Monday, August 30, 2010


in my actions
and prayers

in the breathing
in between

I open
the book
to find
indicators and signs
in sentence
and word


Resting between
the lines


in the
the margins

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Wrassilin' With "Media"

Certainly I am an Anglican, if for no other reason, in that I wrestle and struggle on the Via Media, the place and journey between faith and reason. Of course, faith (Spirit), and reason don’t exclude each other. The sometimes rough ride in the relationship between Spirit and reason is understandable. However there was a time when Spirit and science did exist in mutual understanding and the two were indistinguishable from the other, in that they were both pursuing the revelation of truth, in the workings of God in creation, and in human experience. Prior to the Enlightenment, it was then natural for reason and Spirit to work towards understanding human experience in the classical disciplines of theology, philosophy and natural philosophy, what we now call science.

It is ironic that “science”, now as some religion of the absolute, was born in the Enlightenment, as the “founding fathers” of Enlightenment were people of faith and even clerics. Science has become a religion unto its own, one only need to visit the Museum of Natural History in London to observe science’s sense of worth. Architecturally, the museum is a cathedral. If not for the sign out front, I would have expected to hear choirs rehearsing as I entered the edifice.

Before the presumed supremacy of science, Copernicus, Galileo and Newton pursued the understanding of what they called natural philosophy. They weren’t setting out to disprove God, but to understand how God set things in motion and how God then sustains these things set in motion. They didn’t view their pursuits as anything more than one part of a whole of understanding. They didn’t hold natural philosophy above theology and philosophy, they considered understanding all three components of knowledge necessary in the whole human development of people.

Do not misunderstand; I am in no shape or way “anti-science”. I love science, rational thought and reason. Nor should it be thought that because I know the spiritual life, that I or any like me should be thought of as “superstitious”. It is a narrow mind which can’t see the difference between superstition and spirituality and it is an equally narrow mind which only sees that spirituality and science must exclude each other.

There are scientists also who presume an absolute, definitive and singular attitude towards science’s ability to establish and maintain the parameters of reality. They believe in this being their realm, and themselves as its sole arbiters. There are scientists who have a holistic view of reality and knowledge, acknowledging the spiritual aspect of persona, and maintain an objectivity regarding the place of science in understanding the mystery implicit in human existence. Reason does cohabitate our existence in Spirit.

There are also those religious who have run presumptively amok, who have placed their religious beliefs ahead of everything. They assert their views as the singular authoritative, and absolute correct interpretation, of all things omniscient. They too have claimed the exclusive right to determine and dictate the parameters of reality within the confines of the God/human relationship as they believe it. This is hubris of the highest order, to attempt to put shackles on the infinite possibilities of infinite being, to restrain the discretion of the Creator in our relationships as given to us, as in loving the Creator and loving creation.

I understand this. I understand the illusion of confidence in certitude. I understand the role this illusion plays in science and religion, which seeks to put doubts to rest, to hold the primal wolves of animosity at bay. Whether one is religious or practices the religion of atheism, many of us search for an ideological anchor to both orbit around and to keep us from flying into the infinite fear of possibilities.

We all at times would be dogs on chains bound to a stake, and at times, we all perceive running in circles around the stake as freedom. It could be freedom in context to the chain’s length, but it’s not the same as running unfettered through the woods or across a field. I’ve seen dogs chained like this, at times running themselves around, winding the chain around the stake until their collar has them pinned to the stake. The smart ones though will use the leverage of the tight chain which pins them to the stake, to slip their collar and take off running, a fantastic sight! Struggles can lead to freedom.

Playing football in high school, after season, we players had a choice for how to spend the winter, make the basketball team, or in my native tongue, wrassilin. There was no other choice, we weren’t going to be allowed to do the do-nothing required to get out of shape. I wasn’t very fond of wrestling, but it did keep me in shape. Wrestling also made me stronger, more flexible and more agile. It was also very close constant contact with the challenger, sweat on sweaty and sometimes bloody grappling, striving not to be pinned between two opposing forces, the opponent and the mat. Wrestling, it turns out, was more than anything else a matching of wits, eye to eye. It was not enough to have skills, but one had to be interpreting and anticipating the opponent’s moves, thinking several moves and feints ahead, in order to gain the necessary leverage on the adversary.

