Saturday, October 28, 2006

Keep 'em at home

Did you see Michael J. Fox being interviewed by Katie Couric this week? Amazing. He thinks he’s still a star. He’s not staying where those who have disabilities should stay – in the far background. He’s out in public with his spastic movements and repudiating mean comments about his political videos. He’s there in front of the camera as always he has been, getting our attention and making a fool of himself.

And, it’s just as effective now as it was when he was starring in movies. Amazing, isn’t it, that someone with such a disease could be so personable and so honest? He just won’t stay where he belongs – at home, out of sight. Ever since Betty Ford went public about her alcoholism, prominent people are admitting to their infirmities. I just don’t know what the world is coming to when we can’t watch television without having to see someone who has survived breast cancer or drug rehab (ask me about them again after they’ve been clean for 15 years) or some other unmentionable thing.

Of course, their public admittance of their problems may have saved many lives and influenced many people to get help who would otherwise have suffered in silence at home. People who used to peek out from behind curtains and sneak into the closet when they went to work are now being their own humiliating selves wherever they go. My grandmother would be horrified and say we should not even look at such things lest we shame the person. Don’t embarrass him/her by looking; pretend nothing is wrong, and, if you must speak, keep it impersonal and brief. Don’t get involved.

Personally, I think it’s about time we got involved and spoke to those who have been shunted to the sides of society. When will we see pictures of a debutante in a wheelchair or with Downs Syndrome? And, what’s this spat over which bathroom the transsexual in the House of Commons should use? Who cares?

Much is made about the increasing incidences of mental illness and other diseases such as autism in recent decades. Don’t you think that we are able to diagnose those things better and that less stigma is attached to the diagnosis? Are there really more autistic children or do we just understand the disease better? Perhaps both. Perhaps, we are creating an environment where neurological abnormalities happen more often.

Diagnoses of many diseases are still intuitive in spite of the many tests we have developed. But, families are no longer willing to hide their symptoms under a basket. They are asking for the intuitive thinking of internists and specialists. I can’t watch House on television because the tension makes me want to scream, but he’s using all the resources he can have in order to help people. We need more doctors and more people who are not afraid to use their intuition along with the facts to make decisions.

People with disabilities and illnesses, like Michael J. Fox with Parkinson Disease, are telling the world the facts of their problems and using intuition to help find solutions. They are brave in the face of societal shunning and horror.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

God versus Nothingness

Oh, Maggie Dawn has recalled a quotation from Karl Barth that I love.
[God] knows the Nothingness. He knows that which he did not elect or will as the creator. He know Chaos and its terror. He knows its advantage over his creature. He knows how inevitably it imperils his creature. Yet he is Lord over that which imperils his creature. Against him, the Nothingness has no power of its own. And he has sworn faithfulness to his threatened creature...
He would rather let himself be injured and humiliated in making the assault and repulse of Nothingness his own concern than leave his creature alone in this affliction. He deploys all his glory in the work of his deepest condescension. He intervenes in the struggle between Nothingness and the creature as if he were not God but himself a weak and threatened and vulnerable creature…. This is how God himself comes on the scene. —Karl Barth, Church Dogmatics III/3, 358
I’ve been sick now since late August, and I’m not only getting tired of being sick and tired, I’m beginning to feel hopeless. Sunday was such a day. The Nothingness sucked me in. I couldn’t go to church, even though my favorite preacher and priest was there. I couldn’t enjoy food, even though the leftover cake was wonderful. My legs cramp when I lie down; so I couldn’t even sleep the day away. Plus, in mopping up cake crumbs, I slipped and did the splits for the first time in my life – thought I might rather die, couldn’t walk for a few minutes and still hurt some.

Now, I have words to express my feelings. I am a creature of God, and I know I am loved by God and by many humans. But, the Nothingness took over, and I was powerless. I felt trapped in a black hole where hope and love and kindness could not reach me. I was scared of facing the darkness and paralyzed to turn to the light.

Today I feel better. The soreness from my slip on the wet floor is almost gone. My cough is better. My energy level is better. My legs still ache, but I did get to rest on the bed for 20 minutes or so early this afternoon. And, it’s my birthday, 61 mostly delightful years.

God comforts me with the words of Karl Barth: that God has all power over the Nothingness, even when we humans do not. God intervenes in the struggle between the black holes of our lives and the light. When I could not lift myself, God did.

