Throw Back Thursday and The Bear

Once a long time ago I belonged to the 3rd service at my church.  We had contemporary service.  We had a band and “God Rock”.  We danced we laughed and sometimes we cried.  I volunteered to do the Call to Worship each week and because of our eclectic nature, I was also allowed to add whatever the spirit moved me to say.  Back in the day I swear I was walking so close to Christ that I could feel His robes against my arm as I walked.  I shared this story with the community in August 2009…
thebear
Last week, if you remember, I told you I had lost the voices that live in my head that make me have something to add when I stand here before you. I want to announce that they are back. Sneaky little voices figured out that if they couldn’t talk to me while I was awake, they would wait until I was sleeping.

I know Dreams are controversial. Some say they are just your brains way of discharging and resetting itself for the next day. I agree with that. Dreams can be weird, scary, or funny. However, most of the time nonsensical and meaningless. I agree with that also. Nevertheless, sometimes, something connects, something makes you stop and pay attention. It stays with you. It has been over a week since I had this dream and it is still with me, speaking to me. That is how I know that this came from my voices and not just random electrical discharges. I want to share it with you so bear with me, no pun intended…

I dreamt: That I was walking in a valley of tall grass. The grass was silky and my bare feet weren’t bothered by ground below them. I knew I was supposed to be there, to be walking but I didn’t know why. The valley was void of other people. I was completely alone. It didn’t really seem to bother me, it was as if that is what I had always been doing and that was all I knew to do.

In the distance, I saw a bear. I wasn’t afraid of her so I approached her. She rose up on her hind legs to beckon me to come to her. When I got there she enveloped me in her arms. She standing 10 feet tall and me small in comparison. I disappeared in her hug as she wrapped her arms around me. I was suddenly surrounded by warm fur and I could her her heartbeat. I suddenly thought to myself, this is why I had been walking. I finally found whatever it was I was supposed to.

She pulled me away and motioned for me to follow her. She took me to her home. A huge warm cave, with a stream running through the back of the cave. We sat before a warm fire, ate berries and nuts, and drank from the stream until I was full and drowsy.

When night came she once again allowed me to curl up next to her, disappear inside of her as she would if she were protecting her own cub. We lay there, watching the stars move across the sky and the fire burn down to embers. Our heartbeats slowly became one rhythm and I drifted off to sleep knowing that I was finally home.

In the morning, we again ate and drank until we were full. She then moved to the front of the cave and motioned for me to come. I thought she wanted to show me something. But she motioned for me to leave. Lovingly, but firmly. I was stunned, I looked at her begging her not to make me, compassionate but firmly she motioned again for me to go. And so I did. Down from the mountain and back into that valley of silk grass. I began to walk, like I always had. I turned once to see her one more time but I had walked too far and she was out of sight. So I turned, and continued walking.

And so there ends my dream.

I began to mull it over the moment I woke up. It was too vivid to not mean anything to me. And so I began looking for the parallel in my life to this experience. I found 3 possible interpretations. I would like very much to share them with you.
We are all on our separate journey. We most times don’t know the where or the why’s of it. But we go, because, well that’s what we do.

Perhaps, the bear came to to me as a manifestation of God’s love.
A reminder, of the great love, the great comfort in which God extended to each of us. He fed me, warmed, and comforted me. He slaked my thirst. Held me until we became one heartbeat. But in the morning, he expected me to continue on. That I still did have a journey and although I didn’t want to go because I felt I was home, he knew it wasn’t time for me to come home. I needed to finish whatever the heck I was I was doing.

Perhaps, the bear represented our church.
Again, a reminder of the great comfort this church, our church extends to each of us that comes here thirsty for comfort and warmth. That we as a church are that bear, we should aspire emulate that bear. Fold each other into our church. Be sure to offer the hospitality, find the needs of one another and of our visitors and offer sanctuary, no matter for how short of a time it is, from the journey each of us are on. So as we walk the next 6 days of our lives, we remember vividly the comfort and are sustained.

