you say “well hey, it’s about time” and i say “no, no it’s about love”

there’s a post i’ve been holding onto for months, maybe years. i’m actually sitting here trying to write it and have managed to get halfway through it twice before highlighting the whole thing and hitting delete. i think of it as the post that’s gotten in the way of writing here regularly anymore, but it just won’t come out either.

it’s about my confusion about accountability to myself, from others, and to my meeting. it’s about calling and that falling away or shifting and not knowing where it went and not knowing how to ask for support and feeling bitter that it wasn’t just offered and feeling guilty for wanting other people to follow all of my whims and fluctuations. it’s about my desire to be more aware of others’ whims and fluctuations. it’s about accidentally almost joining a cult. it’s about the death of a member of my clearness committee. it’s about diversity and social justice and the question of if quakerism really is for everyone. it’s about how still and all, the majority of my friends are white. it’s about struggling as a teacher. it’s about crying at the meeting retreat two years ago because i just desperately wanted to give all of my students the type of experience i was having right then. it’s about how i don’t understand the valuable experiences my students have. it’s about wanting to write more. it’s about wanting to be more of what i think a quaker should be. it’s about living far from my meeting. it’s about feeling far from my meeting. it’s about feeling close to my meeting. it’s about unexpected phone calls from members of my meeting when i am feeling low or am across the country. it’s about feeling distance and then suddenly feeling overly close. it’s about being a grown-up. it’s about trying to infuse my teaching with quakerism. it’s about leaving and coming back. it’s about bitterness and angst and self-recrimination. it’s about deciding. it’s about not deciding. it’s about confusion, sadness, and joy. it’s about days slipping by. it’s about living.

maybe now that that’s all out of the way, i can start focusing on god again.

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“i am thinking some about how excited i am, & how terrified– of becoming part of the quaker faith community. being blessed & guarded & held– and watched. a hundred new spiritual parents. perhaps this is part of my recent exhaustion.”

(i’m still so much with the, “how do i get people to actually read this. and respond. and help me out with all of this stuff. the inner journey IS fine, but i do like sharing so much.”)

Published in: on 4 December, 2006 at 3:16 pm  Comments (1)  

the friends school just called and asked when i could start coming in to do clerical work. eep! yip! yay!

from 11-10’s paper journal:

“i feel sour & exhausted & utterly human today.

i think it might be my flu shot, because my muscles are so sluggish i a way that seems unbeatable & ingrained. not just sleepy or sad, but a deep exhaustion.

my relationship optimism is waning again. a few days ago, i was like, ‘there might be things i need to change about myself.’ i need the force of character that i’m lacking by not being able to handle this relationship. but today i am tired of negotiating needs. of losing myself in the purification necessary to keep going.

in the past week, ipods have come up 3 times– twice with quakers and once in tikkun. it’s funny because it makes me want to defend my ipod use, but i think it’s good to make me interrogate it- make sure that it’s really for innocuous, or hopefully positive use– shielding me from the world only when that’s really necessary, giving me an air of dancing joy when possible.

my eyes are drippy from a tiny exhaustion nap. not currently moving too much. i feel sort of refreshed, but i’m not sure how i will handle actual movement.

connection & spirituality– these are my two big interests. they should coexist harmoniously, but sometimes they collide harshly.

last night, at study group, [someone] said that when [they look] back at things [they] highlighted when [they] were younger, [they] are struck by how naive [they were]– & i think i have some insight into why such statements (& i’ve made similar) are hard to hear by a younger person. we are always so thoroughly ourselves– that the idea that we might change enough to be embarassed by this specific existence– is hard to hear, hard to think about.

i just so much want to find synthesis between different points of view. it feels like a calling, but also a want, so maybe it’s not a calling.

i think part of what works so specifically for me at meeting is the sitting in the circle. i really feel like god is there in the middle. i’ve always believed that god is love is interconnectedness, & that center is where we all meet in worship. it is amazing.

