Forgiveness.

I once heard Marie Howe say

that being present

hurts

a little bit.

 

Some people call her

a religious poet.

She says she isn’t sure

that fits.

 

I do think,

however,

Only a religious person could admit

any of this.

 

Religion,

That word.

It means to re-ligament.

Or, to reconnect

 

what was once adjoined.

Now separate.

 

It’s in the body,

That gap,

And also the way back

Together.

 

She’s right,

you know.

Being present hurts a little bit.

 

You have to say you’re sorry

every time.

For having ever left

 

And forgive,

and forgive,

and forgive

 

And come back.

 

Right here,

Right now,

Re-ligament.

 

I’m sorry,

you say.

And then you let go

 

Of

Getting caught up

in all your separateness.

 

Shame,

or blame

My excuses are limitless.

 

These human traps,

sticky,

and seductive, and so real

when we feel it.

 

But not true.

 

Have you ever seen a pebble shame itself?

Or a raindrop cast around blame?

 

The lilies of the field don’t worry about their clothes.

 

What did Rumi say?

“I’ve gotten free of that ignorant fist

that was pinching and twisting”

me into an illusion

of separateness.

 

So we forgive,

but we don’t forget

It’s very hard to stay.

 

Right here,

Right now.

I’m sorry, you say.

 

Followed by, “it’s okay”.

 

And then, come back, come back,

come back.

Re-ligament.

 

Of course, that hurts a little bit.

 

Nevertheless,

it’s all still here for each

and every one

of us

 

Right after forgiveness.

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Poems are better than prose sometimes.

Here’s the thing.

I grew up loving my religion.

 

It helped me to feel safe, and loved.

It offered me a moral compass,

And connected me to generosity.

 

It also taught me some unkindness –

Mostly towards myself.

 

And later still, it became too narrow

For my wild heart –

Much too reckless for these rules.

 

Doubting their simplicity, and mistrusting their cruelty.

Who gives me this authority?

 

There’s a questions I cannot answer,

Nor avoid.

Full Disclosure

I’ve been trying to write a book for nearly two years.

There’s a lot of volume there so far, and I like where it’s all headed, but frankly – it feels like being pregnant with an elephant. Elephant’s are pregnant for 23 months… did you know? When I was *literally* pregnant for a mere 9 months, I nearly combusted with anxiety about finally getting to meet my girl.

The passion I feel about this book is similar actually. In fact, my daughter and the idea for this book were conceived at almost exactly the same time. She’s 1 year and 1 week old now. I set the book largely aside once she arrived because raising her takes nearly every single scrap of my attention, energy, and focus.

When I do finally get a moment to sit down and write, I often get stuck wondering “JUST how inflated can one person be to think they have it in them to tackle the problems of one of the world’s largest religion in their spare time?!?!!”.

But, turns out: that kind of thinking doesn’t help the writing process. At all.

So, here’s what I’m going to do for now: I am going to quietly blog over here by myself. I may or may not tell anyone about it for awhile, but I’m going to choose to go ahead and write as if I had an audience because this helps me get the creative-heat out of my body and onto the page.

If this all goes according to plan – and of course, nothing truly wonderful ever does, I will eventually be sharing a very personal story about how (and why) I abandoned the evangelical Christian spiritual community of my youth, and then how (and why) I found myself wanting to heal my relationship with the church over a decade later.

Note: this is absolutely not a tale in which I will tell you about my regret over ever having left the church. I don’t regret that at all. In fact, it was one of my best moves.

 

So, in conclusion: I have no idea how to design a web page. I don’t imagine this blog will be terribly sexy by 2016 standards. It’s just gonna be words for now. Words you have to read all the way to the end. And it’s going to take more than 15 seconds to get there.

Feel free to hang with me as this all unfolds. For now, I’m grateful for your readership.