24 March, 2016

Do This

The pastor's words were always the same. Eventually I could predict the inflection of his words and every pause for emphasis.  The table would be "fenced": Unbelievers were warned against partaking, with no explanation other than that they might eat and drink judgment on themselves. This was confusing to a child - What sort of wrath could be conveyed by such plain bread and sips of wine? We remained in our seats and waited while the trays were slowly passed around by solemn men in blue blazers. I always leaned in to smell the sweet wine as it passed. It was as alluring as anything one can't have. I watched the adults sip and chew slowly, keeping their heads down and their eyes closed. It was painfully silent. I was too young to understand why this meal was something to desire.

07 March, 2016

The Practice of Practice

Every Monday night I huddle around a desk in the basement of a government building with 10 other people. We pour over sheets marked with complex guidelines and symbols. Our leader sits at the desk writing silently, and we hold our breath in anticipation, knowing that after her last pen stroke she will issue us a new challenge.

It’s calligraphy class.

17 December, 2015

To Join the Story

When I was 4 years old a trailer began airing on TV for an upcoming Disney movie.  I didn’t catch what the story was actually about, but I was dazzled by an image of silver spoons diving into a bowl of punch in one beautiful fanning motion. It was the longing of my little heart to see that movie with the SPOONS. (Don’t you sometimes miss the tiny but true-hearted objectives and victories of childhood?)

One day a few months later Mom told us that she would have a surprise for us after all our schoolwork and chores were done.  We flew through our duties, ran to the living room, and sat down on the couch in an orderly line, looking as sweet and responsible and deserving as we possibly could.  

Mom walked into the living room holding something behind her.  She slowly drew it out for us to see, and it was...THE SPOONS MOVIE (otherwise known as Beauty and The Beast).  Oh, my heart!  What a sublime moment!  I hadn’t even told my parents of my interest in seeing the movie ...but mothers have an extra bit of magical intuition and so here it was, our very own copy to watch and memorize and sing along to.  As it turned out, there was a lot more to the story than dancing spoons.  There was some good stuff about sacrificial love turning hopeless creatures into their truest, best selves.

09 December, 2015

Even the Stones

For You, O Lord, our souls in stillness wait
Truly, our hope is in You

I’ve been singing this song a lot lately, but with a sorry lack of conviction.  These days my soul feels anything but still. In this month that is all about waiting, receiving, and rejoicing, I am running on fumes and doing more striving, more burdening myself with impossible standards, more “Why is my calendar so full?” than anything else.  I haven’t just reached my limits; I seem to have set up camp there. I would send you a postcard, but the view is a little bleak.