Wrestling is not about the violent trading of blows, no punching, no kicking, no weapons; wrestling is grappling with the opponent and finding leverage as the subduing means. Wrestling is finding the center of mind and body, to find the balance, and leverage on the forces which weigh on you in a given space and time; good skills to have.

These days I’m wrassilin with Media, more specifically, with liturgical language which perpetuates certain non-sustainable properties to the Deity, which is a distraction from my healing relationship with God and from being healed in relationship with God, but that’s another discussion for another time. The point is I’m wrestling with this and in some ways the outcome isn’t the point, a point, but not the point. The point is found in the act of wrestling, facing the challenges, getting out on the mat, sweating, getting beat-up a little, bleeding a little and building some character, as we say. Trusting in the process because of what my intention is, to grow in the life of Spirit.

The history and traditions of spiritual life are recorded as humans struggling to understand their notions of God in context to their particular time and place, to wrestle with what it means to be in relationship with the Spirit and each other. The issues change as we have changed through history in our ancient journey; they become larger in the ever expanding circle of compassion and justice, our meaning in God and each other. It is a tremendous challenge to struggle with the Spirit and to keep-up with the ever expanding circle of God’s love; wherever we are in history, it’s hard for us to meet the challenge of the Spirit in our hearts and minds.

The wrestling mat has a circle painted on it, the ring. The challenges are inside the ring, challenges known and unknown, here and now. I must enter the margins, into the ring of mental and spiritual challenges to find my center, my strength and to accomplish growth. It’s in the ring where the Spirit challenges us to wrestle, to grow in mind, body, spirit and heart, in the ever growing understanding of what it means to love God and creation.

Monday, August 23, 2010


Under the overpass
wears a tangled
matted crown

Spirit's light
still shines
in hollow eyes

Soiled smelly clothes
hang as drapes
on spirit's bones

With broken nails
on dirty hands
spirit reaches out

Spirit sounds
in rattling lungs

Under the overpass


Sit in quiet
letting thoughts
and feeling pass through
as I listen to the silence

It is my soul
I hear singing
in harmony

It is with the sounding
of words that the
difficulties begin

Friday, August 20, 2010


How cruel is the man
who raises butterflies
only to clip their wings
when they insist upon flying

God must be
better than this

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Mystic Margins

I’m one of those people, one of those for which the mystic comes easy. The mystic experience is easy for me, always has been. I don’t know if this is because at the age of five I landed on the top of my forehead, on a concrete driveway, after being pushed from a ten foot retaining wall. I don’t know if it’s due to unique brain chemistry or extraordinary temporal lobe activity. Perhaps my mystic quotient is high for any or all of these reasons. Possibly it is that I was simply born this way. Regardless, my having real tangible mystic experience is a part of what and who I am, every bit as much as my 14 EEEE sized feet. Like my feet, I have no choice in the matter. I can pretend my feet are size 11 and squeeze my feet into size 11 shoes, but it will hurt. I can pretend that I’m not mystic, but it hurts.

In our culture, being a mystic is like being a 14EEEE sized foot in a store where the salesperson only wants to sell size 11 shoes. It’s not that there aren’t 14EEEE shoes being made, the store may not choose to sell big, OK, huge shoes. It could be the store has huge shoes, but they’re in the back of the storeroom, on the top shelf and the salesperson just doesn’t feel like making the effort to grab the ladder and make the climb to retrieve the goods. Our culture wants to squeeze us into whatever it is it’s selling or willing to look for.

