I have not written lately.

A congregant said to me after worship once, you have so much output! you are a prolific writer!

Can I just say that I really don’t like writing that much?  Some of you can relate- those of you who agonize over a careful email reply, who spend an hour (or two) on a newsletter column- you got me!  It is just so much energy going out, and often not enough energy coming in.

When I started training in karate in Chicago at my happy LGBT friendly, open-minded, peace-monger dojo (YAY!), I soon found myself over-committed.  I was doing all kinds of leadership work in church, I was coordinating something for a dojo fundraiser, I was working 50 hours a week, PHEW!  I was literally making myself crazy.  One day I was stretching before karate class and my kyoshi (a senior many-striped black-belt instructor) knelt down to my level on the ground and asked, Allison, how are you doing? I looked at her and, tears streaming down my face, still said, I’m fine.  It was hilarious in a way.  I was not fine.  I was a wreck.  I was spewing out energy from myself and never replenishing.  My kyoshi then told me how strong I was.  She told me that I did not always have to do my karate 200%, but that sometimes, to really make it and stay on the path, I would need to reduce my power and train softly.

I have held onto that in my faith development.  It is so important to go softly sometimes, to be in the empty places and feel them in order to make ready to receive and listen to what needs to be received and heard.  The still, small voice is rarely heard in the midst of clanging bells (though may people I know find heavy metal a stairway to the Holy).  That moment began the slow process for me of going softly- of sometimes trying to fudge somewhere in between all and nothing.  The middle path is not always boring- in fact I have found it to be most enlightening and interesting.  Finding balance is a constant struggle.

I like the idea of trying to live a little more softly, sauvemente.

In the din of life, go softly.  Feel the rough edges of emptiness to invite healing in, to invite the softening.

Thus sayeth the callings of this gray, moist, breezy day in Fort Myers.