Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Blog Moved

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Peace and all good-

Monday, February 23, 2009

Week Four

Moving forward, bit by bit.

22 FEB 2008 - 0 miles
23 FEB 2008 - 0.25 miles
24 FEB 2008 - 3 miles
25 FEB 2008 - 1.5 miles
26 FEB 2008 - 0.25 miles
27 FEB 2008 - 0 miles (baby strike!)
28 FEB 2008 - 0 miles (baby strike!)

5 miles Total this week
18.25 miles Total to date (981.75 to go)

Many things that make sense in a car, do not make sense on foot.

There is so much trash out there. We should bring a trash bag with us.

Some times it is nice to take the long way, but many times, everyone has more fun if we find the path with least resistance.

Sam is a little "different". He always finds the things worth looking at. I've never appreciated the stained glass windows in our church quite so much. I *do* like them, they are not traditional - they are remarkable abstract modern art; but I go there every week, and I've come to take them for granted. Well, for Ash Wednesday, Sam could not be still - he had to walk, and stomp, and march, and stop and touch every piece of stained glass he could touch... and the grout between the glass, and the frames of each individual window. He would rub the windows with his fingers and trace the irregular pieces of glass, and then touch his lips, declaring "mmm, yummy." As I sat and traced the glass with him, I noticed something I had always known, but never noticed. Every piece of glass in this work of art is a broken piece of glass - broken but brought together into this astounding whole. In fact, the whole is beautiful because of the brokenness; the crude shards catch the light, and bend it and refract it along its fault lines. The windows can be absolutely captivating in the evening sun, almost glowing from within.

I need to start walking with a notebook. I had a really neat insight about decentralization, but I forgot it.

Sam went on strike on Friday, and Saturday. He had a runny bottom :o(. He's better now though. We're also going to lay off of the oranges and dried fruit for a while...

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Urban Agriculture

Joshua and I went to a *great* city council meeting in Ypsilanti, MI last night. I was there to support the discussion surrounding whether or not to allow chickens in the city. Very exciting conversation, and an engaging (even if slightly rushed) presentation by the ED of Growing Hope. I'm particularly impressed with this organization because of their commitment to vulnerable people.

I'm heartened to hear about things like this. It's like hearing birds in spring. The more conversation about feeding ourselves, increasing food security, and decentralizing systems - the better.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Week Three

A little better...

15 FEB 2008 - 0 miles
16 FEB 2008 - 2.25 miles
17 FEB 2008 - 1.25 miles
18 FEB 2008 - 0 miles
19 FEB 2008 - 0 miles
20 FEB 2008 - 2.75 miles
21 FEB 2008 - 1 mile

7.25 miles Total this week
13.25 miles Total to date (986.75 to go)

I reflected a lot this week on what it means to champion the vulnerable, and to walk with them. Literally, I make my walks with the most vulnerable people in my family, and I've noticed that walking with them literally, has shown me some things metaphorically. I will reflect and flesh these ideas out more at another time - it is late, and I want to keep my commitment of posting regularly. So without further ado - here are some of the things that came up for me this week.

Go on their terms

Go at their speed

If *you* need to go faster, you have find a way to carry them

No one gets left behind - even one left behind is too many

The perspective they bring, is as essential to me, as I think my perspective is to them

Vulnerable people have agendas of their own, that do not necessarily overlap with my agenda. Their agendas for their time are more valid than my agendas for their time.

Enjoy Mardi Gras and Ash Wednesday if you celebrate! Next time I post, it will be Lent :o) Peace and all good, my friends.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Discipline and Disciple II


With little or no positive feedback, I was thinking maybe this was just vanity talking, and more or less composted the marathon idea. But the idea wouldn't go away. It kept hanging with me; sometimes I'd dream about it, other times I'd daydream about it... and I kept finding marathoning material I thought I'd tossed.

Finally, at Christmas time, I was really feeling stressed out and overwhelmed.(big shock, huh? stressed out and overwhelmed at Christmas time? whoda thunk it?) One day I paused, and said out loud to myself : "What is this?!? This is supposed to be a celebration of the Prince of PEACE!"

After recovering from the holidays, and still feeling overwhelmed, and like there was no other path, but endurance to get through the holiday season - it hit me. I should worship and celebrate Jesus -all the time- by walking in his footsteps. Somehow, when I had this thought, it also occurred to me that Jesus walked (or occasionally rode on a donkey) everywhere. This was an a-ha! moment. What if I walked a marathon? What if I walked, a meditative, prayerful marathon for peace? Now I was cooking with gas.

I soon decided, that 26.2 miles wasn't long enough. I needed serious time and space to let this experience transform me in whatever way I needed to grow. 26.2 miles would be a few weeks of flurried activity; I was being called to a prayer discipline. I settled on a 1000 mile journey, and a year's time. They seemed like round numbers, and it seemed like something I could do. I mean, many of the world's poor and vulnerable people walk six miles - or more - everyday to meet their most basic needs. I could certainly stand to walk about 3 miles a day for a year - in fact, I would actually benefit. To take it a step further, I felt I should try to replace some of my driving altogether, and introduce a bike into the mix.

