“What would happen if one woman told the truth about her life? / The world would split open.”
Poet Muriel Rukeyser

Monday, February 22, 2010

Both Sides, Now




In the early 1970's, when I was in high school, I listened to Joni Mitchell. I loved her "Blue" album, in particular. Somewhere along the way, while in college I think, I drifted away from her and don't even have any of her music on my iPod. That is until I woke up with this song in my head.

I'm thinking that maybe I've rounded the bend as I move into my last few days in Arizona. Pointing my inner compass northeast,I'm trying to look at both sides. The side that contains all the hopes and dreams that brought me here, the side that holds my hopes and dreams for returning to Chicago, and the side that holds my hopes and dreams for the future.

More than both sides, I'm trying to see all sides...but mostly,through all the hopes and dreams, I'm trying to see through the illusions, to see clearly this time, or as clear as one can.

I'm also thinking about love. I'm thinking that my time here was like a love affair gone bad. No one knew, at it's inception, at the infatuation phase, that it would turn sour. But in reality most of my time here felt like a lover doing everything possible to please the loved, to no avail. Every effort was a misfire, a misstep, misinterpreted, misunderstood. Paths crossing at odds with one another. A love affair that failed.

It happens sometimes, that people are just not made for one another, regardless of the hopes and dreams. And so we have to let the relationship go, wish the other well.

Yesterday I told Back in the Saddle Church that I did not intend to fall in love with them. It was my last Sunday with them, and it was clear that we love each other. It just happened, a brief, unexpected delightful love. A healing and restorative love. They celebrated me and gifted me and wished me well. I celebrated them and thanked them and wished them well. A love that reminds me what it is when relationships work.

I've worked for five churches in my ministry and only one of them was a failed love affair. That gives me hope.

Both sides, all sides, now.