boundtothewater:

She’s up all night to pet dogs
I’m up all night to pet dogs
We’re up all night to pet dogs
We’re up all night to pet puppies

"I write because I am drowning and the only way out is to turn this whole fucking ocean into ink."
liferaft /// r.i.d (via inkskinned)

Identity Crisis

Any person struggling to become encounters a crisis of self that, if movement is to occur, must not be sidestepped or dismantled in the name of piety. Such the last year and a half has been for me. My wrestling with Christianity has taken such a turn that, at times, I think: “I am absolutely not a practicing Christian in this moment.” The moments are frequent. More frequent than I openly acknowledge. From pounding my fists against my chest wondering why I was taken advantage of last year and what I am to do with the experience, to hitting my head against the wall as Ben and I little by little lose hope that we have anything to do with evangelicalism anymore, to weeping over the chaos and violence that is the everyday existence of humans in places like Gaza, Ukraine, and Ferguson, to feeling the confusing flux between the privilege the white in the West have been fortified by and my own identity as a woman in a non-egalitarian society, to losing friends and relationships shape-shifting as Ben and I step into a new season in our relationship… The accounts of my agony and the world’s agony are endless, and here I stand, immobilized.  

I can’t move. 

I’m not so much a fool as to think progress is an end, nor do I think liberal societies have the answer to the world’s deep wound any better than highly conservative ones. Little Teagan, as I often call the child of faith I have been, wants to say, “The person of Jesus Christ is the only hope we have!” and to proclaim it in every ear I come across. An instant after I have the compulsion to do this, which is becoming more and more infrequent, I realize that I do not know him. My eyes are dark. The Spirit I feel rolling over my skin, physically giving me goosebumps even in 90 degree heat, is as much a mystery to me as ever. I listen to close friends and even closer still to my heart, my lover, confess that they are nearer to believing there is nothing rather that something, and my feelings are more like finally feeling understood than empathy. I’m at my end. 

And yet, I went to my class yesterday and instantly teared as my professor placed a crucifix in the front of the room before uttering a word. He says we are there to “stand up before God,” and I confess I do not know what this means. The very lifeblood of my self has always, it seems, been Christianity and this faith and the God of Jesus Christ, but what now? My faith is too small to withstand the crashing wave of voices from every side saying, “Here is truth! Come to our camp,” if indeed I have faith at all. I stand on the precipice of nonfeeling, and unbelief, but I still reach out beyond me in faith. Perhaps this is what it is to be Christian. I rail against projecting onto God that we must feel Presence in order for existence to be reality. I do not feel God, but I often feel God. How great are the paradoxes!

I have been silent here as of late because I see all-too-often many young theologian-wannabes who are simply spitting into the wind of the internet their firey passions. I recall my best friend’s mother saying to us both, after an exceptionally awe-inspiring trip to Mexico that left us filled with excitement and wonder, that embers are what keep fires going. That’s it: embers. I related this to another best friend and my lover while sitting around a fire in the forest of Washington this past weekend, and wondered if we had any heat left, or if fire is even an accurate picture of the Christian life in the first place. I’m burnt out, and I have no embers: only ash.

Am I stupid or naive to desperately hope that passages like the one below mean everything in light of what I have described above?

The hand of the LORD was upon me, and he brought me out in the Spirit of the LORD and set me down in the middle of the valley; it was full of bones. And he led me around among them, and behold, there were very many on the surface of the valley, and behold, they were very dry. And he said to me, “Son of man, can these bones live?” And I answered, “O Lord GOD, you know.” Then he said to me, “Prophesy over these bones, and say to them, O dry bones, hear the word of the LORD. Thus says the Lord GOD to these bones: Behold, I will cause breath to enter you, and you shall live. And I will lay sinews upon you, and will cause flesh to come upon you, and cover you with skin, and put breath in you, and you shall live, and you shall know that I am the LORD.

So I prophesied as I was commanded. And as I prophesied, there was a sound, and behold, a rattling, and the bones came together, bone to its bone. And I looked, and behold, there were sinews on them, and flesh had come upon them, and skin had covered them. But there was no breath in them. Then he said to me, “Prophesy to the breath; prophesy, son of man, and say to the breath, Thus says the Lord GOD: Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe on these slain, that they may live.” So I prophesied as he commanded me, and the breath came into them, and they lived and stood on their feet, an exceedingly great army.

