Friday, July 19, 2013

Mom's house

it doesn't matter
which house it is.

the corner house across from the park with the outdoor swimming pool,
two blocks from Rickard Elementary
three blocks to Jr. High (and lunches of french fries at Service Drug)
a block and half to High School (to which we drove, back and forth, because, duh, who WALKS to school in High School?)

or this garden-town home
on the opposite side of the state...
not a STEP to worry about in this wide open,
lovely open-concep two bedroom, two bath, complete with a garage the size of the first floor of my own house in Boston....
HEATED garage, people.

it's Mom's house.  (and my step-dad's,  yes, of course....)

always flowers at mom's house

and the first day I visit,
it's always the same.
I check things out.
I look for the familiar library desk...filled with notes.
Her bedroom furniture, brand new and beautiful
(can I have this when you go, Mom?)
still holds her essence.
I snoop in her jewelry to look for the cross I gave her the first time I went to Israel,
and I look for her favorite photo of my twin and I
(one squalling bald baby, and one terrified moppy haired baby staring at her crying sister)
and I seek the picture of my grandfather that my uncle captured,
many years ago,
Grandpa Lee is looking over the lake, not focused on the camera, but probably thinking about fishing.

my twin and me

Oh, there are so many more photos...
of my nephews, and me and my sisters' baby pictures hung in a cluster in her bedroom,
and the antique photos
of female ancestors
that hung in the basement near my room
that creeped me out
when I would come home late in high school,
because I SWORE their eyes followed me...
only to continue to haunt me
in the guest bedroom where I sleep, today
watching over me like serious angels.
Do they know my heart?
(kinda scary, right?)

it's Mom's house.

I make sure she has all the familiar stuff in the fridge, and cupboards
yogurt, cheese,
lots of condiments (some probably expired, but you just don't throw this stuff away, you know?)
bread, Life cereal, and a LOT of tupperware (how did this happen?  I tossed out so much three summers ago when I helped her and my step-dad move.  I guess having tupperware is security, or what makes a kitchen functional. )

The little things that have been gifted to her over the years--
the blue and white pottery my sister in california gave her,
the little plaques and decorative pictures,
whether they match or not, they are around,
because that is how a mother rolls, right?
what is more precious than a watercolor painted by a 7th grader?
or a letter from a preschool grandson?

it's Mom's house.
and so, so much more.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

vast and rolling

I am in the window seat of the small plane
that is in descent
to the eastern part of the state
I still call  home.
As I peer through the
smudgy clouded scratched glass,
I marvel
at how my body
tunes in
with the
of this place.

so much room
to breathe.
so much land
measured in quartered fields
and tiny rivers
forming oxbows
and straight roads
that roll out forever...
a patchwork from the sky.

I know this rolling blue sky.
I know this green grass and yellow-bright fields of canola
resting next to green fields of potatoes or sugar beets or
some kind of grain, it doesn't matter.
I know this wind, hot and dryly humid.

But the best thing is,
this vast and rolling place
knows me.
We connect....
my ancient childhood
is renewed in good and solid ways.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Carnival! Week 2

At RevGalBlogPals, Teri asks us:

What's the most surprising connection you've made through RevGalBlogPals? Or the most surprising or helpful thing you've learned/experienced through this galship of friends?

I didn't get around to playing last week, but, so this post is a mishmash of...what galship is to me, and the surprise of RGBP. 

I was probably about a month or so into a new call.   My love and I had moved from North Carolina to Boston.  I left a position in a newish church start, which I loved...I LOVED...the people, my colleague, travel to the awesome state of Massachusetts, which was liberal, gay-friendly, and completely foreign to both of us.   My beloved fell right into her new position in higher ed, at the place most perfect for her. An amazing fit.  

For me, I was lost.   So lost.   After the first couple of months, I started doing temporary work (which was a total joke, because I didn't even know how to run a copy machine) and I bluffed my way through MIT, FAS-Harvard, Radcliffe, and finally landing at Harvard Divinity School, being a temporary faculty assistant.   In December of 2006, I landed my first church pastoral interview, at the only opening in my association, for an associate position.   By February, I was offered the position, on the same day I was offered a position in the Women's Studies in Religion at HDS, to be the coordinator of the program.   In spite of being enticed to take the position at HDS (which in hindsight....well, o.k. maybe, maybe not) I answered the pastoral call.  At heart, I am a pastor.  I wasn't exactly sure about the associate part, because I really wanted to be a lead pastor.   But pastor vs. coordinator, it seemed clear. 

And yes, it was the right path. 

But I was lonely.  

I had virtually no colleagues in ministry. 

But I had a blog.  Earthensoul.  It was mostly about connections between being a potter and pastor, but so much more. 

Somehow, I stumbled upon RevGals.   Grace of God, really, because I don't remember how I found this sisterhood. 

I think I might have played a Friday Five, first.  I remember it was something about "what are you having for lunch"  and "what are you wearing to work if you do on Friday......"   And then, people responded to my post.  My spinach salad with gorgonzola and pears was a hit.   I was so touched that people took time to read my post, let alone comment.  

So, I asked to be a member. And was accepted! 

I had people.  I had sisters.  I had galship,  I had colleagues.  Instantly.  Let me tell you, being a new pastor in Boston isn't the easiest, after only serving in southern churches. Everything is different.  My colleague's wife was supportive, but she was technically my boss's wife.  The other women I knew were a crusty ready to retire kind of grumpy clergy association colleague, and a practicing nun in the same association.  I was starved. 

So, reading Songbird, and Terrapin Station, Wills Mama, and St. Casserole, and Vicar and Authentic Voice and so many other blogs was a balm to my desert soul.  I found community, I found church, a galship....

I missed BE1.   I went to BE2 with fear and trepidation.  It was in Arizona.  But I knew that Songbird, Terrapin, St. Casserole, Vicar, and Authentic Voice would be there.  They were my virtual friends, and I was hopeful they would be my life friends.  

And that is the surprise.  That the interwebs don't lie, when you are faithfully trying to be authentically you.  I was so welcomed.  I was known.  I was beloved by sisters in faith, in spite of non-physical introductions.  

I am sad that there are some that feel there are cliques in RGBP, or feel dismissed because they are older....but my experience as an almost 50 something lesbian clergy woman has never been negative.  I have ALWAYS had supportive women colleagues....but I have had to search for them and trust.  

With RGBPs,  I have tried to be as openly welcoming as I was welcomed.  

And I am grateful.  

The most amazing surprise?  

Two of the RGBP wanted, TRUSTED me to their pastor for their wedding.    Crazy. 

Of course we planned it together, but they trusted me with the liturgy to make their public vows of  commitment (in spite of one bride Having A Very Famous Cousin Who Could Have Totally Been The Officiant).  

And I am blessed with their courage.  So, so, so many obstacles.  So, so, so many ways they came out to their congregations.  Their risks blow out my mind.  

Since BE2, I have gone on others.  ON CRUISES, people.  CRUISES.  Where you can eat whenever you need,  your bed is made, chocolates on the pillows....and beautiful friends.  

I can't go this year.  OH!   I  am bereft.  But I am in transition, and if someone drops out at last minute, and I am in a new congo, I am first on the waiting list.  

But it doesn't matter. Because GalShip thrives, whether on a cruise, in AZ, in the blogsphere, or facebook....

I know you are there. 

Written, with so much love in my heart.