Month: September 2016

Because life is not always Facebook-happy…

It’s been a tough weekend. It was an intense week, with erratic, long and late hours at work. I got to do lots of work that I love, and that I believe and hope I do well, work that makes a difference in people’s lives. But it also took a lot out of me, and I’m still not very good at listening to my body telling me to rest.

So Friday night rolled around and found me worn out and lonely and sad. That seems to be the night that I most miss being with someone who loved me, when I’m tired and not having the energy to go out but not wanting to be alone.

While I knew I needed to rest this weekend, I haven’t done a very good job of it. Not that I regret running another 10k, but, um, not resting.

So the tears that have lurked and leaked all weekend haven’t really surprised me.

But I’m grateful that I made it to church this morning. It didn’t “fix” me. But it did remind me that I’m part of a community — a loving, caring, generous, messy community that is glad to have me as part of it. It helped me get perspective on life outside my world. It gave me the opportunity to engage in thoughtful conversation about generosity and scarcity, how we use our resources, money and otherwise, and the ways that can be joyful and terrifying and connect or disconnect us to community. I got to drum. I got a grin out of a small child when I peeked at him during the prayers. I watched Dorene dance when I started drumming, and love that she told me how to say my name in Yupik.

Everybody is welcome at God’s table!


I think about the tricky dance of honoring my sadness and loneliness and weariness, but not letting those places drown me. It feels like walking through a beautiful, misty, mud puddle-filled field. I keep sliding into the puddles. And it isn’t the end of the world. I get kinda muddy and wet and cold. I’d rather NOT be in the puddles. But I’m grateful I have places too to get warm and dry and cleaned up.

(Yes. I’m working on my depression metaphors. I like mud puddles way better than where my brain tends to go, toward minefields or falling off cliffs).

How do you find perspective and ways to listen to the cries of your spirit, honoring your difficult places but staying engaged with the world?

Me, I’m gonna keep my boots handy.

P.S. If you, or anyone you know, is in need of support, call the national suicide prevention lifeline at (800) 273-8255 (TALK), or text the word “START” to 741-741. A kind person is waiting on the other end of those lines 24/7.


I Was Here…

I was here.

I was here yesterday. I am here, in North Bend/Coos Bay, Oregon. My roots, my growing up, my innate sense of place, is here.

And as I walked the trail along the cliffs at Shore Acres State Park again I thought about the connections between the landscape and geography of my home, and the landscape of my spirit.

Ruggedness. Resilience. Windblown. Stormbeaten. Beauty. Tenacity.

I grew up in this coastal logging and fishing community in economic decline in the 70s and 80s. I was well loved, by family and church community.

I biked and played in the woods. I read so much I got kicked out of the library at recess in elementary school.

And I mostly didn’t feel like I fit in. Maybe because I was “the smart one.” Maybe because I didn’t yet understand about how drawn I was to women. Or maybe because I’m human, and which one of us always feels like we truly belong, like we’d truly be loved if we were really known?

And I love the trees, spruce and pine, still standing despite the strong winds and eroding cliffs, bending rather than breaking, storm-carved bonsai. They teach me about long, wide roots. Finding sustenance where you can, even when it isn’t obvious. Being willing to take risks, and surviving against the odds.

I was here. This place also reminds me of the cycles of life, of resurrection, of the way a fallen tree births new life and creates homes for critters, becomes a new thing.

And the beauty.

I woke up this morning having dreamt that a wise woman noted my persistence, that I wouldn’t let “no” stop me. And this morning I’ll run and walk the Prefontaine Memorial 10k, in honor of another runner who was persistent. That I could get to this place of calling myself a runner (yes, slow. yes, occasionally injured. yes, a runner), the girl who came in last in every swim meet and regularly got cut from the JV tennis team. The hills (Oh, the hills…) will remind me of how necessary persistence is in the face of challenge.

And tomorrow I’ll return to Alaska, the rugged, beautiful place that has been my home for 16 years. Seeking beauty. Loving. Helping others be resilient in the midst of challenge.

I am here.