Then he said to me, “Son of man, these bones are the whole house of Israel. Behold, they say, ‘Our bones are dried up, and our hope is lost; we are indeed cut off.’ Therefore prophesy, and say to them, Thus says the Lord GOD: Behold, I will open your graves and raise you from your graves, O my people. And I will bring you into the land of Israel. And you shall know that I am the LORD, when I open your graves, and raise you from your graves, O my people. And I will put my Spirit within you, and you shall live, and I will place you in your own land. Then you shall know that I am the LORD; I have spoken, and I will do it, declares the LORD. (Ezekiel 37:1-14 ESV)

but for the record i’m interested in orthodoxy, monasticism, mysticism, feminism/womanism, eschatology, reason and faith, existentialism, and that slow-wafting smell of the spirit’s touch aka the kingdom of God.

a ton of anonymous messages in my inbox essentially about my reads and theology and i’m all like haha suckers i’m going to portland this weekend and camping under the stars with my besties and drinking beer and dancing the night away at a wedding on saturday ain’t nobody got time for that

"When Jesus first appeared, he appeared to two women, during a time when female testimony was illegitimate, and he asked them to testify to his return. That’s huge – the biggest news in the universe, and two women, whose word was not considered trustworthy, were instructed to carry the news. That, to me, is the most important vision of equality that Christians can have – that is the affirmation that women are equals, that we are valued in the eyes of Christ, that we are necessary to the Gospel story. And that is the lens through which I interpret everything else, as that is the eschatological tale I believe God is weaving."
Dianna Anderson, Ask a Feminist (via yesdarlingido)
vancrafted:

Eggs, bacon, and coffee have become our morning ritual.  A routine that includes relaxation, conversation, and many new ideas.  We treasure each morning like this, each over-burnt bacon strip, each kind-of-dirty plate, because breakfast was not always like this.  Breakfast was not in the thesaurus of life’s pleasantries, nor classified as the day’s most important meal.
A little over one year ago, my mornings habits of consumption involved a granola bar being stuffed into my bag as I stumbled out the door of my Brooklyn apartment.  As I walked, spare shoes would topple out and my phone would rhythmically buzz with alerts of new emails.  Exiting the building to the sidewalk, trucks and cars would speed by and their momentary presence would disperse the garbage smells up to my nose.  It was as though a giant hand would aggressively waft the aromas in my direction at steady intervals.  From door to street corner, the emails would persist, and my eyes would flicker from screen to surroundings in practiced staccatos, looking up just long enough to avoid obstacles as I walked at an almost-run.  The granola bar sat in my bag pocket.  Maybe I could eat it on the subway.  The G train platform generally smelled like pee, so that wasn’t always optimal.  If the car wasn’t too crowded, and if I had managed to not touch too many surfaces, it could sometimes could be gobbled then.  But more often than not, the train was packed sardine-style and the bar would remain uneaten and unloved.  At the connecting stop, I would awkwardly walk-run a half mile to the platform where my next magic pumpkin awaited.  Every manner of frazzled, annoyed, bag-laden, under-the-gun person congregated there.  A full-body cast did not deem you exempt from the violent shoving match that ensued each and every morning.  Push by push, the bar got slightly more squished as my hands were needed for the more pressing task of preventing my death-by-trampling.  After three more stops and two flights of stairs, I would sometimes chow down on my 11-block power walk to the office-building’s giant foyer.  Because that’s healthy, right?  At my peak, I was estimating about 1 email read every two blocks which did not always leave time for snacking.  It would have to wait until I reached my desk…
There comes a point in those hungry moments when your legs go weak, and your mind can’t stop formulating to-do lists and the email notifications are coming in faster than you can even delete them.  It’s a point where you’re perpetually late and the clouds of your brain clear for a second to think…there must be another way.  There must be a way to sit down with the person I love for just a few minutes in the morning and see how they’re doing and maybe, just maybe, hear that sizzle of bacon grease.  
It’s that moment of hunger - when you still have one mile, three stops, and 16 floors left until your day officially begins - that the mind starts to think new thoughts.  
I don’t have to do this.  I chose this and I can choose something else.
And that’s what happened. I chose something else. These tin plates of love-doused food would not have been cooked over a camp fire in the Sawtooth Mountains of Idaho by my boyfriend before a breathtaking hike in the middle of a 5-month road trip had I not decided a year ago that I no longer wanted granola bars and emails for breakfast.

vancrafted:

Eggs, bacon, and coffee have become our morning ritual.  A routine that includes relaxation, conversation, and many new ideas.  We treasure each morning like this, each over-burnt bacon strip, each kind-of-dirty plate, because breakfast was not always like this.  Breakfast was not in the thesaurus of life’s pleasantries, nor classified as the day’s most important meal.

