Our Collective Journal

May 2016/October 2016

  

"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 26

What experience of the Light 

comes to mind when you think 

of your body as a teacher?

 

Supper at Emmaus ( Oil on Canvas), Caravaggio, circa 1606.   

“When he was at the table with them, he took bread, gave thanks, broke it and began to give it to them. Then their eyes were opened and they recognized him, and he disappeared from their sight. They asked each other, “Were not our hearts burning within us while he talked with us on the road and opened the Scriptures to us?”Luke 24:32 NIV



 

Dancing in the Light

When skies are clear on Winter days, the sun beams through tall windows and sparkles across the 90-degree therapy pool. Often the only one present, I feel the freedom to twirl and splash.  The salty water holds me upright.  I can dance in the beauty, joy and wonder of warm, liquid Light.

Thea

 
 

Acceptance

Because of injuries sustained in an automobile accident 27 years ago, I spend most of my time hooked up to an IV.  I usually carry it on my back or push it around in a stroller, and sometimes my dog carries it to give my body a rest.  It’s not something that was easy to accept, but I have come to a reluctant acceptance of it and try to be a good sport about it.

 

However, several... [more]

 
 

Prescott Street

My job was a coveted position and a rare opportunity for students in my program. It was part-time, it allowed me to learn from other professionals in my field, it gave me an opportunity to do what I felt called to do, and it provided my family with some extra income. I got along well with my coworkers and my boss loved me.

 

Yet every night before work my heart would beat faster and I would... [more]

 
 

Becoming Myself

Over the course of my life, I have cried many times while looking in the mirror. Some tears have been shed mournfully, and others, joyfully.

 

I came to view myself as transgender at seventeen years old. Within a few days of coming to terms with this identity, I bought an ace bandage to bind my chest. At two o’clock in the morning, when my entire family was in bed, I snuck into the bathroom and wrapped... [more]

 
 

Learning New Seeing

For most of my life, my body has been a teacher of lessons I often didn’t learn gently: e.g., energy limits; reality checks on life choices because I am female, not male; limits when I stretch for knowing beyond my intelligence or my human condition, etc.  Now as I age, the messages come with behavior limits that have changed my life and I can’t argue with them so well: e.g. eyesight failing (stop driving, thus be... [more]

 
 

My Body, My Teacher, My Life

I really want to write and the tremor makes me grateful for the computer, but my eyes keep returning to the waves.  I hear the breakers crash, smell the ocean air, and feel the warm wind.   Rhythm is in the waves, the tides, the days and nights, the moon, sun, seasons, and years.  It is also in family, community, and the worldwide network of living connections between us, nature, and the earth.  Life is so... [more]

 
 

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]

 
 

Are We There yet?

I am on a long journey, and my body comes along like a child in the backseat.  Over and over, it asks me, "Are we there yet?"  From the back seat, my body complains about motion sickness.  It complains about being hungry.  Or thirsty.  It complains about the temperature.

 

With my eyes on the road, I tell my body, "If you’re quiet, I’ll buy you an ice cream cone."

 

Out of duty, I go to visit my... [more]

 
 

Learning to Listen

It starts in the legs and shoulders.  A vague tension, a kind of nervousness that doesn't seem to be related to anything in particular. I feel it before I understand it.  It's not always a feeling of something being wrong, but it often is.  Eventually, when I can identify the cause, it goes away, easing me back to normalcy, like taking off a rubber band that has been on your wrist for way too long.

 

Other... [more]

 
 

Holding God's Hand

Before I left for Bolivia, I ran across this biblical quotation: “For I am the Lord your God who takes hold of your hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you.”  Isaiah 41:13. Little did I know, I would be holding God’s hand as well as the hands of most everyone on our team during this trip!

 

About two weeks before the trip, I injured my left knee at the gym. It... [more]

 
 

Tears of Love

Tears streamed down my face. I sat next to my husband in the back row of our little Quaker meeting house while dear Friend Peg spoke about violence and guns and bearing witness and having hope. She spoke about honoring others, recognizing our shared humanity, and living out our love for each other.

 

I quickly beckoned for a pencil and scribbled a note to my Bugs (the nickname my husband I use for each other):  “If... [more]

 
 

Annunciation, painting by He Qi

He Qi © 2013 | www.heqigallery.com

Dancing in the Light

 

Acceptance

 

Prescott Street

 

Becoming Myself

 

Learning New Seeing

 

My Body, My Teacher, My Life

 

My Body is a Strict Schoolmarm

 

Are We There yet?

 

Learning to Listen

 

Holding God's Hand

 

Tears of Love