Just Plain Foolish

Just a chance for an old-fashioned, simple storyteller to say what needs to be said.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Along the roadside.

Peterson Toscano, at his wonderful blog, contemplates whether his spiritual journeys constitute serial monotheism.

I also have travelled from spiritual home to spiritual home (though mine have not all been Christian - I've studied Islam deeply, gone through conversion to Judaism, a process that takes a few years, and was part of an eclectic Pagan circle (and am still friends with every single other member), as well as Episcopalian, Catholic, Methodist, Spirit-Filled Evangelical (Oh, how I loved that one. It spoke to me deeply, but one day I knew it was time to leave.), and a few others.

Now, I seem to be just seeing God on the streetcorner, in the grocery store, surprising me at the office. Sometimes, She's there at my weekly stitch-n-bitch, and I've met Her for coffee and bonding at the Quaker meetinghouse. Today, I've been crying in Her arms, letting myself be held, and praying my favorite reminder in Hebrew, which translates out to "Nation shall not make war upon nation; neither shall they learn war anymore."

She understands. She understood yesterday, when I literally was sick with worry over my dad's deployment, but still needed to leave the house to say goodbye, whether or not I was developing a migraine with nausea. I had no words to pray, but she understood anyway.

I don't see my journey as going from god to god, but like a not-so-wise-at-times person following a brilliant star wherever it may go. From time to time along the way, I spot a track in the wilderness, and join the folks who are travelling there. They, too, are following the star, and the companionship and warmth of their fires are marvellous. Each path has given me something, has shown me something about that star that I hadn't noticed before. I often feel less like the three wise men than like the fool, with my foot hanging over the edge of the cliff. And yet, even then, my star is with me, has been with me from the start.

Perhaps my quest is more of a dance. When I was recently in Maui, I had an opportunity to see Ulalena. If you ever get the chance, go. Toward the end, there was a moment that struck me powerfully, a dance. The drums were quiet, sounding almost like surf at receding tide, and there were two women on stage. One was actually hanging above it, dressed in brilliant white and obviously meant to be the moon. The other was dressed in a sarong-inspired dancing dress. Each separately danced, never once touching, and yet it felt like a dance of lovers, intimate, longing, and yet together despite the distance between them.

There are days that I wish I could stay on one path, but I also desperately want to follow that star, wherever she leads.


Blogger Peterson Toscano said...

Wow, and I thought my faith Odyssey was complex.

I like the image of the quest as a dance. It requires grace, sensitivity, strength and a healthy dose of playfulness.

11/20/2006 8:17 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You've done it again. Beautiful thoughts and writing. Reading your writing is like reading the Psalms. Thanks for your insight and prayers.

11/21/2006 9:12 PM  
Blogger Plain Foolish said...

Thank you, both of you.
I'm sometimes amazed at how patient my family has been with this dance/quest/ramble.

And yet, I wouldn't give up one step of it for the world, even the parts that were pretty uncomfortable. (Sometimes, I stumble and fall, and yet, some of those times have brought me closer.)

11/22/2006 9:42 AM  

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