Sunday, April 25, 2010


It's easier for me to walk away than to stay. I used to go into hiding all too often when young -- down the hill into the wooded back 20, into the hall closet, out and up in the grain bin in the old milk barn. Quiet places for quitting. Thinking, detaching. Human emotions were too strong to deal with. Sounds were too loud in our small house. I was best as a quitter which meant peacefulness and restoration.

I'm reading a book now about quitting called, "Leaving Church: A Memoir of Faith" by Barbara Brown Taylor. It helps a quitter to know a quitter, and to realize that quitting isn't a full response; it's a partial punch at something threatening, and it's often a sacrifice of what poses as good to what is better, or necessary.

I've always felt badly about quitting. Even now, after I've quit my first local music group, I've agonized about what I'll be missing even though I know I will not miss the : frustrations : complexities : the dullness : the time : the lack of challenge in a new direction: lack of developed friendships. I will miss the singing : the laughs : the nursing home residents : the songs, their small group histories : members.

All in all, I really despise quitting. I know that I desire something different and new; however, the stepping off and away can be like a lonely girl moving off down the cow path in tears for something she can't control or find.

Perhaps the idea of permanence is one of the best appeals of the Christian faith. A permanence of joy and belonging, a permanence of relationship, a permanence of goodness. Here in this world, quitting can mean ourselves seeking for the best, seeking a way out of impermanence (turmoil) which can be threatening in some way or the other. Striking out for the one-day, perhaps today, hope of a strand of permanence.

Saturday, April 24, 2010


No wallops; no self-improvement programs to become Christian Barbie; no shame; no apple blame. Tonight, at church, a woman spoke about how women bear God's image and how we shouldn't be ashamed about our femininity because of tradition, or abuse, or misogyny, subtle or direct. There were video voices, faces from women speaking about how they --
hid being a girl when they were a tomboy, hating pink
hid being smart
hid behind baggy clothes after their figures had been violated
hid from church leadership
hid from shame of desires, ambition
hid from judgment of working outside the home
hid who they were created to be

and had to learn that who they are is Good. Ordained. Fashioned for strength. Promoted for clearer identity. An Image Bearer of their Creator. A thing to ponder and proclaim.

The sermon was quite unusual. Dare say "empowering" of women. Women empowerment has definitely been looked down upon, caveat-ed, constrained, retrained. My husband says it's because of fear, always when someone might be better than you. And, lack of control over a segment which could potentially overpower the other at times. (The police with clubs in Memphis during the MLK's peace march.) Placing one in a category/role to be tidy. We all do this.

A message specifically relevant to women without the wallop, perfection-plea, apple blame. Amazing. I sat at the edge of my seat for this new and startling and positive message sent to men and women alike throughout our congregation.

Fruit. May it grow.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Swinging on the front porch while Bo bale jumps

A new/old friend reminded me of blogs, and, thus, I remembered Bo out jumping the figurative bales, waiting for me to join in writing-wise. I'm glad, always needing the writing reminder, the water-splash in the face. Good! Thanks.

Speaking of faces, I will become one soon above a guitar or a mandolin in a new musical group I've been asked to join: Front Porch Swing. Ah, yes, I'm just one of the girls in Front Porch Swing. Quite excited. I posted, early on in this blog, an account of watching them play downtown, and how I dared to long that one day, I could be one of them. I guitar-subbed for them last month and moped for a week when it was over, until one of the members told me that the democratic process had extended its hand, and I am a new band member. Jubilee! Yet, I must practice and impress by not being any trouble to those who can spin out the songs, particularly the rapid hammer dulcimer ladies, who even though sweet, need quick action so they can fly. All "better" players want the flight. Therefore, here goes ==> a chance to jump off a musical cliff for some kind of results. We shall see what kind.