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Month: November, 2015

I asked my son to call me Nik, out of respect

I am huge on respecting my elders.  Still, I am thankful that I grew up in a place that taught me to call adults by their first names.  As if their marriage status was irrelevant to holding a conversation with them.  As if I was a human too, and not hoping to grow into one.

A few years ago, in trying to express to my child that I am a whole person–

not just the one who picks up his dirty socks

or the one who cooks his meals

or the one who works for his shelter

or holds his pain

or tickles his laughter

— I asked him to call me Nik, out of respect.

I wanted him to see me as a person in the world, not just a person who meets his needs.

I wanted him to understand me as human and dismantle the pedestal he had built for me to serve him from.

Not because I am afraid of heights.

Because it is difficult to hold his hand from up there.

Because I am more than his mother.

Because when he declares, “This is what a feminist looks like” I want it to be because he cares about women, as humans, not because he has a mother.  Not because he is supposed to.

Because it is his truth.

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Invitation to Be/live

I have been invited to church, to lodge, to pray in the woods.

To make art, to build alters for the dead, to study the Bible.

She, and then she, reads my cards and counts my stars,

she prays on her knees,

while I look up at the moon.

I have been invited

and often I go,

or come,

somehow I arrive

in these spaces

nothing feels more real or beautiful

Have you ever cried during someone else’s song of praise?

Have you ever trembled during the baptism of a stranger?

Outside of these spaces I think: missionaries, sheep, rape and war.

Capitalist communion.  Cultural appropriation.  Deflection and pacification.

 Have you ever wondered what you’re taking in exchange for offering your God?

Have you ever wondered what you’re offering in exchange for worshiping their gods?

Offering; spirituality for profit.

Even yoga makes me uncomfortable.

But to watch someone interact with their faith,

Not attend church, but to show up

This is what I have always been searching for

Waiting as a girl on church steps for

.                     my friends and their families to come out

.                     to believe in something so completely that I forget that everything fails

And then, she curled up in this communal space, front row, her legs folded beneath her,

And she took notes.

I don’t know what she wrote

But I read colors spiraling inside like the northern lights,

the kind of intensely gentle touch that heals.

Intentional

She offers it to herself.

I sway to the notes that are not for me

as the congregation sings, moves

we’re moved.

Eyes closed, lungs filled with praise.

Breath.

.                       Breathe.

.                                                Breathing fresh

air is something I cannot see.

But faith, she holds up

She reads it to me like the embrace of

a bedtime story

.                                           with a surprise ending.

Or a bright light

shining through a man-made tree,

reimagined.  Multiplied by three.

Draft 11/2/2015