I suck at being future oriented—being not very ambitious or competitive.
I feel obligated to the past—giving just enough information and attention to honor it appropriately.
Which leaves me right where I am.
I have a gift for expanding the present moment.
Maybe I should consider Buddhism.
In my blessed blogging absence, there has been no shortage of LIFE HAPPENINGS. We bought a house. We lost a beloved pet. We moved to a new city.
And I did another production of Godspell.
Wherein I desperately attempted to stay present, but a combination of discomfort with the current experience and the overwhelming urge to REMEMBER kept pulling me into my memories.
And I knew I would soon be reflecting and preparing a place for new things to be born, because I wrote this, though never finished or posted it:
”I almost never NEED to write. But for this brand of thinking, I do.
It’s like my brain is reset to 1997. I am a theologian, a pastor, a biblical scholar, a seminary student. I think about religion by writing.
Now that I am a professor, I just talk talk talk.
I find myself back in Godspell—like it’s a town I visited every Summer as a child. There is a faint nostalgia to the present moment. The veil so thin.
Graduate school gave and took many things from me. I gained wisdom and friends; I lost faith . . . and friends.
The greatest gift was hearing the words of Jesus through my friend Johnny.
The gentlest dissenter, the kindest challenger.
No one dares compare a living ordinary human to the Christ.
But that’s what Jesus was. And I heard the New Testament like never before and felt the forging of community—transformation—and fire.
A couple short years and Johnny would be gone. First back home for awhile to California, and then strangely absent from this Earth with no explanation that could ease grieving hearts. He was my congregational studies partner and he was the best conversationalist.
I had the honor of helping to lead the seminary’s memorial for him. I still had our coat rack, his jacket and cane from All for the Best. I used it in the worship design. If I had known how powerfully that would haunt me . . . “
I now find myself quite contentedly back in the Present, but WONDERING, which is dangerously close to my unfamiliar territory . . . the FUTURE.
Having missed a regular practice of purposeful thinking, I have turned to something formal-ish. Something even a little future oriented.
During my busy-busy, Jeffrey Davis presented the world with a visioning period of prompts and exercises, Quest. It wasn’t for me at the time, but I drank in other creative people’s time and devotion to their craft and lives like Gatorade after the big game. Now there is a new challenge, and enough free time and energy for me to accept it. Dare to Excel.
The words Dare and Excel both sort of give me hives, so it must be therapeutically necessary for me.
So I am just gonna expose the process right here, as I think and write.
Seems like a good enough place to begin the work, the re-centering and re-making of my life.
Before I received the first official email, I saw that the prompt was:
What burning question of possibility will influence what & how you create during the next 30 to 90 days?
Calm the hell down, Heidi.
Here were the first questions that came to my mind.
These were the personal questions that might inspire the greater vision and outcomes of a more honed, project driven “burning question of possibility”–
for your amusement, consider these navel-gazing fear-based inquiries:
What if I consider acts of creation essential to my daily life?
What if I wasn’t cripplingly ashamed of my stories?
What if I turned a single thought from my head inside out each day?
What if I really am a writer? (Albeit a wildly undisciplined, non-practicing one . . .)
What the snot am I going to do with that drivel?
So, I do what I always do. I unpack my directions. And I research.
And then I said, just write the question. For now. It can change.
What if we sought inspiration for daily acts of creativity in people’s personalities and experiences, in our relationships to one another?
Even still the question evolved. I was a trained minister– am a natural ritualist.
What I need to know is:
Is it possible to craft everyday some event, even a mundane task, in order to perceive the meaning in life that we crave?
Churches are fading. People are still in spiritual starvation.
I am tired of feeling helpless—or only helping myself.