Tuesday, September 28, 2010

toe tapping

If you hear great music playing and I'm in the room, but you don't see me moving, look at my feet. I am the world's most intense toe tapper. There is more intensity in my toe tap than you'll see in a thousand shimmies. Don't get me wrong, I love to dance. But if I don't feel like dancing, my toe tapping will send music appreciation vibrations to China.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Bald Hill

I found a little friend.

A few pictures from my hike up Bald Hill yesterday.
When I reached the top, from which I could see San Francisco... Berkeley and all of Marin County, I read from Henri Nouwen's 'The Inner Voice of Love.'
That's not true. I took a nap. Then I read.

Nouwen's book is different because it isn't one that you read from cover to cover, but rather from entry to entry, day to day. The entry that I read yesterday was entitled 'Bring your body home' and discussed the unity between spirit and body. He explains that the body shouldn't be seen as something that needs to be conquered but integrated and unified.

After hiking for an hour up this "hill" I was very aware of my body. I wasn't sure if it was Bald Hill that I was trying to conquer as much as my upper thigh muscles. Bald Hill presented the perfect opportunity to practice this way of living... and for taking in the amazing realization that this is my back yard.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

likes quiet mornings

I love quiet mornings. I like waking up because your body is ready to stop sleeping, then opening the window to feel some fresh air, fresh sunlight. Walking across hard wood floors by myself. Cooking eggs, toast, pouring coffee. All in a gentle quiet.

Infants come from a warm womb with lulling bodily sounds into a loud, cold, (probably) hospital room. If they are healthy, they cry. I might still be like a baby. I need to accustom myself to the sounds and sights of the day. If I do get this pleasant time... I coo a little bit. If I don't... well, credit to my family and best friend for bearing the brunt of this.

"each pond with its blazing lilies
is a prayer heard and answered
every morning,
whether or not
you have ever dared to be happy,
whether or not
you have ever dared to pray."
Mary Oliver - Morning Poem

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

meditations on aspirations

copyright Gregory Colbert - Ashes and Snow

I've heard and experienced several things in the past two weeks that have both challenged and resounded with me. They are affirmations of my placement here at SFTS, as most of these things have been in assigned readings... classes... chapel.

Yesterday, one of my professors shared with us that he is not going to use the word 'God' for one year. Just as in Judaic tradition, he sees names as serving important functions. They express an ability to truly know and understand someone. The early Jews never spoke the name of YHWH because it indicated that they fully knew YHWH... and how can we, as humans, ever fully comprehend the mystery that is g_d? He is refraining from use of this word in hopes of rediscovering this mystery. What a wonderful way to create consciousness within oneself.

After reading the poem North South East West by Koren poet Kim Kwang-Kyu, my professor made the comment: "There is always something that doesn't like a wall."

I am in a class called Sex & Spirit through the GTU on Thursday evenings. I found in my first introduction to this class, that I am incredibly uncomfortable talking in a group of strangers about sexuality. My inclination is to totally shut off any contribution of my own and to just listen uncomfortably to others. I can't go without saying that the group does have several within it that are going for the shock factor... so maybe I'm not totally to blame. However, I wonder now what walls exist within me and also recognize that there is something else there that "doesn't like a wall."

Monday, September 13, 2010

Power to the Peaceful

Power to the Peaceful is a free concert/festival in Golden Gate Park. Rachel and I decided to venture in and check it out. To sum up the experience, it was fun until there were too many people there. In the picture above, the stage was somewhere in the distance. Where? I never found out!
Highlights included Thai BBQ, running into a crowd of dancing people, and talking with strangers. We did good. Low lights included feeling claustrophobic.

A message that one would receive when approaching the earth...

still not sure what this tent was for.

amazing yogis!

some sort of colorful shrine/monument

Friday, September 10, 2010

wonder of wonders, miracle of miracles - a short story

This past Monday, as I lay me down to sleep... I put on Patty Griffin, for my soul to keep. I set my beautiful little MacBook Pro (which I spent a lot of time and money buying) next to my bed, and set myself up with some water (which can always be found on my nightstand). As I stretched to reach over and switch off the lamp beyond, I sent that tall drink of water a-spilling onto the floor. It fell as a stream onto the rug, with its farthest fingers reaching the keyboard of my singing laptop. The laptop stopped singing.

I'll spare you from the graphic and unattractive details of my panic. To explain it in a way that it did not happen; I gracefully jumped out of bed and flipped my laptop over, so that the water could come out the way that it had gotten in. Long story short: I have had my laptop drying out, closed on a bed of rice, under a box, under my desk for the past 72 hours. I didn't have hopes of this computer coming back on, but I did have hopes of retrieving as much material off of it as possible.

Last night, bracing myself against the inevitable loss of an expensive piece of computer, I pressed its power belly-button. And... wonder of wonders, miracle of miracles... It worked! It yawned from its nap with a chorus-like sound, and acted as if nothing had happened.

Apple gods, God, and rice: I don't know what you did, but I like it.

Monday, September 6, 2010

seminary to the sea chantey

Seminary to the Sea:
Saturday began with a 13 mile hike at 8:30 am. It took about 6 hours to complete and ended up at Stinson Beach where a late lunch met us. For every new muscle that I discovered painfully, there was a breath taking view to make up for it. I kept feeling overwhelmed with the thought... I live here!
Sea Chanteys:
After returning from the hike... resting and showering... I went with some housemates and friends to a 'sea chantey sing'. I'll let you figure out what that is. Here's a hint: we were on a boat and we were singing. I'm going to learn as many sea chanteys as possible before the next one and blow the place up (figuratively speaking).

On Sunday I visited City Church of SF for the first time. This is one of the only churches in my denomination in this area. I must admit... I was very hopeful that I would enjoy the service, as I would like to be active in my denomination. The worship was sincere and the message (although I couldn't gear if my politics line up w/ the pastors.... maybe that's a good thing on his part) was thoughtful and motivating. I think it'll be a good place for me to get settled and get involved.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

the ups and the downs

One of the most frustrating things about making such a big move are the ups and downs involved. There are times when I feel pure gratitude for this new adventure and the potential that is on the horizon. There are other times when I just feel a frustration similar to the feeling of stubbing your toe or hitting your head. As independent as I am, I derive joy and often peace from interactions with others. Thus, when I'm in the thick of feeling like I can't connect to anyone it is sooo frustrating!

A minor example: today at an orientation event there was a table with tubs of potato salad right next to the water coolers. A woman was manning the table. I took a cup and instead of pouring water into it, I mimed spooning potato salad into it. i don't know why i did that... her response was, 'excuse me?' I know that I was the strange one in that case... However, the awkward level produced is what i've been experiencing in normal conversation constantly. I guess I just need more time and patience.

The ups are very satisfying. Last night Rachel and I went to Iron Springs brewery and heard a jazz flutist. He was pretty hilarious... talented at both jazz flute and unique dancing. Rachel and I talked about how jazz is such a great thing to hear live because you can't play jazz without totally giving yourself to the music. Jazz flute and dark beer... you can't ask for much more!