from last night at mass

Here in this place new light is streaming,
Now is the darkness vanished away,
See in this space our fears and dreamings,
Brought to you in the light of this day,
Gather us in- the lost and forsaken,
Gather us in- the blind and the lame;
Call to us now, and we shall awaken,
We shall arise at the sound of our name.

We are the young- our lives are a myst'ry,
We are the old- who yearn for your face,
We have been sung throughout all of hist'ry,
Called to be light to the whole human race.
Gather us in- the rich and the haughty,
Gather us in- the proud and the strong;
Give us a heart so meek and so lowly,
Give us the courage to enter the song.
-gather us in, mary haugen


clotheslines and a bird holding a worm

life is bright and vibrant and
there are so many things i want to learn
like belly dancing
and how to live out my ideals,
how to build a worm bin
and how to be fully alive,
speaking spanish
and how to love without holding back.

i love my new friends and my old friends and my way-back-when friends that i get to see every once-in-a-while before they begin new adventures. and i love being near my family.

i invite you to come and live here with me. st. louis is potential and dreams, open spaces and new life, people with passion and people ready to be loved. let's be community and see what God creates of this life together.


two more things i like:

wind and rain.

also, i like living in st. louis, but i still want to claim illinois as my state... am i allowed to do that?


make new friends, but keep the old

so change is good and also sad.

things i miss so far:
the worm bin
my garden
house church
many small children
many good roommates
walking to work
artists' way/ talk about life dates
surprisingly, alone time.

things i love about my new life so far:
many new people
tons of amazing opportunities
community dinners almost every night
being near to my family
cricket-sounds at night
birds in the morning
the sun shining through my window
real trees, everywhere.

this life makes me think of this phrase: going to the abandoned places of empire.


the catholic worker

so i take back that post about being a hypocrite.
but living out my words and ideals is hard; damn hard, if i may say so.
everything is new and foreign. there is much to learn.
i am overwhelmed and exhausted.
but i think all this is good.

there is a purple marlin outside the window and i am going to do tai chi.
i miss you, every one. call me.


Love letter

So I was going through a bunch of my old things, sorting out what I could, recycling papers, putting things away for good will, and I found an old letter from high school, from my very own secret admirer. And there was some really good stuff in there. He said I was intriguing and he liked the way I carried myself. I had a beautiful smile, and in fact, I was "one of the most beautiful of God's creatures that I have ever seen."

It's too bad my secret admirer never revealed himself. That was the sweetest letter I have ever received. Now we'll never know.

Little moments.

A motorcycle ride in the country
brings me peace.
Clumps of yellow wildflowers
among empty cornfields,
the winding road,
my favorite patch of trees.
An old pickup truck,
a barn, a tractor,
little corn sprouts,
perhaps a foot tall.
An old man in a rocking chair,
front-porch sitters,
the elementary school where I grew up.
The sound of the motor
and the wind in my ears,
the warped reflection of my face
in the back of my dad's helmet,
the smell of honeysuckle in the wind.
Little dots of violet
among the tall grasses,
a stream running along the road,
and then we’re home again.

It is these little moments,
vibrant, real, awake,
that make life so sweet.

in the backyard.

the thing about skip-it's is, you always know they're going to hurt your ankle, but when you see it lying there all alone on the back patio, you can't help putting your foot in the plastic circle and giving it a twirl. (also great are hula hoops. i'm a world class hula hooper, and i will challenge you to hula longer than me any day.)

i skipped it 224 times on my right foot. and 5 times on my left.
so much for being ambidextrous.



i find out
more and more
each day
that i do not
live out
what i believe
and in fact,
i am terrified
to practice
what i preach.


you will miss me, i will miss you.

today, eating a carrot pulled directly from the ground and listening to african lullaby as i do my writing bring me joy. also this song some funny people sang to me this morning:

From this area you say you are going
We will miss your red hair and dimpled smile
It's just great that you came to San Diego
Where we've given ya' love and grief fer awhile.

Now you're gonna go be a Catholic Worker
Be a biblical anarchist they say
Just remember to look into those dumpsters
Before you dive... and are in all the way.

