Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Tall, Gentle, Slow

tall, gentle, slow

joyce and i jokingly referred to our easter sunday outing
as a trip to a pagan service
let's see, pagan, what does that mean?
i guess it means anything other than the religion
with which any of us were raised.

in my case, that would certainly not have us starting out
by facing the four directions
to drumbeat and word,
then taking a drum beat silent quiet journey,
during which we were to internally go to our teacher
and ask a question,
then sharing with each other our internal wanderings.

it certainly wouldn't have included planting a tree
with each of us having a role of preparing,
digging, planting, watering,
or witnessing.

it was a beautiful day
subtle in many ways
and it brought a shift in me.

it had actually already been coming for several days
i had sent out a facebook invite that very morning
to every person i had previously assumed
might be estranged from me
the response has been beautiful.

i won't tell you the whole story of that pagan day
i will just tell you the conclusions

i don't have a teacher anymore.
the one i had doesn't want to be a teacher anymore
and i totally get that.
i don't either.

i left teaching in the church
after twenty-five years
and now i have retired from public education and counseling
after twenty-two years.

the truth of the matter
is that i already know what i need to know
does that mean i always make good choices?
health care is the best example
i know exactly what i need to do
it's not knowledge i need
it's backbone.

i came away from that drum beat journey with three resolves
to walk tall
to walk gently
and to walk slow.

that is what i am going to practice.
love you


  1. Frank,

    I always thought of pagan as non-christian, yet religious. I have made a long journey, too, away from the dogma of organized religion and into something other. I believe that once religion is organized, specified, clarified and sanctified, and people are appointed and anointed as speakers about the true way, that which is commendable and spiritual is stripped away. Planting a tree, and turning to the four winds? Absolutely. Touching the earth and seeing something spiritual in yourself and the world around you? Good on you and Joyce. We need to teach ourselves (albeit with input, from time to time) and allow ourselves to learn.

    What is good about you, or me? Those close to us will remind us. What needs improvement about you, or me? We will remind ourselves, but we must listen to those who love us in our imperfection, our less than ideal selves (in our own eyes, at least) and find spirituality in that, and grow.

    I never thought I would live this long...I had no role models for it. But now that I have, I am finally starting to get it. And, I never would have found it in a box or bottle, or a church or other place of worship, although I sometimes envy those who seem content in their world of organized religion or drugs or...? But here I am, trying to learn and grow, struggling to smile and laugh more often, listening to music and my heart, getting more and more out of more and more. Happy spring! A joyful renewal to you! All the best, my friend.

  2. Wow, David, thank you for your response. And thank you for what may or may not have been intended to be the gentle reminder that while I might not need a teacher, I certainly need to continue learning and growing, from my own internal feedback, and from those close to me. Love ya! Frank.