Beauty is not Denial: Why Grace and Frankie strengthen my Faith

 

Most people wouldn’t think that a self-identifying Christian would appreciate a television series about two women in their 70’s living in the aftermath of their husbands coming out to them, divorcing them, and getting married to each other.

I admit that at a certain point in my life I wouldn’t have appreciated it.

That was before I knew that life is not as predictable and controllable as many people attracted to “faith” would have it be. But perhaps those of us attracted to faith are more attracted to certainty, or being right and perhaps even to convention itself, than we are to the stuff in life that requires us to have faith.

Now, I wouldn’t let children watch the show, (my little ones are screen-free at this point anyway), but I would encourage grown ups to watch it with an open mind if they are able and ready.

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Here’s why:

There was a point in my life where I would feel insanely frustrated if I felt I couldn’t predict outcomes, especially if I risked being vulnerable with someone. In the process, I tried to be “moral”. I tried to be “good”. I even tried to impose “morality” and “goodness” onto others. I was one of those people.

What I’ve since discovered is that often right when the truth of what we fear is staring us in the face, instead of facing it, we can often repetitively agonize over longing for a “mom and pop” world. We put ourselves in the false and dangerous loop of really believing that “other times” were truly better. Thinking, “just give me that old time religion” and that will stop the world from going to hell in a hand basket. (I also wonder which “old time religion” that song is referring to? Third century? 11th? 50 years ago?)

Often the delusion that other eras were more golden or more moral, is a condition we impose on ourselves to set catharsis and nostalgia as city walls to guard us from what we fear.

All the while our grandparents were remaining committed to their marriages, or children were better behaved, or churches were better attended, marital rape was not considered a crime (until in some states, 1993), sexual abuse of children went mostly unreported and this was yes, happening in church communities too.

The person suffering from nostalgia for more “upright” times, might think there are more gay people today than at other times, but perhaps it is more true to say there are more gay people actually seen as people in our neighbourhoods and in our world, because, thank God, being gay is no longer punishable by death or imprisonment (at least in our culture).

We find in the hit tv series starring Lily Tomlin and Jane Fonda, an unlikely friendship between country club, Type A, control freak (Grace) and hippy, still holding to her counter cultural principals (Frankie).  Grace trusts that convention and hard work will protect her, and Frankie ever loves, and trusts that she is loved as equally back.

What we see in each of these women after the shock of finding out their husbands have been cheating on them, with each other for 20 years, is a series of unfolding facades being shed, one episode after the other. It is a process of healing that is anything but pretty. Sort of like life.

I believe that beauty will save the world but I also believe that being in denial is never beautiful. This is where we reach a paradox about living our lives.

I am the first person to line up to watch Anne of Green Gables, but I am now also willing to accept that Lucy Maud Montgomery died of suicide.

With Grace and Frankie, we see their suffering transform into acceptance and friendship. It isn’t a pat and perfect story. But show me anyone being pat and perfect when the façade of their life falls around them and there is no hiding or covering up available as an option.

I see in their children, particularly the daughters of Grace, people who perhaps knew their parent’s marriage was not what it appeared to be. One of them takes the workaholic cynic, don’t come near my heart route, the other marries perhaps a similar man as her father, in the sense that he doesn’t necessarily love her dearly and buries himself in his work.

With Grace, as her conventions fail her, we begin to see underneath this very put together woman, a real person with flaws and fears, who awakens to her sexuality perhaps for the first time.

With Frankie, we see someone struggling with how to live with her heart on her sleeve and trust anyone again.   We see her codependence with Sol (her ex-husband) diminish, as she strengthens and gains more courage to just keep letting her heart be what it is, and perhaps even for the first time.

In both women, we get to walk the journey toward accepting what is, no matter how much we wish it could be different at first. We get to see them begin to allow for their unmooring to be an unlikely touchstone… or for their suffering to become a place of peace and new beginnings.

The makers of the show aren’t afraid to shed light on confusion or what can often lie beneath the pretence of a thing. These ladies get down right effed up about their lives. But perhaps their lives were effed up all along, underneath it all. Only it took their husband’s storylines and betrayal to dredge it up to the surface.

I am not saying the show is for everybody. It has verbal content that may offend some, even beyond the storyline. But as for me, it has shown me two characters I can understand, empathize with, and somehow feel I have been.

