American poet Mary Oliver begins her poem Wild Geese thusly:
You do not have to be good.
You do not have to walk on your knees
For a hundred miles through the desert, repenting.
You only have to let the soft animal of your body
love what it loves.
Every so often, I find myself meditating on these lines. They represent a shift in my consciousness, a sea change in my faith and worldview. These words have been the theme of my growing up; of moving from boy to man.
Continue reading “You Do Not Have to Be Good”
“Wow” said the man, “you are still working at this store. I’m impressed. Most people with higher IQ’s don’t stay here very long.”
“Thanks?” I said, ringing him up.
“So what are you really doing with your life,” said another older gentleman as I bagged his groceries, “because clearly you’re just playing here.” I stared at him, irate.
Continue reading “Finding Fulfillment As a Grocery Store Cashier”
This morning, as I was scrolling through my feedly app, I came across a particular post from an ex-gay blog called Your Other Brothers (they would probably object to being labeled as ex-gay, but that to me seems the best approximation of their work.) Much as I disagree with the guys on the blog, I enjoy reading them. They are figuring life out the best way they can, and I relate to their journey – mine was very similar to theirs before I came to fully embrace being gay. the post in question was a discussion about Trey Pearson, the Christian rockstar and frontman of Everyday Sunday who recently came out as gay. One sentence read, “I can see his heart behind coming out, coming to terms with his sexuality, and all that. But it’s all heart. He’s leading by feeling in lieu of fact.” The simple fact being, I assume, that the Bible is clear, and that no amount of human suffering should dissuade us from that clarity. This is clearly seen as a strength among many Christians, but I see it as anything but.
Continue reading “The Heart Matters”
I have to be honest: I hate going to church. Lately, my sponsor has been encouraging me to pick up church attendance again, and I’ve been spending a lot of time thinking about why I hate it so much: why I find it, at best, intolerable and boring, and at worst, painful and overwhelming.
Continue reading “I Hate Church”
I am at the Abbey of Gethsemeni as I write this: home of Thomas Merton, and one of the great mystical and ecumenical centers of the world. The Abbey has a plain, simple beauty about it, and is transfixed in a perpetual silence – a silence so deep it feels like a physical substance. I am taking this time to rest and reflect, to process the past year and prepare myself for the new, and to open myself up to the presence of God.
Continue reading “Three Questions I Have About the Existence of God”
I started practicing yoga in college because I was curious, and because I was a voice student, living the typical life of a music major. I was a sensitive soul surviving in a highly competitive and physically demanding field, taking anywhere between 8-12 classes every semester, performing nearly once or twice every week during certain seasons, and getting next to no rest.
I was driven to yoga, desperate for some kind of glue that could hold my fracturing life together. I heard that yoga could help with the stress, so I tried it as a last resort.
Continue reading “Three Lessons from Yoga: Mindfulness, Respect, and Flexibility”