(Note to reader. These blogs are written for your pleasure and to keep the well of words pumping. They are not proofed, corrected, or improved. Read at Your Own Risk. Comma queen buddies - you might as well go ahead and faint now.)
35,000 feet plus some.
My head against the window watching the clouds from the last seat. rear seat. last seat tot the left. corner pocket. No transfer, no connect. I’m rushing into a three hour seat and wait for the right shuttle bus to carry me to another shuttle bus bound for Anacortes where I’ll sit and wait again for the San Juan islands ferry that will eventually land me into the waiting arms the amazing musical genius of, Susan Osborn and Orcas Island.
I’m no newbie to this. It’s my third rodeo for this gathering which readily explains that box of red wine traveling in my suitcase. A long across the entire country travel in a day can be rusty work. And overtired is trouble. It's where the gremlins of regret snatch and bite and find their entrance to worry my mind to hell and back. AT some eventual night's landing I'm planning to raise a boxed glass to God and celebrate the Kindlings tribe. The gremlins can take a hike.
This is a journey I planned to fast and pray for. Very specifically. As the Kindlings enter a new season with the founders if not stepping down trying to step aside there are questions about what does the future look like when the pure Divine magical inspiration and talent of Dick Staub and Nigel Goodman have brought the Kindlings to life (a serious nod to the time of C.S. Lewis and Tolkien and their group hanging in the pub, drinking and discussing God and literature and faith in such a passionate way that the pub stayed packed with people simply trying to get close enough to overhear the conversation.
Turbulence. Seat Belts. No one get up. The plane shifts sideways, rides pockets of unseen air in a blue sky, rattles, hushes passengers.
I didn’t fast. Not alcohol. Or sugar. Not sweets. Or meat. Or movies. Nothing. However - prayed I did. In my passing thoughts, in my love and concern and care for this group that has consequentially touched my life. Who remain my tribe.
Then there was that whisper of spirit, those words of wisdom that surface that some of us attribute to God and some of us attribute to the Holy Ghost, and some of us to the Universe, the all-knowing collective consciousness, our ancient ancestors. The bottom line is when wisdom speaks there is a cool confidence. An all knowing. A spot on, you can bet on the race, take it to the bank - sure thing.
Wisdom sounds like clear, cool water. It makes crystal sense immediately. That voice said - Perhaps the journey is a prayer.
Leaving Nashville this morning, getting on a long flight to Seattle, waiting for hours for the shuttle to Anacortes, then waiting at the Ferry for the right ferry and after an hour on the ferry finally arriving ‘on island’ is indeed a type of pilgrimage. It is a trip that requires determination, patience, fortitude. A touch of adventure and a willingness to ride the raw air rattling us again so that words lose focus. Some clutch arms. Some read on. I’ve fallen asleep in the most notorious of storms somewhere out from Denver. I am untroubled by turbulence. In the air. Totally - unmoved. Beyond reason. Something in me leans in to flight. Soars my heart, clings to the landscape of clouds against blue. Of the earth quilted softly below in a grand scheming pattern that says, Hey now, we’ve got this. The roads all lead home.
Maybe it’s because I’ve been praying on planes for so long that I’ve casted a karma net of good vibes no matter. But this thing I do. I get on the plane. I sit by a window. And as the plane lifts, breaks the bond of gravity I pray for the safety of the destinies it holds. All those lives, all those stories. That their absolute purpose be fulfilled. It’s just what I do.
A thousand years ago my mother and sister saw me off to a small connector flight from Tallahassee to Ft. Lauderdale. Something about the plane didn’t bode well. Walking toward it I almost turned around, found another flight. Later I would discover that my mother and sister were standing watching me board and had that same sinking, pinched feeling that all was not well.
We prepared for take off as I considered my options, of causing a scene and asking for the door to be opened so that I could get off. Then the plane began to taxi the runway and pick up speed. Too late, I thought. Too late, I knew. Then - perhaps for the first time in my flying life as the plane picked up speed faster and faster - and just as the plane was lifting off, I said a prayer for everyone on that plane just as an explosion hit outside the window, the wheels were just lifting off and came slamming back down to the runway, people screamed. It’s a gut reaction. The plane began to taxi sideways backing down. Firetrucks came screaming out and we were calmly deplaned. Somehow a tire had exploded and sent pieces into an engine causing a shuffle of hushed chaos.
