Tuesday, May 11, 2010
On the one hand, I find myself being drawn to traveling abroad again, working for an NGO, doing research on my story ideas, etc etc etc. And on the other, I am drawn to staying put (wherever I am, which has been changing a lot). Maybe even spending 6 months or a year doing a work/trade at a retreat center or house of hospitality where I clean/cook/farm in exchange for quiet, prayer, service.
This morning I came across an article that SO speaks to me, I feel compelled to share it. The author, Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove, reflects on his earlier habit of moving and traveling, of seeking out meaning and purpose abroad, doing service work, in looking after the OTHER, and of how he has come to realize that standing still, looking around at the world in which you are currently, and planting roots HERE, is sometimes a better way to find meaning and stability within and without.
Funny, even the idea of seeking "stability" seems so foreign to me. It's a word I don't think of much, at least not in the more traditional/American sense (partner, money, career, house); but I am not deceived into thinking I lack a desire for stability. We all do.
Rather than looking for stability in what I have, I seek stability in who I am and how I live. The stability I hunger for is satiated by moments, little epiphanies, that affirm who/how/where I am. YES! What an amazing conversation. YES! Thank God I was able to be here for this friend in the hospital. YES! I loved smelling the eucalyptus and feeling the dirt underfoot on my run. YES! I have time to hear your story. YES! I want to walk with you and make photographs and be consumed by the power of live music.
Stability comes for me when I feel I am where I "should" be, doing what feels right, being in the world in a way that I feel called to be. The ground might be moving below me as I travel back and forth across the country to be present to my father and family, but the continuity, the stability comes in feeling that I'm fully present wherever I am, to whomever I'm with.
Wilson-Hartgrove's reflection is informed by what he's read from the mystics to Barbara Kingsolver, many of whom I've been reading with greater interest of late, and there is much here that resonates with what I'm contemplating these days.
Standing in Place is published in Conspire Magazine, a publication of a grass-roots organization called The Simple Way, which Marcy told me about (thanks...they are way cool!). The Simple Way is somewhat like Elizabeth House, and the Catholic Worker model, working in a poor section of Durham, North Carolina, guided by a call to go out into the world in love. Simple as that. They're feeding the homeless, greening the neighborhood, partnering with a hospital in Iraq... but, of course, it's not about what they're doing but how they are being that inspires and speaks to me.
Today I seek to remain in the moments I am most Myself. Not the ego-self, but the self that is the same as all other selves. The mystery that is within me and within you. More accurately, it's the self that knows no distinction between within and without. In that place, in this Me/You/We I find stability and security and meaning. The where-what-when answers will come in time. For now, I remain standing in place.
Monday, January 11, 2010
Thursday, 21 January 2010
400 Hawthorne Ave on Pill Hill, Oakland
Students Run Oakland, a non-profit youth development program promoting health (physical fitness, mentoring and nutrition ed) among Oakland public school students, is hosting a screening of their documentary, Runners High.
The award-winning film follows low-income Oakland kids training for the L.A. Marathon. Some of us in the Touchstone Running Club are training for the upcoming Oakland Marathon and Half. Let's all rally to support the next group of students who will be running with us on 28 March!
Check out the trailer below.
The screening will take place at 400 Hawthorne Ave., in the Bechtel Room, of Samuel Merritt University near the Alta Bates/Summit Medical Center (aka "Pill Hill") off Broadway in Oakland. It will be followed by a student/mentor panel for Q&A. Tickets are $25 and go to support Students Run Oakland. You can buy tix at the door or by emailing Christine Chapon [ christinechapon AT yahoo DOT com].
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Saturday, December 19, 2009
Wednesday, October 21, 2009
It will print in the December issue of Running Times, which will hit the magazine rack in the next week or two. Check it out...the layout is great!
The article features Moroccan Olympian Abderrahim Goumri, who recently took second at the Chicago Marathon.
Monday, September 14, 2009
Glass standing tall, reflecting the financial towers nearby. I start to walk through, wondering why there is steam coming up from the ground, through the grates in each section. Poor planning? Warmth for winter tourists? Reminds me of Ground Zero.
Looking more closely I see digits etched into the glass. In white. Then words, a memory, etched in black. A woman remembers seeing her sister shot and killed. Faces of other visitors, like me, with tears in their eyes are also reflected on top of the words, on top of the numbers, on top of the reflected buildings all in this tall glass.
No, it's not a memorial for the World Trade Centers collapse eight years ago.
Those memorials, breathing the grief that is still so fresh, will be re-visited tomorrow, Friday, 9/11/09.
No, it's a reminder of the six-million who died during the Holocaust many decades before. And the grief of that memory suddenly feels as personal, as close, as the loss of DJ and Marian, Tommy and Hazel, Carl and Pop and Aunch and Corrado and so many in my life.
May I take life and run, fly, L I V E fully. Anything less is tragic and wasteful. Forgive me. Inspire me.
Monday, August 17, 2009
Tuesday, August 11, 2009
I'm interested to hear who among you joins me in being inspired by Schmidt's rise while also saddened that he climbed on the backs of supposedly anonymous players to get to his perch?