Our culture has very little use or even tolerance for mystics. Perhaps mystics are part of the collateral damage of Enlightenment or the Industrial and Technological revolutions. It could be that mystics represent the elemental aspect of being a free spirit, the ultimate expression of a psyche, mind and person who can’t be reigned in and placed within the confines of culture. Religions (spiritual, scientific and political) don’t deal very well with free spirits. At some level all religions depend upon conformity among their constituents. Mystics may represent the ultimate threat to authority, because mystics are the polar opposite of an authority of culture rooted in the current controlling temporal, quantitative and materialistic philosophies of life.

I think there are more people who experience the mystic than we realize. I see the mystic experience as a primary aspect of being human; indeed a capacity for the mystic is one of the things which separate us from other life forms on earth. I believe the mystic experience comes in all shapes, sizes and degrees. Some are experienced as feelings and intuitions while others can be full-blown anomalous phenomenon.

What is a mystic experience and how is it different from other anomalous phenomenon? The primary difference in my experience is that mystic experience is centered in my spiritual life and my pursuing relationship and understanding of God, Spirit. Yet, I don’t believe in the supernatural. I believe in ordinary phenomena and anomalous phenomena.

Part of the understanding of the fullness of human experience is in moving past the misconception that there is natural or supernatural experience, which is to be believed or disbelieved. Everything which has occurrence in the cosmos occurs within the natural order and is therefore natural. We typically perceive and experience ordinary phenomena (OP) as everyday life, which is predictable or occurs within dictated established parameters of probability.

Then there are those things which fall outside the predictable probabilities around which our ordinary lives are structured, these are anomalous phenomena (AP). These AP have been labeled as “paranormal” and “supernatural” or “bunk” and “BS”. These labels represent misunderstanding or a mental conditioning and nothing more. I think the bias against AP is primarily a case of misunderstanding. In many cases, I think that our ability to prove or disprove AP has simply been in the technological limitations to observe and record AP. It’s not my intention to delve too deeply into OP and AP, I simply address AP as a reality, which many scientist take seriously, if quietly.

Albert Einstein referred to quantum physics as “spooky science”, as its core of understanding the world, is entirely up-side-down from our daily “common sense” experience of living. Go back to me, the five year old whose head hit concrete: my solid head hit solid concrete resulting in major concussion, lots and lots of blood and lots and lots of stitches. Yet, the quantum reality is that my head isn’t so solid and mostly made-up of empty space, all of which comes as no surprise to my dad. But, the same is true of the concrete which left me concussed and bloody but failed to split my skull. It too is mostly empty space. It is true there are no solids in the strictest sense.

Our bodies, large, small, attractive and less so, are small cosmic models, in that like the universe we are mostly empty space. We are subatomic, are molecules and elements loosely held together in electromagnetic forms we recognize as birds, trees, skulls and driveways, all vibrating at different rates which then when touching, cause the sensation of contact. They also cause the sense of the collision of flesh on driveways. Did you know that we never actually “touch” anything, ever? There is always a very tiny electromagnetic field around everything. It was the concrete’s field which collided with my field; its field tore my field which released energy which then tore the matter of my skin.

Consider the bizarre nature of the quantum realities in the Observer Principle. This phenomenon was noticed in the early stages of particle accelerator experiments, where subatomic particles were first observed. Scientist were initially unable to repeat experimental results, their data would not collaborate each other’s findings. These particles kept demonstrating different behavior in the experiments conducted by different scientists. It wasn’t until enough data had been collected that the particles were revealed to be behaving exactly the same, in different ways. The particles always did exactly what the individuals expected them to do. As different people expected particles to behave differently from other people’s expectations, the particles did what was expected of them by the person in control of the specific experiment. This was the consistent result of the individual experiments.

Ponder also new research in the quantum realm which has found that atoms communicate with each other, and at a rate of communication faster than the speed of light. They call this communication, teleporting. Researchers expect that in twenty years atomic teleporting communication will replace silicon as the media of data exchange in computers. This subatomic communication between particles and atoms may explain the Observer Principle, and may explain phenomena such as ESP and remote viewing.