There was a time I was betrayed, and things were revealed to not be what they were. I have been confused beyond comprehension. I have suffered by having to face “what is” and accept that I have no control over outcomes. And through it all, something eventually began to shine out of me, and out of the circumstance itself, that resembled Great Love.  

Christ is revealed in the cracks.

Honestly, any time I begin to fall back into the bogus safety zone of thinking I am beyond the confusion, or any time I start judging someone because they seem “screwed up” (which I’m sure has been used to describe me at times), I come back around to what I know to be true. Faith isn’t about certainty or certitude or defending something to be true.

Faith is what shows up when your proverbial undies are at your ankles exactly at that moment when you thought you had the world fooled that you’re in control… that you have the answer… that you’re above dysfunction.

Faith is what shows up when your heart is breaking and you feel so vulnerable and out of control, but you know you must walk the long miles ahead to rid yourself of codependent patterns and own your own life.

 I want to be a wisdom holder in my old age, but what does that look like?  Being in control?  Pretending that things are not as they are?  Or, as James Finley says, “it isn’t that the master is no longer confused, but they are no longer confused by their confusion”.  I can see Grace and Frankie moving in the direction of not being confused by their confusion, and that is to me, the way suffering can be turned into beauty.

If beauty is going to save the world, like many of my friends think it is (and I do too!), it will have to do it in a way that incorporates the great labour pain agony of accepting what is, and transforming through it, or it is not beauty.  Beauty is not denial.  Or as Bono says, “grace makes beauty out of ugly things”. 

New baby and celebrating Pentecost

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Two weeks ago today, I water-birthed a baby boy into the world.  His name is Francis and he is lovely and sweet.  My 2 and 1/2 year old boy has become a big brother over night so there’s lots of adjusting going on here in our little household.

Francis was due May 12th and I partially wondered if he’d be a Pentecost baby.  Then I got thinking… I believe all babies are pentecost babies.  In the sense that they are so obviously incarnate and arriving from the Source of love and life.

I am quickly writing this before I try to steal a nap while my boys are sleeping so I will mention that I have a celebration sale on for my album Behold, I Make all Things New.  I see this album as a Pentecost album and so for the feast of Pentecost and on into Ordinary Time (which decidedly isn’t ordinary at all!) I am offering my album again for 10 CDs for $99.  I also have the option of getting 5 CDs and 5 songbooks for $99.  

Click HERE to celebrate with me by purchasing this Christ Narrative.  And click HERE to get the songbook/CD deal.

Breathing with the Enemy- looking at God’s world as already whole

 

This is a letter I sent out this morning to the folks who have been taking the course that takes you deeper into my album Behold, I Make all Things New.

Good Morning,

Some of you are nearing the very end of this course and I hope you’ve had a chance to walk more deeply with my album!

This is another Waterboys tune and I must mention again that Mike Scott does not affiliate with the Christian tradition.  Therefore I will comfortably veer a bit from one of the great Christian teachers today to Martin Buber, the great Jewish philosopher and author of the famous “I and Thou”.

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Martin Buber

 

I was reading this morning from this wonderful book and was struck by something, I think is rather profound.

“The prenatal life of the child is a pure natural association, a flowing toward each other, a bodily reciprocity; and the life horizon of the developing being appears uniquely inscribed, and yet also not inscribed, in that of the being that carries it; for the womb in which it dwells is not solely that of the human mother.  This association is so cosmic that it seems like the imperfect deciphering of a primeval inscription when we are told in the language of the Jewish myth that in his mother’s womb man knows the universe and forgets it at birth.  And as the secret image of a wish, this association remains to us.  But this longing ought not to be taken for a craving to go back, as those suppose who consider the spirit, which they confound with their own intellect, a parasite of nature.  For the spirit is nature’s blossom, albeit exposed to many diseases.  What this longing aims for is the cosmic association of the being that has burst into spirit with its very true You.

Every developing human child rests, like all developing beings in the womb of the great mother – the undifferentiated, not yet formed primal world.  From this it detaches itself to enter a personal life, and it is only in the dark hours when we slip out of this again (as happens even to the healthy, night after night) that we are close to her again.”  

He goes on to say more famously that it is “in encounter that nature experiences its formhood.”

I was struck however by the image of how we all of us, sleep at night.  (Or at least try to!)  I was able to parallel this thought with this song.  And here’s why:

In the questionnaire I have you consider someone you perhaps dislike as receiving the breath, and have you secretly sing this song on their behalf (which is really on your behalf because it is really about changing your negative feelings toward them).  

