Saturday, October 31, 2009

dreams of wild horses

I had a dream last night, where I was walking around on my neighbor’s ranch. Maybe Karyn’s neighbors and they were all gathered on the lawn with the family and it was morning and misty and beautiful. Everyone stood at the base of the mountain looking up the path with expectation. The path led right into the trees, lined with white flowers. They were waiting for a surprise and were happy that I had arrived just in time. I wasn’t sure what they were waiting for but I stood there in awe of the fog over the trees that made everything look softer and the white flowers that looked like snow from afar. Just as I was captivated by the scenery, hundreds of wild horses came running out of the trees. The speed of their sprint and the sound of their bodies captured us all. I couldn’t take my eyes off them. They were beautiful, running at the speed for which they were created, free and fast. I knew this was unique sight, and felt so privileged to see this moment of beauty and freedom and wild. As they raced by us, I stood there and smiled the biggest smile I could because those horses captured just how I felt inside. Free.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

love is risky business

To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything, and your heart will certainly be rung and possibly broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact, you must give your heart to no one, not even to an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies, and little luxuries, avoid all entanglements, lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket-safe, dark, motionless, airless-it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable. The alternative to tragedy, or at least to the risk of tragedy, is damnation. The only place outside of heaven where you can be perfectly safe from all the dangers and perturbations of love is Hell."-C.S. Lewis

This quote gets me every time. In being pretty much perpetually single, this quote gets me at my core. It reminds me of something my college roommate once told me
. She said that it made her kind of mad that I rarely dated anyone, or not really at all in college. This bewildered me. Why would she be upset that I didn't date? It was my decision, and to me it seemed to be something that I was withholding from myself in a sacrificial way. Not in a spiritual way but the dating pool was just something I pulled myself out of. I was going to sit this game out. I was fine with this decision until she brought it up. She went on to say that when you pull yourself out of the dating pool for however long, it's a selfish decision. In my head, I was shocked. Of all things, I did not think not-dating was a selfish decision. She went on to say that we learn and grow so much from being in relationship with people, especially in dating relationships and that I could grow so much from dating, that I had so much to give to others through relationship. She told me that in a way, I was depriving others from the experience of growth. That got to me. All of a sudden the coin had flipped and it wasn't only about me. Ha, what a realization..the world actually doesn't revolve around me. When she brought this up, it wasn't a huge long discussion. It was more like a brief mention in conversation, but it definitely stuck with me and I find myself coming back to it more and more.

We are created to be in relationship, to be known and to know others. I haven't been single all these years because I don't want that. I've always wanted that and it comes back to the C.S. Lewis quote,
"To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything, and your heart will certainly be rung and possibly broken". Love requires risk and that's the part I'm not so good at.

I'm resting in the Love that casts out all fear
let this soul learn to trust
to know its loved
and feel its worth
let my love be fearless.

Monday, October 19, 2009

big city perspective

It's October and beautiful in Portland. The leaves are changing. The sun is shining and the rains haven't really arrived. As beautiful as the weather is, which is usually enough to keep me or any other Northwesterner content and smiling, I can't deny that my heart feels heavy. When my heart feels heavy I always have to get outside. Heavy thoughts need air to breathe. I just went for a bike ride this afternoon out to St. Johns, mostly because the roads are flat with the exception of one big hill under the bridge (which i made it up-score!). Anyhoo, the ride goes right along the most amazing bluff that overlooks the city and river.

Right now I'm sitting by the guard rail with cars whizzing by behind me (not so relaxing, but the view, it's unbelievable). Mt. Hood is to my left enveloped in clouds at the base, but standing tall atop them. Directly in front of me is the Fremont Bridge in all its glory as it leads into the heart of the city. It's getting to be that perfect time of day. Everything is beginning to take on that heavenly golden hue. From here, with this view of the city, I feel lighter. I can see everything. I have that big picture perspective. And with everything going on right now that hurts to think about, I'm reminded that there is a larger story here. If I could zoom out and look around at past and future I would probably breathe a giant sigh of relief in the knowledge that everything fits into the story in its own perfect way and I would probably say, "Oh, of course that's how things unfolded. I get it now."

Thursday, October 15, 2009


So many thoughts running rampant this morning. I was catching up on blog reading last night and a friend of mine, Becca had written just the words that I needed to read and so beautifully, might I add. She had written,

“Sometimes we are afraid to “want” because it leaves room for disappointment. Sometimes it seems better to stay numb and dead to prevent failure or additional hurt.”

You can read the whole post here.

It got me thinking about fear and how much it has just followed me around my whole life. Fear of disappointment. Maybe it’s because of past disappointments or things that have happened in the past, but parts of me want to program guarantees and happiness into my life. Feeling like I’ve had enough disappointment in my life, so from here on out, it’s happy sailing. And in that thinking, I don’t dare to “want”. There is no risk here. Sure it could be argued that flying half way around the world to stare poverty and sorrow in the face was brave or moving to new cities without knowing a soul, but there’s no arguing this: I am not brave with my heart and I know all too well how to hesitate. More on that, later.