence is marked by some kind of busy-ness, imagined or otherwise, but not so this time. My last post was published when I was in California for my friends’ wedding. I was out there for a wonderful week in the warm, dry, desert among friends old and new. It was a truly joyful journey.

Also, I have returned to my pre-Camino levels of exercise and this is a really good thing. I think I was inspired to move from that Cali trip. This feels like nothing short of a miracle, and will (I hope) be very good for my health!

Lastly I have been reading more, which has been great. I am working my way (slowly) through this biography of Dietrich Bonhoeffer. It is a super long book, which is one of the reasons I have not tackled it previously, but I am committed to taking my time. It seems a timely volume for the era in which we live. This photo and passage is not from the book, but it is Bonhoeffer, and it does speak to these times. And for now, that is all I will say about that.

BonhoefferLent starts Wednesday of course, I hope to be back blogging more!

What have you been up to these days?

#metoo

downloadThis is a deeply personal post full of deeply personal information, including a great deal about sexuality and abuse and lived experience. I write it because within the past 36 hours #metoo has mushroomed on the internet. In case you have not seen it, #metoo is a movement of women (and some men) posting something to the effect of “If all the women who have been sexually harassed or assaulted wrote “Me too” as a status we might give people a sense of the magnitude of the problem.” I found that specific text on Alyssa Milano’s Twitter.  You can see it from the image posted. In any event, I do not post for pity or to elicit any feelings from you about me; I write because silence indeed equals a kind of death, acquiesced to in a horrible way.

When I saw it, I quickly posted my own #metoo on Facebook, and I was pretty bowled over by the response. Within hours I noticed that a super significant portion of my Facebook friends had either commented or posted their own #metoo status. It was kind of stunning to see it all at once.

While a supporter of speaking up, a gift that I lacked when I was younger and victimized, I also have mixed feelings about the movement. That said, I’m going to try to offer a few posts about the topic starting with why I feel that way.

Why the mixed feelings?
AAtnCgFWell, that goes back a day or two earlier to #womenboycotttwitter – that came from the actress Rose McGowan. In theory I agreed with her point, but I don’t use Twitter enough to make a difference. What struck me more powerfully was Ava DuVernay’s position on that movement.  She said, “Calling white women allies to recognize conflict of for women of color who haven’t received support on similar issues.”  She is absolutely correct as far as I am concerned. Along those lines, #metoo met with a surge of interest, and it makes me sad that issues that impact women of color do not come close with this kind of attention, or people of color in general. Which by the way illustrates the baseline problem, but that’s another topic for another day.  Let’s just say that I support #BLM and #takeaknee , and doing so does not mean in any way that I am anti-police, not at all. Moving on, hope to post more about that soon.

What happened?
Back to #metoo – mixed feelings aside, I felt a deep compulsion to be very clear about saying #metoo in regard to my own life. Challenges around boundaries Continue reading

Time flies!

Gosh, it has been almost a month since I last posted. My #caminoversary began and with it daily long form Facebook posts with lots of pictures. I’ve abandoned the poor blog temporarily. *sigh* I’ve also been trying to get more exercise, and do actual real life things. Like what, you may wonder… well, I saw my favorite Beatle in concert, Paul McCartney. I went to a football game. Met a social media friend that I have always wanted to meet. (Sorry no photos!) Went hiking in PA with my two friends. Visited theh desert. Stuff like that. I’m also doing a B/W photo challenge on Facebook, that’s kind of fun. I also read some books, a lot of magazines, did some art projects.

And I’m trying not to lose my mind over:

puertoricohurricanesfiresfiresfiresthatmaninthewhitehouse
churchdividespoliticalnightmaresgaloreworldchaosandallsortsofstufflikethat.

But it is hard.

Anyway, here are some photos. Back to living, more writing to follow.

Small s sacraments, quotidian grace

144052 Like many, I was very rattled by the events in Charlottesville, and all week I was fraught with a rootless anxiety that swirled about me like the Santa Ana winds. In addition to that were the rough edges of a low level, but chronic bout of ennui, plus I saw a play about the 80’s that reminded me of the roots of today’s politics. Let’s just say it was a tough week. My outlook, generally positive despite my usual litany of complaints had tumbled.

On Saturday we attended a funeral; the mother of one of Mark’s old friends had died. Making our way out to a nearby small town on a sunny day was a small pleasure, but did not lift my spirits. My typically extroverted self was feeling some anxiety about socializing; I did not mention this to Mark, lest I give it more life.

It took us 40 minutes to arrive at this small country church, clearly a very old one.  Entering the sanctuary, we made our way into a narrow pew that one entered by opening a small door panel on the side. The size of the church did not impede the spacious feeling of the Spirit within; it was Continue reading

Invitation

imagesI’m feeling very nostalgic for the 80’s these days. Although I was inching my way to 30 and beyond as the decade progressed, it was a time when I arced through many galaxies on the journey to becoming who I am today. And yes – without a doubt – God was woven into every element of every fiber of this time.

You may wonder why I say that… Well, I lived in the juiciest years of that decade as an executive by day, but dressed all in black and skulking around dark, smoky, loud, generally unsavory nightspots when the sun went down. I stayed out too late, I smoked too many cigarettes, I definitely drank too much. And I danced and danced and danced, imagining it happiness at the time.

There were many happy moments, but happiness was what I sought. Happiness was an elusive pursuit, always bolting around the next bend before I could grasp it. And how I tried to gather it up in clenched and greedy fists, fueled by a heart that was Continue reading