Now imagine this person that you dislike or a tyrant from history, sleeping at night.  Imagine them drifting off from their control, their power, their need to bully, and simply breathing in the Presence of who they have returned to as they have slipped out of conscious awareness into sleep.

Really, it is remarkable!  I have never before this morning pictured someone I feared or disliked, simply sleeping.  

Think of gang leaders, militia leaders and political tyrants resting their heads on a pillow, perhaps a bit curled up and just breathing in and out.  That same breath that gives them life is giving everything else life.  

For some reason this puts the world in perspective for me this morning.  As we face the tremors of changing tides, every breath is our Beloved’s and, as James Finley puts it in the new album Sanctuary, “fear has no foundation”.

Breathing with you today!

Listen to Every Breath is Yours below and get Behold, I Make all Things New HERE.  Consider going deeper with the album by walking through the course HERE

The Feast of Dietrich Bonhoeffer

The feast of Dietrich Bonhoeffer is coming up on April 9th and below is a sample chapter I wrote for my friend Steve Bell’s Pilgrim Year App.  Pilgrim Year is an app that follows the Christian calendar and acknowledges feast and holy days with written word, poetry, visual art and music.  

The Feast of Dietrich Bonhoeffer

Dietrich Bonhoeffer was a Lutheran pastor from Germany known for his beliefs in pacifism and also for his opposition to the Nazi Party and Hitler. During a rigged church election in 1932, many of the church positions of influence were given to Nazi-supported church men. As the Nazi propaganda continued, the complacency of the German church also continued, and Bonhoeffer was conscious enough to see and acknowledge the truth of what was happening.

From our vantage point, we might think the terrible reality of what was happening in Nazi Germany would have been obvious. But for Bonhoeffer, his heart broke as he watched many of his church comrades turn a blind eye and tow the Nazi line.

Ever since I learned the interesting fact that Gandhi read the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5-7) every morning, I have gained a new perspective of Jesus’ words. This text has compelled and moved me in ways that give me no alternative but to use it in the way Gandhi did, as a filter through which to view and critique our own dominant cultural narrative. This too, compelled and intrigued Bonhoeffer. His famous book The Cost of Discipleship is based on the Sermon on the Mount, and Gandhi was also a tremendous influence on him.

Bonhoeffer seems destined to be one of those people who found themselves in a time and place where their philosophy must be tried in reality. There were opportunities in his life when he could have chosen to leave the responsibility he felt toward his church and the people his church was persecuting, namely the elderly, the Jews, and those with physical or mental disabilities.

At one point, Bonhoeffer had the opportunity to live and learn with Mahatma Gandhi. Instead, he was compelled to begin an underground seminary in Germany, a very risky alternative but one that Gandhi would have respected.

Something very important to keep in mind is how the dominant theology and cultural norm of the German church at this time was seen as gospel truth by many good Christian people. Bonhoeffer’s help in forming an underground seminary and church was countercultural, courageous, and would have been considered rebellious and heretical by many upstanding Christians.

In his letter from a Birmingham jail, dated April 16th, 1963, Martin Luther King Jr. wrote, “We should never forget that everything Adolf Hitler did in Germany was “legal” and everything the Hungarian freedom fighters did in Hungary was “illegal.” It was “illegal” to aid and comfort a Jew in Hitler’s Germany.” As young blacks courageously sat in segregated areas designated for whites, the law and the cultural Christian norm was not on their side. Accused of breaking the law, as though the law itself was the gospel, these courageous young people continued placing themselves in danger because they knew in their hearts what was right.

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“It seems that the path of Christ is often a misunderstood path.”

Right before the war was about to begin, after helping to form the underground seminary, Bonhoeffer was given the opportunity to teach at Union Theological Seminary in America. At this pivotal time, he was trying to navigate how to avoid swearing allegiance to Hitler, being a pacifist and deeply opposed to the Nazi party. Very quickly, he realized that staying in America would be taking the easy way out of the situation. Instead, he decided his calling was to walk the path of Christ back in Germany, saying “I cannot make that choice from security.”

Bonhoeffer’s return to Germany was met with required reporting to Nazi authorities and a ban from public speaking. He joined the military intelligence agency Abwher that was actually an anti-Hitler resistance group. His international contacts were seen as an asset, so the organization was able to protect him from being drafted into the German army.

