Our Collective Journal

June/July 2013

 

"I have often felt a motion of love to leave some hints

in writing of my experience of the goodness of God." 

--John Woolman  


 

Chapter 13

When was a time that your body

helped you see the Light?

Song of Solomon, painting by Cody F. Miller

Song of Solomon 2:1-17.   http://www.codyfmiller.com/


 

Lightness

Last September my children, a neighbor and I were outside in the front yard when we heard shots fired half a block away. We have always felt very safe in our neighborhood, so at first we didnʼt know what had happened.  Minutes later, police cars careened down our street and parked at the corner, where they remained until long into the night. We later found out it was a gang-related drive-by; neither of the... [more]

 
 

Glow in the dark

Glow in the dark (Photo by Margaret Kellermann)

The windowsill saint is glowing from inside, at sunset. Her body is giving off light stored from the day.

 
 

My Body is a Strict Schoolmarm

Glasses halfway down her nose,

Staring me down—

No ruckus allowed! Nagging me.

I repay her with all kinds of grief:

the same currency she grants me.

 

I cartoon her chin wattle, her saggy arms,

laughing at her wide behind.  Caught,

I’m banished to the Principal—

Corporal re-education—a whacking!

The old hag! I hate her! I know I do—but I—

 

I—love—her—yes—God, I do. In her I witness

Mother Mary’s labor groaning, I... [more]

 
 

Sheer Faith

They told me not to look down…yet I felt compelled anyway. I didn’t see a way up the almost sheer, nearly vertical rock face, so I looked down, hoping to see some way to move.  That was a mistake.

 

I was just learning to rock climb as part of a mountaineering course offered by the Mazamas, a local group here in Portland.  We’d driven to a butte in Washington to practice the skills... [more]

 
 

Not Another Step

When I went to visit Prague in 2002, I followed stories instead of streets.  I followed the story of Rabbi Lowe’s golem, the story of King Wenceslas, the story of Tycho Brahe’s silver nose.  I followed all the interwoven histories and legends of Prague.  It made for lots of walking.

 

My apartment was in a fairly mundane section of Prague, where cement buildings were tagged with angry scribbles of graffiti.  One night, as... [more]

 
 

Listening With My Body

This experience has come through my awareness of a large construction project at my living community, Rose Villa.  Due to begin actively this coming winter and to last perhaps eighteen months intensely, this project will be big (about half of our landscape), disruptive (right in the middle and affecting everyone), noisy, dusty, messy, and totally transformative of the area affected.  Landscape will be vastly changed and nothing will be the same, except that this... [more]

 
 

Ode to a Fibroid

Hard like a rock

Round like a globe

Blood filled

Like you think you're nurturing something

Invaded my world

 

Just like a parasite

Made of my tissue

Blood filled

Like you think you are part of me

Devoured my energy

 

You act like a baby

Make my body your home

Took over my life

Like you think you're in charge

Took my dreams

 

Hard like my heart

Empty of life

Blood... [more]

 
 

The Body is Amazing

This video is an invitation to honor and celebrate the gifts of the human body. 

http://tinyurl.com/cbwjwpk

—Melanie Weidner

 
 

Discipline

In the spring of 1989 I joined a team to run the Hood-to-Coast Relay Race.  I was in my early thirties, and looking for some inspiration and motivation to get into shape and maybe lose some weight.  Running wasn’t fun, but it was aerobic and “good for you.”

 

There are no shortcuts, no easy outs when training to run 15 miles (the event has each runner out there 3 times, for distances of approximately 5 miles... [more]

 
 

My Body as Teacher

My body has been one of my greatest teachers.

 

When I was a teenager, I used to wish I could have a miracle, so I could see 20/20 and no longer need glasses, which I'd worn since I was 10 years old.

 

Then one day when I was around 18 or 19 years old, I woke up in my University of Oregon dorm room from a short night's sleep after a late night studying. Oh, shoot! I... [more]

 
 

Exercise as Peaceful Prayer

I believe God wants me to be the best steward of my physical body that I can be. I believe taking good care of my body is a responsibility that comes along with the gift of life God has given me.

 

I haven't always felt this way. When I was in high school, my asthma was bad and I looked like I was walking around the track at school when I was trying to run it!... [more]

 
 

My Temple

Sometimes I feel prayers.   At those times, when someone is praying for me, my right temple becomes very warm.  This has happened both when I knew someone was praying for me and when I didn’t know.  On at least one occasion, I felt much better immediately.

 

I have no theories about my body’s response to prayer because it’s unpredictable.  It doesn’t happen whenever someone is praying for me, and it’s not connected to a particular person... [more]

 
 

This video by Melanie Weidner is an invitation to honor and celebrate the gifts of the human body.

http://tinyurl.com/cbwjwpk


 

Chapter 13 Stories 

 

Lightness

 

Glow in the dark

 

My Body is a Strict Schoolmarm

 

Sheer Faith

 

Not Another Step

 

Listening With My Body

 

Ode to a Fibroid

 

The Body is Amazing

 

Discipline

 

My Body as Teacher

 

Exercise as Peaceful Prayer

 

My Temple