Monday, November 29, 2010

Relationships: Something to believe in

Over the holidays, someone told me they "don't believe in Facebook." I sorta wanted to laugh, as I don't "believe" that Facebook was designed for people to ever "believe" in it.

Facebook, like Twitter, MySpace and all other forms of social media, are tools for communicating and developing relationships.

I believe in relationships, for I believe we are a relational species; I also believe relationships exist in various forms. Therefore, why not via Facebook?

I think what the young man really meant was that he doesn't believe in spending time online or perhaps he doesn't believe in sharing information about himself in a public forum like Facebook. He may not even believe that the relationships that form through Facebook warrant his time or attention. Those are personal philosophies or beliefs. And, of course he is entitled to them.

I continue to believe in people and continue to feel compelled to share with those I am privileged to have a relationship with. For me, that includes those who might stumble upon whatever I place here as well as those who have chosen to regularly follow what I might post.

During Thanksgiving week, I began to create a list of topics that I am compelled to write or vlog on, because I am thankful for this new medium that allows me to share in a new way, through new forms of relationship. I trust you had a rewarding time of thanks as well. Perhaps you spent a day or two with those you share life with in some form of a relationship. And if your holiday gathering time was anything like mine, you had an opportunity to reflect on the nature of those relationships and how they are shaped by shared beliefs. Or maybe you (again, like me) realized that some relationships are actually shaped more by things you do not share.

I believe that's what I'll begin to explore and write about next. For I have been created to be in relationship and am compelled to understand what that means - both with those I regard as kindred spirits and those who are merely kin.

As always, feel free to share your thoughts as well.

You may be wondering why I posted a photo of my feet that I made while swinging. Well, I can point to this moment and remember what it felt like to be happy. I plan to be even more intentional about happiness this holiday season and throughout the coming new year. I believe happiness is the best measurement of a relationship, whether that relationship is between you and others - or even you with yourself.

So here's to your happiness, and to mine.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Remaining Relevant

I've been assisting Mark with a project that involves looking through decades of family photos. Interestingly, the images of Younger Me have focused Older Me's thoughts.

I recognize a constant desire for - not just a sense of purpose - but something beyond purpose: relevance.

Then - as now - I hoped to contribute in ways that mattered. And not only where family was concerned, but in every aspect of life. That desire has not diminished with the fading color of my hair. In fact, I think my craving for relevance intensifies with each birthday, even each new year.

What is it that makes me, me?

What do I contribute that matters to those I encounter?

How do I interact and engage and question and provide answers in concert with the people and circumstances that shape my life?

Fascinatingly, those answers change even as they stay the same; for I continue to be who I am - only redefined for a new time, a new era of life.

So what remains my hope?

To remain appropriately and closely connected. In keeping with the times. Relevant.

Do I doubt that is possible? Sometimes. But hope erases doubt, doesn't it?

Hopeful relevance.

Now that's nice.

Amen. May it indeed be so.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Happy November

I have been writing blogs. They just haven't gotten into written form.

I have crafted:

- one about connecting with the divine through a caterpillar that barrel-rolled across the sidewalk, missing my footfall;

- one about the yellow brilliance of the last blooming day lily of the year amid a row of dried-brown sister blooms;

- one about welcoming people with disabilities into every day life in the simplest of ways;

- one about Reformation Sunday and how I was suddenly 6-years-old and hearing my Aunt Lois' voice as I joined in singing a rarely used canticle;

- one about fear and how it negatively shapes a person's response to divine things;

- even one about November.

I wonder what it will take for my thoughts to - once again - spill out for public viewing. Am I too busy? Am I feeling private? Am I wondering if my thoughts matter to anyone?

I am not sure. Then again, if I knew, would I tell you?

I like to think so.

I like to think that I live as I imagine a writer does - seeing poetry in everyday life.

I also like to think that one day I will live a life that allows me to regularly share the poetry I see.

Amen. May it indeed be so.

P.S. - Thank you for reading ... listening ... sharing ...

I pray that the meditation of my heart and the impulse of my spirit are acceptable in your sight.