After much work in undercover resistance, including aiding the escape of many Jews into Switzerland, Bonhoeffer was arrested just a year and a half before WWII would end. During his imprisonment the discovery of documents and diaries uncovered a plot by the Abwher to assassinate Hitler. Hitler ordered all associates with the organization to be executed.

Three weeks before the end of the war and a few weeks before Hitler hung himself, Dietrich Bonhoeffer was led naked into a courtyard and executed by hanging. Although not properly documented, this hanging was implemented by executioners renowned for torture, and therefore many historians believe that his execution was very painful and would have lasted many hours.

Regardless of more recent arguments on how to interpret the theology of Bonhoeffer, it is quite clear how he lived and from where he drew his strength to do so. Bonhoeffer’s belief that God’s kingdom and the physical world are not separate spheres but are united through Christ’s incarnation, helped him to act out his belief in the imitation of Christ. The fact that he left the comfort of free and peaceful places where he could comfortably dialogue about God, and instead willingly returned into danger shows us that he truly desired to embody the Sermon on the Mount in his particular, terrible circumstance.

May we, like Bonhoeffer, live life in such a way that we are conscious of the dominant cultural norms that do not align with Jesus’ teaching and life, that openly or inadvertently serve power and money, and crush those who have neither.

Listen to my song As the Father Sent Me below and get your copy of Behold, I Make all Things New HERE

lyrics:

As the father sent me, so I send you

 

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In all Verdant Greening, in All Creatures and in You

Last year, someone dear to me was diagnosed with cancer and was told he would need to undergo chemotherapy and radiation in order to treat it. I go for daily walks with my family and prior to this diagnosis, I had unconsciously become numb to my surroundings. What was happening in simply ten square feet in my very own yard was not something I was at all aware of (and still am only marginally!)

I am someone for whom a Calling has arrived and implied simply that I must devote my artistic efforts to furthering conscious realization of incarnation. My album Behold, I Make all Things New is a Christ Narrative that starts in the big picture of origins and the cosmos, then enters into Jesus of Nazareth and eventually into the consciousness of “everyman”. Sanctuary, the album on healing I am currently working on with James Finley, is about the incarnate wound.

When this Calling arrived, it had been a long time coming through absorbing the thoughts, revelations and visions of voices that have gone before us, that saw Christ in all things. 

To say “Christ in all things” is no trite, glib statement to make. It can be misconstrued and cause more defensiveness than anything else. But to say it and believe it causes one’s view to widen and to see God expressing creativity very holistically, everywhere. Even the worst pain, is being incarnated and transformed.

Naturally, when God is no longer simply “the man upstairs” and holistic expression begins to be unveiled, a person tends to think the healing solution to our sicknesses and our pain, must be inside and all around us.

This is not a story of natural healing. It is not a story of miraculous, instantaneous disappearance of disease. Modern medicine played a big role in the positive outcome, but the point is, that it got me widening my view of what was growing, and expressing God, all around me.

Our household is essentially on its way to being chemical-free. I make our dish soap, our laundry soap and our cleaners and we use very natural cleansers for ourselves. Now that spring is on its way, I have brought out my herbology book and am excitedly and curiously looking at, touching and smelling the buds on the trees when we go for walks.

I get ecstatic about digging, collecting and roasting dandelion root for “coffee”. I make pain rubs with what is growing naturally in our own yard.

The combination of the cancer diagnosis of a loved one and really “getting” that Christ is in all things, has caused if nothing else, a deeper sense of wonder for the mystery of the Word throughout creation.

quotememe1012th century Christian mystic Hildegard of Bingen wrote a book called “Physica”,
which was a book on health and healing. It was and is to this day respected as a holistic interpretation of medicine and wellness. I completely comprehend why she expressed her visions of Christ through painting, music and natural healing. When we begin to contemplate that this whole universe is sacred and any and all suffering is being permeated and transformed by this same sacred Something, we cannot help but begin to see this everywhere

I’m not saying I’ll never get sick. I’m not saying I’ll never need modern medicine. This is not a treatise to be either/or about certain medical practices. My point is that I do believe our limited awareness of the sacred in this world directly contributes to lack luster living, and quite possibly is part of the cause of many illnesses. What if the way we live truly numbs out the very obvious fact that we were built to continually awaken to wonder?  