Duke University spent decades in ESP research and proved beyond the realm of chance probability that ESP is real, with some individuals having had success rates at nearly 80%. Stanford University conducted remote viewing research which was so successful that the military took over the research as part of their intelligence program, literally “spooky stuff”. Researchers are now using full-light-spectrum cameras when researching hauntings, and are revealing shapes and forms behaving in direct correlation to haunting AP, which were never visible before to human eyes or traditional cameras. Perhaps technology is catching up, to correct and reform the orthodoxy of science.

All of this is fascinating and is intended only to open the mind to what lies beyond the common-sense or conventional thinking of our culture. It also may explain the spiritual, mystical wonder which forever remained in the heart and mind of Einstein. I’m sorry Mr. Dawkins, but despite your need to strip Einstein of his spirituality by trying to prove he didn’t really mean it, what Einstein said and wrote regarding his spirituality, he really, really meant. Otherwise, he would not have expressed them. To Mr. Dawkins’ great atheist disappointed dismay, there are millions of scientists who have spiritual and even religious beliefs. I break bread with quite a few of them weekly.

Which brings me back to the beginning; there are a great many ways to experience the mystic, whether as a large AP experience such as Saul experienced, or a small “ah-ha” in the experience of a beautiful sunset, or the embrace of a loved one. One may even develop one’s mystic quotient. Think of the mystic experience as going to the beach, the place where land and ocean meet and meld. Look around. Look out and see those people so adept in the ocean that they can swim the English Channel, very advanced stuff. These are the waters of Buddha, Isaiah, Jesus and Rumi, perhaps. Maybe we see Francis of Assisi, Gandhi or MLK out there chest deep and body surfing back into us. Most of us are content to get our feet wet; maybe we wade out knee or waist deep. Some of us will never even wet our toes in the water. If we want, we can all learn and gain confidence to swim a bit.

There is an ocean of experience available to us which in all its ways is radically different from that which we landed mammals experience. It is richly full and abundant in life and from which we draw the elements of our lives. The ocean is our origin, scientifically and spiritually, as God first breathed Spirit over and into the waters to bring forth life. The ocean feeds us. Through the cycle of evaporation, the salty ocean is even the source of fresh water for all land life. Yet it can also be perceived as a place of great danger, and if one is unwise and unprepared, it can be. Still the ocean is a constancy of beauty and bounty. So it is too with the mystic experience.

I do believe in the mystic quality innate to all humans. I believe that when anyone thinks outside of themselves to consider anyone, anything or problem beyond the immediate existential moment, then they are walking the mystic beach. Anthropologists now suspect that it was mystic experience which gave early humans the drive to move out of the darkness of caves and create communities, culture and simple technologies. Whether it was by accidental consumption of alkaloid rich fungi, or through the production of high levels of dopamine from the stress of prolonged dancing or from the natural fasting of low food levels, people arrived to a vision of life outside the mere confines of survival. Some anthropologists even suggest that these early mystic experiences triggered changes in neural DNA which led to the outrageous acceleration of culture and science of the past 10,000 years, in geologic time a mere blink of an eye, taking humanity from loose wandering proto-communities, to where we are today, like the ocean, beautiful, bountiful and at times dangerous.

It could be we begin to experience the margins of the mystic at birth, the moment where we first move from the solitude of floating in the salty waters of the womb, to contact with someone outside our insular world of prenatal solitude, and into the first hands which hold us and touch us, connecting us to someone outside of ourselves. It could begin the first time we are held to our mother’s breast and we feel good in her warmth and her feeding us, the moment we have our first sense of primal happiness given to us from someone other than ourselves.

I think it is a mistake to view our mystic/spiritual selves and realities as irrational, illogical, delusion, superstition or fantasy. Though certain cultural powers would have us disregard our spiritual mystic selves, I believe the mystic may be the most significant aspect of our humanity and to dismiss it does great harm to our human experience. The mystic is the key to long term vision of responsibility for ourselves, humanity and the earth. There is a difference between superstition and spirituality. There is in mystic the great rationality which has given birth to ethics, compassion, justice, liberty and the responsibilities of individuals to communities and communities to individuals.