Perhaps, the bear represents each one of us as individuals.
Oooh, this is the hard one for me because it is no longer God taking care of me, its no long the church taking care of each other as a group. Now, its just me. Do I extend the comfort and the safety of the bear to those I deal with in my 6 days of walking in my journey? After my needs have been met here on my 7th day? Do I make sure that people know there is a safe place with me, no matter the reason they need one? Do I encourage them to continue on, give them courage to continue with the knowledge that there will always be a safe place, a loving place with me, when their journey has been long and arduous, or disappointing or faith breaking? Am I doing that? I don’t know, I hope so. I know I will continue to try to do better.

So ends my speculation over what my voices brought to me last Sunday night.
Please join me in the Call to Worship…

Call to Worship

We gather in the Spirit of God,
Many people with a common purpose,
To live the way of God in our lives and world.


Teach Me Wisdom

The Spirit of Wisdom surrounds us
Filling us with knowledge of God’s will
And shaping our hearts into the very heart of God

Teach Me Wisdom

Come, and practice wisdom ways
In this sacred community
That knows and wills the righteousness of God.

Teach Me Wisdom
amen

The Difference

Every secret of a writer’s soul, every experience of his life, every quality of his mind is written large in his works.

Virgina Woolf

The Difference

One of the things which I have discovered during my journey is that sex is ummm, well, different.

Men, in my experience, no matter their intents and purposes, position their women partners for sex. It has always left me feeling as if I have lost or left or had taken a piece of myself afterwards. Always an undefined overwhelming feeling of sadness and loss. I feel less. I think back over my het history, which has been busier than some and I wonder to myself how there is anything left of me with all the pieces left behind with each futile act of love-making there has been. I always wondered why it felt so bad. I don’t wonder though, why I kept going. I know why. I always thought it was just me. That I was one of these women who just didn’t like it. That the advice to “Lie back and think of England” although told to someone else years before seemed meant for me as well.

In contrast to my rich het history, I can count on one very small finger my experience with women. But even still it was such a dramatic difference that I feel confident enough to say with certainty that it wasn’t just me all along. While men position their partners, women dance together. It has a very equal, liquid rhythm. Overwhelming me with connection that I never knew existed. It never seems to have a beginning nor does it end suddenly. I remember waiting for the emptiness that never came, I remember looking at myself in the mirror surprised I was all there. Complete.

I have tried to explain this to my straight friends. I have tried to come up with all sorts of high-minded, complicated reasons for it to satisfy even the most educated among them. But the truth isn’t complicated or hard to explain. The truth is there is a difference and the difference exists because I am a lesbian.

stock-photo-69602507-woman-with-lgbt-pride-flag

Micro Blog Monday

Endoscopy, not my idea of a great activity choice,  pretty much ever.     female-doctor-with-endoscopy-equipment-and-patient-on-a-cotThis is a female Dr. who looks more like a chef than a specialist in stomach issues,  unless she just wants to see how much I like her food after dinner.   I am now left with not all of my brain cells firing tonight.  They told me not to make any big decisions today.  I hope they didn’t include to blog or not to blog.   Chances are I will not remember this stellar piece tomorrow.  It will, however be burned into your brain for a long time.  I apologize in advance.microblog

Just Enough Radiation

When i was little my mother had this little bottle of Mercury. yes, Mercury (Hg, 80) the element. I don’t know what a mild mannered average house wife would be doing with a jar of Mercury but she would let us play with it at the kitchen table. it would ball up and separate, you would chase it around with your fingers and try to smoosh the balls back together… how did I survive?

TBT Flowers From South Africa

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Flowers From South Africa

I received a Christmas card today from South Africa! When I opened the card all excited like delicate dried blue and beige flowers tumbled into my lap. I instantly teared up. Dear friend Cecile! She never stops delighting me!

I met Cecile, (I call her Cec…prounounced seeeeeessss though she has never heard my voice, that is what people in my physical life know her by) on an online expecting club in 98. We both sharing only a due date in March 99. Over the years though she became more like a sister. Soul mate. A person that you know will always be in your life. There is something about her that spans the miles. As I looked down at my lap filled with flowers she was suddenly there. Her smile I’ve only seen in a faded picture I have and a hug that I always feel but have never actually had. I was both saddened by the miles and delighted by the opportunity that the internet has brought into our lives. We can touch so many more people now. We can know people whom we may have never knew existed. We are afforded a glimpse into our “sameness” as well as our differences. We are connected by our humanity in a way that no one could have ever dreamed of before.

