The Connecting River

As she drives from Atlanta, away from a city church in the city lights, the darkness frames a distant memory: stars.  Not just the dippers, but “stars between stars, a virtual curtain of stardust upon which the larger constellations were hung.” She’s following these stars to a one-room white clapboard church where she will become its first female rector.  She’s also driving away from a certain striving – which it turns out, will follow her anywhere.

LeavingChurchThis beautiful book by Barbara Brown Taylor (BBT) offers a rare transparency from a person inside the clerical robes.  The countryside speaks to her faith. Its pages are full of spiritual honesty and earthy appreciation, as if Henri Nouwen were lost on a nature walk with Mary Oliver. Continue reading “The Connecting River”

After It Ends

Yoga class, late sun in the window, glowing onto my face. I’m at work, of all places, in a bright conference room with chairs pushed to the walls. The instructor’s voice is quieting now. Lying back in Savasana pose, a screen of sunlight across my lower eyelashes is more blinding than enlightening. Squinting, I see the Sycamore trunk outside is dappled with patches of color like an oil painter’s melancholy palette.

It’s an ending, he is saying, every new beginning is. Yoga is the balance of opposites, and there is no moment like this one. As this practice ends, the rest of the evening begins, he says, and think about how you will live it.

To me, it’s bigger than an evening. I’ve been told I have just three months Continue reading “After It Ends”

Unbundling My Bias

“Let me first say that I am biased now and always will be,” Rob said, after I finally found the guts to call him.  It seemed safe to confide in him since he lived so far away.

I called hoping Rob would know how I felt – since he had also spent time in a close-knit Christian community that didn’t – on paper – approve of his daughter’s sexual orientation.  I was still in the early stages then, not yet talking locally about it but needing to know I wasn’t alone.

He did know how I felt, and talked me through it.  Continue reading “Unbundling My Bias”

Pleasing Others

I’m in the midst of a job change now after nearly 10 years, after somehow working my way into the Committed Club.  You know the Club, you’re probably in it too.  The Club is for people who go above and beyond, even when no one is looking, in order to please…. who exactly?

White Women, serigraph on paper, by Hannah Hislop
White Women, serigraph on paper, by Hannah Hislop

Even after giving notice, my manager is still pouring on the requests and I am still – still – trying dutifully to fulfill them, on my way out the door.  But instead of writing about his high expectations, I once again have to own this – this is me and now that it’s happened in two significant parts of my life, it’s clear that I am the common thread.

Yet another strand to unwind from this spool of yarn deconstructing all over my floor.

I did the same as a volunteer.  My organization of choice just happened to be the church. Now that we have attended a new church for a few months, Continue reading “Pleasing Others”