Saturday, April 9, 2011

eyes open.

From time to time, I find myself in this strange and blessed place of realizing that life - my life, even - is full to the brim with gift and love and grace.

I'm always surprised to be here, suddenly seeing again that those things I considered commonplace are anything but. It's as if I've been dreaming, the way that details blur and time passes quickly - then I'm awake, eyes open wide to light, life's seemingly mundane experiences stark with significance.

When it comes, I breathe this awareness in slow. I'm well-acquainted with Worry and her sidekick, Regret, those thieves intent on stealing time away - but no longer!, I say, and I mean it. My old companions aren't welcome here - because here, in this place surely filled with Spirit, there's simply no space.

And so I walk forward, hoping for grace to see all my tomorrows in light of this truth: that Love is coming close and giving me eyes to see.

Friday, December 10, 2010

reclaiming via rediscovery.

R E C L A I M I N G.

A friend once said that she was "reclaiming herself." I wasn't exactly sure, at the time, what that phrase meant.

...oh, Lord - am I ever now.

I've been lost, these past months, in the hazy shoulds and foggy need-tos and murky why-don't-yous of others. These advisers undoubtedly meant well, but my convictions - once a sort of beacon lighting the way ahead - were all but obscured by frustration borne of incongruence between belief and action. In the process, this girl's life became something increasingly unrecognizable - hence the need for a bit of reclaiming.

Websters' online dictionary defines reclaim as a recalling from wrong or improper conduct [as in reformation] or a restoring to a previous natural state. When personally applied, each of these re- words conveys the importance of a conscious awareness of and attention to past experiences - those that have formed us, for better or worse - in any attempt at forward motion.

Martin Luther King, Jr. said it well: "If we are to go forward, we must go back and rediscover those precious values - that all reality hinges on moral foundations and that all reality has spiritual control."

[Side note: MLK definitely gets an invite to my fantasy dinner party. Also, I'm not sure what it means that "all reality has spiritual control." Let's just run with it, shall we?]

So, I'm going back. I'll revisit the ideas that excited and invigorated me as a kid and a teenager and a college student. I'll pick up those hobbies that, for one reason or another, I set down. And I'll start recording my memories (thanks to Don Miller & his excellent book, A Million Miles in a Thousand Years, for the idea!) as I recall them - for what are we, if not a fantastic and messy conglomeration of our experiences?

Yep - it's time for R E D I S C O V E R Y.

This is gonna be good, y'all.

Monday, August 30, 2010


This day was strangely beautiful.

Amidst hauntingly-true stories of police brutality and treasure lost and found and lost again, I glimpsed goodness and grace. Each time it happens, I'm caught off guard - surely beauty wouldn't be here, so quiet and unassuming? But there it is, and it's all shiny and stand-out next to the dirt of daily life.

It's always the littlest thing - a song that speaks truth, a friend's comment, sunshine streaming through the windows just so. We couldn't plan for these moments, these quiet whispers of Love, if we wanted to - and maybe, probably, that's much of what infuses them with beauty. Each soft surprise reminds us that, though there's much that we don't yet understand, we've been born into a world so magnificent and joyful - and, yes, painful - and have not been left to fend for ourselves.

Where is beauty surprising you?

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

living simply.

Mahatma Gandhi is quoted as saying something to the effect of "there's enough for everyone's need but not for everyone's greed." Here in the States - and, generally, the West - we encounter excess and greed at every turn. I see it in the streets and supermarkets and churches of Cambridge and Boston. I see it in my clients' tired eyes on difficult days, when they long for another drink, another smoke, another hit - something more to dull the pain that itself feels excessive, too much, out-of-control. I see it, so often, in my heart and behavior - surely, I think, more money or friends or stuff will quiet the whisper that all is not well?

I've been thinking and reading lots lately about living simply. Apparently, it's become a bit of a movement where people live in tiny houses and compost just about everything - and, while intrigued, I'm not quite ready to follow in their footsteps. This idea of simplifying life, though, resonates - and, when things resonate, I start asking questions.

Is my preoccupation with the "stuff" of life - and the acquisition of more stuff - causing me to miss that which really matters?

How might I modify my consumptive habits to, in whatever small ways, create awareness of and begin to diminish the needs of others?

Would letting go of some of this stuff enable me to have greater solidarity with the [local & global] poor?

Do I really need all of these things?


I'm not demonizing having possessions - clearly, things aren't evil in and of themselves, and isn't it all a gift, anyway? I enjoy Starbucks and my iPod as much as the next gal, but I'm also convinced that life is richer, deeper, sweeter when our pursuit of spiritual growth - our own and our neighbors' - trumps our pursuit of yet another gadget.

Some folks, like this guy, have whittled their number of personal possessions to 100, most of which are necessities or items of significant sentimental value. When I think about taking on a similar challenge, I cringe - and not just a little bit - but, simultaneously, wonder how doing so would change the ways that I think about consumption and community.

rowdy kittens: social change through simple living
green living ideas: simple living
the simple way: a christian community committed to the practice of simple living

Monday, August 9, 2010

up to the mountain

Today, I slept until 1pm.

Today was a great day.

: )

I'm smack-dab in the middle of lots of changes - work, faith, life changes - and, if I'm honest, I've always been just a little allergic to the whole idea. This time, though, I'm hoping to make like a California girl (yes, you can blame Katy Perry for that reference) - just riding this wave of change and coasting toward the shore, no worries.

Isn't that how it goes? well, anyway - that's the plan.

I'll probably write here about some of those changes. I'm still trying to figure out what, exactly, this blog is and what I want it to be - so, there may be change coming to this space as well.

for now: a song that's inspiring me and helping me to breathe a little deeper these days.

Monday, June 14, 2010

speaking truth

I've found that a huge part of this exercise of posting daily is one of perseverance, persistence, pressing on when I'd rather sit down and shut up and let other people do the talking. That still sounds preferable, if I'm honest, but there's this thing: I'm gettin' bored with timidity. There's too much to be said - too many wonderful things and people and ideas in this world to discuss, to praise, to question - to be overly concerned with something so silly as what might she think? what might he say? what if what if what if?

I've been in that place, friends - so, so many times. I've said things that I think will make other people like me more, and I've kept my mouth shut in order to preserve some impression or image. Quickest way to a confused & conflicted heart, if you ask me.

Let's learn to walk a path of honesty. Let's speak the truth to one another in love. What might God do in our midst?

and because it has been too long and because life is just so good every day:
0101. rainstorms rolling in
0102. mint water, mint tea, mint gum.
0103. our funny Starbucks barista
0104. a safe place to sleep
0105. my MOM'S coming to BOSTON. on FRIDAY!
0106. answered prayer
0107. forgiveness
0108. sweet, pregnant Adrienne
0109. a week's worth of vacaaation
0110. a quiet walk home




Sunday, June 13, 2010

new old music.

I've recently discovered some excellent music. Patty Griffin, Shawn Colvin, Wilco - where have you been all my life?