The Life I Never Wanted

I ended up with the life
I never wanted

I wanted to be a teacher.
I wanted to settle down and make babies
Right after school.
I never wanted to wear a suit
To work
Or sit at a computer all day
I never wanted a career
I never wanted to be someone’s boss
Or waste my time counting money

I wanted a simple life
Full of friends and family
But somehow I made it
And now I’m somewhere inbetween
Who I am not
And who I wish I was

Part of me had to test the grass on the other side of the fence
Just to see what it tasted like
Now my head is stuck in the barbed wire
And the cowboy isn’t nearby.

And I feel like a failure
Because I took a full plate
And didn’t eat it all
And I want to run outside and play
But Dad says I have to sit at the table
And finish my food
Because in some parts of the world
People don’t have any food.
And I’m lucky to have good food.
So I have to finish everything on my plate
Even if I throw up at the table.

I wasted my talents on aimless ambition
But hindsight is 20/20.
What have I done?

Finding Love

Loving the wrong person hurts
At night your loneliness tears you apart
Worse than if you were truly alone
I used to cry myself to sleep
Under the blankets
As if I was two again,
Separated from my mother,
And couldn’t find her anywhere
But my mother symbolized love
And my missing him
Felt like being in the cold, dark, meaningless shadow
Of love’s light
But since you came into my life
And taught me the steadiness
Of true love
I am complete again
At home again
Safe with my mother in plain sight
Cradled in the embrace of God.


As more and more light is shed on religion in this country and around the world, I thought it would be appropriate to share some things I’ve been learning. I picked up a great book in the Seattle airport that does a fantastic job of fairly explaining the fundamentals of the world’s major religions: Teen Spirit: One World, Many Paths

In light of Bill Maher’s documentary about the idiocy of religion “Religulous”, I think it is important to have an open discussion about religion’s merits as well as its disadvantages.

As times get more and more uncertain, people demand labels, and they demand consistency. This year has been a reunion year for me. For each major reunion I attended (high school, grade school, and mother’s side of the family), at least 1 person has approached me with this sentiment: Just tell me one thing, are you still a Christian? Not “What have you done in the past 15 years?” or “What have you learned?” or “What are your plans for the future?” just “Do you still have the same beliefs we shared X years ago.”

And these people won’t take “Well, actuallly….” for an answer. I have done my best to explain to people my evolution of thought, but honestly it is not something I have spent a lot of time trying to fit into a tidy little box, much less a tidy little decorated box with a bow on top ready to hand someone.

So in the spirit of answering to these people, I took the quiz on to find out what religion I most closely identify with. Now I can just give them this list when they ask (with the caviat that the list is only valid for the next 6 months)! Here are the possibilities, supposedly in order of closeness to what I believe:

1. Unitarian Universalism (100%)
2. Neo-Pagan (93%)
3. Scientology (89%)
4. New Age (87%)
5. Liberal Quakers (84%)
6. New Thought (84%)
7. Hinduism (81%)
8. Mahayana Buddhism (79%)
9. Reform Judaism (74%)
10. Christian Science (Church of Christ, Scientist) (70%)
11. Bahá’í Faith (67%)
12. Jainism (64%)
13. Secular Humanism (62%)
14. Taoism (61%)
15. Mainline to Liberal Christian Protestants (58%)
16. Islam (57%)
17. Orthodox Judaism (57%)
18. Theravada Buddhism (56%)
19. Sikhism (51%)
20. Nontheist (40%)
21. Orthodox Quaker (40%)
22. Mainline to Conservative Christian/Protestant (26%)
23. Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (Mormons) (21%)
24. Seventh Day Adventist (20%)
25. Eastern Orthodox (18%)
26. Roman Catholic (18%)
27. Jehovah’s Witness (7%)

So there you go. If you really want to know what I believe, let’s sit down and talk about it. I won’t mock or make fun of your beliefs. I have no interest in converting anyone, even though my nature is to loudly proclaim what I believe to be true. I probably should adopt the advice I heard today about giving advice to family members, as I think it applies to sharing your ideas/beliefs with family members. Don’t do it. And only share if they ask or beg for the information three times.

What it boils down to is that I have an enormous amount of peace & joy about my place in the universe, and if anything else matters to you, I’m sorry, but that is your problem and your disturbance. Live and let live!

In Danger

McCain put us all in danger by nominating Sara Palin. It’s the same kind of short-term thinking that has gotten us into the current financial crisis.

He chose someone who could give him a bump in the polls, not someone who is capable of running the country he supposedly loves if he were to kick the bucket in the next 4 years (not implausible).

That kind of unethical decision-making makes me angry.

Made for Love

Making love for an hour
Feels indulgent
Barack is in the background
And no one is going shopping

But then on the bus
The golden evening sun
Keeps licking my face
And pressing its warmth against me

The angle of the setting sun
Exposes the hidden beauty
And flaws
Of my city.

Walking home
The cool fall breeze
Keeps running its fingers across me
The bright evening moon stares at me
The silver rings hug my fingers

The ivy plants breathe on me
The purest, sweetest exhalations
And I realize
I was made for love.

Come Forth As Gold

My dear grandmother Ruth passed away this week. I spent the weekend in Montana with my mother’s side of the family. My grandmother was the kind of person all her daughters and granddaughters wanted to be like, a true matriarch. She was kind, loving, and always had a song in her heart and a smile on her face. She raised 7 of her own children and countless foster children. She was deeply committed to her Christian faith, reading devotional scriptures daily and singing the old hymns constantly and/or playing them on the piano or flute. She was an adventurer, having climbed every major mountain peak in the western US, despite having been crippled by polio at a young age. She was an award-winning photographer and painter, and wrote poetry. She had an eye for beauty which undoubtedly mirrored her attitude toward life. Though she endured many hardships, she never lost sight of the beautiful side of life. She had a heart of gold which was both natural and nurtured through discipline. I am so lucky to have had her in my life.

One of her favorite hymns:

Oh, Rejoice in the Lord
“God never moves without purpose or plan;
When trying His servant and molding a man.
Give thanks to the Lord through your testing seems long;
In darkness He giveth a song.

I could not see through the shadows ahead;
I looked at the cross of my Savior instead.
I bowed to the will of the Master that day;
Then peace came and tears fled away.

Now I can see testing comes from above;
God strengthens His children and purges in love.
My Father knows best, and I trust in His care;
Through purging more fruit I will bear.

Oh rejoice in the Lord. He makes no mistake.
He knoweth the end of each path that I take.
For when I am tried and purified,
I shall come forth as gold.”