Friday, August 28, 2020

Taking It In

We were floating on a mountain lake, a few steps off the Pacific Crest Trail. That’s when the dragonfly showed up. For most of her life, this exquisite Being is just an aquatic nymph without wings. She lives just below the surface of the water. She breathes out of the gills in her rectum. Most of human life is also stuck on the surface, pursuing legacy projects and building brands. Our ego games make about as much sense as breathing out of our butts. Like Spirit, the dragonfly hovers over the waters. She is adaptable and flexible. What it takes to transform. She was beckoning us to lighten up like her. To stop taking ourselves so seriously. So we, too, can fly. 

Physical, economic, emotional and spiritual pain continue to proliferate from the collateral damage of a coronavirus pandemic which came for a country totally unprepared. We lack the safety nets of “socialist” countries and “indigenous” societies scripted by a collective mentality that seeks to protect and serve everyone. Over the past five months, we’ve talked to many friends trying to figure out what to do in the wake of losing jobs, mental and physical health, unemployment benefits, home, school, health coverage, childcare, social connection while coping with these (and more) with denial, distraction and/or addiction. 

More and more, we have been leaning into a spiritual and political vocation that requires presence over production, perfection, and performance. The work of soul accompaniment requires of us a commitment to rigorous daily practice: centering and grounding so that we can be emotionally available--to Spirit, self and whatever is right in front of us. We are prioritizing what Francis Weller calls “the primary satisfactions:” facilitating deep and meaningful dialogue, being mutually vulnerable with a few comrades, and spending soul time in wilderness spaces where water, wind and winged creatures watch over, prod, and guide us. We are also immersing ourselves in reading, writing, play, prayer, fasting, somatic practice, therapy, spiritual direction, and 12-step recovery. We are convinced that the present moment requires no less of us. And that to remain awake and ready (instead of reactive to the 24-hour-news cycle) - in a U.S. western, entitlement-driven culture, so ready to hand out numbing, consumerism, and denial around every corner - is the vital spiritual work of our time. It is more important than ever that we each do our part to care for and keep one another's courage up. 

We live in a disorienting world that is indefinite and ever changing. What will life look like tomorrow, next month...or in 10 weeks when we vote in yet another historic election? The candidates from the two major parties are both far from perfect. We are discouraged that neither option has a plan to eradicate poverty; decrease budgets for police, prisons, ICE and the military; guarantee health care for all; fulfill treaty rights with Indian country; abolish corporate campaign contributions; guarantee green jobs; or support the BREATHE Act. But there’s no doubt: the differences do matter. There's plenty more to come. The frenzy and fury of this race will intensify in September and October and, on November 3, we have grave concerns that votes will be heavily suppressed in key swing states. 

This is a lot for our souls to take in. In the next 10 weeks, we will need each other more than ever. If you need to talk, rant, confess, weep, laugh, analyze or pray, please do not hesitate to reach out. Kardia Kaiomene is a ministry of mutuality. We thrive on being vulnerable with a few dear friends (you!) who are also willing, wanting and needing space to share honestly. This is how we heal and get free from the old scripts and patterns playing in our heads. Collective liberation is contagious. It spreads like a virus. Soul to soul. If you would like to check-in with either of us, just email, call, text or direct message and we’ll lock it in on the calendar. Beloved community is beckoning.






Thursday, June 25, 2020

MRI

Rev. Roz on the spiritual front-lines in Detroit
"Normal is overrated"--Rev. Roslyn Bouier

Rev. Roz zoomed into our digital church service from Detroit a few weeks ago to bear witness to what's been going on in the Brightmoor neighborhood of Detroit where she serves as a community pastor and the executive director of Brightmoor Connection Food Pantry. Joblessness. Illegal home foreclosures. Water shut-offs. Infant mortality. Rev. Roz was describing life before the pandemic. It's only gotten worse, with high rates of Covid-19 and a city leadership lagging (and lying) about restoring running water to long-time, low-income residents. There is a re-connection fee and Rev. Roz has raised more than $25,000 to help her neighbors pay.

