today feels like a yo-yo...

An odd stream of competing feelings are swimming around in my soul this day . They span the gamut from angst to joy - and everything in-between. It is like walking through Psalm 23 in real time where green pastures and still waters compete with the valley of the shadow of death and evil. "Thou preparest a table before me, Lord, in the presence of mine enemies; thou anointest my head with oil and my cup overflows."  Today calls to mind something Frederick Buechner wrote:

If the world is sane, then Jesus is mad as a hatter and the Last Supper is the Mad Tea Party. The world says, Mind your own business, and Jesus says, There is no such thing as your own business. The world says, Follow the wisest course and be a success, and Jesus says, Follow me and be crucified. The world says, Drive carefully - the life you save may be your own - and Jesus says, Whoever would save his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. The world says, Get and Jesus says, Give. In terms of the world's sanity, Jesus is crazy as a coot, and anybody who thinks he can follow him without being a little crazy too is laboring less under a cross than under a delusion.

Small wonder today feels like a yo-yo. Part of me aches to share more beautiful soul jazz with the world - a balm in Gilead, if you will - that can be a salve for my wounds as well as others. Another part just wants to walk in the woods with Di and Lucie before heading out to cook a meal of Moroccan chicken and red wine for my children and Louie. Part of me wants to head for Montreal and get lost in the adventure of that sweet place. And still another hears the words of Bonhoeffer as he sat in an alcove at Union Theological Seminary in 1939. Reinhold Niebuhr had arranged safe passage for him to escape Nazi persecution, but Bonhoeffer was haunted by his privilege and wrote:

I shall have no right to participate in the reconstruction of Christian life in Germany after the war if I do not share the trials of this time with my people.

American politics have become openly crazy and vicious. The racial divides are more exposed than ever before - a good thing if it helps us move towards solidarity and justice - but equally anguishing at the same time. Right wing ideologues continue their war against women and the LGBTQ population while Left-wing fanatics demolish nuanced thinking and tolerance as their addiction to binary thought festers.  It makes me think of John Lennon's vitriolic anthem "Gimme Some Truth" that is so ironically hateful and smug in its quest for peace and understanding that he becomes the very essence of what he despised. In short, this beautiful, troubling, hope-filled, fucked up day feels like this:

Knowing and trusting that the Lord is my shepherd, I take solace in the sweet wisdom of the ancient Hebrew that doesn't tell us,"God restoreth my soul," but rather "God revives me with the breath/essence of life when I almost stopped breathing." The Hebrew nefesh, writes Robert Alter, does not mean soul, but life breath or even the essence of holy life within our humanity. So today I pray that I may walk in ways that keep me connected both to this breath of life AND the blues.

ps - turns out I DID get to walk in the woods with Di and Lucie - and right now I'm finishing up a dinner of Moroccan chicken - and when we eat late (a la Montreal) I'll listen to some sweet soul jazz from Herbie Hancock.


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