I want to examine this text a bit more because it implies that the crucifixion and resurrection are the ways that God demonstrates care for “his threatened creature.” And, I am not sure what I think about crucifixion and resurrection. I tend to be more of an incarnational believer – it was enough that God became human in the form of Jesus Christ, and the crucifixion and resurrection were a bit of overkill. But, this makes me wonder how rephrasing the passion and its purpose (not changing the purpose, but making it more understandable in my world) might change my belief a bit.

Friday, October 20, 2006

The ugly humbles

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. So, supposedly, is art. Well, I have created the ugliest piece of artwork that I may have ever seen. What began as a wonderful drawing, very graphic, very smooth and soooo good has turned into a nightmare. The round iconic drawing of a raven with a woman in the center became a horrifying mess of purple turning to black messed up with streaks of white. Ugly! Ugly!

Susie tried to tell me that it wasn’t ugly, and, if it was ugly, why did I keep it? Well, it’s ugly, and I kept it to remind me that not everything I try will work. Not everything I do will be good. Progress is being made, but that painting so ugly that I turned it away from the clock so the clock wouldn’t stop. She finally agreed that it was not pleasing.

What value does ugly have? If we, as Christians, should embrace our suffering and offer it up to God, then, should we also offer up the ugly? I can’t imagine God being pleased with such an offering. God might be pleased that we are making progress, and we can offer our progress and our learning up as blessings, but ugly?

This painting was humbling. I was so pleased that I was progressing in learning how to paint and draw. I was actually creating pleasing things. I even liked my color exercises. And, oh me, when I did this round drawing of the raven, I was ecstatic. Susie kept saying, “Paint it.” So I did.

I am certain there are a lot of sayings about messing up good things, and several come to mind – none that I would put them in print. So I am considerably more humble about my artistic talent. Which is probably a good thing. My mother would say that it needs to carry over into the rest of my life, too; I have little humility according to her. But, she’s dead; so what does she know now. Humility is thinking more of God than you do of yourself, and I have a lot of humility – at least about most things.

Perhaps our mistakes, our uglies, serve to keep us humble and grateful. I will keep the ugly raven painting just as I keep memories of times when I have hurt others or made ugly mistakes. They will serve as a reminder to me not to think more of myself than I do of God. But, I really wanted to be God.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Madpriest points out today that broadcast coverage of an apparent accident where a small plane crashed into an apartment building in New York and two people were killed has taken precedent over a misguided war in which 650,000 people have lost their lives. Hours of live coverage of smoke, the fire was put out quickly, have shifted our minds from the seemingly impossible task of creating a democracy in a country where blood wars are prevalent and compromise is increasingly unlikely. But, we are all tired of the war, tired of hearing about bombings and bloodshed and death. Even a major pile-up on the highway could have distracted us from a war that is insane.

Our individual and collective attention spans are getting shorter and shorter. I don’t read stories about the war in Iraq any longer. I try to forget that the war in Afghanistan is ongoing. And, I really don’t want to know about Darfur, human slavery, abduction of young girls, and how many people were killed in a mudslide someplace in the South Pacific. That’s all very depressing. I want to be happy and have fun and enjoy life. I’m entitled; after all, I’m a white female American.

Maybe not. No matter how deep I bury my head in the sand, the voices of the dead and dying cry out for mercy and peace. The hungry stomachs rumble like thunder while I laugh about Mom’s saying I should eat my peas because there were starving children in Africa. Well, starving children and adults are still in Africa, and I ate my peas. What do I do now?

Mother Teresa said that love begins with one person, but how can we concentrate on loving even one person when we are besieged with the injustice, violence and degradation of the world. When you’re up to your ass in alligators, it’s hard to remember you came to drain the swamp. That’s an old saying from my childhood, not that I would want to drain the swamp, appropriately called wetlands now. How can we concentrate on feeding the hungry, caring for the sick and comforting the dying, when newspapers, magazines, television, internet news and blogs all are discussing the various horrors of the world?

So, periodically, I take a break from it all. I don’t read the newspapers, not even the comics (which I now get online). I never have watched much television. I don’t turn on the radio. But, I never expected to find an article about Iraq in my latest copy of Vogue. I didn’t read it. I kept looking at the glamorous people and their beautiful clothes and jewelry. Even though I didn’t read the article, the fact of its being there has me agonizing over the stupidity of violence and greed.

