Friday, October 28, 2005

A House of My Own

"Not a flat. Not an apartment in back. Not a man's house. Not a daddy's. A house all my own. With my porch and my pillow, my pretty purple petunias. My books and my stories. My two shoes waiting beside the bed... Only a house quiet as snow, a space for myself to go, clean as paper before the poem." - "A House of My Own" from "The House on Mango Street", Sandra Cisneros

I love the space I have now with my Daniel... it is truly 'a house of my own'. But this passage is an inspiration and I think a wonderful image for every woman. Why is it that we as women wait for a man to validate our deepest personage and refrain from pursuing our passions and solidifying who we are? We see not the profound satisfaction and value in what she talks of here; rather, we wait for a man and children to complete us. Certainly a man could be our completing factor in the right timing and were he our soul mate. BUT... the timing will never be right with anyone if we do not spend the intense years and effort to find who it is we are apart from any other person, and thus, actually have a self to bring to a relationship rather than trying to find a self in and from one.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Singing in the Car

Dinner on a cozy Fall night with wine and good conversation. Hearts open. Safety to reveal.

Afterwards, I left for home engulfed by fog so thick, I could barely see a few feet in front of me. This made driving difficult, maybe dangerous, but the roads were quiet at this time of night and I drove slowly through the mist.

I resumed listening to B sides from Alanis Morissette. Unlike most of my friends who listen/ed to her, she grew exponentially in favor with me post "Jagged Little Pill". While she became less and less a central figure in the music world, her subsequent albums selling significantly below "Pill", she pursued things like working with the Sisters of Mercy in India and I found a profound kindred in her lyrics. "All I Really Want", my favorite song on "Pill", was a foreshadowing of the type of lyric that would connect most deeply with me.

I recall my first hearing of "Thank You" before her second album was released. I was in San Francisco with YWAM before I moved here, and a music loving friend from LA had moved up here and given me the single he got as a promotional CD at work. I sat in my dorm room at the YWAM base listening and crying. It became my theme song for the months with YWAM in SF and overseas in Thailand and Vietnam. She would forever change for me after this.

As I drove, I listened to the B sides from "Under Rug Swept", some of them as much loved songs for me as those on her albums.

"Unprodigal Daughter" - a favorite musically and lyrically so freeing and accurate, though slightly hostile. "This plane cannot fly fast enough". My passion rises with it's cries.

"Offer" - "Is it my calling to keep on when I'm unable/ Is it my job to be selfless extraordinaire..." I harmonize and release, wishing for the freedom and release of the pressure to be all things to all people that I impose upon myself.

"Fear of Bliss" - "Sometimes I feel it's all just too big to be true/ I sabotage myself for fear of what my bigness could do..." The uncertainty, the self doubt, the hesitation, the impossibility... fear of what is bigger than myself. My vision is too big for my capability.

"Purgatorying" - a favorite. Stays in my head so that I am singing it in the shower and at work and while walking around the city. Haunting. "Entertain me for the tenth hour in a row again/ Anesthetize me with your gossip and any random anecdotes and/ Fill every hour with activity or ear candy..."

I sang through the fog at the top of my lungs. I harmonized. As always, the dark brought my true self out. No holding back. I was understood and expressed through song, once again. A lifelong thread.

Drove over the hill from the Sunset to my 'hood with the downtown skyline obliterated by oceans of fog. But I knew it was still there. Just as I knew there were wings on my back and limitless possibility in my spirit. Anything is possible.

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Robot Girl

I am reading Colette's, "The Vagabond".

"This evening I shall not feel sleepy, and the spell of a book - even a brand-new book with that smell of printers' ink and paper fresh from the press that makes you think of coal and trains and departures! - even that spell will not be able to distract me from myself."

Words bringing images to my head... Colette is vibrant and stunning with images as simple as the smell of a book (and those who know my secert habits know I love to smell books).

That "surge of expectancy" I mentioned a month ago was for a reason and I am in the throes of new breakthroughs and discovery. A couple of weeks ago, I was tingling with growth and new levels of freedom. But this week I am merely present, busy, enjoying myself on some level but on another, numb and wishing the constant voice I was hearing in my head during those hours of breakthrough would keep speaking. I need the wisdom and life it was whispering to me. Maybe it has not gone, but I don't hear it and instead, feel again as the robot girl who thoroughly works her way through a tight schedule, meeting a myriad of friends, attending to many duties, but inside reaching for the full moon in her night sky and finding it just out reach.