I believe that whenever our thoughts and feelings move beyond the mean of survival and into the concerns and cares of others, we engage the margins of the mystic; we walk down the slope of beach to the water’s edge and wet our toes in the mystic ocean. To be mystic is to give careful thought to where we are and how we can best get to where we are going while doing as little damage as possible and while easing as much suffering as possible: are there any more rational considerations than these? As people give more thought to compassion they wade deeper into the mystic, as they begin to act more deeply in compassion, they begin to swim in the mystic waters. These waters belong to everyone who perceive and practice compassion.

My understanding of the God of Jesus is as a Spirit of love and compassion, expressed in Jesus’ directions to his followers to love God as loving each other and creation. I also believe that God is love and is manifest in our loving, in that when we love or experience love we experience God and are present with God in our loving. Then any consideration of love and compassion is to enable the mystic, and acts of love and compassion are to engage the mystic relationship between Spirit, self and creation. Here we then begin to move around within the mystic margins.

Regardless of the AP I’ve experienced as large things and small, they lead me to act on deep considerations I make regarding Jesus and his teachings, as central to my understanding, the center of my life with God and each other. Like Mary, I would “treasure all these words and ponder them in (my) heart,” so that as Paul wrote, “Christ may dwell in (our) hearts”.

Celtic Christianity holds a tradition of spirituality where we see God shining through the “thin places”, where we perceive God as not one removed from us, but here with us, around us and within us, “the one in whom we live and move and have our being”. Our ordinary daily lives are wrapped up in God. We live simultaneously in two worlds, physical and spiritual and like wet sand on the beach, the thin places are where the worlds touch and interact. At that point we may also realize that though we may not live in the ocean, we don’t actually live on the dry land we thought we did. We actually live in a gaseous sea of water vapor, the thin place that is our atmosphere. We are connected.

The mystic is a place at least of margins and the merging of me to all and all to me, a place of initiating relationships and the ever present pursuit of sustaining and deepening relationships. The mystic is the stubborn and dogged pursuit of love in all its presence and applications. Above all the mystic is being open. Be an open heart, an open mind, an open life. Be open, aware and vulnerable to the wonder and Mystery that is God and love. The Mystery is a means of grace, always present and waiting for us, to willingly engage it in our life and being, our love and relationships.

Come on down to the margin of sea and shore. Just get your feet wet, think about God, as love and think about what love really means to you, what it requires of you in your relationships with friends, family, strangers and even those who wish ill of you. Be open to the water’s invitation. See what happens in the beauty and abundance of these mysterious waters.


Don't despair
my friend

your heart
to light

and again

The choice

I too
have been
in very
dark places

Turns out
they were

Tuesday, August 10, 2010


Like thunder
all begin and end
as a whisper

Before the first inkling
and the last
the great heart
of the universe
beats again
and again

whispering its
rhythmic call

Live again

Sunday, August 8, 2010

The Violent Consequence of LGBT Discrimination in Christianity

Sometimes there are storms, but typically the tide works in slow steady measures. It comes in and out again and again as though measuring the breathing of the ocean. Our lives move in a similar fashion; we advance, we fall back, over and over, usually in small graduated and even calculated measures. History too reflects this rhythm of the universe, back and forth, round and round. This summer has provided examples of this in the efforts for our LGBT friends and family to fully exercise their God given rights as human beings.

This summer has seen The Episcopal Church ordain an openly lesbian to bishop. The Lutherans have made way for LGBT’s to be ordained and have recognized and accepted as priests LGBT Lutherans who were ordained outside their jurisdiction . The Anglican Communion, have decided for now, to allow The Episcopal Church to remain, even with gay and lesbian bishops. We have also seen California’s Proposition Eight overturned. The tide has worked its way back in, fresh full of water and abundance.