They say if a bee stings you, there is often something growing nearby to alleviate the swelling. Or if you react to poison ivy, there is a solution growing nearby. One article I read had a woman contemplating why so much stinging nettle began growing near her house right around the time she began developing acute arthritis (she claimed to be cured by swatting the arthritic area with nettle).

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I do find it interesting that in many articles I’ve read, dandelion root is said to be “nature’s chemotherapy”, which perhaps is or is not true. But wouldn’t it be just like us, culturally, to be cutting out, spraying (with cancer-causing agents) and getting rid of the very thing that is growing around us because it “senses” we as an overstressed, overworked, chemical-induced society need it?

Call me a flake if you want to. But I will continue to wonder. And my hunch is, even if I have to end up an old hag with shelves full of tinctures, I will continue to look for Christ in the “verdant greening”, in “all creatures” and in you.

May it be so.

The Kickstarter Campaign for Sanctuary is 90% funded!

For the past 2 weeks I have been running a campaign to pre-sell albums and raise funds to make a new album called Sanctuary ~ Exploring the Healing Path with Alana Levandoski and James Finley

We are up over $18,000 now and our initial goal is $20,000.  

I begin in the studio in 6 days and have the engineer set up to record James Finley in the coming weeks.

If you haven’t made your pledge yet, please head over to the kickstarter page to become a part of the collective that is making this possible! 

An email that went out today

 

I have a course available that walks people through my album Behold, I Make all Things New.  Every week they receive an email from me with some new thoughts and angles for how to work with the songs.  

I thought I’d share the email from today as my blog.  Please remember to head over to my kickstarter campaign and pledge for the new album, if you haven’t already.  Click HERE for that 🙂 

Greetings,

My family and I were away for the long weekend and I was away from email so here is your belated email in connection to the latest video.

I understand that you didn’t receive the Magi last week but yesterday so I have arranged for you to receive The Wisdom Teachings video today.

The two chant songs that accompany this section are selections of Jesus’ words that perhaps aren’t quoted enough.  Again, the first one, Leave all Things, hints at an inner worth that will shine forth when all else is left behind.  We have been walking through Henri Noewen’s book on Lent, using the method of lectio divina, and yesterday’s writings were on how “poverty makes a good host”.  Alluding to the concept of turning the tables in the case of a robbery asking “who will be our robber when everything he wants to steal from us becomes our gift to him?”

Leave all things that you have  and come and follow me could become the mantra for releasing what we anxiously cling to.  

I had an experience recently where someone said something critical about my 2 year old, and I noticed how I was not only protective, but defensive.  The protectiveness is necessary and good.  It is my job.  But the defensiveness is keeping what could be a gift to this person.  It seems that the balance of boundaries and love is ever before us.  Seeking the wisdom to know when we are “getting our back up” and seeking to defend a part of ourselves that we fear is separate from and not infused by the love of God.

I am reminded of the scene in Les Miserables when a desperate Jean Valjean steals silver from the church and when caught, the priest gives him even more than he stole.  How can we start considering that there is always enough? 


The second chant song is “as the Father sent me, so I send you.”

This call to living the “mythic life”, that somehow is inherently there in our desires and longings.  

I watched a sort of scattered and intense talk with a fellow by the name of Greg Boyd on The Work of the People last night and something he said in one sense reminded me of my old philosophical/rational self, but still hit home in a new way.  He was speaking about the way in which we long and what had brought him to a new place in his faith was through philosophically asking a question that went something like this: “why did we evolve to be beings that long for the Holy, if this is simply a meaningless, random empty universe?” 

And he went on to use a metaphor of a carp that evolved out of a desert who had an inherent longing for a water that never was and never would be.  He couldn’t resign himself to that sort of vacuum, and began to travel along the road to encountering God.

In a sense, as the Father sent me, so I send you, gives us full permission to embrace the mythic life it seems we were built for.  That we were built this way and then try to remain asleep seems to encourage “the gods” to send awakeners in our direction.  It usually takes some form of adversity, visitor or shift in life to wake us up to the much more interesting life of being sent, like Jesus, by the Father.

I will end here with another quote from the Noewen Lent book, Show Me the Way.  Perhaps this quote can be used as you meditate with the chants.  