"... then I forget once again the memory of what I was, in the fear of becoming once more alive; I want nothing, I regret nothing... until the next time my confidence lands me in disaster, until that inevitable moment of crisis when, with terror in my eyes, I see advancing towards me, with gentle, powerful hands, the sadness that guides and accompanies one in all the pleasures of the flesh."

Thursday, October 06, 2005


Tuesday night we talked... all of us. A group of ten, from age 19 to early 40's. Wildly different personalities and backgrounds. But a unifying desire to be real, to seek more, to be present, to use words to convey our deepest core while wanting so much more than words. Talk of action. "This faith has got to have wheels if it's going to be worth anything at all."

Dan and I have prayed, waited, and hoped. My vision has been clear for years. It has been directed and specific for this very thing. I can't even express how much I have known this is what I and all of us need and have held it so clearly in my sights as to almost taste it. Ever since I moved to San Fran the vision has been building. Here, four years later, it is unfolding.

Arts Night was a big step over a year ago now. It still packs them in. Now we begin to gather even more regularly and consistently - with more intentionality.

We did not know how it would go. We both had apathy cloaking our fear before everyone came on Tuesday. But we prayed for half an hour, releasing it all back to God and the night was... beyond our hopes even. Beautiful and free.

I know not what led me to the Nouwen book, but I spent two hours two weeks ago writing favorite notes from the first part of "Reaching Out". I feared I emailed it out into the void with others probably wondering why I was so damn wordy and pretentious. But then multiple people call or email telling me that the words were JUST what they needed to hear; one said she printed them up, carried them with her all week and danced with eagerness every time she read over them; others said they had to read over them to get them but found them very piercing. Then when we gathered, conversation flowed and acquaintances and strangers poured out a piece of their souls. I saw parts of friends I had never seen before and heard words of wisdom that are staying with me like a mantra in the back of my head. We held hands and prayed at the end, simple, straightforward, all reverent and hushed in the knowledge of the depths we had just plumbed with one another.

This is communing. This is community. It is humble in beginning and the results and coming steps are out of our control. But I know God sees the secret desire of my heart and is already responding with more glory than I could even ask for. Goodness is pouring out.

Afterwards, Dan kissed me over and over, saying he was so proud of me and thanked God we were on the same team. I think we make a great one, by the grace of God. May the rest flow from beyond our meager capabilities and continue to surprise us all.

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

The eternal week

Where to start? The past week and a half have seemed as months, and gone deeper than years of experience. Healing. Words. Hope. Connection. Promise in the midst of loss.

Two days of fasting. Endless prayer. Conversation after conversation. Prayer retreat all weekend. Reading just what I needed to hear to prepare for this week of purging and renewal. Insights coming at me from everywhere, in almost everything. One of those rare seasons where each moment is resonant with meaning. Tears and sobbing both. First loss. Grieving. Acknowledging. Then accepting. Receiving. Restoration through other means.

Oh, Daniel. Ever the soul mate to see beyond my words right to me. The truest me. We pray and stand together. We look out at the same vision and cry out for it with all our hearts. When I see my ugliness, you tell me of the profound joy I bring you -that there is no one else. “I am your bestest”, you say. And I concur with all of me. You have been more than I could have asked for... even as great as my asking was.

In the aftermath of rejection and loss, Dan feeds into me adoration, acceptance, and what is most unconditional of love. This love comes also from Justine as we cry and reveal together all afternoon. In Anita’s anne/diana-like promise to be there “as long as the sun and moon shall endure.” From Chelsea as she strokes my hair and says, “You have a good heart, Ginny.” To be seen at the heart. Few can do it, but those who have, such as these this week, have been messengers of God offering life-giving words.

God is telling me something through these signs… and through so much more. This week alone would take hundreds of pages of writing to expose the wealth of truth coming at me, into me, through me, around me. The promise redolent in the aftermath of loss where nothing remains but sad aching. Promise breathes her wind over the barren field and whispers, “Rise up. You will not only walk again, but are still being prepared to fly.”

As Kathy prayed over me this weekend, she described the talons that have gripped me being finally completely pulled out. I see the blood dripping from them, while she viewed the release and scars that no longer wound. May these scars remind me not once again of all I am not, which I already plague myself with constantly, but of who I am at heart, since a small girl, where no one can come in and steal my essence. The essence my Creator made me with. My essence is not rebellious, tiresome, hideous or worthless, much as I have accepted those lies and curses on me. Rather, it is needed, powerful, refreshing, beautiful, right. May God confirm the truth when even those I love cause me to doubt it was ever true. May God infuse this essence I have always had with balance and wisdom, seasoning the prophetic voice with grace for all. The grace I have so radically known.