Cell Phone Suite

And in the beginning,
It goes as it should:

A message begins in my heart.
Gets filtered through my brain.
Flows down my arms.
Bottlenecks, for just a moment, at my thumbs.

And then something goes wrong.

It does not leave my phone invisibly.
It does not find a nearby tower impossibly.
It does not beam up to a satelite imperceptibly.

It does not find it’s intended destination,
becamed down, becoming something complete,
A message revieved, a purpose fufilled.

You see there are cells and then there cells
I thought it a cell phone.
Instead I find it that other kind of cell.
And that’s what makes a cell a cell.
You can’t leave when you want to leave.

And there is maybe nothing quite so lonely
quite so lonely
as this thing is lonely.

A message to nowhere.
A message to who-knows-where.
Feelings turned to thoughts turned to words,

before it began.

I will settle for a smart
for now.
But someday, not a smart phone
a wise

A wise phone.
Knows when I am at the address it says on my license.
But it does not care.

It tells me that I am not at home.
It knows where I hang my hat is not necessarily
where my heart belongs.

It tells me where to go.
That I might find
where it is I belong.


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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.

3 thoughts on “Cell Phone Suite”

  1. Ridiculous and sad and beautiful were just what I was going for. Thanks! I have had this thing, lately, of seeing how it can go, the idea that we might initially find something silly but sometimes pathos just grabs us by our ears and suddenly we feel all kinds of things for what started as ridiclousness. Kind of like when Kermit the Frog gets all emotional and suddenly I find I’m emotional along with him.


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