A little over one year ago, my mornings habits of consumption involved a granola bar being stuffed into my bag as I stumbled out the door of my Brooklyn apartment.  As I walked, spare shoes would topple out and my phone would rhythmically buzz with alerts of new emails.  Exiting the building to the sidewalk, trucks and cars would speed by and their momentary presence would disperse the garbage smells up to my nose.  It was as though a giant hand would aggressively waft the aromas in my direction at steady intervals.  From door to street corner, the emails would persist, and my eyes would flicker from screen to surroundings in practiced staccatos, looking up just long enough to avoid obstacles as I walked at an almost-run.  The granola bar sat in my bag pocket.  Maybe I could eat it on the subway.  The G train platform generally smelled like pee, so that wasn’t always optimal.  If the car wasn’t too crowded, and if I had managed to not touch too many surfaces, it could sometimes could be gobbled then.  But more often than not, the train was packed sardine-style and the bar would remain uneaten and unloved.  At the connecting stop, I would awkwardly walk-run a half mile to the platform where my next magic pumpkin awaited.  Every manner of frazzled, annoyed, bag-laden, under-the-gun person congregated there.  A full-body cast did not deem you exempt from the violent shoving match that ensued each and every morning.  Push by push, the bar got slightly more squished as my hands were needed for the more pressing task of preventing my death-by-trampling.  After three more stops and two flights of stairs, I would sometimes chow down on my 11-block power walk to the office-building’s giant foyer.  Because that’s healthy, right?  At my peak, I was estimating about 1 email read every two blocks which did not always leave time for snacking.  It would have to wait until I reached my desk…

There comes a point in those hungry moments when your legs go weak, and your mind can’t stop formulating to-do lists and the email notifications are coming in faster than you can even delete them.  It’s a point where you’re perpetually late and the clouds of your brain clear for a second to think…there must be another way.  There must be a way to sit down with the person I love for just a few minutes in the morning and see how they’re doing and maybe, just maybe, hear that sizzle of bacon grease.  

It’s that moment of hunger - when you still have one mile, three stops, and 16 floors left until your day officially begins - that the mind starts to think new thoughts.  

I don’t have to do this.  I chose this and I can choose something else.

And that’s what happened. I chose something else. These tin plates of love-doused food would not have been cooked over a camp fire in the Sawtooth Mountains of Idaho by my boyfriend before a breathtaking hike in the middle of a 5-month road trip had I not decided a year ago that I no longer wanted granola bars and emails for breakfast.

"I like cancelled plans. And empty bookstores. I like rainy days and thunderstorms. And quiet coffee shops. I like messy beds and over-worn pajamas. Most of all, I like the small joys that a simple life brings."
note to self (via kwnyvl)

social anxiety is heightened in the aftermath of trauma. if you or someone you know has gone through a traumatic, life-altering experience, for god’s sake be a human about their anxieties and fears. do not shame them. 

many of my social relationships in the past two years have been constituted by guilt that i’m not doing enough, saying enough, or being “happy” enough for those i found and find myself around. this, this i feel constantly from my Christian friends. 

just because you cannot see a wound, doesn’t mean you should pour metaphorical salt on it.

i implore you, take seriously the mental anxieties, stresses, and disorders of those around you, and do not belittle another’s pain simply because you do not understand it and do not like the way it manifests itself. consider how your understanding of the Gospel, what is socialized as “normal,” and how those healing from trauma may view these understandings as blocks between them and the only Healer. speak less and listen more. listen to the silence of those around you whose silence says more than they ever could. 

and, if the traumatized is you: find solidarity in the few who quiet themselves to sit with you in your pain. you will find that you have met Jesus.

thefolkpunkpen:

I can only imagine that tumblr is incredibly useful (to me) for the following two reasons:

1. To write

2. To bitch into the abyss

Being human means having to learn and live in the shitty in order to enjoy the good. 

"When I was a little girl they told me I could be whatever I wanted.
They forgot to tell me that people would ask my husband about his job, and me about the kids,
forgot to tell me that the company for which I work
will have more rights that I will,
forgot to tell me that my body will be up for debate in
political circles, internet forums, the comment sections
by people who cannot name the parts of woman
that make a child,
but will tell you the cells inside a womb
are more important than those around them.

They didn’t mention that if I tried to be
a career woman and a mother
that people would ask how?

That trying to have it all
would earn criticism
instead of praise.

What do you want to be when you grow up?

I am going to be a woman,
but I’d like to be a human, too."
Terms and Conditions - Meghan Lynn  (via yesdarlingido)
"The planet does not need more successful people. The planet desperately needs more peacemakers, healers, restorers, storytellers and lovers of all kinds"
Dalai Lama 
"Intimacy takes work, trust, wounds, hurts, sculpting in the dark: and that takes time. It takes more than a single chance. Of course we can close the doors, at any second, when we know it just won’t work. But there are many opportunities if we had trusted a little longer, reset the tempo, and spoke up louder: it would’ve been okay. Bridges would be built. New stories are made. You find your hand closing around theirs. They begin to traverse the folds of your heart with ease, and they learn to say those things which give life, which give freedom, which grow dreams. Intimacy is formed out of stumbling, but further down the path: there is so much light, so much laughter, so many steps to the horizon together."
J.S. 

jesus jesus,

my hanging head