Out goes the tide as the Anglican Communion refuses to take a firm stand against violence against gays in Africa and the African bishops who promote bigotry and turn a blind eye to this violence in their provinces. The Church of England still refuses to consider a gay Dean for bishop. Here in Georgia political ads are currently being aired denouncing the idea that homosexuals have the same rights as hetero citizens…where in the Liberty Documents did the Founders state that our God given inalienable rights are only for “heterosexual men created equal”?

The legal arguments for denying LGBT’s exercise of rights they already possess are too absurd to argue here and now. We are all of the Creator, designed to live fully in the nature in which we are created, to do otherwise would be to live in an un-natural state, and would be to deny the discretion of the Creator. The scriptural arguments against full inclusion for LGBT’s in the church are simply opinion. These arguments are nothing more than a dog chasing its tail. For every person who quotes Romans 1, I can quote Romans 2 (you will never hear an anti-gay someone quoting Romans 1 also quoting Romans 2). I can remind people that Paul even referred to his writing on human sexuality as “opinion”. I can remind people that Paul wrote that in Christ there is no gender and that in Christ we are all one, which means we are therefore equal. There is no mention of homosexuality in The Ten Commandments or in The Gospel. But at this point, I’m not concerned about arguing opinion over scripture and human sexuality.

The greater concern is the consequences of these arguments denying the LGBT community, our community in Christ, their rights of full inclusion within Christianity. To violate the rights of our LGBT community is to act in violence towards them and ourselves, spiritually, emotionally, legally and vocationally. For Christianity to promote any form of violence upon our LGBT brothers and sisters is to promote all forms of violence, even physical violence and murder. Over the past ten years violence against the gay population has been on the increase. I have yet to see evidence of agnostic or atheists committing these crimes. These crimes are being committed by religious people, by Christians.

These violent Christians, these modern deluded Inquisitors, are gaining inspiration and taking comfort in words from someone. These shadow Christians are finding motivation and encouragement from someone. These contorted Christians are taking the voices of condemnation against our LGBT brothers and sisters as a blessing upon their works. Whether or not the intention of clergy who condemn the LGBT community is simply to run them out, or worse, doesn’t matter. All that matters are the end results, violence and bloodshed. Any clergy who promotes LGBT discrimination, or remains mute ultimately bears responsibility for the violence which ensues. Like Saul at the stoning of Steven, these clergy have blood on their hands. Saul didn’t throw one stone, but the stone of his heart did nothing to stop the violence. We don’t need to throw stones for ourselves to bear the stain of violence. All we need do is quietly stand mute and still in its presence.

Yet Saul was converted and transformed into the Paul who declared us all, every one of us, as One in Christ. So too are we Christians to be transformed in Christ, to declare and live as One in Christ. We are to love one another as Christ loves us. We are to live in the grace of God’s free love to us and to likewise freely love one another. Am I Saul or Paul? Our transformation, my transformation, is as ever present as is God’s love for us. Like God’s love for us which never ends, so too our being transformed by God’s love never ends. Our transformation through God’s love has no place in it for any discrimination or any form of violence towards our LGBT brothers and sisters. We are blessed by the transformative inspiration of our LGBT brothers and sisters, who refuse to abandon us, who in the face of violence against them bear witness to God’s love in their peaceful persistence, and in their determination to faithfully love in the face of those who despise them.

We bear the responsibility of loving and make ourselves accountable by our loving. We should be searching scripture for our reasons to love one another, not for reasons to with-hold our love. What matters is the loving ethic of Jesus and the Good News, as loving God and each other, to judge not and love one another as Jesus love us. We as disciples, as God’s children, have no choice but to love. To love is to believe. To love is to repent. To love is to forgive. To love is to be forgiven. To love is to be righteous. To love is to make us all blessed. This is the conversion point of our transformation.

