Thursday, September 14, 2006

New Eyes

This week, 180 clergy from Diocese of California gathered at Bishop's Ranch for our first clergy conference with Bishop Marc. In preparation we read Bill Countryman's book, Living on the Border of the Holy, reflecting on our own experiences of being in the border country - where we are brought close to the Holy. Sometimes these experiences fit within the church's language of God, but often not. For instance, childbirth, skiing down a snowy slope in the late afternoon, hanging laundry, watching a slug traverse a garden path....many of us have experiences of the Divine that aren't easily placed within traditional religious themes....but that, nevertheless, are the generative, creative force behind much of our ministry, and behind many people's sense of God

Clergy conferences always feel like a real stretch to my introverted soul. Anytime clergy gather there seems to be an underlying strain of competitiveness. I went this time, desiring to brush past that and to see with new eyes.

And that certainly happened!

I lost my glasses and couldn't find them anywhere. So, instead of hanging out with my small group for discussions, I put on my prescription sunglasses and drove in to town to Kaiser, and then, with my new prescription in hand, drove to LensCrafters. Four hours later, I had brand new glasses, progressive lenses and all. They do look good. The salesman said they are "youthening" and they make me look "sassy but approachable". Certainly, when you're nearly blind, as I am, a good lens grinder is an experience of the Holy brought close to hand!

Tuesday, September 12, 2006


Went with two friends last night to see The Illusionist, filmed by a Czech Republic company. Beautiful old world tone, a love story of the interchange between illusions and reality. What is real, what isn't? What is good and what is bad? Do they change places? And can we ever be sure which is which?

There's an old Chinese story about an elderly man whose horse bolts and the villagers console him saying how bad it is. He says, maybe, but maybe not. The horse returns with a herd of wild horses. The villagers congratulate the man. He says, maybe this is good, maybe it isn't. His son falls and breaks his leg while taming the wild horses. Again the old man is consoled by the villagers. You know his answer. Not long after this, the government comes through the village and conscripts all able bodied young men to go to war. The elderly man's son, who has the broken leg, is left behind to live out his life peacefully.

The assignment of good and bad to events is mostly done with vision that can prove to be more illusion than reality. I cling to this story as I proceed down the painful path of my husband's decision to pursue a life separate from our long ongoing conversation that is marriage. Who's to say whether that decision may yet prove to be our salvation - individually and as a couple - or not? As I mature, I know only that I know less and less.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

new technology!!!!

Due to the wonderful work of my son, Kai, I now have a new domain name: with a new email address: linda AT PoetPriest DOT com. A web site will follow! Kai Harris also has a website - visit him!

He's also helped me discover google mail - which has many cool features that have eluded me thus far.

it's a great day today, and we've got an apple pie cooling and almost ready to eat.