Vocation

I applied for this job last year and got a very nice letter saying I was close to making the cut for the interview. Well, it looks like whomever they did hire didn’t work out for whatever reason.

Unfortunately, I live too far away now to apply for the position. I presently work 60 miles from home and I’m at the outer perimeter of DC’s transit system, so DC is another half-hour to 45 minutes from here (despite being only 10 miles).

But who knows; perhaps they’ll recruit me, which would give me more leverage. But I think there’s something outside the window that I don’t know about yet.

My new parish

Well, I attended Calvary Episcopal again this weekend, a little more under the radar, and I have to say–it’s a small church, but it’s been packed full when I’ve gone. I like it a lot, even if it’s back to wafers and away from David Allen’s rousing service music that I love so much. It’s just so hard for me to make it to St. Anne’s on Sundays, and will be more so now that I’m in Front Royal on weekends. The church itself is beautiful, and this time I noticed something I hadn’t before: a healthy population of teenaged boys. Since I have one too, it might be just the thing to helping him have friends in the new town.

I already miss St. Anne’s so much, and having Sarah tell me that she really wants me to stay on with their EFM group (plus Robin and Betsy and all the other ones who lurk here and never comment :P~~~~_–I want to, also, but it’s been really hard making the sat. morning sessions when my kid’s around, and another day of driving into No. Va. is just .. my car will revolt! Calvary has an EFM group too, and I want to talk to them about it, but it still feels sorta like I’m leaving family behind. 😦

I AM A HOMEOWNER!

Closed on the house today, and inherited a fair amount of furniture from the previous owners.

If you would like the new address, please write me at

gallycat
at
gallycat
.
com

and I will be more than happy to send it along.

i am excited about this beyond words. and exhausted.

A reflection, of sorts

Well, I’m going to try and start posting here regularly again. I’m now contributing a monthly reflection to a cool new site: The Episcopal Cafe, so I’m going back through some of the reflections I was writing in 2005 and realizing I should get back into making it a regular practice. I’ve learned a lot about reflections through my EFM group, so I’m looking forward to writing with a slightly more mature faith voice. 😀

But I wanted to post one of my early attempts at “Deep Thought.” I like this one, because it’s so important when explaining faith to people who resent it.

Written in September of 2005:

It’s fascinating to me that one of the best explanations I’ve seen of scripture as metaphor comes from a book with a metaphor in its title. And it also occurs to me that perhaps the reason extreme conservatives see scripture completely differently than I do is that they cannot understand metaphor. In the secular world, these are the people who do not grok fantasy and often eschew fiction, considering them at best unbelievable, and at worst lies.

But the title of the book, “The Heart of Christianity,” gives me something to point to when someone doesn’t understand metaphor. Does Christianity have a heart, with atria and ventricles, cardiac tissue and valves (never mind that there are mitral valves in your heart)? Of course not.

It seems to me oddly fitting that a literal heart should wither and die. But a metaphorical heart, whether Poe’s telltale one or the ones we put as central to our dearest notions, beats strong and true throughout time.

I’d like to quote a few things from this book. Its author, Marcus J. Borg, is the Hundere Distinguished Professor of Religion and Culture at Oregon State University.

When people ask, “Is that story true?” they often mean, “Did it happen?” (50)

I was recently asked this by a third grader in bible school class. “Is that story true?” And I, having been back to church after a yearlong hiatus only one week, stuttered, “It’s true in the Bible.” An inadequate answer, really, for what I wanted to convey. At the time, I parsed it as “It’s true if you believe it to be true,” that faith is what sustains us to believe the unbelievable. And then I read this passage, and came to understand that what I was struggling to convey is:

It is truth.

Not the truth, not true, but truth. But I also understood something else as a result of another thing Borg has to say: True does not always mean factual. That’s a stretch for me even in my literal mode and antagonizes everything I “know” as a journalist. But Scripture seen metaphorically becomes true (emphasis mine):

The Genesis stories of creation are seen as Israel’s stories of creation, not as God’s stories of creation. they therefore have no more of a divine guarantee to be true in a literal-factual sense than do the creation stories of other cultures. When they are seen as metaphorical narratives, not factual accounts, they are ‘myths’ in Thomas Mann’s sense of the word; Stories about the way things never were, but always are. They are thus really true, even though not literally true. (52)

Think of the difference between literature and fiction, or instance. What makes a piece of fiction become literature? Its truth.

One of the first things that my friends point to as evidence that religion is a bunch of crock is the utter unbelievability of the creation, fall from Eden, the Flood and so on in the old testament, and the christmas and easter stories in the new testament. On the other end of the spectrum are those whose fanaticism rivals the secular skepticism: people who take the bible so literally that their world really is only 6-10,000 years old and God must have a right hand because Jesus is really sitting at it.

Somewhere between those two extremes is something that I will call truth. Not The Truth. Not True. But Truth.

And on the third day, Jesus went on a diet.

I’ve been so happy with the results of my Lent challenge to myself to wean myself off caffiene that I’m inspired to try something more daunting, since Easter’s come and gone, I’m closing on a house, getting married in about a year and trying to deal with chronic pain. Since I can’t do anything without a gimmick, I’m doing this:

(Image courtesy of Kashi.com — they have a nifty change diary feature that’s very buggy, but I intend to follow through with this.)

If you’d like to cheer me on, watch me go all motivational, and see me at my determined best, visit my LJ community at 52wks.

to go with my latest revgals post…

not that I have any, but it’s a good thing to have around just in case…

Diagnosis

Well, after several visits to the chiropractor and doctor and a round of x-rays, my preliminary diagnosis is semi-worst-case scenario: spinal arthritis, and since that’s what has my dad in a wheelchair, it’s likely to be his rheumatoid arthritis.

More tests and hopefully a more definitive diagnosis later this month, as I’m seeing an orthopedist on April 23. But we’re still closing on the house on April 26. 😀

DFH is a little freaked out about this, so if you’re going to say a prayer for my health, throw in one for his peace of mind, please? I’m determined to not let this get me down, and hoping to take up yoga and tai chi. Of course this means I will need to let go of some other things.