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Just Catching Up

I got moved last week. All my stuff is here and everything is in its place. I've gotten rid of a lot of things and feel good about that. Less is more, you know. For someone who claims that this Earth is not my home, I often collect worldly goods as if I planned to live here forever.

My little dog has settled in nicely and is enjoying the new found independence of having a doggie door. There are a lot of squirrels here which need his attention.

My car is in it's other home right now... that is, the repair shop. This has not been such a big deal.

I have lost my regualr schedule. Temporarily, of course. But, it seems like a long time since I've seen my books and sat at my desk just to see what thoughts are there, waiting for me to be still long enough to think them. A whole week of discombublation is too much for me. It's boring, I know. But I am a person of habit.

I went to a cook-out at my brother's last night. There is a wedding shower for him today. I guess because he needs things? Believe me when I tell you that he needs no worldly goods. But there is a shower anyway. I can't help but wonder why he isn't having people give money to the MGDs or something. The accumulation is just appalling. But, I am here among my bio-family and that's what they do. Accumulate. More. Better. Latest. Different color.

And then there's me. My family think of me as the poor one. Poor Linda. So given to moderation. So different.

Well, pitty me not dear blog friends. I am happy, even if a little bit out of my element.

I nicked this cool map of the US from our fellow tribe member Ann. You can make your own by clicking on the link. It shows all the places I've been, and where all I have left to go.

visited 37 states (74%)
Create your own visited map of The United States or determine the next president

Have a fun weekend.

Your pal,



Yes...This Is What I Intended To Say

In my overly-wordy July 8 post what I intended to say is this:

"O Allah! If I worship You for fear of Hell, burn me in Hell, and if I worship You in hope of Paradise, exclude me from Paradise.But if I worship You for Your Own sake,grudge me not Your everlasting Beauty.”
Rabia al Basri

h/t to AKHF, which I just realized are the exact same initials of someone else who was quoted on my blog today. Curious...

I seem to have run all out of deep thoughts lately. Not to worry. It is time for me to concentrate on some other things. I am moving this week and that takes all my time. I started a new medication which just knocked me out. And, of course, when I am busiest is when everyone wants my attention.

Today I am feeling alive again which is good since I have lots to do. I mean, seriously. LOTS.

Most of my books are packed away but I do have Streams of Mercy* by our own tribe member, Ann. I am going to share my very favorite meditation from that with you today. It's for Week Five of Epiphany, Monday. And the text is Hebrews 13:1-16.

Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for by doing that some have entertained angels without knowing it.

And here 's what Ann says about it:

Sharing a table at Starbucks
Strangers chatting
on our separate ways
Later the barista sweeps
upthe feathers along with the
crumpled napkins.

I love this because it speaks directly to my own blindness. Even at a place as common as Starbucks I might encounter the holy. But, do I see? Or do I grab my steamer and go? How often I get so busy yacking away that I forget that it's the handiwork of God sitting across from me, behind the counter, spilling a little mocha, leaving trash on the table. Yes, all of those.

This makes me want to slow down, look through the trash to see who is there, what beauty I missed.

I'll be off-line for a week or so. While I am gone, look for beauty in unexpected places!

You can get Ann's book from AuthorHouse or at Amazon. You can read more from the book at both sites.

*Fontaine, Ann Kristin Haldors
. Streams of Mercy. AuthorHouse, 2005.

PS - I'll have a new email address, as well as a new physical address. If you feel you need that information, just leave a comment or email me at the old address in the next couple of days... well, today or tomorrow! and I'll get it right to you.
I am not inclined to post it for all the world to see but I won't deny the rest of you.


Heaven Would Be A Nice Bonus

I've been working with some people I just met. They know me better than I know them and one of the things they know is that I am religious. Probably they think I am some kind of protestant.

So one of them has been hanging around quite lot proclaiming to any who will listen that Jesus came and died so that we can all go to Heaven some day. He is just trying (in vain) to get my attention. I have been listening though.

