Archive | Church Matters

I Wish You Enough

Something occurred to me today as I strode home from the greenmarket with my produce and a bunch of glorious sunflowers that the vendor had slipped into my bag as a surprise.

“This might be enough.”

To be sure, “enough” is a relative term. As I write this, I still don’t have enough in my accounts to cover my expenses a few months out nor do I have a steady income flow. In this way, I am in step with many many Americans, as well as people across the world.

My therapist says that I have a tendency to focus on the bright side of matters in a way that borders on dissociative, a fact that may surprise those who read my last post.

Trust me when I say it takes a lot for me to acknowledge when things aren’t working well. In fact, it’s a muscle I’m developing in real time. I used to fear disappearing into the abyss if I recognized its existence. But I’ve come to accept we can only solve a problem when we can acknowledge it.

That said, having transcended so many hard times in my life has granted me an insouciance I never experienced as a younger woman. Yes, I am still broke as I write this, but over the last few days so many have shared sweet solidarity and unexpected donations that, for this week at least, I have fresh, healthy food to eat and, for this month at least, Grace and I have a place to live in a city I love. Continue Reading →

Summer Solstice Magic for Ameriker

Today is Summer Solstice, the longest day of the year and the lightest moment in the earth’s orbit around the sun. It is also a new moon and a solar eclipse while five other planets are in retrograde (six by tomorrow). All else has stilled as we celebrate Litha, the Celtic goddess of abundance, and the first day of Cancer, the sign most associated with family, nurturing, our homes. It is also the sign under which this country was birthed.

Today linear time has collapsed to make way for soul time. Past is future is present. The ancestors are here. History has reanimated so we may assess its impact in real time and release all that does not serve.

On most midsummers, I recommend cleaning your house, decorating with flowers, burning sage, and lighting candles. Any rituals celebrating abundance, creativity, and prosperity. All this still applies. But today, I also recommend praying for America. For we are midway through this year of profound turmoil and transformation, and we must pray to continue healing.

So let us honor the Earth as well as the Sun. Let us honor the beautiful spirit of everyone and everything on this soil and in these seas. Let us honor the children we carry, the children we eternally are, children everywhere. Let us honor the sacrifices we must make to protect each body as if it were our own.

May the voltage of this midsummer magic help heal this dysfunctional American family. May it eclipse the greed and cruelty that has for too long seized this land. May it recharge us so we better serve love and light.

Thank you, Mother Sun for loving us as we fail to love each other.

art (top to bottom): Javaka Steptoe, Kerry James Marshall

Split at the Root: Part I

untitled by Chantal Joffe

If you have taken this rubble for my past
raking through for fragments you could sell
know that I long ago moved on
deeper into the heart of the matter

If you think you can grasp me, think again:
my story flows in more than one direction
a delta springing from the river bed
with its five fingers spread
–Adrienne Rich

This is a story I began writing when I was 34, the last age of Ute, whose story this really is. I am 49 now, and what were cracks in our country’s landscape then have become continental divides. But deep in the soil of this stolen land, the rot was always there, threatening to poison us all.

I knew Ute in 1998. The temperatures were already climbing. Justice as always was only truly available to those deemed human by the Founding Fathers (such a small percentage of us). Rodney King was not so far in the rear view mirror, but had already been obscured in White America’s memory by OJ in his white Bronco,  launching the whole of reality TV culture in that one uber-televised police chase leading finally to Donald Trump’s White House.

As I write this, there is no stable ground—only lethal virus, lethal white supremacy and capitalism. Righteous fury in the streets, dangerous dybbuks in the spreadsheets. I have been sick too—not with COVID but a urinary tract infection that has bloomed into my kidneys and triggered every trigger I didn’t know I still had.

My ability to filter toxins is completely maxed out.

The first day I experienced these symptoms, a first draft of Ute’s story fell onto my desk. It had been securely pinned to my bulletin board for more than a decade but on that overly warm May day, the printout suddenly dropped onto my desk.

I felt sicker.

The summer she and I knew each other, I was 27– the age when you either step into the path of adult life or die. Back then the curse of 27 wasn’t discussed as it is today. Nothing was. The Internet was still in its infancy. When I needed information I went to the library or called up a smarter friend. When I needed companionship, I showed up in people’s bedrooms. When I needed help, I prettily cried Uncle. Continue Reading →

"All, everything I understand, I understand only because I love."
― Leo Tolstoy