So, it’s not like I expect you to keep up with this or anything, but maybe you noticed that I have neglected to link up with the ohso amazing Leigh Kramer with her monthly “What I’m Into” posts. Spring semester was a killer and this summer I have been running around like cray.
So even this is just a sampling, though it is like a marathon of a post. Sorry not sorry. Enough preamble already.
- all Sam Smith all the time.
- this is a little Spotify playlist I made for when my soul needs a little refreshing (so, basically every morning):
- the sound of the O Brother Where Art Thou soundtrack kindof fits my Appalachian summer, so I have been turning to it often:
- ORANGE IS THE NEW BLACK. Which I definitely watched in three days.
- Orphan Black, just as addicting. Don’t confuse the two ^^
- Been rewatching House on the Netflix. I don’t actually think it’s that great of a show but here I am.
oh man the stack of books to read this summer is getting HIGH, y’all. Here goes:
- City of God: Faith in the Streets by Sara Miles. I devoured this book. I love the way Sara sees the Kingdom of God. It’s positively beautiful and addicting. Plus also high-five to Episcos writers.
- Similarly, I read Preston’s forthcoming book, Tables in the Wilderness: A Memoir of God Found, Lost, and Found Again without hardly coming up for air. It was just as beautiful as the first time I read it, and strangely timely all over again for this shifting place of faith I find myself in. I’ve loved reading others’ praises of it, too.
- She Who Is: The Mystery of God in Feminist Theological Discourse, by Elizabeth Johnson. (I’m late to the game in reading this one, apparently). Ok, hear me when I say this is theo-poetry, though certainly an academic text. I have cried tears reading the first 40 pages or so of this book. Johnson seeks to demonstrate that recovering feminine metaphors for God is not only spiritually powerful, but has the dismantling of idolatry as its goal. I haven’t finished, but this book is breathing life into dry bones so far.
- The Divine Comedy, by Dante, translated by Clive James. People periodically ask which translation of Dante to start their journey through the commedia with, and I have to say that this one is a top contender. The way James has integrated explanatory material into the text so that we are not always checking footnotes and breaking up our poetic reading is genius. However, a part of me can’t imagine using this as a first-time reader. There is still always so much to know, and what little I have read of this translation, I am not sure he covers enough.
- Getting Involved with God: Rediscovering the Old Testament, by Dr. Ellen F. Davis. This book has been on my shelf for almost a year, and I am glad the Red Couch Book Club over at SheLoves gave me no excuse to keep it there. You can read my discussion of part of the book over there, and I hope you check out the other discussions, too.
a pretty short list, as it has been for several months. because I am the worst and don’t keep up with even my limited blogroll. but as it is:
- Your Jesus, a poem by John Blase. “I’m sorry but I cannot accept your Jesus. / Your Jesus is eternally afraid of things / like movies and sex and naked questions.”
- How to Ruin a LIfe, by D.L. Mayfield. ” Go, go and see the world, but come back as a sister or brother, a friend and equal. We are all part prophet, all part narcissist.”
- Rethinking Scarcity: A Legacy of Abundance, by Sarah Bessey. “I find myself fighting against the myth of scarcity often. It’s rooted in fear. The fear that I’m not enough, the fear that someone else’s success spells my failure, the fear of becoming irrelevant or unread.”
- Be Not Afraid of My Body, by Brandon Ambrosino. unquotable gorgeous writing. just read it.
- The Holy Spirit is Not Your Personal Electric Blanket, by Amy Hanson. “We want to think that when we are feeling sad or distant from God, we can just turn on our access to the Holy Spirit and before we know it, we are warm and cozy and we feel better. But that is not the Spirit that we hear about in today’s text.”
- If Your Kid Comes Out to You, by Ben Moberg. “You are okay. In this moment, you are not against your kid, and in the future, if you find yourself still in the same theological mindset, that doesn’t make you hateful or bad. It means you disagree. And you are okay.”
- Not quite a blogpost, but Broderick Greer‘s bi-weekly newsletter is my new favorite thing. So you should subscribe here.
Depression limits our options & makes it all feel impossible. Creativity swallowed up by survival. But when it lifts–life becomes abundant.
— Zach J. Hoag (@zhoag) June 19, 2014
It should be considered a spiritual discipline to quietly listen to personal life stories of as many oppressed people as you can.-@DruHart
— idelette mcvicker (@idelette) June 30, 2014
- My spiritual director put Jan Richardson’s site, The Painted Prayerbook. I’ve seen some of her pieces elsewhere, but hadn’t seen her full site. So many beautiful writings and paintings as resources for the liturgical year.
- The Sunday Website at Saint Louis University. Awesome lectionary resource to pray with and draw from.
- Presbyterians Vote to Allow Same-Sex Marriages. Wooooooooooo. On my birfday. Prayers for the months ahead for my PCUSA brothers and sisters.
- How to Quit Amazon and Shop in an Actual Bookstore: “Somewhere in there is something that’s entirely fresh to you, and will reward your soul by exposure. That’s what good books do, and good bookstores, too. They let you step out of your algorithm.”
- Blogger Militant Baker Talks About the Buying Power of Plus Size Women: “The demand for slimming-tucking-trimming-hiding-camouflaging clothing still outweighs the wear-whatever-we-want clothing, and this won’t change until we use our buying power to show otherwise.” (PREACH. But I kinda hate that the only answer is “buy more stuff.”)
- 36 Nature Photos that Prove Texas is not just Tumbleweeds. GAH so homesick.
- Leaving Homeless Person On The Streets: $31,065. Giving Them Housing: $10,051: “Even if you don’t think society has a moral obligation to care for the least among us, a new study underscores that we have a financial obligation to do so.”
