This Place

I have spent so much time sifting through the wreckage.
Drinking ashes.
Fondling these things melted together,
pulling them apart they wont come apart.

Their was something here once.
It was more than than knee high remnants.
This smell of charred up everything
makes everything grey.

This photo album was halfway spared.
I want to open it and I am so scared.
So much of what was here has burned away.
So muck left unsaid so much I will never get to say.

I always said I am a survivor not a victim.
And I lied.
I would stand up later.
But way back then I couldn’t speak the truth

I lied.
There are two things that means.

I didn’t even know that this house was burning.
And I could even put words to all this yearning.
I can say that its this place that isn’t what it was meant to be.
But the thing is that this wasteland is me.

Those big moments aren’t so big after all
There were no little moments after all.
I need there to be some way I might have avoided it.
I need it to be that there was no way I could ever have avoided it.

I’m seeing now
its all part of the whole.
I am seeing now
its all part of the hole.

So I will leave this place
if I can leave this place.
And I know that I have to
leave this place.

If only
I could ever
this place.


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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.

One thought on “This Place”

  1. Well said, my Mom’s house burned down last year, my nephew was in it. I miss him awful, and I miss the house she lived in for over 35 years, but can’t talk too much about it, because he died there, why can’t I miss the house?


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