Wednesday, March 6, 2019

Transition Time [Again]


And when they spy
on us
let them discover
us
loving.
Alice Walker, Taking the Arrow Out of the Heart (2018)

February sent us south to Southern California for more book readings, a baby shower for our sister-in-law Casey and our annual staffing of the Bartimaeus Kinsler Institute 100 miles north of Los Angeles (see this for some of Tom's reflections). But before all this, Casey and Greg (Lindsay's brother) treated us to our first excursion on cross country skis. When the Cascades call, we come.

Monday, February 4, 2019

Family, Friends and Ferries

Something as simple as 
the 
sun 
asking me 
out. 
Nayirrah Waheed, "the perfect date," Salt (2013)

Corvallis, Oregon

We left the California coast for the Pacific Northwest on January 10th after time with family and book readings in Pasadena and San Clemente. After a week off in Bend, Oregon, we hit the road for Kirkland, Washington where we re-connected with the Rutenbars, beloved community partners from our days in Orange County. We had a fascinating book gathering in nearby Woodinville with former staff from Saddleback Church (now at a megachurch in Seattle) and joined by a cluster of dear friends we've gotten to know over the past five years. It was a deep and encouraging time with a circle that included many pastors, a theology professor, a spiritual director and a couple who work with teens recovering from substance abuse.

Sunday, January 6, 2019

Serving Up 2018

A sign from Steadfast Love.
It's time to slow down
Be nobody's darling;
Be an outcast.
Take the contradictions
Of your life
And wrap around
You like a shawl,
To parry stones
To keep you warm.
Alice Walker

2018 flew by quicker than a first serve from Serena Williams. And, just as it is staring across the net at the greatest athlete ever, it was often hard to see clearly enough to return what Life delivered. 2018 was a blur of travel and recovery, often resulting in some form of illness. Like a grinding loss in the finals of a Grand Slam event only to gear up for the next tournament.

2018 was one gigantic, exquisite privilege to soak in dear friends and spaces, old and new, all over the country from Southern California to Seattle to Atlanta to Charlottesville to Philly to Minneapolis to Denver to Oregon. And back again. And down for the count again. Sustainability beckons in 2019. That's a promise, not a threat. Like mustard seeds, superlatives sprouted up along the Way. We offer this 2018 recap of mosts, firsts, worsts and bests from our Journey.

Sunday, December 2, 2018

Distance

There's a hole in the middle of the prettiest life 
So the lawyers and the prophets say. 
Not your father nor your mother nor your lover's ever gonna make it go away. 
Now there's too much darkness in an endless night 
To be ashamed of the way we feel. 
Let's be kind to each other 
Not forever but for real.
David Wilcox, "For Real" (1996)

November has been a blur. The month began with the two of us separated by 2000 miles. Lindsay flew to Orange County at the end of October to immerse herself in important relationships and projects, while Tom stayed behind in Michigan for a veritable bevy of events on the calendar. "Dividing and conquering" sounds far too colonizing, but it was something like that. We re-connected mid-month for family time, some book gatherings and the wedding celebration of Chris and Alyssa Dollar on the beach in San Clemente!

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

The Way

Society miseducates us. Society gives us a lot of prompts and a lot of encouragements to be reactive, emotionally reactive. In this, we have received tremendous tutelage. So the ability to do what our societies seem incapable and unwilling to do is important. It's incumbent upon us to be reflective, to be complex, to be subtle, to be nuanced, to take our time.
Junot Diaz

Over the past four years, right around this time of year, we have been repeatedly baptized into the anticipation of autumn. The temperatures drop and the leaves glow. At least for a few weeks. We are currently peering into that brief window on the calendar. And it is glorious.

Monday, October 1, 2018

Book It

We begin to ask ourselves: 

“Why do I spend so much of my life trapped like this, on the outer circumference of the inner richness of my own life? 

Why do I spend so much time unaware of that which alone can fulfill my heart?” 

This aching or longing is our teacher. It helps us to realize that we are called to something infinitely beyond what any egocentric pursuit can offer us. And then in obedience to that teacher we set out on this path.
James Finley, The Contemplative Heart (2000)

This month, we are back in Michigan, celebrating the release of Tom's book Descending Like a Dove: Adventures in Decolonizing Evangelical Christianity. It is available on Amazon.com here. The book project has been a full-time labor of love over the past two years. It recounts growing up in Evangelical circles and some of the nurture we received there, as well as chronicling the many ways we became disoriented by that movement as we journeyed through, and eventually out the other side of it over time. However, most of the book is a series of stories about people we've met along the way, and the ways that a more critical and compassionate faith speaks to the issues of our world. And to us. We commissioned our sister-in-law Casey to do the art and design for the cover (see more of her work and hire her for a project or event here).

Friday, August 31, 2018

Listening

Mt. Hood, Oregon
I don't know exactly what a prayer is. 
I do know how to pay attention, how to fall down 
into the grass, how to kneel down in the grass, 
how to be idle and blessed, how to stroll through the fields, 
which is what I have been doing all day. 
Tell me, what else should I have done? 
Doesn't everything die at last, and too soon? 
Tell me, what is it you plan to do 
with your one wild and precious life?
Mary Oliver, "The Summer Day"

This month, we've been on the move. First, we hauled our belongings to a one-bedroom place on the other side of the river in Ypsilanti. The landlord is still working on the flooring so he's allowing us to store our goods until mid-September. On the day we moved (July 31), Lindsay flew to Southern California for a week of being with family and friends and Tom drove the silver Corolla (188,000 miles and counting) across the frontier towards Oregon territory. He visited dear friends in Kansas and Colorado and, along the way, stopped at St. David, Illinois, the birthplace of his maternal grandmother Elizabeth Griffith. We met back up on August 7 in Bend, Oregon, at the home of Greg and Casey (Lindsay's brother and sister-in-law). We get to stay with them until September 11!

Transition Time [Again]

And when they spy on us let them discover us loving. Alice Walker , Taking the Arrow Out of the Heart (2018) Febru...