Saturday, April 02, 2005

Relocating

I'm packing up The Tent, and moving sites over to Typepad.

See you over there.

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Friday, April 01, 2005

One Man's Trash is Another Man's Treasure

I watched Oprah yesterday (yes I watch Oprah, and I like her) and her guests were Venus and Serena Williams and Jada Pinkett Smith. They were talking with and about young women on issues of sex, self esteem, body image and addiction. One of the other guests was Dr. Robin Smith, a psychologist who counsels young women. In her work she has coined the term "trash cans" as a way to describe young women in today's society. Sounds harsh, but I think she's on to something.

She went on to say that sexually, physically, emotionally, young women have become a dumping ground, a receptical, a depository for the garbage of others. Sperm. Feelings of inferiority. Insecurity. Anger. Mostly by young men. In this process, the young men feel inflated while the young women shrink down smaller and smaller.

I've been thinking about this all day and about the countless young girls and women around the world who are trash cans for political agendas, religious agendas, financial and economic agendas, fear, poverty, brokenness, distorted ideals. When something is agenda driven, what happens to the medium? It becomes a means to an end. A thing. And what happens when that medium is a person, a woman, a young girl? We stop seeing the person. We stop seeing the heart, the soul.

A few minutes after the show ended, I learned that Terri Schiavo had died. I had no intention of going there, of wading into the circus that has become this woman's life. But I don't think the timing was any coincidence. I am a visual person. Concepts, ideas, prayers all come alive for me in pictures. And the previous hour of reflecting on this idea of the trash can brought some perspective to the many thoughts and feelings that have been swirling around in me in the days leading up to her death.

My deepest desire is for peace for Terri, comfort for her family, and privacy and dignity for them all. My personal views on the moral issues involved, whether I agree or disagree with the actions of the past few weeks are going to remain that. Personal.

But after the assault of CNN, the morbid "Day 10: No Food and Water" accounting, and stories profiling what can be expected from an autopsy, all I could think about was the trash can. It seems to me that the heart, the life, the story of Terri has been lost somehow and it makes me feel angry, disgusted and sad. And let me be clear that if it was the CBC instead of CNN, I would feel the same way. With all due respect and compassion, this woman has become a trash can for religious and political agendas. An opportunity for groups to have a national platform and free publicity to push their ideals and agendas a little farther forward. For politicians to move their positions favourably in the voter polls. I am a Jesus follower, and am embarassed by Christians who wave signs reading "Murderers go to hell" and who think that Jesus would give that a thumbs up. And somebody please explain to me what picketing the hospice decked out in an American flag and a sequined Abraham Lincoln-type hat has to do with the life of this one woman. And let me be clear that if it was a Canadian flag, I would feel the same way. And how does the life and death of this one woman incense so many people who at the same time can turn their eyes away from the millions of people, many of them women and children, who suffer unjustly every day? I hate to think that the answer is about agendas. If it fits the agenda, we'll pick up the cause. If it doesn't, we won't. I don't know what else to think. It's supposed to be all about the heart, about love, about compassion and grace, about being joined through our weakness and brokenness, not judgement and condemnation and arrogance. God help us if we lose the heart.

So today I'm thinking about those young women on Oprah, Terri, Lou and every woman and child around the world. I pray that today they are the depositees of love. It's time to take out the trash.

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Thursday, March 31, 2005

Pens and Paints and Gettin' On With It.......

So before my recent post, it's been quite awhile since I've written anything. But I haven't pulled out of Blog World. I've kept up with my favourite blogs, and found many new ones. I guess that makes me a lurker. In the past month or so I've noticed something really interesting. Alot of people seem to be struggling with this forum. What to write. What not to write. Fearing that they've written the wrong thing after receiving nasty comments totalling numbers somewhere in the double digits. Realizing that life outside the blog is crumbling by the day, laundry isn't done, vases filled with dead stems, rotting water and surrounded by fallen petals are everywhere (guilty) and you haven't talked with a real person since you don't know when. Deciding that a blog sabbatical is necessary....a challenge but required nonetheless.

I can relate. My blog crisis came in the new year and I wish I could say I've worked it all out. I haven't. I still struggle with how much is too much and what is the purpose for even doing this. It has to be about more than me.

One thing I do know. Not writing has been bad. The other day I was whining and lamenting about the fact that I have no gifts, no creative juices, nothing that I can pore myself into as a means of expression, of telling a story or just waxing poetic on various issues of life. Jen did the irritating thing, but the only thing a good bf should do. She called bs on me. "You paint, you write, and you've stopped doing both of those things". Mercifully, she let it slide that my guitar has been in it's case under my bed since I moved two years ago. But I know she was thinking it.

So today I'm making a committment to get back at it. Why, and for what I still don't know. But maybe it doesn't even matter. Today I wrote something and that feels good. And the other night I painted by candlelight with Jen and a friend of ours who was riding out the horrible effects of withdrawal.

Maybe I'll even dust off my guitar one of these days.

