Homelessness

One of the things that has always struck me about the Christmas story is that Mary and Joseph had no sense of “home” when Mary gave birth to her baby.  They were travellers, transients, really. I bring this up because I’ve been mulling over the many questions you were kind enough to send in response to my post on questions.  Here is an excerpt of the question in particular that has me thinking about “home, homelessness, and belonging.”

“Paul McCartney once sang, ‘Once there was a way to get back home …’  Is there a way to get back home?  When will I settle down into a peace filled life with a strong sense of home again and a job that is more than a ‘job’ but feels like a vocation?   I live in a nice home with a good man with whom I am happy but I do not feel like I am quite “home” again nor quite arrived.”

This really resonated with me, probably because it is something I perpetually struggle with.  My family all live on the east coast, and while I never really had an ideal place that I wanted to live when “I grew up,” I never imagined that we would end up in this little midwestern “city,” 150 miles from Chicago.   I remember when the only friends we had when we got here took us out for pizza our first week. I looked out the window and cried, silent tears dripping down my cheeks.  Peter Jennings, my favorite newscaster, was still alive then, and I thought,  “Anything could happen to the world, he could report anything, and we would be out here in this barren no-person’s land, and never know it.

Continue reading “Homelessness”

The Absurdity of Trust

A few weeks ago, I did a ridiculously awful thing: I got into an elevator BEFORE a person in a wheelchair who was waiting for the same elevator.  We were the only two people there, and the elevator was one of those very old, tiny, creaky ones in an “historical” building, where you aren’t completely sure that if you get on it you will ever get off.  It’s the kind of elevator that makes you pay special, up close attention to the certification notice hanging on the wall inside, making a little mental note of the name of the person who has signed the notice, hopefully sometime in the last century.  The young man in the wheelchair and I, we waited for the elevator to lumber down, and when it got to the first floor, I said, “Please, go ahead.”  He said, “No, you go ahead.” “No, please, go on,” I said, sort of pleadingly.  “No,” he said, “I’ll wait.”  So I got on, and the whole way up, the whole 4 FLOORS, no, not 10, not 20, not 85, the whole 4 floors which I could have walked with my fully functioning legs, I thought, with recurring horror, “What kind of person gets onto an elevator she doesn’t even need before a person in a wheelchair?”  And then it got worse.

Continue reading “The Absurdity of Trust”

Advent Conspiracy

adventconspiracy.org

 As I was browsing through a variety of internet sites this morning to see what else I could learn about Advent, this weirdly-named site caught my eye: Advent Conspiracy.  At first I thought, “Oh good Lord, is this going to be one of those psycho sites where people insist that things that obviously did happen (e.g. the Holocaust, 9/11) didn’t happen?  And Advent?  Really?  But when I clicked on it, I was filled with joy and delight!  It’s the perfect 3rd Sunday of Advent post and you HAVE to know about it! 

Continue reading “Advent Conspiracy”

Are We Ever Enough?

Thank you all from the bottom of my heart for the many thought-provoking, heart-felt, meaningful questions that you sent in.  And if you didn’t send one yet, it’s not too late!  Email me privately at lesliesrajek@gmail.com and I will make sure your question gets posted anonymously.  I noticed several themes in what people wrote, and some of are them are: will I ever feel like I am enough?  Who am I really?  Is this all there is?  When will I find meaning in my life?  There were a bunch of other that I definitely want to get to (esp. the one about keeping one’s journals: YES!!!), but today I’m going to start with the question: will we ever feel like we are enough?  Here is the answer: No.

Continue reading “Are We Ever Enough?”

Keep Calm (or Not) and Carry On

Here is a picture of a print that I have in my office:

You may know it–it became very popular this year, and is supposedly a reproduction of the original “Keep Calm and Carry On” poster produced by the British Ministry of Information in 1939.  There’s even a Keep Calm and Carry On website where you can order lots of cool stuff.

As one might have predicted, however, the popularity of this poster spawned a multitude of spoofs.  Which is why I also have this postcard in my office as well…

Continue reading “Keep Calm (or Not) and Carry On”

Lesson of the Orchid

Happy Monday, everyone!  Today I have sort of a Monday-type question for you (in other words, one that you probably won’t really feel like answering because you suspect you will have to admit something unpalatable about yourself if you did).  But don’t worry, we’re all here together, and I promise not to leave you on an uninspired note.  Anyway, here’s the question: do you have something, or a variety of somethings in your life, something about yourself, something you want to stop doing, or need to start doing, but you don’t, and what’s more, the way you are going along is simply making you more and more miserable (or you have the suspicion that it is, when you spend a moment to look at whatever the situation is out of the corner of your eye), and yet you keep doing it anyway?  Well, I do.  I have one big something and a variety of small somethings, and I can’t seem to get any real traction on dealing with them.  Most of the time I feel like I really don’t have what it takes to do what it takes.  But then yesterday afternoon I fell asleep and had this dream…

Continue reading “Lesson of the Orchid”

The Season of Light: An Invitation to a Poetic Advent

There are some special announcements today at From the Heart, and I’m so excited to share them with you!  The first is that, as some of you may remember, this blog started with a project called Radical Lent: A Poetic Approach to 40 Days in the Wilderness.  I had decided last March that as a Lenten practice, I would read a poem each day and then write about it here.  And I invited some people to read along, and they were gracious enough to say yes, and well, the whole thing sort of took off from there.  So here’s the news I’m excited to share: I’ve decided to do an Advent blog called “The Season of Light: An Invitation to a Poetic Advent.”  This project will follow pretty much the same pattern as the Lenten blog: a poem and a post each day during the Advent Season.  Below are some more details (and a request)! 

 

Continue reading “The Season of Light: An Invitation to a Poetic Advent”

Why Everyone Needs a Superhero

Halloween at Gabe's daycare

In the dark early hours of the morning, I saw a shadowy figure in my bedroom, and my first thought was that it was Jesus.  I’d been reading some Anne Lamott the night before—the part of Travelling Mercies where she describes what she later came to believe was Jesus’ presence in her bedroom as she was struggling alone, drunk, strung out, through the aftermath of an abortion.  Anne writes that she could feel the presence so strongly that she got up and turned on the light to see if someone was there. 
Continue reading “Why Everyone Needs a Superhero”

As Cool as the Air in a Redwood Grove

One of the chapters of Anne Lamott’s Travelling Mercies is an account of a health scare she had with her son Sam.  Unfortunately, or perhaps fortunately, depending on your perspective (and mental health), we had a similar experience this week with Gabe.  But before I tell you about that, I want to show you this picture by Toni Frissell, a female photographer in the 1940’s and 50’s. 

It’s from an underwater shoot of models all wearing white, fluidy gowns.  To me, it evokes many things: surrender, descent, freedom, and something of the seductive power of depression.  It also reminds me of the scene in “The Piano” where Holly Hunter almost drowns because she lets her leg get tangled up with her piano when it falls overboard.  (Hunter plays a mute woman in the 1850’s who is sent to New Zealand for an arranged marriage.  Her piano is, quite literally, her voice).  She is very calm at first, quietly observing the water around her, gracefully allowing herself to be pulled down, down, down.  Then suddenly it’s like she wakes up and realizes what is happening, and she struggles to free herself and swim to the surface.  The camera shows her discarded boot sinking slowly deeper, while she swims up, towards a life that she is not sure she wants, certainly one she knows nothing about, but one she is not ready to give up. 

Continue reading “As Cool as the Air in a Redwood Grove”

Blog at WordPress.com.

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: