Saturday, August 22, 2009

We're all in this together

I remember showing my very first batch of photographic meditations to a friend at one of Cynthia Bourgeault's retreats. The reflections were lectionary-based; responses to a year's worth of lectionary readings, one for each week.

I offered them to her, and tried to explain the way they had poured out of me onto the page, as if Someone Else was writing them. And what I remember most is that the woman looked them over in a sort of cursory way, and then looked at me and said, "I'm pretty uncomfortable with you saying they were written by God." And the fact is, I'm still uncomfortable with that. Because what happens on this blog is still not written by God; it's just written by me.

Each morning I sit, I find a picture, words pour out, and I never quite know whether it's me with an axe to grind, or if I'm just trying to be clever, or playing some sort of game (hard not to wonder, when it's so much fun!) or whether something someone needs to hear is being said through me and I should just let it flow. Because however wise what happens on this page may sometimes seem, the fact remains that I am still a relatively unenlightened, imperfect person: not especially fearless, or compassionate; rarely fully present, and only occasionally serene.

So it can feel pretty awkward when the blog gets this kind of preachy quality: after all, who am I to tell you what to do and how to live? And isn't it always true that the folks who most like to tell you what they know are the ones who know the least? (As that old proverb says, "Those who can, do; those who can't, teach.")

For me to go on and on, day after day, about the challenges of living the spiritual life, is not unlike this picture: It's as if I'm hitting you over the head with a giant fist, shouting "I'm open, I'm open, I'm really open -- and you should be, too!" There's always a chance it's NOT any kind of divine intuition that drives the words on the page; it could just be my ego, mouthing off again.

In light of all that, I'd like to thank you again for walking with me on this journey, for sticking around, for forgiving me when I go off the deep end and for being patient with me when I get over-chatty. And I promise to do my best to remember that it's not really my job to come up with answers, but rather just to raise the questions, to look at the stuff of life and say, "What if?"

It's not my job to pontificate, and I don't need to be wise. I just need to listen, to pay attention; to stay open and not get carried away. Ultimately the blog isn't about whatever wisdom I have to offer. It's more about what Red Green says on his goofy DVD, We can't help it, we're men! -- "Remember; I'm pullin' for ya. We're all in this together."


Anonymous said...

You have a great number of gifts, and they're ALL appreciated -- I've never felt you were "pontificating" or "going off the deep end" at all! I come to your place of thoughtfulness each and every day, with a grateful heart and soul. Your depth, balance and humor; coupled with your artistry (both in photos and words) are treasured. THANK YOU!

Anonymous said...

PS to my previous post - A little something for you, Diane:

"Ring the bells that still can ring.
Forget your perfect offering.
There is a crack in everything.
That's how the light gets in."
~ Leonard Cohen

Anonymous said...

Sometimes I look back at something I've written, something that I can remember seeming to flow through my fingers and I wonder who really wrote it. It just happens that way sometimes. I know what you are talking about and I'm pullin' for ya too.

So many times something you have written speaks so loudly and clearly to me, does so much to help me. Thank you.

I hope I'm making sense, I'm tired and I've got to get to bed -- The Bishop is coming to visit tomorrow, yikes!!

Virginia Wieringa said...

It's also how the light gets out.

We have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all surpassing power is from God and not form us. (2 Corintians 4:7)

We are cracked pots with gold on the inside. Thanks for sharing the gold inside of you, Diane. I'm always inspired and comforted by what I read here.