Waiting to get off as the firetrucks hosed down the engine, my seat-mate said, “Someone was sure saying their prayers.”
“I was.” Quietly, confident. Sure as a fast dog, a good bet. Crystal clear. There might have been fifty people praying on that plane but the prayer I felt was mine. There was something about that moment, something bold and sacrificial, visceral and passionate, something bigger than I am. Full of more compassion and love than I posses. I assure you.
We boarded the next plane. Same assigned seats. The man turned to me before take off and asked, “So, how’s this one.”
“It’s all good,” I told him and closed my eyes. “We’re all good.”
That night was so long ago that I was not yet a mother, not published, not broken, not rebuilt, not so many things.
Years of blessings and times of trouble. Bouncing, jostling life turbulence that threatened to crack me to pieces. But sometimes the faith I have in reaching my final destination finds me right where I’m standing. At sea level looking out to the horizon and in spite of everything still believing in destiny. In the Divine. In a wild sort of rise above, beat beyond defy the odds. Even down at that brown, broken ground level I'll still choose to cling to the expectation of my life.
Thanks all for hanging in here with months of changes. Sometimes what appears to be dormant, those seeds that sleep, rise to the fullness of their fruition seemingly overnight. The orchid blooms. The sparrow settles in the nest. The hands of time move gently and there is a whisper on the wind that everything's gonna be alright. Let's say I believe in believing that. I believe that on the darkest, most desperate road that as long as we cling to one another and not throw rocks in fear and panic that in the end - and in the meantime - we've got this thing called today.
On Housekeeping -
You can now reach this site or find me easily at www.riverjordan.org (yes - I meant those www's even though i know they aren't needed but sometimes man - I'm as sentimental over them as the oxford comma. )
On Novels -
The Orchardist - Find it. Read it. A Beautiful saga of love and loss, good and evil and the twisting roads of life.
On Movies -
Zootopia - surprising fun. Star Wars - YES - Whiskey Tango Foxtrot - up next.
On POLITICS -
On Bombings -
On the ways we hate each other -
I'm taking a sabattical from the terror . I'm fasting hate. I've committed today to begin my mornings praying for the state of the world. For all the colors that make us who we are. To Pray for peace instead of shaking my head in disgust or pain at the latest, latest, latest news report that talks about bullet holes in the wall of an airport. To media heads living on the pain and loss of death and destruction. The kind that rolls that story into eight, ten, twelve straight days.
Show me something that someone in this world has done for someone else for God's sake. Show me something worthy of our true time. This breathing time we have right now. It's all we have. But in the meantime - I'm stepping away not in ignorance, not because I think I can live in a pretend world that feeds me sparkles and unicorns. I'm a little more realistic than that. Ok, a lot more realistic. But my feeding on fear and fight will not bring it to a close. Me feeding my neighbors with it will not bring it to a close.
To my Friends who will vote for Donald Trump -
I love you.
To my Friends who will vote for Hillary Clinton -
I love you.
To my friends sitting on the sidelines still saying - Are you kidding me? Are you kidding me!?
I love you.
I know you are each looking through a lens that you believe is truth. I believe you are each - because I've seen it in you, I've seen you in action - all of you - capable of more than you realize, of divine good and love and understanding.
I believe when you put two people in a room - any room - a waiting room, a death room, a conference room, an elevator, that they begin to share stories. And in those stories blue, red, purple - they find their common humanity .
So I am fasting fear. Taking a sabbatical from hate. I'm choosing to bow a knee to the power that I believe every human has - to pray for that we believe is possible. The best in us. I've seen the best in us. It's not something I'm willing to release, to let go, to flush, to give up on. I'm dedicated to praying for the Donald's and Hillary's and their supporters on both sides of the fence and for this country and the crazy UK and my friends around this blue baby we call home. Praying for Peace yes, but that word is so overused no one even knows what to do with it. I'm praying for humanity. For neighbors to begin to be neighbors again. For strangers to look someone in the eye and ask how they are and actually give a damn, man.
Cause this is us. That's what we have when we come down to it. Each other. And, if you think the truth is sliding through all those airwaves and radios and televisions - I'm thinking we need to all get a little still, and a little silent, and listen to the deep truth we hear rising in our hearts.
Thanks so much for reading, liking and sharing with friends.