• I start a beginners quilting class tonight! Very exciting. We're making table runners, which is NOT exciting, but hopefully I'll learn why my little squares never turn out quite...square.
  • Because there's not enough time to go home, but I'll have just a little too much time before the class, it's definitely going to be an Ice Cream for Dinner night.
  • I picked up Phyllis Tickle's The Divine Hours (for Summertime) recently, and I cannot tell you how much I'm enjoying it. Somehow all of the readings lately have been exactly what I needed, have absolutely swaddled me in the huge love of God.
  • I won a case of Corona! Well, it was my incentive for a donation, so really it's the most expensive beer I've ever bought, but still, I'm going to be happy when Mr. M picks up some limes.
  • I am loving Pandora more than I can possibly tell you. I'm particularly pleased with the Conway Twitty station, the Bob Dylan one, the Dusty Springfield, and the Classical (choral Baroque). Go play with it! Mr. M listened to a They Might Be Giants station, and discovered that Cake covered this Muppet classic:


Losing Souls

In my young evangelical days, I heard Mark 8:36 a lot: What good is it for a man to gain the whole world, yet forfeit his soul?" It was usually understood as the undoing of a one-time salvation. Descent into the fiery pits, eternal separation from God, afterworld-y stuff.

The verse came to mind recently, though, as I was chatting with one of my favorite girlfriends. We were talking about people who make us angry (so angry we can feel it in our bodies), and we agreed that there's a point where we just have to let it go-- for the sake of our own souls. Please don't get me wrong-- I respect anger as a helpful roadmarker, one that lets me know something is deeply Not As It Should Be. But to stew in it, and let it mingle with resentment and hate... that's an entirely different beast. I'm coming to believe that our soul isn't something we lose once, irrevocably, but rather our truest self, which we lose track of many times, in many ways-- through fear, worry, hostility, hate, condescension.

I also believe it's something we can receive back. Last month, at the closing ceremonies of Spiritual Director's training, each of us spoke briefly about what the program had been to us. I shared that when I began, I felt as though I had lost my voice. Two years later, buoyed by the love of a wonderful community, it was coming back. A very dear friend (the kind who's family, even though he's not related) told me later that I hadn't lost my voice at all-- I just couldn't hear it for myself for a little while. Maybe that's the best possible definition of spiritual direction-- having someone to hear your voice. And I believe that through it, God saves our souls, and restores love, kindness, freedom, trust, and joy.


The Mustn'ts

I've mentioned Shel Silverstein a couple of times before-- I'm nuts about him. I can't believe I haven't ever posted about the Mustn'ts, though, because it's one of those poems that pops up in my head on a fairly regular basis-- and I'm always glad when it does.

As there is in everyone's life, I have a bit of ongoing unblogability, and this morning I was thinking to myself, "I wish that someone could tell me whether or not this can improve-- whether something can HAPPEN." And then I thought of Shel, and realized that no one can really tell me either way. We just have to wait, and maybe expect.

Listen to the Mustn'ts
Listen to Mustn'ts, child, listen to the Don'ts.
Listen to the Shouldn'ts, the Impossibles, the Won'ts.
Listen to the Never Haves, then listen close to me.
Anything can happen, child, Anything can be.
-Shel Silverstein