Your family will be across the River
The Big Muddy that just keeps rollin' on;
But the part of St. Louis you'll be livin' in
Has your family askin', "What's goin' on?"

God has called yet another young prophet
And there's lots there for her to speak to.
So we give you a hug 'ere you leave us
Arms of justice and tenderness too.

...smiles. that's all i can say. smiles.


...and the greatest of these is love

(free-writing from 5/8/07)
In all of this, I continue to see love as the bottom line: it all comes down to unconditional, vibrant, dirty, sweaty, beautiful, real, honest, difficult love. Love that gives dignity and respect; that honors the image of God in every person, and that comes from the example of God’s love- which is incomprehensible, of unfathomable depths, a forever love, that knows all of our weaknesses, insecurities, brokenness, sin – as well as all of our passions, dreams, desires – and has created us in these ways. And I suppose this is my basic theology – of all things that I doubt and devise, what I wonder about and can’t understand, I know this: that God is love. Strip me of every other belief, but I find this one is ingrained in me, planted in me, inherently known in my soul. I feel I am literally unable to deny this knowledge. It is a part of my DNA, my bones, my skin, and everything I see around me- in the grass or the sky or the people with whom I interact daily. To deny this would be to deny everything I know of the world.

a piecing together of thoughts on faith and life

When I was at the San Diego Catholic Worker the other weekend, listening to a lecture on understanding Islam and especially its commonalities with Christianity and specifically, with Catholicism, I was captivated by the concept the speaker brought up of din, an arabic term meaning religion or way of life.

Din (Arabic) is defined a life-way or religion particularly in Islam... The entire system is sometimes referred to din wa-dawla, religion and state (combined), there being no distinction within Islam between religion and politics.

(5/8/07 free-writing) Hmmm... isn't it odd that so much of the church's time is sent on teaching theology and orthodoxy, what are the right things to think and believe - about the world, or God, or people - instead of on how to actually live out Christianity? I mean, there are whole sections of bookstores labeled "Christian living," but for the most part, they just talk about being nice, praying, and reading your Bible. Sometimes how to think. But never about din, about your way of life, about the day-to-day and your whole way of looking at the world, all your status quo assumptions. Never about economics or politics, about the very decisions our lives depend on. If I have a faith, a religion, I do want it to be my din- part of my very soul and identity, from which I cannot separate any part of my life. Else, what is its purpose? I don't want a Christianity that is meaningless and useless during my earth-life - I want one that guides me and is present with me every moment and in every choice.

(And today) I love this concept of din- of a faith being a way of life, as I know Lily has talked about it being for her Muslim students... I want this for my faith... that it is truly my way of life, my worldview. I don't understand this compartmentalization of the sacred and the secular in our society, and how it is generally so accepted in churches. i hear over and over again from pastors i respect that they often receive comments from parishoners like, "you should stick to your area of expertise." But if my Christianity is not relevant to all of my life, every decision and realm of who I am, then is it worth it? If my faith is just about what the right things to believe are or how to pray right or being sure I get into heaven, it is just not enough for me. I need more. I need din, or nothing.
And I think that's okay. The teachings of Jesus seem to point that way- often giving social commentary and describing a new way to be in the world, how to be a part of a new Kingdom of God that is coming, and has come already. That is what I want my faith to be. One that guides each of my decisions... not saying that God thinks I should drink the better-tasting Coke rather than Pepsi, but that perhaps I should look at the practices of both Coke and Pepsi, look at the ways they are exploiting workers and destroying the water tables in the third-world countries where they have their plants, and work on my diet cola addiction.
And I want to know the truth, even if it takes work to find it, and even if finding it means I have to change my actions. Because I think all truth brings me closer to God, and closer to figuring out how my faith can be my life-way.


ummm... writing is hard.
i forgot.


standing in the shade on a summer day; slight breeze.


today, i got to do three things i've been wanting to do/ three of my favorite things:
go to a barbeque/ hang out with amazing people (including children)
go dancing
my life is fantastic sometimes.