Saturday, December 15, 2012

Going Home

Three years ago at this time my Mom was dying. We didn't know it at this time, but by the end of January she was gone...  Her funeral was held at the chapel at the funeral home.  Some kind Quakers offered their clapboard church, but in the end we decided to just come together on the couches at the funeral home and sit and share for a spell.  Johanna read the 23rd Psalm, My Sister's friend sang, Doug preached, My Uncle read some of my Mom's poems....

I heard someone comment recently that when your parents die the umbilical cord is finally fully cut.

During my Mom's sickness I spent several months in Buckley, but I never once returned to the church of my childhood.  Many of the people I knew from church are older now and would have been in Florida anyway.  Moreover, the church is now fast on its way to becoming a mega-church, which I guess means that it is "successful." However, for what ever reason, I just couldn't deal with its new "slickness,"  the coffee bar, the hipster vibe, the snazzy new name.  Of course, the place exists for those folks who live in Buckley and it needs to respond to their needs......

But, I have to admit that I would like to  be able to finger that prominent ridge in the middle of the hymnal and open the book predictably to "Trust and Obey."  If only there was some eternal present where Barb Warner could teach my children about Sunday School Charlie. . .

 I couldn't care less of the website's self-serving numeracy from 50 to 500!

This Summer my Dad moved away from Buckley.  I still own a home there, but have been seriously considering severing that last time.

Life just marches forwards and you can't always go home.

When my Mom died two old ladies came to the funeral from the old Buckley Tabernacle.  They hugged me fiercely like they did on the day I was baptized.. .  In their fellowship, I will remain all the days of my life.  We spend our lives shedding shelter after shelter, from womb to womb, until we stand naked as we came before the judgment seat of Christ.

But on this journey we have companions.....  Pilgrims who seek a permanent dwelling place.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

For Clarity's Sake

Doug following his moral binoculars :)
I am having a lot of trouble with focus.  I blame the computer.  I blame the children.  I blame Doug.  I blame an over-busy schedule.  On a practical level this means that I am having a hard time finishing up the thesis, of writing--yet another--job application, of getting my courses prepped for the Spring;  On a deeper level this means that I am having a trouble keeping my spiritual, ethical, religious feet on the ground.  I flit and flee and fly along from this passion or to this one (or was it 'that one.")  I am not thinking as well as I would like, caring as deeply as I would like, choosing wisely enough between options.

I could write a bibliographic essay that discussed all the books written on this kind of problematic of the (post-)modern soul--without moorings, without buffers, atomistic, bumping along after that last Hobbesian desire....  But, I won't.  I'll save that for my dissertation. I will just re-assert my continued battle against this kind of self-fracturing.  I keep fighting.



Sunday, December 2, 2012


The tree is ready to be trimmed. (The cats have been skulking around it all morning.)  The gingerbread house is constructed on the table.  It is good to begin marking the time by marking our space.  Time again moves towards that birth: at times trudging like kids in "too big" boots, at times carefully and  slowly (like Simeon and Anna must have walked,) at times in the too-busied steps of harried adults (impatient with the meanderings of kids and old folks,) at times marching, on order, unclear if the orders are from Herod or not.  We move in all of these disjointed ways, and yet we hold out faith that as we dither and circle, and walk and drum that time actually moves on as steadily and unfailingly and as ploddingly faithful as those donkey's steps.  Moving us again towards incarnation and deliverances and the renewal of hopes too easily dashed.