Reflecting

Streams of Consciousness

I’m sitting at my desk, after supper, with Leonard Cohen playing on the Amazon SpyBot, and I’m wondering what in the hell to write about today. I’m tired, and not feeling it, but I believe in magic, so let’s just do some stream of consciousness and see what happens, shall we?

I normally have my post finished by now – I have a number of stubs and half-finished posts in my hard drive, but after looking over them today, nothing strikes a chord. I will finish all of them eventually, but none of them excite me right now, and I try not to force it. When it comes, it comes, and while I can fake it if I have to, I don’t have to right now.

We had creamed chicken over biscuits tonight for supper, and one day I will tell you about that, how to make it, and why I always think about Dad whenever I make it. But I don’t really have the energy for that tonight, either. It’s good, though, and you will like both the story and the recipe. But that can wait for another day.

I’ve had a wonderful week this week, both at work and at home – a week filled with delightful walks in my neighborhood, pleasant talks with several of my neighbors, who bless us tremendously with their presence, and getting to have an impact on moving my state closer to a more just place for all of us to live. Of all the places I have ever lived, I love this state so much. It’s not better than any other place, but it’s a really good place, and we love it so. 

We have good neighbors, by and large, who have lots of kids who are always happy to see me. I think I’m destined to be the kindly old guy in the neighborhood that always has hard candy in his pocket. I feel like I’ve been training for this my whole life. People give directions to each other based on our house non-ironically: “It’s the third house on the right past the house with the swing and the giant chicken.”

My new bicycle does nothing to disabuse the neighbors and their kids of my eccentricity – if anything, it enhances it. I intend to get a bulb horn to honk at the kids as I go by. I feel like I probably ought to develop one of several stories I have in-process about being a good neighbor and having good neighbors, but the problem is that I can put everything I know about having good neighbors on a post-it note: Be kind. Stay in your lane. And expect to be a good neighbor first. Hard to flesh that out into 800 words.

The world is opening back up, which excites me and terrifies me all at the same time. I have a lot of thoughts about that, but I’m feeling pretty good right now, in my post supper fullness, watching the sun go down behind the trees across the street, listening to Leonard sing about how he hated to see another tired man lay down his hand like he was giving up the holy game of poker, while the highway curls away, and I realize that to write about any of that will surely ruin my mood.

And then I remember that today is the anniversary of that day, long ago, when a faith community that knew me and loved me anyway recognized my gifts and formalized their recognition of those gifts by ordaining me. I am always convinced I am the most unlikely of ministers, but I have managed to carve out a spot for myself in that world, being the sort of pastor who can be heard by people who really don’t like pastors. Sometimes, I wish other pastors were as grateful for me as the people who don’t trust them are, but if I have to choose, I’m confident I made the right choice. But I don’t really want to talk about faith much these days – especially on the internet, where we really only generate heat and not light. Sermons are, in my opinion, better seen than heard, anyway.

Leonard just told me that there ain’t no cure for love, and I think he may be trolling me at this point.

So, tonight I am just sitting here, typing instead of writing, and feeling tremendously grateful, and a little afraid – the way I always am a little when I don’t have words – and hopeful and tired, but the good kind, that comes from being poured out and used up and not the bad kind that comes from watching your soul being burned out, leaving only husks behind.

I have known that, too, and am glad this is not that.

But mostly, I’m proud to be sitting in my office surrounded by books and music, with a full belly and a clear conscience, with the tools to express myself, if not the desire, and I look longingly at the new books that arrived today and know that what I want most right now is to brew myself a cup of tea and to turn this thing off and to curl up in the armchair and slip gently into that world which exists only between the covers of books.

Goodnight, friends. I wish you every good thing. 

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