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kind of post, more gentle, more personal, less formal. My house is very quiet now, except for two crows (Jack, maybe or the Crow Girls) who have taken up residence on the three-story tree stump which stands sentry between my living room and the road. There’s sometimes a pressing quality to the quiet, sometimes an openness, but I am gradually expanding to fill it, to feel it, to occupy it. I am finding spaces I didn’t know about before, and it feels as though the days and patterns of my living have been laid bare, so I can see all of them.

It is very revealing, and not for the faint of heart.

I wonder if this is normal, unremarkable, just what it is, or if this is the kind of extraordinary thing we have to go out of our ways to create for ourselves on those occasions when the interval of mundanity calls for it but the ebb and flow of life doesn’t present it. I suppose in some odd way I’m lucky, then, to have been presented with what it might be I need.

Sometimes I think there is nothing in this world except blessings, in disguise and out.

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and is she beautiful. Stunning colors, crisp nights, warm days. This is one of the many reasons I live in Maine. And with those crisp fall nights come hunger and full shelters and a rise in desperation and heating and other bills. These are my requests: if you have it to give, give some money to a shelter or a food pantry, or donate some food. If you know of a shelter, free supper, or other resource in Hancock County, post it here in the comments so I have a complete area list. Today I had a request from a mother with a six year old for housing, and I had nothing to offer her that she hadn’t already tried.

So love the crispness. And love each other, eh?

Remember being little, when summer seemed like it stretched out forever? Remember every gem of a day, every moment of possibility? Remember how September came too soon, and with it a long list of things you planned but never quite managed to do?

Now if you did all the stuff you could cram in, whatever that was, sleeping in the sun or working long days or fishing at dawn or talking with friends, then it might not be so bad to see what didn’t happen. But if you didn’t do anything that you planned, then that September schoolbell could feel like a death knell. We only get the luxury of doing that summer thing for about twelve or thirteen summers, maybe sixteen if we’re lucky. But even after summer becomes just another season, the lists continue: what to do, and what to wish we’d done.

That’s where coaching and community and church come in. That’s where we need each other. With a little help from our friends (thank you, Beatles) we can make sure that even if the list doesn’t get finished, we had a damn fine time getting to the incomplete ending. And we can make sure that no matter what we did or didn’t do, it feels like we had all summer long.

So apparently the equal marriage bill is ALREADY before the Maine senate, and those with fast internet can play along at home http://www.maine.gov/legis/audio/SenateV.html with the Senate live feed. I had this idea that we’d all be organizing and going down to Augusta again, but clearly, apparently not. Here’s hoping.

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Update: it passed in the Senate, without amendment, 21-14. Wonderful!

Eve Ensler wrote The Vagina Monologues and in 1997 spearheaded the movement to use her one-woman show to end violence against women. Her TED talk about finding the connection between body and mind, and making change, is incredible.

If you believe something is possible, then it probably is; if you believe it isn’t then it probably won’t happen. The Galatea Effect could as easily be called the Brigadoon Effect (“If you love someone deeply enough, anything is possible–even miracles”), but what it boils down to is this: we are all capable of far more than we know. If it matters, if we want it, if we work for it, if we commit to it, we can encourage, cajole, drive, lift each other to incredible heights.

And in a small church, everyone who shows up is influential. And if you walk around defeated, so will they. As I said on Sunday, we have to work toward our own happiness–because when we put our backs and shoulders behind what matters to us, it changes our own world and everyone else’s, too.

I don’t know what film this is from, but it’s a fantastic scene–well worth the seven minutes to watch it:

give it your best. We CAN do it.

Structure can be good. It can be comforting. It can be expanding. It can force us to refine our techniques, like a word limit or a poem form. But it can also become limiting, especially when we get so used to it we don’t even see it anymore.

Worship can be like that, either way. My question of the day: what new shapes might enliven worship? What new structures are possible? What media should be incorporated? What kinds of expression could inspire? Dance? Drama? What musical forms are missing? What else?

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