I write letters and make my concerns known to those in power, and little comes of it. I will vote in this election and all elections because that’s one way I do have a voice. But, one person’s letters, voting and prayers don’t seem to do much good. I’ve diversified my retirement funds so that I’m not supporting those who seem to be grabbing for power or those that harm the world, the people or the animals (at least as far as I know). I do what I can. But, the situation seems to escalate. Or is it just that we know more about what’s going on in the world than we did when I was younger?

We are bombarded with so many images – natural disasters, wars, rape, drugs, police cars with lights flashing, fire sirens and the images change so quickly that comprehending the first one is impossible before another is there. Juxtaposed against these images are the advertisements that ask to buy more and more expensive and luxurious products touted by the famous people of the world. And, produce placement within ads – that Coke bottle on the table of the ad for convenience food – proliferate. Now, a company in North Carolina is producing scents that will enhance the appeal of certain products to certain shoppers. Sony has customized a scent that would appeal to women so that more women will shop in their stores.

The relationship between wars, greed and violence and the American (and perhaps world) desire for MORE is readily apparent in any newscast, magazine or other media. Love is the most renewable resource in the world, but fuel oil is not. Ideas that are innovative and creative multiply, but gold does not. We all seem to want more of those in limited supply.

This is another discussion that has no good ending for me. I still want to be happy and I don’t want to hear about war and violence. On the other hand, I want everyone to have all they need and lots of what they want. What some people seem to want is my life because I am a white female American, because I do have a retirement account, because I am gay, because I am a liberal and a Christian. I can’t give them my life. I’m not that good.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

In the sweet by and by

My gardening friend, Mimi, and I have been writing each other about how circumstances have kept us from working in our yards this summer and so far into the fall. In her latest email, she wrote, “Recently I’ve been seeing how beautiful it is, and whatever it needs I’ll do next year or the one after that, and how much fun it is to have this palette that I can play with and do whatever I want with.”

She also wrote about how our perception of time changes as we grow older, and that’s what has struck me as most profound today. She wrote, “Isn’t it wonderful to be so old that instead of next year being ages away it's just a short while? I love the fact that I have no impatience regarding the little things I plant and just know that they'll get big sooner or later.”

Instead of next year being ages away, it’s just a short while. And she’s right. I don’t worry about how far away next summer is or how long it will be until I can ride my jet ski again. Time will pass and before I think it possible, I’ll be out on the creek riding again. The more seasons that I have the less I worry about how fast or how slowly they are going. Patience comes with grounding in the present and enjoying or enduring what is.

When I look to the past, however, time seems even shorter. Our memories of long past events grow more vivid as the time lengthens between the event and now, especially if the event was important. Sometimes, however, ordinary memories catch us off guard, though. Colors and smells and feelings come flowing into our now when they really belong in years past. The sprinkling of dust on Susie’s black car brought back the little Ford coupe that my brother owned in high school. We lived out in the country, and it was always covered with dust from the farm and the gravel road. And, I could smell the dust so vividly that I began coughing. The dirt there smelled different than it does here; so I know it was remembered smells and sights from 50 years ago.

Perhaps this perception of time is part of hope. If next year is only a short while away, then my long healing process is almost over. If yesteryear is just a flash away, then fearful times are relieved because life is good. And, knowing that those fearful times are past, I know that my illness and new fears will also pass, and life will be good. In the sweet by and by....

Thursday, October 05, 2006

An Heretical Monologue with God

Sometimes instead of a dialogue, where I talk and God gives understanding or mercy or something, I have a monologue with God. This is an heretical monologue that is ongoing. I don’t think I’ve finished talking, and God is surely not answering right now.

The sign on the Presbyterian (PCA) Church down the street says, “Does Jesus have the authority and is he willing to forgive your sins? Read Luke.XXX” After several days of reading the sign, I finally got as far as Luke, but I haven’t gotten the citation down yet.

My first impression was, “Well, sure. Jesus is God. God forgives.” Then I began thinking, and sometimes that is like playing without adult supervision, unsafe. Why does God forgive? Why do I need God to forgive me? Don’t I need those I wrong to forgive me? What does God have to do with this anyway? Never mind Jesus, what about God and forgiveness?

I don’t have any trouble with God as creator and sustainer. I don’t have any trouble with Jesus as God, incarnated here in this world to bring us to an awareness of the One God. I don’t have any trouble with gratitude for life, beauty, goodness, etc. I admit that being thankful for suffering is not my style, but that’s another monologue, I suspect.