Jesus came to Earth, he lived and died, so we can go to Heaven. That's what I am hearing. I've heard it a lot so I'm not confused. There's a quid pro quo: Jesus died = we go to Heaven. At least those of us who "accept Jesus" go to heaven. The others... well, good luck to them, eh? In any event I have not been overly amused.

I thought about it while I was out driving around this afternoon. My back in the driveway thought is that until you are willing to spend an eternity in Hell for love of your Lord, you haven't experienced Salvation at all.

Salvation.... I want to talk about that. Because it's not just salvation from Hell, not even salvation from karma. If I am not saved, healed from, and delivered out of the whole violent system then I want out. Salvation makes me indifferent to whether I am in Heaven or Hell as long as my Lord is pleased.

Remember the story I told you about Radha? She laughed at the other women who were worried that she would go to Hell. "How silly of you," she said. "If I am able to bring even a moments comfort to my Lord I would gladly spend eternity in Hell."

John Chrysostome did sort of go to Hell. He was roasted alive. And he wasn't the only one either. Lots of our brothers and sisters were burned, roasted, boiled, and worse for the sake of their faith.

There is a burning away of sin and self that happens to each of us too, if we can stand it. I don't know that it's Hell, per se. But, it's not Heaven either. Are we willing to bear it though for shear obedience, for nothing but love?

I sometimes wish it were so easy as accepting a free ticket to Disney-Heaven where I'll live forever in a kind of amusement park of eternal delights, you know, because I bought the right ticket. It's not like that though.

I am not sure I have a take-away on all that. I just hope that later, when I head back to my study and I sit quietly, waiting, that it will be for love, for sharing presence, for being. If I get to Heaven, well, that'll be a nice bonus.


Why I Love My Country

Of course, there are lots of reasons not to love America these days. You don’t need me to review it for you. It’s not pretty. That’s all I’ll say.

But, I do love this country. My love is less to do with what America is today, or even the ideals of liberty on which it was founded. I love my country simply because it is my home.

My antecedents came here in the hope of a new and better life, unlimited by scarcity of land and diminishing opportunity. Oh, and one was running from a murder rap, and one was escaping the draft. But, despite their selfish motivations it was America that held hope for them, and it was in America that they were able to build new lives.

Only here, in my home, can I walk the pasture lands that grazed my great-grandfather’s sheep. It’s only here that I can put my own hands on the stones he laid for his family’s home, corral. Both still standing and still in use.

I can drive past the place where my grandfather first saw my grandmother. “She was the prettiest thing I ever did see,“ he once told me. And I thought I saw a tiny little tear in his eye but it could have been the sun. The house where he grew up is still standing. Barely.

I can still talk to people who went to elementary school with my grandparents and tell me stories of their childhood antics. I’ve learned, for example, that Aunt Toadie (actually Thelma) got her nickname because of my grandfather throwing frogs on her. She used to run around the house screaming, “Oh Albert… stoooooop.” And my granddaddy would switch directions and wait just around the corner from her and then throw another frog on her. They both grew up to be unbelievably respectable, community leaders and all. But, I have this one precious story to remind me that they were fully human too.

I can’t do any of those things anywhere else. Even the coolest, greenest, best educated countries can’t give me what I find right here at home, my own history.

What I need, what I’ve searched for all my life, is a sense of belonging and being connected to something. As a young woman I ran away from Texas just as fast as I could, certain that there was nothing here that was good for me. And at the time it was a good decision so no recriminations on that. It would’ve been bad if I’d stayed. But, I have been surprised to find that the demons I came back here to bury have led me to sources of the very thing I’ve been looking for all along. The silver lining is growing even as the thunder clouds recede. I am connected to the dusty hills of West Texas and the old families who dared to make it their home. I am not just floating, without ties to anything. There is a place where I belong. My home. The good and the bad. America.