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Monday, March 28, 2005

Loosed

“Woman, thou art loosed” – Luke 13

Woman, thou art loosed;

Woman in East Vancouver, chained to addiction and selling your soul,
Thou art loosed.

Woman in Bulgaria, chained to poverty, abuse, powerlessness, hopelessness,
Thou art loosed.

Woman in India, chained to gang rape and suicide, paying the price for the crime of another,
Thou art loosed.

Woman in China, chained to grief, giving away your baby girl, paying the price for the crime of gender,
Thou art loosed.

Woman in Africa, chained to mutilation, loss of innocence, sickness, death, grief as you prepare to bury your child. To orphan your child.
Thou art loosed.

Woman in America, chained to perfection, external everything but internal nothing,
Thou art loosed.

Woman down the street, chained to the slow hemorragh of the soul that is emotional abuse,
Thou art loosed.

Woman in the mirror...
Chained to lies, distortions, a mind like an electrical panel, sparking and short-circuiting;
A skipping record, the same song over and over again.
Chained to a past drowned in alcohol, gone forever but never to be forgotten.

Woman in the mirror...

Thou, too, art loosed.

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Monday, December 13, 2004

Bono Vox

I haven't written anything here in almost two months. And it's been gnawing at me. And it's apparantly been gnawing at other people who have started asking me when I'm going to write again. This blog, this medium.....they've been on my mind alot in the last couple of months. I haven't figured out all the reasons why I stopped writing here, but there are a few that have surfaced.

I've been doing alot of personal work. Deep digging. It has been fruitful but exhausting, and quite frankly I haven't had the energy or the concentration to write anything. Where I have been writing is in the project my bf and I have taken on, a book/prayer journal for women struggling with addiction. It's been an unbelievable experience so far, but I haven't felt like I've had much left at the end of a day of writing or research.

I know at times I have felt pretty exposed and vulnerable after hitting that "publish" icon. For whatever reason, it hasn't always been a good feeling.

But probably the bigger issue here for me has been purpose. This has to be about more than just me, more than merely a place to vent or unload to make me feel better. A good friend of mine talks with disdain and a slight hint of boredom about the art of "navel-gazing". I don't want to navel-gaze. I don't want to join a mutual admiration society. I have an amazing support system, a God appointed journeying partner, and so I'm not necessarily even looking for community or relationship.

This probably sounds really harsh, and I apologize to anyone who takes offense at my comments. They are not directed to any one person. I know that the blogging world represents many things to many people, and I think that's a great thing. I have just been really struggling with what it means to me. What am I trying to contribute? What am I wanting to communicate?What is it I'm looking for? What is the purpose in having this medium?

Today I was flipping through a new book my husband received, and in it was a little trivia about U2's Bono. Diehard fans will know that his real name is Paul Hewson. Bono is a childhood nickname. But it wasn't his full nickname. His full childhood nickname was Bono Vox.

Good voice.

Bono Vox means "good voice".

I want to have a good voice. I have the privilege of a medium, and I want to make sure I have a good voice. A voice with intent, with purpose. I'm still not completely sure what that means for me, but it's the question I'm sitting with.

Peace to you this season, and may we all be mediums of good voice.

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Saturday, October 09, 2004

Couldn't Have Said It Better.....

Amy has written a great post on women and soul friends, entitled "Fellow Wanderers, Part 2". Check it out.

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Monday, September 20, 2004

Highlights, Lowlights & Can I Get a Witness....

There was a time when 10:45 on a Sunday morning would find me no where other than the not so comfortable pews of "my" church.

That was then. This is now.

Yesterday, on a sunny fall day, Starbucks in hand, I went to see my girl Kelly for highlights, a cut and a general lift to my spirit. It was 10:45am.

I sat down in her chair and we started nattering. She knows I love Jesus. How is the book writing progressing?, she asks. What's happening in the ministry?, she asks.

Have I seen the movie "Saved"?, she asks. We discuss the difference between being religious, being "a Christian" and being someone who loves Jesus and wants to do their best to live in the way that he lived. To love in the way that he loved. Unconditionally. Without judgment. With forgiveness. With an eye on the heart.

She is very creative and I ask about her photography and painting. She looks at me, somewhat hesitantly and says, it's taken a bit of a dark turn. Ok, what does that mean?, I ask. She starts to try and explain, and then finally says, oh here I'll just show you.

She brings me a book. I open it and find black and white photographs of old dolls. Antique porcelain dolls. Their dresses are torn and dirty. Their hair is messy. Many of them have cracks in their faces and are broken. She is looking at me, wondering what I'm thinking. I ask her to share with me what this means to her, what it is that she's trying to express.

She says they are dolls that are old and broken and discarded. But to her they have a story. They were well loved. They brought happiness and comfort to their owners. Even though they are broken and dirty, she says, there is beauty in them. I see their beauty.

She's watching for my reaction, because some have seen only the darkness in these photos. I smile, and share my thoughts with her. Oh good, she says, you get it.

Yes, Kelly, I get it. Blessings to you, and your beautiful heart.

Now that's my kind of church.....

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