I do have trouble with the necessity for God to forgive the harm we do to others – or, as my partner puts it – the joy we steal from others. Why is God the principal forgiver? Shouldn’t the people we harm be the principal forgivers? Yeah, yeah, I know. God created the world and I’m harming God’s creation and so I need God’s forgiveness for that harm. Too far removed for me right now. I can’t get past needing forgiveness from those I’ve harmed. And, we all know that forgiveness is not necessarily forthcoming. Sometimes others don’t forgive.

I do ask God to forgive me, but mostly that’s for me; so I won’t feel guilty any more about what I’ve done or not done. Mostly, that works. I repent. I promise not to do it again (even though I know I probably will). And, I feel forgiven. Is that God? Or is that just my need for expiation of guilt? Is that what God is all about? Gratitude for the good things and forgiveness for the bad? Somehow I don’t think I’ve got this right.

So, I guess I’m going to ponder on it some more, read some scripture – maybe even look up that Luke citation from the sign, and continue this monologue with God. Meanwhile, I fall back on my favorite Hebrew word, hesed, which means mercy, steadfast love, loving kindness.

Monday, October 02, 2006

Fiction: Train on I-65

At 5:14 pm, Interstate 65 was bumper to bumper at 45 miles per hour. I was startled from my rush hour reverie by the amazingly loud sound of a train whistle. I looked in my rear view mirror and the train was puffing a cloud of steam right behind me. Without much thought, I hit the right turn signal and pulled over on the side of the road. The train and 60 cars (yes, I counted them) passed me by – right there on Interstate 65 as I was coming home from work.

Finally, I closed my mouth, stared at the train track and wondered why I was losing my mind right now. Last week would have been a more appropriate time. Last week, I quit my job right after the personnel manager told me that I was certainly mistaken that the sales manager had grabbed my left breast in the hallway of the Furniture Market. Last week I discovered that my ex husband and his new wife were moving to Mobile to operate a bed and breakfast – a dream I’d had for years. Last week my doctor called and said my pap smear was abnormal and could I come in for another check.

A tapping on my window stopped my review of last week. The Incident Management Assistance Patrol (what a name!) driver was asking if I needed help. Well, yes. But, he couldn’t give me the kind of help I needed. What I needed right now was to get back on Interstate 65 and get home. So, I thanked him, rolled up my window, looked at the ash on my windshield and turned on my left turn signal. Finally someone slowed down long enough for me to get back into the line of traffic, and I drove home on what, moments before, had been a train track with a steam engine and 60 cars on it.

Life went on. Nothing else unusual happened to me. I got a job that paid about the same as I had been making in a company that didn’t seem to have too many dorks. And, I love my work. I’m a public relations person, specializing in diversity issues. I was still making the same commute every day, but, at least, I could choose who squeezed my left breast (and my right one, too). The second pap smear and examination were clear. My ex did indeed move to Mobile, but they were managing someone else’s property without an option to buy – and in the hot summertime, too.

After a couple of months, I chalked up my “vision” to overwork, tiredness and anxiety.

With all the Spanish-speaking families moving into our area, I was working with a bank on how to attract these families to open a checking account when they don’t have a social security card, are afraid of “institutions”, and don’t make much money anyway. As I was driving home on Wednesday of that week, I was deep in thought about places where we could develop trust with the Hispanic people.

A blast of steam whistle, repeated in staccato fashion, blew me out of this century. The train was behind me again. Cursing, I pulled over on the shoulder and almost ran over an 18 wheeler. The driver slid slowly to the ground between his truck and the train and sidled back alongside the trailer. I motioned him to the passenger side of my Rav 4, and he got in.

We didn’t speak at first, but when the train and its noise were past, we both exploded at once. “So I really did see a train?” “What the hell was that?” We tried to both talk at once for a few sentences. Then silence reclaimed us. We stared incredulously at the train track. Then, it clicked with both of us that the industrial park on the other side of the interstate was gone, too. A few scrub trees and lots of grass covered the rolling hillside.

“Where’s the road?” he asked. “Who are you?”

“I don’t know where the road goes, but this happened to me once before – about three months ago – same place, same time.”

The IMAP man was tapping on my window again, and he had a puzzled look on his face. “Are y’all okay?” he asked. “I’ve found somebody pulled over on the shoulder right here every day for three or four months. And, they always look stunned.”

“Do they ever tell you why?” I asked.

