“This week survivors of the collapse and family members of those who died were offered the chance to take home some of the bridge wreckage. The last lawsuit claims have been settled, and Minnesota’s Department of Transportation opened its warehouse for victims’ families to come and collect some of the mangled steel. Kim Dahl and her two children were among them.” –From an NPR report, August 30, 2013

Let us enter into the wreckage
Of our own collapsed bridge.

My fingers itch but I won’t reach out for your hand in the silence.
I won’t.
In this silence.

We stand in this converted hangar.
We stand in the shadows
Of what we had and what might have been

I hesitate and then go left around the pile that’s higher than me
And you go right around it.
Doesn’t that say everything that needs to be said?

Perhaps I will take this.
Mangled and rusting thing.
It is the way that you used to look at me.

Or there is this, smashed almost beyond recognition.
The way you used to know what I was going to say
Before I knew it.

It is quiet here except for the noises I am making.
There is so much wreckage here.
I am determined to dig through it all but I never will.

In truth it is not so much the souvenier I might take with me
As this desperate hope that answers might be lying here, somewhere.
I have begun, slow and methodical.

What are you doing in your own silence?
What are you thinking in your own silence?
I can still sense where you are, and you are not that far from me.

But you are too far from me, now,
All the time.
I settle on this thing.

It is as good as anything else.
Mangled. So irreparably shattered
I couldn’t tell you what it is, anymore.

That’s what I chose, out of all the things I might have.
You are backlit by the setting sun as you stand in the doorway ready to go.
And your hands are empty.


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The stories that speak to our soul begin at a home where things are good. Cinderella is happy with her father. The three little pigs have grown up and are ready to move on. Bilbo Baggins knows his shire. Adam and Eve walk with God in the garden. My story isn’t much different. There was a time and a place where it was so good. There was a community for me. And there was joy. We were filled with a sincere desire to do what God wanted us to do. We possessed explanations and understandings that went a certain distance. We offered security and tradition and laughter. For a lot of years, that was enough. I have this sense that it was also necessary. I have this surety, now, that it certainly wasn’t everything. There were some things that became increasingly problematic as time went by. There was a desire to package things up so very neatly. Sunday morning services were efficient and strategic. Responses to differences of opinion were premeditated. Formula began to feel more important than being real. A real desire for everybody to be one of us, but also a real sense that there is an us, and there is a them. They carried a regret that it has to be this way, but deeper than this regret was a surety that this is how it is. I began to recognize that there was a cost of admission to that group. There were people who sat at the door, collecting it. Those people wished they didn’t have to. But I guess they felt like they did have to. They let some people in, and they left others out. There was a provisional membership. My friends did possess a desire to accommodate people that are different… But it would be best for everyone concerned if they were only a little bit different. I did make many steps forward in this place. Before I went there, there were lies that I believed. Some of the things that I learned there, I still hold on to. But that place is not my home anymore. Those people are not my community anymore. There were times it was hard. I am engaged in a different community now. And I am working hard at finding a place in many different places now, embracing many different kind of families. I don’t always get it right. I am trying and I am learning and I am moving foreward. I have this sense that I am not alone in these experiences. I believe that we are tribe and we are growing. We are pilgrims, looking for a new holy land. Perhaps we won’t settle on the same spot of land. But if you’ve read this far, I am thinking that we are probably headed in the same general direction. I have begun this blog to talk about where my journey is taking me. In every space, we find people who help us along. And maybe we can get to know each other, here. We embrace ideas that provide a structure for the things we believe, and perhaps we can share these too. Maybe we can form a group, a tribe, a community, if we can figure out a way to work through the shadow of these kinds of groups, if we can bigger than the us-and-them ideas that have caused so much trouble in the past. As important as they are, I think the very nature of online interactions will lend itself to something equally powerful. I am stumbling onto these practices that my grandfathers and great grandfathers in the faith engaged in. I am learning about these attitudes and intuitions are so different than the kinds of things we call doctrine today. I don’t know about you, but I am running out of patience, and even interest, in conversations about doctrine. I hope that maybe you’ll share a little something about where your journey is taking you, and maybe our common joys and challenges might help each other along, and we might lift each other up. Thanks for doing this journey with me.

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