- Open Doors Save a Parish: “It’s always been true for the Church: if it pays attention to the needy, it finds the treasures.” (I think some of the us-and-them language is somewhat troubling, admittedly.)
- I love that Samantha Field is starting this youtube series on sexuality. This first one was brilliant:
- every once in a while an incredible David Whyte poem crosses my way. Sweet Darkness has been a big deal this summer. Here are the last few lines:
Sometimes it takes darkness and the sweet
confinement of your aloneness
anything or anyone
that does not bring you alive
is too small for you.
- On welcoming children to the Eucharist (h/t Kara Slade and Broderick Greer):
- so I LOST my new favorite lipcolor at the wedding this past weekend, but I am pretty sure it was cherry on top from Maybelline’s color whisper line. doesn’t dry your lips, and you can add as much pigment as you want, though you don’t end up with a very defined result like you would with regular lipstick.
- pink-ing of you nail polish by OPI. I needed a classy grownup nail color, but didn’t want anything very sheer (aka boring). I ended up really liking this shade that I wouldn’t have picked out normally. win.
- I experienced thrifting MAGIC recently. I have needed to find another pair of teal flats (because turquoise is a neutral in my world) for some time now, but on the day I decided that the hole in the bottom of mine was the last straw, I stumbled upon a great pair for CHEAP when I was waiting for my thai takeout. MAGIC I TELL YOU. They’re really comfortable–hush puppies is the brand. Thank God–now I can continue being a 75-year-old woman who is always wearing some kind of turquoise.
- As a general rule, this summer I am working on just wearing things I actually like, regardless of whether I am following the dress for your body type/age/height/zodiac sign “rules.” For example, ‘the rules’ tell me I shouldn’t be wearing horizontal stripes in the picture below. OH BUT I AM. Anyways, I’ve enjoyed wearing by this principle, feel free to join me.
- some wonderfully generous friends helped me move out of my apartment at the beginning of the summer, and I am so very grateful for them. Having good people is a great gift.
- Then I took a much-needed solid trip to Texas to see friends who feel like family, starting in Waco–
I stayed with the amazing, talented Erica, who is truly a friend who loves at all times. Like a dummy, I did not get a picture with her, but I did snap one of her work hanging in a gallery in Waco before it shipped off to Dallas:
- I got to worship at midweek Eucharist at my favorite church in the world, St. Paul’s, and grab dinner with one of my favorite clergy ever, the Rev. Erin Jean
- After what felt like a VERY SHORT trip to Waco, I took a bus up to Dallas to embark on the crazy drive to Colorado the next morning for my dear friend Jerry’s wedding with #10yearbestie Alia and the #flawless Allie. We drove ~10 hours Friday to make it in time for the rehearsal dinner, had amazing brunch with Preston and Hilary, then soaked in the beauty that was Jerry and Elliott’s wedding, which completely, completely reflected them. After a late night of celebrating, we turned around and made that same crazy drive again the next day. Photo evidence:
- After the trip to Colorado, I spent the week in Dallas hanging out with Alia AND HER NOW FIANCÉ Brandon. Maybe there were a few clandestine conversations between he and I to go over engagement details, which mostly just involved me squealing a whole lot. The whole week was spent with good food (beet-bison bolognese holy wow), good conversations, and binge-watching Orphan Black. All so very good for my soul.
- AND THEN I got my two favorite lady-Catholic converts, Alia and Julie, in the same place and forced them to be friends because proximity and amazingness. Love them so. Putting friends together from different parts of my life and watching what happens is one of my favorite things ever.
- After the Texas trip, things slowed down a good deal. I moved to my summer field education placement in the mountains just outside of Asheville, NC, which I have failed to properly photograph. I am working with a two-point Methodist charge (which means two small Methodist churches that share a pastor, this Episcopalian discovered). I have been getting a wide range of ministry experiences out here, and have really focused attention on pastoral care and the social witness of the church. The strength of the network of Methodist churches in particular in this area are the Welcome Table programs, where churches take turns to provide several meals throughout the week. I’m thinking so much about the difference between ministry for versus ministry with when it comes to what we normally think of as “outreach,” and even the throwback saying “what would Jesus do?” One church that seems to be doing this really well in an urban setting is the Haywood Street Congregations which you should read about here. I can’t believe I am about halfway done out here. To borrow what I think is Flannery O’Connor’s phrasing, it’s been several weeks of moving the furniture around spiritually. Who knows what will happen next.
- June was my birthday month! I love my birthday a good deal–it gives a great excuse to only do stuff you want to do, and always brings me to a lot of reflection. I spent the day putzing downtown Asheville, then drove back to Durham to celebrate with the swath of lovely people who are still there for the summer. Here’s to 24.
- for another whirlwind wedding trip, PRESTON AND HILARY GOT MARRIED Y’ALL. As if you didn’t know. It’s kindof ridiculous that two such gifted people were brought together this weekend, and it was totally surreal to be a part of what had been a long time coming. For me, the two nights previous might have even outdone the wedding day only because the pace was slower and we had time to share and hear stories about this remarkable pair. Since I was in the wedding party, not as many pictures, but theirs will be beautiful in time. It was a heart-explosion kind of day.
- What I wish I was into:
- making cooking a regular thing. (not an adult).
- being self-motivated to get things done on a flexible schedule.
- reading the tall stack of books I want to by the end of summer, aka Flannery O’Connor’s letters.
Ok, your turn. No, really. What has been going on with you this month? What have you been reading/wearing/doing/whatever?