“Our lives are destined to become like the life of Jesus.” – Henri Noewen

If you’re interested in the course, click HERE

Showing Up ~ an Artist’s Healthy Alternative to Entitlement

 

I am about to run my second Kickstarter campaign for the new album I am making with contemplative trauma therapist, James Finley. It is called Sanctuary ~ Exploring the Healing Path with Alana Levandoski and James Finley. This project has consistently bubbled up creatively for me over the past number of months, and I am deciding to trust that weird instinctual “voice” saying, “Please make me!”Album Cover James Finley Project

That being said, I have learned from the past, and from a recent fidelity to a sacred way of life, that I am not entitled to make or record music. Paradoxically, I do feel compelled, even required, to show up and do the work, whether it is made possible to be incarnated into the world and offered or not.  In other words, I have composed the material, have worked with the graphic designer and spent many hours building the Kickstarter campaign, but I am not entitled to the outcome.

I wanted to share this publicly to hold myself accountable, as I move forward with my Kickstarter launch. I also hold myself publically accountable to have fun during the process, for that too was lost to me in the old model! I don’t think it is possible to have actual fun and be entitled at the same time!

I publicly announce that I am showing up for this with my whole heart and will work to my utmost to deliver healing beauty into the world. But this “showing up” is my healthy alternative to “making it happen”. I am not self-made!

Amen, a million times, amen!

The first email from the online course that went live today

My very first online course went live this morning.  I built it for folks who want to go deeper with my album.  Below is the initial email that went out to folks who have signed up for the course.  Sign up by clicking HERE.

Hello and welcome to the online video course for Behold, I Make all Things New.

This album is one of those creations that ends up having a life of its own and some folks seem to really “get” it. My job now is to try and get it heard and help folks to go deeper with it if I can.

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To begin, I am not a scholar in the traditional or official sense of the word. I am a songwriter and writer who’s deliberated over becoming a priest in the Anglican/Episcopal tradition for many years, but keep coming back to this sense that if I were to head down the road of seminary, I may “lose the poetry” in the process. So here I am, without the qualifications to be a keeper of the jewel that is the Christian tradition, but perhaps I am still at license to approach the Christ Narrative with the eyes and ears of a songwriter, as one with a knack for story and maybe even a slight knack for the sideways nuances of wisdom teachings.

This morning I invite you to enter into origins. Experience the sensation of coming from mystery and moving toward mystery. Allow yourself to feel out of control of causes and outcomes.

As I sang Behold, I Make all Things New (Alpha), and subsequently (Omega), for this album, part of the way in which they were sung, was out of lament. I would call these songs, “hopeful laments”. As Walter Brueggemann says in his book Prophetic Imagination, “The task of prophetic imagination is to cut through the numbness, to penetrate the self-deception, so that the God of endings is confessed as Lord.” He goes on to include new beginnings in this context, but initially speaks to endings, to get the point across that we don’t want to hear about endings being a prerequisite to new beginnings.

Within this beautiful line from Revelation, (or as some might say today: “Christ from the future”), is held many, many endings. As many endings as there are. This was a hard lesson for me to learn over the years, but I have grown to know it is a hopeful lament that may come in the form of a relationship ending, or, in many conscious relationships, in the form of ritual and mutual understanding that supports the call to some form of change. It may come as a result of a job ending, a location change, the loss of an identity, the death of a loved one, or the dormancy of winter with the promise of spring.

In these times of endings and the challenge of being present to the pain, we are lost in chronos time in disbelief that anything good is on the horizon, but also, if we choose to, we get to hang out ironically in kairos time which is a strange inexplicable comfort during times when endings are prevalent.

I attended a talk on Pierre Teilhard de Chardin recently and one of the questions that was asked was that Teilhard often gets criticized for being too optimistic and where was the presence of the cross in his teaching? The answer was around the fact that Teilhard actually gleaned much of his hopeful insight through the experience of being a stretcher carrier during the 1st World War, as well as his exile to China. It was also through the pain of discovering as a child, the impermanence of matter that brought him to meditate on Christ’s intertwinement with the whole of creation. (This notion that Christ is at the mercy of matter, as we are.)

So I ask you to sit where you are, with whatever reality you are being asked to face, with this hopeful lament on the tip of your tongue and woven into your heart. Perhaps you will sense the presence of Christ in solidarity with what you are at the mercy of.

May you be nurtured and comforted amidst the grown-up reality of endings and may you flourish anew with love and hope.

With love,

Alana