Friday, November 05, 2010

in need of solid ground

Tonight there's a Being live streaming event on Mindful Eating. November 5; 7.30pm EDT (that's 11.30pm in GB/IRL since the clocks have already gone back). if you can't watch tonight it'll be available after. 
Being are encouraging folks to embed it on their own sites and blogs. so i'm doing it here. this is exactly the kind of conversation my soul needs at the moment. 

well it's been a quiet few weeks on these pages, i'll admit. mostly due to it having been a very busy few weeks offline. a mountain of boxes and art work and a couple furniture pieces are now on their way across the sea; potential new tenants have been to view the apartment; i leave for Nashville in 12 days. was up in Belfast last weekend and the 'au revoir' was harder than i expected.
i've not felt much like writing from this strange liminal space in which i find myself. some days i'm excited and others, nervous. and much of the time i'm somewhere in a sleepless place in between. the flat is mostly empty and there's just a few bits 'n' pieces to sort out next week before the move, which i'm anticipating will be an all too long and anxious day of travel with a massive emotional collapse at journey's end. the immensity of moving gets more overwhelming by each passing day. and i'm thankful that when i arrive, Joel and i will have a long weekend together at home in which we can draw a deep breath or two.

Amidst the frankly life-sapping polarized discourse of the US midterm elections, yesterday i resolved to keep my news intake to the bear minimum as the media noise has become for me a source of increasing fracture and disconnect.
i've been increasingly seeking that which is for something, rather than against and i've resolved that my first year in Nashville will be centered on being family and focusing on quality friendship in our immediate community over the quantity of social networks. right now, bigger doesn't feel better. i'll be searching out opportunities for collaboration and enrichment in all things particularly local, seeking out positive and creative activities in the neighborhood that i can engage in. paradoxically, perhaps, and only perhaps, as i move into a far far bigger country i plan to keep my world quite small until i find my feet and achieve a sense of mindful and steady rhythm.

Being continues to be a great companion in that search for sanity and for-ness... they did a great job hosting a conversation on Pursuing Happiness between the Dalai Lama and other faith leaders last month. Rabbi Jonathon Sacks' contribution really spoke to me and i find myself still processing why his words were the ones with which I found connection...

It led to an interesting conversation with my father the other night, who seems to be wrestling with similar issues to me this season - of feeling increasingly frustrated with the Reformed tradition (i.e. Presbyterian, not Jewish) and its apparently constant need to make the New testament fit with the Old, or rather, fit the Old with the New. in other words, constantly reading the Old Testament in light of Christian doctrinal lens rather than allowing Hebrew texts to stand for themselves. he's been coming up against this mental jigsaw of a Presbyterian habit in an ongoing congregational study of Deuteronomy, while i've been trying to gain a deeper understanding of the doctrinal assumptions and assertions in Reformed marriage rites as Joel and i prepare for our vow-making next month. seems like we're both feeling like frustrated square pegs in round holes right now.

i'm looking forward to hearing the upcoming Being episode on November 11, that will feature a one-on-one conversation between Krista Tippett and Rabbi Sacks on Dealing with Difference.
something in his perspective in the Happiness conversation left me feeling both comfort and a sense of grief that i've been brought up in a tradition in which faith is all to easily defined as certainty, which never seems to make it easy at all and treats Jesus like he was a Christian rather than the Jew he was.

allthesame, i'm looking forward to getting to know the community at DPC better, and i also am interested in getting to know our neighborhood church, which is just around the corner, is arguably the most socially progressive & integrated church in Nashville and seems to be doing a lot of positive work for those most in need around us.

and i'm looking forward to seeing what creative ways Joel and I come up with to the weave the Advent theme of waiting for all that is yet to come, the beginning and becoming of our marriage and the real need to simply be and take time to rest together in our togetherness. that's quite a mix and i'm aware we are both needing calm, space and quiet despite the sense of hectic-ness that so often accompanies the approach of Christmas.

Peace be with you,


p.s. i joked with dad that it is perhaps Rabbi Sacks' looking so like him that left me predisposed to his wisdom. insert here a dad-joke that he would have expected any such similarity to produce the opposite effect. only a yarmulke between 'em...

Chief Rabbi

Chief Pops (with Joel)