I’m Tired, I’m Whipped

I’m tired
I’m whipped
too dumb to quit
too smart
to let life go by

I’m working hard
to find truth
in my own backyard
I’ve done everything
but die.

Took the long way around
on a short ride to town
found a pass
where few have been

Gained a love
lost a friend
scraped my knees
learning to please

started out
with no choice

somewhere

somehow

found my
voice

Alone or Together?

We all have a story, a life in progress, wanting to be heard, seen, celebrated, lifted up. We are people who feel the creative spirit within, sometimes feeling alone, sometimes struggling to find our way into a group of like-minded souls. Some of us embrace the idea of a creative community, knowing that a collective joy and connection makes us stronger. Some of us shy away from it, worried it would feel too invasive in our quiet lives. Either way, we must acknowledge the truth and understanding that exist when we surround ourselves with a support system.

Automated and Isolated

We are pulled along, mesmerized and almost automated, going 65—over the speed limit, but we keep up with the flow of traffic. We take in our fellow travelers and learn what they want to teach us about themselves by noting the make of their cars, perhaps the ornament that hangs over the dash, the identity they announce on their vanity plates and their convictions and beliefs professed on bumper stickers…. Despite all the efforts, I still register fear. It feels impersonal. Streaming along here, we do indeed seem to be “a fragmented society,” each of us isolated and sealed into our tins, each of us vaguely aware that we want something more, something to live by and a way to live it fully and in community, something beyond the business of mere survival.

Making Room

Tolerance is the opposite of judgmentalism and bigotry, and it involves acceptance and sympathy. It applies both to ourselves and to others. It is the ability to embrace our own faults and weaknesses, as well as our gifts and strengths. This does not mean that we must condone or like them, but that we accept them as they exist in the present. Externally, tolerance signifies the ability to allow and indulge other people, beliefs, or activities that may differ from our own, to make room for them as part of a complex, varied, and dynamic world, rather than judging and excluding them.

Caught, Not Taught

The real business of the Church is not just what is sometimes called ‘surplice work.’ Its business is to bind us together—the learned and simple, the strong and the weak—in a great social act of love and worship; to provide a home for the nurturing of the spiritual life. For we cannot get on alone, in religion or anything else. Our spiritual life must be a social life too. We can each only manage a bit of it—it is far too big and various in its richness for any one soul…. Wonder and love are caught, not taught; and to catch them we must be in an atmosphere where we are sure to find the germs. A living Church ought to be full of the germs of wonder and love.