“No,” he said, “they just say they must be tired, and they’ll be okay.”

“Well, it’s the same for us, I guess.”

After he left, we stared at one another for a few more minutes without saying anything.

Then, “Well, I’ve got a deadline to meet,” he said as he opened the car door. “See ya round.” And he was gone.

My head was clearer than it had been. Now, I knew that I’d really seen a train; I wasn’t just day dreaming nor was I tired. The steam locomotive and its cars had been right there on Interstate 65 at 5:14 pm.

“Must be its regular time,” I thought.

As I drove home, I thought about all the train people I’d known when I was doing the newsletter for the C & G Railroad before they went under. Many of those old-timers were dead, but maybe Roger Coulter….

“Roger, this is Anna Salamon. You remember me; I used to do the C & G newsletter back in 1975. Yeah, that’s me.”

After a few pleasantries, I told him I had some more questions about trains and arranged to visit him in Columbus on Saturday. We agreed to meet at his house; he said he didn’t get out too much any more.


Roger’s wife had made the tea I like and had some cookies to refresh me after my four hour drive. We talked about people we’d known and how the world had changed. Then, Roger said, “Anna, you sounded bewildered when you called. What is bothering you?”

“Oh.” And, I told him the story about the “phantom” train on I-65 complete with its 60 cars and the sounds of the engine and the way the track looked and the lack of an industrial park.

“I love a mystery,” he said. “When I studied physics back in the Neanderthal age, they talked about time warps. And, Madeleine L’Engle wrote about tesseracts (wrinkles in time) in the books I read to my kids. Now, I wonder if that’s what you’ve encountered.”

We plotted some facts that we’d need to know, divided them up, and planned to meet again in two or three weeks. I was to discover all I could about when that landscape changed from rural hillside to suburban industry. Roger would get on his computer and find out what he could about train schedules in that area and what companies operated back in the days when steam locomotives were still used. However, neither of us could do much research on time warps, but I was hoping that my college physics professor would help us out or know someone who could.


“Mr. Carson, this is Anna Salamon. I took physics from you in 1964.”

“I’m surprised that you remember me.”

“Oh, the questions I asked. Well, I have some more stupid questions to ask. Yes, I know there are no stupid questions, but these surely do feel stupid.”

“I’ll be over in a few minutes. Thank you.”

Alexander Carson lived in a retirement home about three miles down the road from my apartment; so we met in the library there. I told him about my experiences with the train and about my conversation with Roger.

“Anna, did you take LSD when you were in school?”

“No sir, why?”

“Well, this train could simply be a flashback from some drugs. But, I don’t remember you as being that kind of teenager. Now, there’s been a lot of research lately into what you’re calling time warps. I’ll try to track down some info for you. I’ll call you when I have something.”


“Jake, I need to leave work early today. I have an appointment at 5:14.”

And, with that announcement, I left the building, drove as slowly as traffic would allow along I-65. I pulled a good ways off the road at about the same place the 18 wheeler had been. It was a risk. I could be rear-ended by whoever ended up in front of that train today, but it was a chance I had to take.

And, I didn’t have long to wait. Traffic got heavier, until, just at 5:14 a black Honda suddenly pulled off the road behind me. As I walked back toward the car, a strong wind twirled me around a couple of times, and then I was in the midst of the steam trail from the train. The wheels were whistling all too close to my feet as I edged over to the Honda. The door was unlocked and I just got in without an invitation.

“Are you part of this hallucination?” she asked.

I could tell from the tone of her voice that this was not the first time she’d seen the train. “No,” I said, “I’ve seen the train twice, once alone, and once with a truck driver.”

“Oh, my God! Oh, my God!” She was incomprehensible for a few seconds. “We’re all losing our minds.”

“No, I don’t think so.” And, I told her about Roger and Mr. Carson and what we were doing. “I think the train is in a time warp at this particular place and time every day. And, someone gets caught up in the time warp because traffic is so heavy.”

I took her name and phone number and promised I’d call her as soon as we knew something. Then I drove straight to the library. In the corporate section, a history of the area had before and after pictures of that Westinghouse plant that disappeared every afternoon at 5:14. The area had been a simple rural hillside with cows and scrub trees and grass until 1949. Then Westinghouse had bought the land to build its factory. Other factories and related offices had sprung up in the late 50s and early 60s.