Friday, August 6, 2010


like the knitted orb of seeds
of the dandelion
the breath of
disaster to scatter them
to the sweet earth of our mother

A zephyr
a kicking foot
a child’s breath

Blow me
scatter me
your sweet knowing
that I may flower
be known
and consumed

Wednesday, August 4, 2010


I cannot reveal
all that is heard
in the silence

Only to listen
to the secrets
beginning and end
in the lovers eyes

Monday, August 2, 2010

The Sacred Irrational

I’m coming up on an anniversary. A year ago this week, I was laid off. What a year. I have gone through nearly every emotion in the past year. I’ve had moments when I sensed a loss of faith. At times I’ve experienced depression and great anxiety, my stomach even slightly turns as I write. I’m not ready for chewable “real fruit flavored” calcium tablets yet. They are nearby though, relief in a plastic bottle and a subsequent cotton mouth.

My dear darling cousin posed a question a few days back, “What do you do when your faith dies?” I guess she wanted to ask someone who is well practiced in such experiences, as I know what it is to have faith die… many times. I’ve also experienced faith reborn, most times.

I don’t know anyone who hasn’t lost faith at some point or another. Loss of faith comes in many sizes and degrees, yet we all experience it. This is one of the common things which can help bind us together. I think we all travel the same path in the life of our souls, only under different circumstances and at different paces, as though we are walking to the rhythm of a different song in our heads and hearts. Yet we all pass by the same road markers as we move along. Sometimes we end up in a ditch by the road and folks pass us by until we hear someone’s encouraging word and take a helping hand up.

I really don’t know what’s going to happen over the next several weeks. They will be hard, trying to make rent, pay bills and find work, me and 9,999,999 other folks. In these times, I wonder how many of them like me have asked themselves, “Where is God, ‘cause he ain’t in my checking account.” But I know better in my heart of hearts.

Augustine described the relationship of Trinity as “Lover, Beloved and Love”. I also see the Trinity as a template of our bond as God, Me and You, a simplified form of “love God and your neighbor”.

Relationships are where I find the Spirit to be alive. Relationships are being alive.

What for me has been restoration of faith has been found in the healing of the stubborn insistence to love and be loved. I've also found that when my faith has been lost or died, what was lost was faith in things or ideas, hopes or desires ("good" and "bad) which had no final bearing on loving, our godliness.

For me loving relationships are testimony to the reality of God, the first love, the miracle of that which has no meaning other than the sacred irrational decision to participate in love. The answer for me to keep going is simply to keep going, to not dwell in the place of anxiety, but to again keep moving to dwell in the sacred place of relationships, God, me and you.

The past year has been horrid economically. It has been a year full of anxiety, a year full of self-doubt.

It has also been one of the very best years of my life. I have been emptied out and filled with something new. I have done volunteer work. I have been in self-examination, doing what therapists call “the work”. I have discerned. I have studied and meditated. I have written poetry, a lot of poetry. I have also had more time for family. I’ve had more time for my parish family and have become very involved there. My dog Faldo has been very happy too, having me around more. In everyway but one this has been one of the very best years of my life.

The only way to explain it is in my growing relationships, the wonderful beautiful people the psalmist describes as “being gods” who have reached out to me and given me the amazing ability to reach back. I still have a lot of trouble asking for help, but I’m better as I realize our foundational prayer is comprised of requests for help too, so it really is OK to ask for help.

I am reminded in the past year that God also resides between us, in the otherwise empty space we fill with compassion, love, help, hugs as needed, and much needed laughter, the sound of angels singing. In God’s nature, God is compelled to fill emptiness and we are the vessels used to pour out Spirit to each other. We are filled; emptied, filled again and so it goes. So many have filled my emptiness for which I’m so grateful.

I have toyed with virtually every form of pleasure seeking, but have never found anything that feels as good as love, loving and being loved. The relationship of love with others is unmatched. I have been determined to fill others likewise, as I can. It feels good. I don’t know what the future brings, but I’m confident that I am being loved for something other than my employment or economic status, which could be the best part of this past year.

Much has died in the past year. With the love of Spirit and with the love of the many who have shared their love with me, much has been reborn.

Happy Anniversary!