i am lucky/blessed to have the time that i have right now for contemplation. next week i won’t have that. i feel spoiled to have it, and also that it’s completely necessary. if i can keep doing it, i think i should try. it’s good for me, the way i’ve been doing it. it’s discipline, which i need, & it makes things make sense. having texts has become so helpful.”

a note on capitalization:

i’ve always been rather… concerned about the way that proper names are capitalized. setting people apart in a way that other things are not set apart always made me sad. particularly capitalizing the “i” for myself… i didn’t like that. in college, i started taking away those capitals. then i realized that i prefer the aesthetic of lower-case, anyway.

in formal things, i started using traditional capitalization, but pretty much always my name in lower-case, and if i felt like i could get away with it, the i’s. when i got my legal tranny name change, i got it legally lower-case.

writing about god in lower case is something that i’ve been thinking about a lot, and right now i feel like it’s necessary for it to stay personal.

i got tagged for a few memes, one by a quaker blogger and one by an lj friend, so i’m going to respond to both in both places, to do some bridging of audience. but before i do that, i want to talk a tiny bit about my recent spiritual practice, because i’m really liking it.

there are two big new things. one is that i wake up at 7 every morning now, pretty much. i usually don’t have to leave the house until around 9, and i try and give myself at least half an hour to sit and read quakery or spiritually things (essays from the best american spiritual writing series, things from our meeting’s seeker’s packets, books from the public library and the meetinghouse library by quakers). and i make sure to sit with what i’ve read in silence. and write about a lot of what i’m thinking. that has been really helpful in a lot of ways.

the other thing is that when i walk, and i walk a lot, i spend a lot of time thinking either “all will be well and all will be well and all manner of thing will be well” which helps me with a lot of things or “now i walk in beauty, beauty is before me, beauty is behind me, above and below me.” when i do the latter, i must look pretty wacky, because i really do look and think about the beauty of all of those directions. i’ve noticed so much more, and it makes the tenderloin a different place. though i’m still wrestling with the beauty of gum stuck on the sidewalk. over and over and over again.

anyway. okay. memes.

the first one is from lobsterbox on lj, but it’s funny.

RULES: Each player of this game starts off with 10 weird things/habits/little known facts about yourself. People who get tagged need to write a blog of their own 10 weird habits/things/little known facts as well as state this rule clearly. At the end you need to choose 6 people to be tagged and list their names. No tagbacks.

1) cooked tomatoes give me the chills. even the concept.

2) so do rotten cherry tomatoes. i hate them to an absurd degree.

3) i told my parents i had bob marley’s soul, when i was 3.

4) pink is sort of my new favorite color. this is very new and kind of weird.

5) i spent every summer of my childhood in wisconsin, except for one, because i begged to stay in florida. surprisingly, i found it way too hot when i stayed.

6) i had really long hair for a really long time, and developed a fear of foods with jelly or maple syrup because i was worried that it might get in my hair. those foods now give me an odd sense of freedom.

7) i spent way too many years of my life in t-shirts and leggings.

8) i have a weird fondness for american cheese. i think it melts better than any other cheese, and thus, i prefer it in omelettes and grilled cheese, to basically any other cheese.

9) i love to floss. LOVE.

10) i really love to be really hydrated and i also really love salty food. this doesn’t work.

… i think these are boring. and also fairly well-known things.

the other one is to type the 5th through 9th sentence of page 123 of the book i’m reading. i was tagged by chad i’m reading a bunch of books right now, but i’ll go for the one i’m carrying around for general pleasure reading.

except there is no page 123. there is, but the whole page says “part two.” so much for al capone does my shirts. i’m grabbing the book i just finished, because i’m running out of time.

“They died often. The proliferation of death made me more indifferent to it, I think. I would take the little white net and scoop them up and ride them down on my bike to one of the lots in the neighborhood that hadn’t been developed yet. I’d give them an outdoor burial by flicking them out of the net and into the grass.”

that was cheerful.

that was from i know some things: stories about childhood by contemporary writers edited by lorrie moore.