Two weeks later

“Roger, look at this photo of the area. That’s exactly what it looks like when the train is gone. Today there’s a big Westinghouse plant and an access road and the International dealership just beyond. But, this picture was taken in 1949 before the plant was built.”

“Well, Anna. That matches what I’ve found. The Chattnooga Railroad Company operated an afternoon freight from Kingston, Tennessee to Chattanooga for about five years – 1947 to 1952. It was a small company so they used steam locomotives that were fueled with coal. That’s why you had ash on your windshield. No diesel for them.”

So we waited to hear from Mr. Carson. Then, one morning I read the obituaries. Mr. Carson was dead. Our connection to the science of tesseracts and time warps was gone.

It’s been two years now since I first saw the train. Roger and I found pictures of the train in a Chattanooga newspaper. It was decommissioned in 1965 and set up in a park. When I called the Chamber of Commerce to find out about visiting the train, they said it had been dismantled about three months before.

Last week, I stopped at 5:14 just across from the Westinghouse plant. No train appeared, just trash caught in the weeds. As I wandered idly along the side the road – attracting stares from commuters – I picked up pieces of paper as they blew about my feet. Then, I looked down at a 5 x 8 piece of yellowed paper.
The Chattanooga Railroad Company
Bill of Lading
The date was July 22, 1950. I folded it carefully, got in my car and went home. When people ask about that framed railroad souvenir, I just tell them I used to do some newsletter work for railroads. (copyright Margaret Moore)

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Get a life

Connections are important, especially when you move. Moving from college to a new town is hard; often you don’t have connections. Work and building a career provide you with connections; of course, you have to work at this, but the locale is ready-made. Finding social connections is a bit more difficult. I remember going to bars and shopping and going to parks on Saturdays. Most of my contacts came from people I knew at work or in the same career field.

Families with children have built-in connections with other parents, teachers, and, if you are church-goers, people at church.

Retirement moves are the most difficult, especially when you move to an area where you don’t have built-in connections. Work-related friends are left behind. Civic organizations can provide some new relationships – if you’re involved in civic groups. Moving into a retirement neighborhood or one with a “club” can provide acquaintances who may become friends. But, church is frequently the usual place to find new friends. Volunteer service work is a good place, too.

A year ago we moved into a home that had everything we thought we needed to enjoy life. A woodworking shop, a boat dock, a garage, a separate room for my crafts, lots of windows and views of the water. The house needed some work, and that took quite a long time to complete – building a new house might have taken less time. Now that work is finished. We are free to enjoy our new retired life.

Only, I don’t have a retired life yet. I moved, unpacked and parked. I can look at the water all day long if I wish. I can shop, eat out, and come home to feast my soul on the beauty of the place. I still do my crafts/arts. I still keep up with friends by email. I’ve gotten hooked on blogs – reading and writing. But, I don’t really have a life, at least not a life by the standards of before.

I was very active in the church and in the community. I did some consulting work; I met lots of interesting people. I kept up with local political and civic affairs. I had an identity that was based on many of my likes and dislikes, and I had connections throughout the county and even the country.

But, here, I just parked. And, it was good. My Mom always told me, “You can be anything you want to be.” Of course, she always added, “But do learn to type so you can make a living.” Once again, I can create a new identity if I wish. I can be almost anything I want to be. The only problem is that I don’t know who or what I want to be.

Life would be so much easier if people were calling and asking me to do things. Then I could make choices based on what was offered. But, the phone’s not ringing for me. No one knows my skills or talents or interests here, and some days I’m not so sure of them either. What I do know is getting involved with the same things that made up my life before we moved here would be the easiest way to make connections. That was a great life, but I think I may want something different. Only, I don’t know what I do want. The world is out there for my choosing, and the choices are too many.

The downtown Episcopal Church is very large with three clergy and more programs than I can track. The suburban (if you can call it that) church is very small and needs lots of help in growing. No local church fits the same mold as the one I left where I had been happy for many years. And, I don’t change as easily as when I was younger and moved around more often. I didn’t have so many expectations then either. And, no one’s knocking on my door asking me to do something at church. I volunteered for a job once last year, but the project got rained out. Maybe that’s when I quit going to church. I felt rained out. So, I do morning, evening prayer or compline here. And, it is good.

But, I miss the connections. I miss the discussions of church politics. I miss the sermons, the hymns, the music, the pomp of the service, the murmuring silence of communion. I miss being a part of something bigger than me.

Someday soon, I have to “get a life”.