I carefully picked up the flowers and put them back in my envelope… they are waiting for the “perfect place” to show itself here in my home. My card said this:

Wense vir alles wat mooi is vir Kersfees en die komende jaar…

Which loosely translated means may everything be beautiful at Christmas and have a happy new year…

To you Cecile I say: Gelukkig lewe innig vriend!

which either means I am wishing her a “happy life dear friend!” or “hand me that banana”. I am never quite sure.

The Son Also Rises

Parenting is so hard.   I often joke that if someone had convinced me of how much heartbreak comes with the job I would have never had children.  Except,  that I wanted kids.  The more I had the more I wanted.  They are amazing  little creatures and for the lucky parents who can stay home and watch them grow everyday,  it is albeit, long, a wonderful thing.  Until that day that you let the outside world in.  Whether its preschool or Kindergarten, they change.  They say things you have never heard them say before.  They do things that they never did before.  Slowly,  they even begin to think for themselves.  Something happens then.  You find yourself grieving the loss of your child as you raised them.   You let the outside into your house and it went straight for your child.

We also, during this time, are still living our own life in the middle of every one of our children’s lives.  Some do it without too much (at least from the outside looking in) stumbling.   There are still holiday get togethers,  Birthday parties,  BBQ’s  etc.  Some of us though have to live through the brokenness of marriages,depression, divorce.  Having to own the truth that you failed at providing the perfect up bringing of our children.   They get frustrated,  they get angry.  We get frustrated and angry.  Many of us tack on guilt and shame toward ourselves when we realize that whatever we choose to do in life we drag our children through the mess as well.

Most of us ( parents and children)  survive.  Not without a nagging pain, we think, ” I should have done…  whatever different.”   Young adults have that thought as well about us, as well as their own demons that tell them they should’ve acted differently.  They have a nagging feeling once they have left the tattered nest, that we were disappointed with them.  They sometimes think that perhaps we wish we never had them.  They have to wonder if we may have lost the love for them while the storm raged in the household.  Perhaps we would never forgive them for their part of the calamity of family life.  Funny though,  as parents, we are thinking the same thing.  Our hearts hurt.   Sometimes it seems as if its an impossible happening,  our children still love us even after _________ .    I now know that those beautiful children are worrying about the same thing.

Then suddenly,  you find yourself sitting at an outdoor cafe with your #1 son.   He is amazing and adult and carrying his own thoughts and worries about your opinion of him as much as you are worried about him still loving you.   Funny but we both still love each other.  We walked through the fire separately long before the beer and pizza in the sidewalk cafe.   He hugged me and his little sister ( who is now as tall if not a bit taller than he)  and held on tight.

He called my #2 daughter who has been fighting off addiction for a very long time.  We both,  #3 and me got to talk to her.  We were once again, connected.  I asked for her number and  I will get it off of my #1’s phone.  She wants to talk to me for fun and chatting.   We were all aware that one of us is still missing.   We were all aware that #4 has been left to be raised by bigots and liars and hate.   We all miss her,  Emma Bear,  you have a complete family here and will always be here for the time you decide that family is important and your family is waiting, you family think of you, and you are welcome back,  just as we all were today, under an umbrella with beer and pizza.  We will hold your spot.  As it seems as if all of us have been saving a chair for us all.reunion1

In fact,  when we began to say our goodbyes, my son hugged me more times that I can count.   I love you #1!  I hope you find a way into see Third Eyed  Blind…  you may not remember it but we used to sing the Do do do do do ta do….  all the way from the grocery store.   Yeah, its about heavy drugs,  but it was fun and we would skip to the car singing that.  And I was the luckiest woman in the world.  I love you son.   I never stopped.  I never will.  You are a piece of my heart and the memories are deep in my head.    You have turned into a magnificent grown up.  I will never lose touch with you again. Unless you hide really well.   Then whaaaaa?