Tag Archives: Writing

Off we go…

When I graduated from law school in 2008 I moved back to Southern California for what I thought would be a brief time of preparing for and taking the beast that is the State of California Bar Exam.  During that time I decided to take a wee break from attending traditional church, aka the building with its four walls, and its politics and pettiness, which too often overshadow the purpose of the Church: to worship God and to be the collective body of Christ (by loving, serving, sacrificing for and extending grace upon grace) in the world.  Well that and three years of boredom and stress (ahem, law school), leaving a great church in Seattle, and the added bonus of grieving the loss of what was then my most important relationship, resulted in my not having the wherewithal or fortitude to undertake adventures in finding a new church community.  Especially when I would was only planning on being a community I figured I would leave in 2.5 months.

Three months have passed into more than a couple handfuls.  And come Sunday morning I am still restless.  I have attended church about two dozen times over the last two and a half years, though I attend “church of the ipod” religiously. Church of the iPod consists of me, earbuds, my iPod with sermon podcasts, my running shoes, and miles of road or trail.

My hiatus from church is something I have not given much thought to until recently because I have had some difficulty articulating the issues I have with church.  I take issue with the hypocrisy, hate, bitterness and injustice carried out under the banner of being “biblical” and the lives destroyed by this way of biblical living.  I take issue with the insular, cliche-ish nature of church members, 3-5 point sermons prescribing the steps necessary to achieve your best life now.   Maybe it was wearisome suffering of lonely, dark nights and even lonelier and darker days that took me away from the church.  Maybe it was the loss of relationships, loved ones and notions of myself.  Maybe it was surrendering my sense of deservedness.  Maybe it was a suffering whose only expression was heaving sobs.  Maybe it was experiencing God outside of church; experiencing God in moments of indescribable beauty and moments of indescribable suffering.

As I read this over it sounds like I have given up on church, or that I think it is useless.  Neither of which could be further from the truth.  I believe there is a biblical mandate for the church (see, paragraph one, “the purpose of the Church…”), but I have been harmed by the church and so much collateral damage lies in the wake of churches and Christians.  Needless to say I have some things to work out.

Then a friend of mine sent out the following challenge:

i have been seriously thinking about putting together some short essays/stories on women & the church. young(er) women & the church. both in and out…on the outskirts and fringe. married and unmarried, moms, and anti-babies. this is for you. for us….My goal is that our voices can be heard. from what i can tell, there are a lot of us out there. but i don’t see or hear much about the perspectives of women who choose to leave the church for one reason or another…. especially those who leave in their early 20s and beyond. apparently, we are an anomaly. and its not too often you hear about strong single women in the church either. where ever you are, you have a story.

I am not sure if I struggle with the church because I am a well-educated, single woman in my “early 20s and beyond.”  But I am finally willing to wrestle with my questions, my frustrations, my scars, my hopes.   As such, I will be writing periodically about my adventures in trying to regain a sense that the church, though broken, is a thing of and conduit of grace and beauty.  Please note that my writing is more about pushing thoughts out of my head to make space for others.  As such, they will be the musings of someone in the wilderness.  I will likely meander, go to the extreme to see the vista and then backtrack.  I will be say things just to see what they look like on paper, how they sound when I speak them.  Some things I will dismiss outright, others I will put out there only to look at it awhile before turning my back on it, others I will carry along with me testing their truth and trustworthiness.

With all that said, get your packs and hiking boots ready.  Off we go…

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Blogtrack:
– The Generationals, “Trust” (Listen to it HERE)
– Mean Lady, “Indian Sun”
– Iron & Wine, “Tree by the River” (Download it HERE)
– Alex Ebert, “Trust” (Listen to it HERE)
– Best Coast, “Crazy for You”
– Rasputina, “Holocaust of Giants (Daytrotter session)” (Download it HERE)
– Alela Diane, “Oh!  My Mama” (Download it HERE)
– Ravens & Chimes, “Division Street” (Download it HERE)
– Hey Marseilles, “Rio” (Download it HERE)
– Grouplove, “Don’t Say Oh Well” (Listen to it HERE)
– BRAIDS, “Lemonade (Green Go remix)” (Download it HERE)
– The Get Up Kids, “Shatter Your Lungs” (Download it HERE)
– Joe Pug, “Hymn 35” (Download it HERE)
– The Radio Dept., “David” (Download to it HERE — download available for 3 days)

Speak Aloud

As the year and Project 365 comes to a close I have been thinking of what to do next.  A new “project” mayhaps.  I want to move away from digital and back to film, but developing film is so stinkin’ pricey — what a little consistent employment wouldn’t solve.

12.19.2010 – Tangerine Light Breaks*


 

 

 

 

 

 

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Variations on a Flickr photo caption reading, “it’s hard for me to talk out loud / i think too much / all i know is that i love you”:

It is increasingly difficult for me to speak aloud.
I think and dream too much.

I simply no longer know . . .

