Okay, so humans can’t really fly, at least not by themselves. As usual, our beloved Ron Swanson has spoken a deep truth: humans have had dreams of flying since the beginning of mankind. We spend time thinking about dreams that exceed our natural limitations. However, we rarely consider how many miraculous acts are already within our reach. We are capable of walking, dancing, jumping, skipping, crawling, stretching and contorting into funny shapes, making weird faces, drawing works of art, swimming, climbing, beatboxing, singing…. the list is endless. For the amount of time we spend dreaming of humanly impossible feats, how often do we consider the wide range of movement and skills that the human body is capable of developing? Even acknowledging that different human beings have different capabilities, and not everyone is capable of some physical movements (and that’s okay!)– generally all of us (except perhaps those who are comatose or live with some extreme illness) have a wide range of movement available to us. How often do we take time to reflect and appreciate — and furthermore just fully make ourselves present in and inhabit those forms of movement? How often do we express gratitude to our bodies for all they do for us? Even the parts of our body that may sometimes bring us shame, whether self inflicted or because of expectations imposed by society, or some combination of both [looks down] – yes pot belly, I’m talking about you. The pot belly that brings me conflicting emotions also cheerfully and dutifully carries my excess fat so the rest of me doesn’t have to! Continue reading →
Today I was reflecting on my trip to California, and I was thinking about how beautiful the west coast was — and so easy to see and find the beauty — the mountains and nature and ocean were all around us. Here in Memphis it can be harder to see. I noticed how beautiful the clouds and sky are here– big fluffy whipped cream kind of clouds. I looked up and noticed how beautiful the trees are — we are literally living where a forest once lived, and pieces of the forest still survive today. I was thinking about how important it is to see beauty, because beauty — and I say beauty, not just attractiveness or aesthetically pleasing design — beauty, itself, is a physical representation of Joy. A retail store and parking lot might be ugly and grey and depressing — but inside, the cashiers, the customers, are living, breathing, beautiful souls. In their hopes and dreams and laughs and kindness there can be so much joy. And even in Memphis, which is so scarred with trauma and tragedy and violence, there is still joy pushing up through the cracks. I want to get better at seeing beauty and seeing joy. I want to get better at looking past the grey, and seeing what is there, pushing up through the pavement, struggling to thrive, struggling to look into the sun, struggling to turn the grey and brown into green, into red and gold and purple and blue. That is why writing is important for me. It helps me to see. It helps me to notice. It helps me to push back against the laziness of just taking in the noise and the grime and the cement, and see instead the traces of life that are thriving in spite of being bullied and poisoned every day.
This is what God’s words seem to be for me in this season of my life:
For the first time in my life, I am done with school. Now is the time to step out into the world and work and make a living and face challenges, and (God willing) make a difference on this planet.
My four years liberal arts education (Whitworth 2010, Sociology and Spanish) has perpetuated in me an almost childlike drive to do something “big” and “important” in the world. I want to make change. I want to make a difference.
But every big thing starts with first steps. The task of this last month has been to determine what those first steps are. Continue reading →
I have been thinking recently about how crucial it has been in my life to have people of have acted as mentors and role models, people who care about me and check up on me. I was remembering the passage in the first part of John 1 where John addresses three kinds of christians: children, young men and woman, and fathers.
According to my understanding, Fathers and Mothers in christ are those who, regardless of their age or their actual marital/family status, care for other believers Continue reading →