Remembering the never born: claiming a sibling as an Ancestor

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As part of preparing for October's blogging about Ancestor remembrance, I had a long chat with my blogging partner for the project, the very lovely Reba Riley, who blogs on the Progressive Christian Channel at Post-Traumatic Church Syndrome. We found that we have a lot in common, from our shared interest in universal, heart aspects of spirituality, to some 'coincidences' in our personal histories and circumstances.My personal Ancestor remembranceWhen I was explaining to Reba how I … [Read more...]

The Crossroads of Memory

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Memory is a great crossroads, an always-in-between.  Step here and you're elsewhere, turn instead and another world opens before you. Walk back and you're there again, all paths before you, trod by someone who used to be you.You can walk those paths to meet you, but you're not him who was there.  You're later, you're another, treading trails another-you marked out for later.  Remember this, he might have thought, and the other him, who is you, tries to collect what was scattered. Re … [Read more...]

When the heather blooms: the end of summer

Heather (Calluna vulgaris) by John Haslam

August is a difficult month for me. I can't write about it while it's happening. It's still summer, but the tang of autumn starts to flavour the air. The sun's power wanes, the days get shorter, even as its rays are still warm and feel strong.I love spring; I love summer; I love autumn; I love winter. But the liminal times between them, the transitional times -- April, August, November, February -- create a disturbing, confusing experience for me.Partly, that's due to the effects of S … [Read more...]

Where They May Be Found: The Dead

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We die with the dying:See, they depart, and we go with them.We are born with the dead:See, they return, and bring us with them.--T.S. Eliot, Little GiddingOn the Streets of Cities They Once Walked"You guys mind if I pour some to dead?" he asked.  A stranger. Homeless, on the stoop of a church.His friend's aren't having it.  It's a waste of beer.  We're passers-by, lost in conversation.  But I'm no longer surprised by this stuff."Hey--you guys don't mind, right?"We turn.  I s … [Read more...]

Missing The Forest

Sacred Heart

I found home.At least for now.  You never quite know how things go.  Love, calamity, poverty, gentrification, fires, earthquakes...things fall apart quicker than you can ever guess.  A policeman could shoot an unarmed kid and the whole town erupts in riot because they do this all the time and they've finally had enough, and maybe the place you live gets teargassed and you have to leave.  Or maybe you could be the kid, and then you really end up having to leave, even though you'll stick aro … [Read more...]

Finding Identity In The Directions

Orca Scultpture in New Westminster, BC, Canada

I stood outside on the balcony at my friend's apartment, facing North. I began to sing a wordless tune, a devekut niggun. I pulled all the contents out of a little red bag that had once held a bottle of wine, probably as a gift from one person to another, but that now holds my pipe. A roll of green cloth. A bag of tobacco. A book of matches. I put each of these things on a chair, the only flat surface available to serve as an altar of sorts in this spot. I unrolled the green cloth carefully on … [Read more...]

Sitting On This Speck Of Dust In The Cosmos

Starry night sky with two astronomical observatories in the foreground.

I didn't post on A Sense of Place yesterday. I wanted to, I really did, but there was nothing at all I could say that wasn't just a rehash of my personal struggle with belonging. This isn't the blogging that I used to do. I used to write about connection and learning from the voices in a place. Before Patheos I wrote about the seasons and the plants in Israel. Now, I fight my personal demon of loneliness and disconnection and I find my writing tiresome.Not that writing is tiresome. The idea … [Read more...]


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