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Blogtrack:
– Salem, “King Night”
– The Drums, “Me and the Moon (Matthew Dear remix)”
– Wombats, “Tokyo (Superhumanoids remix)”
– Toro y Moi, “Still Sound”

Lost & Found

Today while searching through the contents of the numerous banker boxes that contain my life, I found several things of interest: (1) a frame carefully packed in a box three years ago containing what then was deemed the sweetest of moments and “home”; (2) my grandpa’s Argus C-3(!!!), which I thought I had lost during one of several moves; and (3) poems written in the shade of a fragile time when I was working overseas after my first year of law school.

In regards to (1), it is strange to unpack something I once held so dear but which no longer has any emotional meaning.  An empty frame was repacked with hopes a snapshot of joy will soon fill it.

As for (3):
Love  Regardless of Circumstance No. 2
five thousand miles gone
Home
lost in unhappiness
tears shatter dead phone lines.

Everyone Loves a Hummingbird
these wings,
stolen
from the unsuspecting hummingbirds,
collapse under heavy hearts.
falling,
with
no
where
to
l    a    n    d

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12.17.2010 – Fresh Air*

12.18.2010 – The Brick*

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Blogtracks:
– Beach House, “I Do Not Care for the Winter Sun”
– Porcelain Raft, “Tip of Your Tongue”

Under the Weather

11.8.2010 – 4×4* — The only thing I could “concentrate” on was organizing the recipe binders and boxes I received from my grandma.  I’m not sure what it was about the 1950s suburban housewife and the affinity for jello, mayonnaise, and shortening, but, needless to say, those recipes found a new home in the recycling bin.

Oh, and happy birthday BWJ!

11.9.2010 – Jamba*

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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While conducting a major purging/fall cleaning over the weekend, I came across the following poem I clipped from the Edinburghian literary magazine, Small Fry Magazine‘s first issue (Dec. 2001):

the first love

green light of river,
invertebrate night slipping
under water,

I know the distance of you,

the voice of you,

the hardly gone but absent heart
of you.

The balcony, a tree bleeds
spring
rain washed Bottlebrush hush of
afternoon school ten years past.

This is the first love, this
blue sky blue I
follow, awhisper, to the other life,
the time well
where
there is the silent curve of your
hand in my hair

where
breeching moons
reach for each other

and separate, a necessity of orbit.

I remember,
this place,
from which I rise like a phoenix,
a time blossom, born.

I am home,

this sunshine,

eye of this -my-life,
born, breaths,
first love,
old love,
love from earth opened
like a wound, fearless.
And you, and they, and love’s
trajectories, scars across continents,
the debris of this first love.
I gravitate to where I began.
Centrepoint,
and land like my heart beating.

~m. noble

For a reminder of the crisp and ancient beauty of Edinburgh see these photos by Brian Ferry of the blue hour.

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Blogtrack:
– The New Amsterdams, “Slight Run”
– The Walkmen, “Blue as Your Blood” — Watch the Gothamist House & Foglight Films video filmed at the NYC Public Library here.

Todays

10.26.2010 – Gratitudes by Candlelight* — thanks to Southern California Edison and aging infrastructure.

10.27.2010 – Shutter Malfunction*

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Blogtrack:
– Badly Drawn Boy, “Too Many Miracles”
– Other Lives, “For 12”
– Sun Airways, “Oh, Naoko”

The Heart’s Weather

I woke up to darkness, which gave way to a dense, dripping fog, which, in turn,  gave way to the sun’s autumnal rays.  This sunlight, inevitably, will make way for dusk, and dusk to darkness.  Something in the day’s weather resonates with the unsettled weather of my heart.  Unable to discern what is true, each oxygenated thought courses through delicately designed arteries only to turn blue and rush back restlessly into the heart’s chambers.

The constant in this day is the beat.

To a Long Loved Love: 3

I know why a star gives light
Shining quickly in the night;
Arithmetic helps me unravel
The hours and years this light must travel
To penetrate our atmosphere.
I count the craters on the moon
With telescopes to make them clear.
With delicate instruments I measure
Secrets of barometric pressure.

Therefore I find it inexpressibly queer
That with my own soul I am out of tune,
That I have not stumbled on the art
Of forecasting the weather of the heart.

~ M. L’Engle

10.25.2010 – Beats and Bursts*

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Blogtrack:
– Lykke Li, “Paris Blue”

Back in the Saddle: August Week 4

8.23.2010 – Dust* (Mount Hermon, CA)

8.24.2010 – Last Bridge* (Mount Hermon, CA)

8.25.2010 – Last Day of the Blue Jay* (Mount Hermon, CA)

8.26.2010 – West Cliff Freedom* (Santa Cruz, CA)

8.27.2010 – Life’s Little Labyrinths* (Santa Cruz, CA)

Labyrinth*

Slate stones
sunken into grass
Pilgrims feet traverse
winding life and prayer                           toward Truth
Practicing presence

Breathe
Lord, have mercy.
Breathe
Christ have mercy.

Beginnings and ends
form and chaos
pattern and confusion
youth and age
meet
in twists and turns.
The enfolds of the Divine

~ESA

8.28.2010 – The Life I Never/Will Have* (San Francisco, CA)

8.29.2010 – The Last 2 Years in Cut-Out * (Emeryville, CA)

8.30.2010 – Lakeshore Blur* (Oakland, CA)

8.31.2010 – Colors * (Back in the OC)