Tuesday, April 21, 2020

A Portal

Historically, pandemics have forced humans to break with the past and imagine their world anew. This one is no different. It is a portal, a gateway between one world and the next. We can choose to walk through it, dragging the carcasses of our prejudice and hatred, our avarice, our data banks and dead ideas, our dead rivers and smoky skies behind us. Or we can walk through lightly, with little luggage, ready to imagine another world. And ready to fight for it.
Arundhati Roy

Greetings from Central Oregon. Three weeks ago, we moved across town into a one-bedroom cottage a couple blocks from what the Northern Paiute people called Towarnehiooks ("Deschutes River"). Our place is small and we are sheltering in. For the past six years, we have been working together while consistently navigating new contexts. Now a pandemic. We really are stuck with each other! We are learning firsthand the unique challenges that couples face in this new, indefinite season. And we are deeply grateful that, if indeed this pandemic is a portal into Another World, we get to walk through it together. Almost impossible to fathom it otherwise!

Monday, March 23, 2020

Cocoon Time

San Clemente, CA
Look closely at the present you are constructing: it should look like the future you are dreaming.
Alice Walker

Two weeks ago, Lindsay flew to Orange County to get six days with her mom, sister and the nephews. Those six days doubled in length and quadrupled in intensity. She suddenly found herself quarantining and homeschooling. Meanwhile, Tom drove to Portland to pick up his mom. No way in hell she was getting on a plane flying out of the Pacific Northwest! They road-tripped down to Orange County as businesses shuttered and residents sheltered.

We are grateful for the resources and flexibility to be able to connect with family during this dramatic shifting of heaven and earth. We drove back to Bend on Saturday and facilitated our first Zoom church gathering on Sunday morning (left) with Storydwelling, a faith community of belonging, ritual and resistance. At the beginning of March, we began a four-month stint as the interim pastors while their pastor Erika is on parental leave. For the Zoom gathering, we spent time with seniors in full quarantine mode and parents with little ones out of school and workers on sick leave, some with pay, others without. We will host this digital faith community every other Sunday at 10am, in addition to facilitating a virtual lectio divina gathering on the other Sundays at 7:30pm.

Monday, March 9, 2020

Shimmering

Towarnehiooks ("Deschutes River")
A circle of lovely, quiet people becomes the ring on my finger.
Rumi

We love facilitating spaces that cultivate what our deepest selves yearn for: the nurture of soul, the strengthening of community and the amplification of hope. Most of this kind of creative experimentation seems to be happening outside the walls of “institutional” churches. We desperately need fresh wineskins for the new wine fermenting inside us and around us. We feel commissioned to create new kinds of containers that can hold what is good, beautiful and true.

Monday, February 3, 2020

To Make America What It Ought To Be

“In this country American means white. 
Everybody else has to hyphenate.”—Toni Morrison

We The People of Detroit
(www.wethepeopleofdetroit.com)
As most Americans know, February is Black History Month. We are grateful for this national focus on an alternative perspective of America. It is a perspective that is transforming us spiritually. At the memorial service for Dr. James Cone, Cornel West described the Black church like this:

A people who have been traumatized for four hundred years,
but taught the world so much about healing,
terrorized for four hundred years,
but taught the world so much about freedom,
hated for four hundred years,
but taught the world so much about how to love.

Yes. In our own spiritual journey, this is one of the traditions that we are humbly pledging allegiance to. Ruby Sales (left), a veteran of the Black Southern Freedom Struggle of the 50’s and 60’s, reminded a group of us white men in Washington D.C. in October, that despite all they’ve suffered (and still suffer), there’s never been anything remotely like a Black al-Qaeda in the United States. Instead, Black people have embodied belovedness in a million different ways for the world to see.

Friday, December 20, 2019

Bye Bye


Hope is not the conviction that something will turn out well, but the certainty that something is worth doing no matter how it turns out. 
Václav Havel

Before we pull a Dame Lillard and wave bye bye to 2019, we are embracing a time of hibernation to stare into the rear-view mirror. As it is with every year, this one has had its highlights and hard times. 

In January, we facilitated conversations around Tom's book from San Clemente, CA to Victoria, BC. Then we celebrated our 14th anniversary in Corvallis, OR (where Tom's parents met in 1963) and got our first tattoos. 

In March, we moved out of Michigan and pitched our tents in Central Oregon. 

In April, fifteen hours after the greatest Oregonian hit his 37-footer at the buzzer, our nephew Milo Brooks was born three hours away in Bend. A pretty good day. 

Taking It In

We were floating on a mountain lake, a few steps off the Pacific Crest Trail. That’s when the dragonfly showed up. For most of her life, thi...