So, thanks to readers for hanging with me for twenty-four hours. The cat's out of the bag now, so I can type freely!
The tough news is: my beloved pastor and his family are moving back to Kentucky, to their old church (of 5 years ago, before they moved up here). It's an exciting time for them, and a new adventure for our church family as we embark on finding the next pastor to lead us. God is good, and while this knocked me off my feet yesterday, He was not only unsurprised, but the orchestrator of the whole thing. (He's awfully sneaky.) But it got me to thinking, as I wrote last night, about what defines a community.
And I've been working hard since last night to keep this positive attitude going, but let's be honest: change isn't many people's strong suit, and it certainly isn't mine. I love Scot and Cathy and their daughters (the youngest was one of my class of teens that I worked with all four years, so especially close to my heart), and it sucks to lose them. That doesn't counteract my feelings of excitement and new adventure, but tthay're all tangled up together. True to my prediction, I bawled like a baby this morning when he announced it, but am keeping my big-picture view going: Excitement. New adventure. God orchestrating. All good.
Different angle of slicing (with and against the grain, perhaps?):
Had a good long chat with a friend tonight about all manner of things. And I tried to keep my own challenge from a few days ago. It's not that Anna and I have very different opinions, but when you're talking about ideas of mercy and judgment and grace, everyone's views are a little different. And it was awesome to just let her talk and to listen, and to then respond, not out of proving my point or refuting hers, but just sharing my thoughts and perspectives. Good stuff.
And lastly, that put me in mind of a poem, so I had to go digging to look for it. It was, as I suspected, in my blue binder with the cover sheet reading, "Other People's Poetry, or, Alert the Media! Chandra Is an English Major After All!" (This was a personal project of mine when, after I'd finished eviscerating yet another member of the English literature canon, my unofficial college advisor demanded, "Could you bring me some form of literature that you actually LIKE??" I compiled the binder--and have added to it since--and brought it and some books over to him a couple weeks later. Aren't you jealous that you didn't have me as a student??)
I found this among some things of my grandmother's (yes, Jenny, our mutual) things. I think Dennis was her cousin, but I couldn't swear to that. To my knowledge, it was and remains unpublished--just in a collection of hers. I read this for the first time when I was still in high school, only hitting the tip of the iceberg of the writers' circles and publications he describes. Sadly, it becomes truer the older I get.
by Dennis Rodney Nicholson
More people write
than read poetry
So, apart from
which only contributors read
and circles where you listen
for your turn to speak
(still the user pays, but cheap)--
there is no margin
on this bottom line:
except in keeping
loonies off the streets:
costing less than the dole
or a padded cell
to fuel their self-esteem.