Thursday, September 29, 2016

Tuesday Mornings

Sometimes we are blessed with being able to choose
the time, and the arena, and the manner of our revolution,
but more usually
we must do battle where we are standing.

Audre Lorde

Arise! It's another beautiful Tuesday morning in September! But where are we?

September 6: Oak View, CA

We awake at Casa Anna Schultz, the home of Ched Myers and Elaine Enns. It’s been a full two days of reflection, dreaming and humorous banter. The four of us participate in a Skype call with sojourners from Saskatoon, Canada and Philadelphia. We begin to organize logistics of the upcoming Bartimaeus Cooperative Ministries Fall Institutewhich we will help staff the weekend of October 14-16. The focus: Canada’s historic Truth and Reconciliation Commission.

We will explore how the Canadian TRC Report impacts Indigenous/Settler relations, and how Christian communities can set about the work of building right relations. Indigenous and nonindigenous leaders will map the new geography for the work of fostering justice and reconciliation, and reflect on how a theology and practice of “restorative solidarity” can help churches rethink discipleship, service, spiritual formation, worship and activism (left: Ched/Elaine's biodiesel Jetta resisting car washes in this nasty drought).

September 13: Laguna Beach, CA

We awake in a beach house, the sun shining over the Pacific, waves crashing below. This is our annual vacation/holiday time with Lindsay’s family. We’ve missed out on Christmas and Thanksgiving the past couple of years, so this is a refreshing time to intentionally connect with each other. We just sit around on the beach with our stories and our SPF 50 and eat and drink as we reflect together on a life of promise and peril—the celebration of the end of a hot, humid summer, our precious nephew Riley (see below with Daddy… and another nephew on the way in November!) and, on this day, some rich emotional processing on the final weeks with Lindsay’s dad (just a week away from the 5-year anniversary of his passing).

September 20: Detroit, MI

We awake on Cecil Avenue on the eve of our departure. We arrived in the D four days earlier and spent considerable time preparing for a wedding we officiated (left: our first together!). There is still so much to pack, but we head over to the Eastside for a quick breakfast at Clique Diner with Monica Lewis-Patrick and Debra Taylor (photo below), two beautiful (s)heroes that we’ve showcased on this blog over the past two years. Afterwards, we pack and deliver three car loads to the Salvation Army thrift store—we only have room for what fits in our 2007 Toyota Corolla! On this evening, we take our dear friends Lydia Wylie-Kellermann and Erinn Fahey (photo below below) to dinner at Sweetwater Tavern in downtown Detroit for our final meal. Tom cheats on his vegetarianism with a whole plate of buffalo wings! All fitting ways to spend our last day: in the company of four women who have not only impacted us deeply and commanded our sincerest respect, but who have become akin to family over these past two precious years. We hit the road the next day at 11am, headed for Michigan’s Upper Peninsula.

September 27: Saskatoon, SK

We awake in a wonderland of Fall colors, on a 10-day retreat of recovery and reflection before the BCM Institute. On our 2000 mile journey here, we stopped in Minneapolis to experience the good work of our friends from Carnival de Resistance, a traveling arts carnival and ceremonial theater company performing at the intersection of ecological justice and radical theology. Here’s Tom’s short review of it on RadicalDiscipleship.Net.

If you want more details and passion, here's the bonus journal entry from Lindsay (buckle your seat belts):

Tommy ran hard to get a majority of the bulk of the work of moving done, while I tended to the finer details - i.e. sorting through what was so meaningful we had to find a way to take it with, and/or what of our "life" we could say goodbye to and either give away or donate. It feels like a huge weight lifted to have done a thorough inventory and purge of our possessions, but also a deep grief…. the work of moving is HARD… and proved to be an important piece in this leaving and transition from our Beloved D. 
We had a tender moment saying goodbye to each room of our apartment. Tommy even shed some tears as we read aloud the note of gratitude we left for our landlady, Vicky - without whom our move (and entire experience of living there) would not have gone so smoothly, amicably and hospitably… quite a contrast to the landowner in our previous rental situation in SoCal - the absentee kind who somehow has all the power and callous detachment to milk you for all your worth when you leave, even though you never have a face-to-face conversation the entire year you live in his house and he never fixes anything when it's broken... just adds it to the nen-negotiable, outlandish bill he will charge you at the end… Beloved Detroit, we will miss you on so many levels.

Anyhow, long story short, we trekked to Minneapolis and stayed there 3 nights. We saw our Carnival de Resistance friends, and got to see their incredibly animating and inspiring carnival and shows. It was all very life-giving (especially for these two tired souls!)… but we also left tired. We're both so at capacity - as Tommy would say, "Our dishes are done" - and it's hard to take in much more stimulus - even good stimulus - at the moment… 

We then trekked it x-country to Saskatoon in Saskatchewan, Canada - which is where we are now - and have been for 4 nights - staying in the most beautiful, peaceful, aesthetically-pleasing basement apartment, one Tommy found thru Airbnb for an unbelievable rate of $41/night. We knew we would need some space of our own to recover for awhile. 
This is where we will now be until NEXT Friday - able to cook, eat healthy, be in a routine, read, write, sleep, play, go for runs, go for walks, take in the beauty of the river, and the prairies, and the cool Fall weather... as well as take advantage of Apple TV!!! We don't have a T.V. (thus, the fun novelty!), and we discovered a new series we are BOTH really into (no small feat!) called Community. (Thank you Sarah Thompson for the introduction!). It, along with this time of respite on the Canadian prairies, is proving to be good medicine: lots of lightness, laughter, rest, down time, permission to go quiet, grieve, reflect, breathe, cease all our producing and striving, and be present to all that is around, behind, within and before us. 
Floods of contentment, and much to be grateful for.


Sending buckets of love from the Canadian prairies...

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