Published in: on 19 November, 2006 at 10:49 pm  Leave a Comment  

so!

my thought has been that i will use this space to record things that i’ve already written down elsewhere– either on my livejournal or in emails or in my paper journal. this seems important so that i keep writing about this in those places and don’t just have thoughts so i can put them here, or neglect those other places. but yeah, my paper journal especially has been full of things i really want to actually talk about with quakers.

i’m having a time crunch this morning (and probably will most mornings), but i’ve got a collection of paper journal entries i want to post. they are making me a little nervous because they leave me pretty bare, but i think that’s important.

so from the second of october, i have:

“i figured out what drives/drove me so crazy about olympia unitarians–

when i was in england, rev. andrew james brown gave me a newsletter with a christmas entry he’d written in it. the essay was about how for unitarians, the magic of christmas was the hope that any baby could be a christ– the divine potential was so exciting to me.

but it felt like the olympia unitarians– or at least the minister believed that no one could be a christ. the general feel good message with the lack of any challenge toward dynamic existence was tiresome. so wishy-washy and uninspiring. i guess people do need congratulations for continuing to exist in this distressing world. but i think we need more.

i must like quakerism because in the silence it’s just me and my smugness.”

(so much to be nervous about there. a lot of my nervousness is my tossing around of giant theological terms in a way that is very idiosyncratic to my head. for example, christ there means… savior. but not necessarily god-savior, and hopefully not even martyr-savior either. but. someone who changes the world in a GIANT way for the better.)

october 16:

“i came out as trans to quaker meeting today. i hated doing it, because i felt so big and about me, but it had to be done, because it was all too awkward otherwise.

i thought about puck and me at meeting– trying so hard to figure that out. i realized that so much of my problem is with blame and guilt, so i thought about taking them out and throwing them far away. blame was like a hot red coal and guilt was a mucus-y ball of hardened snot. i felt so free. but it came back and comes bak so much. it’s so much a part of me– & i know it’s poisonous and it’s the exact opposite of everything i love and believe– and yet it sticks around so fiercely.”

and then 2 days later on the 18th:

“the thing is, really, how much i actually do judge.

the thing is that so frequently my spiritual seeking says, ’see! i’m right! someone else said it.’”

… and now i need to go.

excellent, cub, tell them a bunch of the ways in which you are a jerk and then go away. that’ll keep ‘em coming back.

hello, friends!

i’ve been saying that for awhile now. i got it from my favorite kindergarten teacher ever, who worked at the school where i served my americorps term last year. i like greeting everyone as friends. it is cozy.

although, now, with my going to quaker meeting and stuff, i’ve become shy-er about that. it is like saying, “hello, christians!” or “hello, muslims!” or something equally obvious. someone told me that if i don’t capitalize it it’s okay, but i rarely capitalize anything. so!

hi. i’m cubbie. this is me. those first two paragraphs are how i think. a lot. so be prepared.

this is meant to be my quaker blog. i have a livejournal already, and have had a whole bunch of online journals in the past few years. but i think this may be the first one with a specific theme.

i’m doing it because i’ve been having lots of quaker-related thoughts that i want to share with and discuss with people, probably primarily quakers, though not necessarily. my lj is friendslocked, so i can’t share things with my new quaker friends the way i would like to, and there are just so many things i want to share!

i’ve daydreamed about this introduction a gazillion times, and it was much more brilliant than this.

a note about the title and then i have to go. i’m a little nervous about it, because “peculiar” in the quaker sense seems to mean something theologically specific that i’m not sure actually fits me. but i love the word, and i love it juxtaposed with queer to describe me. and i’m scared that if i ask people they will tell me to change it, but i want to know if people think it’s an offensive bad idea, because that’s important to me. and as far as “seams”– i love to show my seams. i am always growing and learning and even though things i say will probably embarass me someday, it is important for me to keep my growth process transparent. it keeps me humble, maybe, and i hope that it helps other people with their growth processes, also.

so. um. hi!

Published in: on 14 November, 2006 at 9:05 am  Comments (1)