Thursday, July 31, 2008

changing it up

Man, I look at my blog archives and I really used to write here. Oh, how I miss that! I don't know what it is about this year that writing has not been the medium with which I pour forth all that's been swirling around inside. I've tried not to be too hard on myself, but at the same time I know that writing is a discipline, and all the various benefits (the catharsis, the processing, the support from those who choose to read your words) are the result of such work. Perhaps it's that I'm not ready to process it all, that this year has been about reaching out and identifying the tools I'll need to work through it, when I'm ready. It's definitely involved a fair amount of holding others up in their times of struggle - perhaps the best therapy there can be when you're in the midst of your own.

I have been doing a lot of writing in my head - especially in preparation for my departure for Kenya (mid September!) and will get a new blog to chronicle that experience up soon. I know that I will need to write about this. I pray that I'll have the stamina to process it all on the page - because it is by far the biggest thing I've done yet (and the scariest, and most exciting!). I want to be present in the whole experience, and I know writing will be key.

I have found my voice off the page in a more literal sense this year, and after sending a pretty lame garage band recording (voice/guitar only) of a Coldplay song to some friends, my dear friend Phil returned the following to me. Since I've offered so little by way of words on the page lately, here's a bit of my actual voice. Thanks to those of you who still visit this space, share your own words and are keeping your stories going on your own blogs. I treasure this community and look forward to sharing my next steps with you!

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Wednesday, July 23, 2008


I was sitting at dinner tonight having a heavy discussion with my dad when I was struck with an image. I saw a delicate pottery bowl with a beautiful glaze reminiscent of a blue tile-bottomed pool. In the bowl, which was deeper than a normal bowl, was crystal clear water. If the bowl was set down and still, the reflection from the glaze would make it hard to see the liquid therein - it would be just one fluid piece of mass. But if you were to pick up the bowl and try to walk with it, the water would start to move around the interior, banking against its perfectly smooth sides, gaining momentum with each step as it would slosh forward, then back, then forward again. At any moment it would threaten to break over the side of the dish, to make its presence known on the ground or surroundings outside of the glazed haven it comes from.

How then to keep such liquid still? How then to prepare the world for its inevitable overflow? How then to prepare yourself?

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Friday, July 11, 2008

grace and glory

You're in the midst of moments full of fear,
the unknown looms in a way you never imagined you'd be afraid of.

The necessity of leaving, of stepping away from the first real comfort you can remember.
The special moments you know you'll miss - the distance you're departure is sure to create.

These thoughts weigh heavy on your heart, your eyes droop with the tears of saying goodbye, even though goodbye is weeks, neigh months, away.

It's all in preparation, all in advance notice, all in protection of your fragile heart.

How to leave those you love, and who love you the most?

Then it hits you - the glorious reality of it all. You are loved! You are surrounded by those whose lives matter to you, whose joy matters to you. Distance means nothing in relation to this.

And as your adventure opens up before you, you are struck with the sheer magnitude of it all. How is it that you should be fortunate enough to be walking into the life you are about to take on?

There are no words, there is nothing that can capture the enormity of having turned dreams into reality.

But knowing you go with the wings of those you love behind you, this is the most glorious thing of all.

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