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Showing posts from November, 2012

'Falling Upward' - a response

Being human is a constant reconfiguring, adjustment, a striving I've called it elsewhere. Well, of course:  if we are not growing (physically, emotionally, mentally, spiritually) we are not living. A plant that is not growing is dead.
This reconfiguring happens in a number of ways.
I have heard brain experts speak of the brain's reconfiguring - not once, as was thought for some time, when we are teenagers (and explaining the angst and trouble for which teenagers have earned a bad name), but twice. The second time in our 20s. An accordingly, our 'identity' isn't really established until we are approaching 30. This is a physically driven reconfiguration.
I have just read a book that talks about two stages of life - a first half of life and a second half of life. This is a reconfiguration driven by our spirituality.
Richard Rohr, in Falling Upward, describes a first half of life that features a need for security, knowing, boundaries, certainty. I am is defined by who …

the stories continue ...

What wonderful news from Margaret River, WA, this week: A Story Circle has begun.
Folk from Margaret River & Augusta Uniting Churches and I shared a weekend of workshops back in August, and following our first, in telling our own stories, the group were talking about putting together an anthology, or meeting regularly to continue to tell and hear their stories together.
What a delight to hear that this dream has begun to be realised. Well done, Margaret River, may your stories enrich and bless those who tell and those who hear, those who are heard and those who connect.

Find out more about the opportunities for workshops in story, storytelling, the Biblical story and more here.

research, performance and the Bible: a moment of clarity

Why do I do what I do?

I am glad you asked.

It is possible that I have written about why I am a biblical storyteller, lead workshops in storytelling, and am pursuing research into how performing the texts as a storyteller leads us to discover meaning in the texts.
However, I have just had a late night moment of clarity as I ponder the path I am on, and thought I would write it down. For me, if not for anyone else who is interested.

Narrative theorists identify three sites of meaning in any given text: with the author and the author's world, within the text and the world of the text, and with the audience and the world of the audience.
My theory is that performance hermeneutics (hermeneutics is the process of interpretation) incorporates all three sites of meaning. For when a storyteller performs a text, she inhabits the text, entering the world of the text, its sites and characters and emotions; she takes the audience back to the world of the author who created the text; and she b…

of photos, presence, and paying attention

I have been thinking about that wedding I presided at in September, and about my request to the guests to refrain from taking photographs during the vows.
There have been some conversations with people in the lead up to the wedding, and the emergence of photos taken during that part of the ceremony since, that indicate that people may not either understand or agree.
So why did I make that request of the guests? (note that I didn't make the request of the professional photographer, who is there to do a job)

It has to do with my understanding of why we have weddings at all.
The most intimate relationships we have, our life partnerships, are part of the fabric of our community - as are all our relationships. But there are some relationships that seem to run key threads through that fabric, holding it together, giving it strength. These relationships we want to publicly affirm with ritual celebration, community blessing, with the saying of vows in front of witnesses.*

And here is the …

on solitude, singleness, contemplation and contentment

I have to admit that for a significant amount of time this year, I have been finding it difficult to accept singleness. Perhaps it is the isolation and loneliness inherent in my kind of vocation; perhaps it was that my younger sister was getting married. Perhaps it was a combination, or simply the human longing for relationship.
It seems I may have moved through this intense season of loneliness, to have entered a season of peace, and contentment, once more. Several things have helped guide me here.

Each week, I have a session with a chiropractor whose practice is network system analysis, which is less about a more forceful manipulation of the spine, and more about accessing the nervous system along key trigger points, in order to assist the body to find ease. He picks up on things in your system, without necessarily knowing what they are, but sensing where there is dis-ease, and asks the system to explore the dis-ease, to work through it, in order to find ease. And the process can ta…

the second, like it, is this ...

the gospel portion for this week, following the revised common lectionary, is from Mark 12, in which Jesus responds to another question: what is the greatest commandment?
he replies with words so many know: love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength. This is the first commandment. And the second, like it, is this, you shall love your neighbour as yourself.

a couple of things strike me about it today.

'like it' - loving our neighbour is like loving God. I wonder if this is because God is present in each of us (Jesus will say elsewhere, when you clothe, feed, visit each other, you clothe, feed, visit me). I wonder if it is because, as the writer of the Disciplines reflections for this week observes, love is our response to God's love. a mere commandment to love does not inspire love. Love inspires love, and what Jesus is describing here in these commandments is the appropriate response to God's love…