Important Disclaimer

Since I currently have several employers/supervisors/churches/etc., please know that none of the words on my blog represent them or their beliefs. This blog is my own creation.

It also does not represent my children's perspective, nor my mother's; they think I am funny, but misguided.
(Quick update: only my mother thinks I'm funny now.)

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Advent Foolishness: Hope

Was thinking today
about the difference 
between 
getting by 
and finding joy. 
And how sometimes 
I find joy in getting by and 
how other times I get by 
without finding joy.
And how this isn't 
really a poem
but more
a bit of foolishness
broken up into
lines
that don't
make any sense.
And how that
might be the secret
to getting by
and
finding joy:
foolishness
broken up into
lines
that don't
make any sense.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Turkey Blessings


Photo by U.S. National Archive
I attended a Thanksgiving lunch today at Rider University, where I am the protestant chaplain. They asked me to give a "closing blessing", which I interpreted to mean a benediction of sorts. So I did, and here it is.

Friends, we are gathered today to give thanks for the gift of community and the opportunity to share a meal with one another. Here at Rider we enjoy plentiful meals, companionship, the chance to learn from one another, and a safe environment full of warmth, electricity, the internet, and people who care for us. 
As we leave here today and as we leave campus to return home, let us remember that there are many who do not have these luxuries. We exist at this moment in a particular place of privilege following the destructive storm in October which has left many people homeless and housing vulnerable along the East Coast and outside the U.S. in the Caribbean. 
Beyond that, we have gathered in this room a tremendously talented pool of students, faculty and staff. We have been given much, for which we give thanks. We have much to offer the world, may we do this also. 
May you go from this full meal of good food and feast of brilliant words, to go into the world to stand in solidarity with others. May your heart inspire your work, and may your work be of good use to our larger communities beyond this campus. May your spirits be lifted by the promise that we are not alone in this world. May you feel strongly the ties that bind us to one another. 

Friday, November 2, 2012

A Tangled Web of Nothing

I haven't blogged in a while, mostly because I've been very busy living and working. Blogging takes dedicated hours of time, and I've not had any of those lately. Or actually, I haven't had any dedicated hours of time that I was willing to give to blogging.

October was Domestic Violence Awareness Month, and last year I dedicated quite a bit of blogging time to that subject. This year, I felt the weight of memories in a different way and stayed silent. I'm working in and around a lot of other people's triggers, memories, and fears on a daily basis, and I've cherished the quiet times I can carve out with no people around. 

I miss writing regularly.

This month is National Novel Writing Month, or NaNoWriMo for short. Thousands of people take 30 days and write a 50,000 word novel, beginning November 1 and crossing the finish line by November 30. None of us are pretending this will be the novel of the century, but many of us will actually finish a complete novel, and how cool is that?

Last year I started a novel I called "The Snail." I got stuck and distracted, and didn't get through it. But this year I thought I would try again. This year's novel shall be called, "A Tangled Web of Nothing." 

Between the busyness and the extra-tropical-storm Sandy and the heaviness of memories that lurked last month, I think my state of mind might be best described as a tangled web of nothing. Here's to hoping that regular writing will make something of those strands.

If you're doing NaNoWriMo this year, my user name is grammercie. Feel free to friend me there. Or comment here and I'll cheer you on.

There is something about putting words to paper that clarifies, shapes, re-invents, invigorates me. As much as sabbath, putting pen to paper is about restoration and spiritual discipline. So here goes.