It was finally at this point, that I didn't feel I needed permission, or outside validation to know what I was being called to do. In fact, my big motivation was to reach out and share the journey- not in a hyped-up mania kinda way- but in a "walk with me" kinda way. The only thing left then was to start walking.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Week Two

Again, nothing remarkable.

08 FEB 2008 - 0 miles
09 FEB 2008 - 0 miles
10 FEB 2008 - 2 miles
11 FEB 2008 - 0.75miles
12 FEB 2008 - 0 miles
13 FEB 2008 - 0 miles
14 FEB 2008 - 0 miles

2.75 miles Total this week
6 miles Total to date (994 to go)

I'm disappointed (and frankly embarrassed) to have walked fewer miles than last week. So I had the idea that I would just walk spontaneously, and that I'd walk more, and more as time went on... Well it worked with saying daily rosary. I'm getting the feeling that this won't work quite that way. In my defense - I did do a fair amount of meditative walking - just not with both of my walking partners.... One or the other, but not both!

Plan B. I've plotted out some distances in my neighborhood, totaling 2.5 miles. If I walk to these locations 6 days each week, that's 15 miles - not the 25 that I'm shooting for - but it's a good start, and they are places I really like going. 1 mile of it is to and from daily Mass, and the other mile and a half is to and from my favorite park.

My meditative time led me to reflect about a certain arrogance in the peace/non-violence community. We have this idea that we just need to change our paradigm to non-violence, and away from the use of military force. So I started to think: has anybody done this? And I mean really done it - no fighting in any wars ever.

The Amish. The Amish, and the historic Peace Churches all practice radical non-violence. What is their experience? Are they realizing a peaceful new world order? After a small bit of research, I discovered that there are significant differences in these faith communities, especially the Amish, and Mennonites who tend to live apart from modern society; however - they haven't been able to avoid the violence bug, simply by embracing a starting paradigm of non-violence. The Amish have experienced some high-profile difficulties with incest, and are completely comfortable with corporal punishment. Former president Nixon was a Quaker.... There is more than the paradigm. I suspect that there has to be a daily and ongoing conversatio morum - conversion of life. You cannot assume the paradigm will make it right - you as an individual have to reflect on your values and align with them constantly. This peacemaking stuff looks like hard work.

In personal peacemaking news, I was triumphant this week. I was meeting my teenager at school to help him with a project he had neglected until it was a crisis... And he wasn't at the meeting spot. Now mind you, I have a lot of tolerance for people being late, because I'm usually late - I have to lie to myself to get to doctor appointments on time. But he was half an hour late for an errand we had an hour to run. To go inside and get him would involve wandering around the school with an infant and a toddler until we got to the office, where I didn't expect to get much in the way of assistance. So I waited. And waited. And I started fuming. I was ready to let into to my son like nobody's business when I saw him next. Then I got an idea. I decided to call a dear friend to chat instead of sitting in the parking lot fuming. So we chatted, and I felt better. Before I knew it, my son arrived; and he was for the first time I can remember in a while, contrite, forthcoming with his mistake (he had forgotten), and truly sorry for the error. This was nothing short of miraculous. So momentous was the experience, I had to buy everybody a round of cocoa and hammenstachen at Zingerman's.

Lessons learned: don't waste time feeding anger (it can find sustenance on it's own). Find positive and constructive ways to spend time. Even if it's a small bit of time, spend it well. Make yourself ready to receive spontaneous acts of contrition :o) Here's a shout out to my Christian fellows: try a little reflection time with Matthew 25.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Week One

Nothing stellar, off to a slow and steady start. We also have a neat little set-up where Joshua and Sam can both ride on mommy: bug-a-boo cloth carrier with Joshua on the front, hiking backpack with Sam on the back.

01 FEB 2008 - 0 miles
02 FEB 2008 - 0.75 miles
03 FEB 2008 - 0.75 miles
04 FEB 2008 - 0.25 miles
05 FEB 2008 - 0 miles
06 FEB 2008 - 0.25 miles
07 FEB 2008 - 1.25 miles

3.25 miles Total this week
3.25 miles Total to date (996.75 to go)

I was very surprised at how much anger I discovered within myself during these brief walks. I like to think of myself as being conscious of my anger, and guiding it to constructive rather than destructive ends... but there were all sorts of little pockets lingering about: the neighborhood friend that doesn't write or call anymore (or return calls/notes), never bringing my father to live with us, shame about not tithing fully, I could go on all day with the list. Suffice it to say that I truly shocked myself (and those that know me, know how hard it is to shock me!). For now, I think I'll just walk with this anger, and see if it has anything to say.