Turning on its axis

June 26-11

I am looking for hymns everywhere, because now more than ever I need a song in my mouth.

Everyone who wants to be a superhero thinks that he or she will be able to swim upstream, against the deafening flow of the current, away from the direction we are all being taken, not entirely within our will.

I find myself leaning against depression and being overwhelmed by this culture. Instead of making conversation, I am mute in public. Just swept along. Just in that loneliest herd; all the cars on the freeway. I thought I could swim against the current, but it turns out that the swell was so big that it tossed me deep into the earth. It is so different here, so different from the small space I found for myself among a billion people in India.

My own bent toward melancholy is something I march against every day of my life. I am deeply joyful and deeply sad. Disturbed. It's why I can't watch disturbing movies, there is too much under there that is already roiled and seething.

So I've been walking. Okay, Rae, maybe it was too much to think you could be a superhero, but how about taking a walk everyday?


On the first night there were the donkeys. And then the second time, in a different town, I walked to the beach and there they were. Pelicans.

And oh how they dove. Oh I wish I could dive like that, throw myself toward the water and cut into it until it pours off and I take flight again. They were incredible. I sat and watched them for a long while, sat in the sand beside the platter of a moon and watched them dive, and dive, and dive.

The night before last I went walking to the beach again, and this time there were no pelicans, but it was okay because my heart was already thrumming with the music of the Brazilian drum troupe that somehow had appeared on the sand. Why so many Brazilian people were gathered on the beach, playing drums and dancing, I'm not sure. (Maybe something to do with the World Cup?) All I know is that it was another step into reorienting myself in the world. I danced a little, just a little. I sat and smiled into the waves. I sat and smiled and smiled.

We are a gathering people. We need connection. We need to stop the current of isolation, to swim against it with all the power our little fat, torn up salmon bodies have. Or dive into it, cut through it and feel it falling off of us.

There is such a huge difference between solitude and isolation. Solitude is something you seek, to find rest and quiet within yourself, to be with God. Isolation is a lack of ability to touch or hear anyone around you. It is a scary place.

It doesn't mean that we don't need time to walk, to muse, to watch pelicans and pat little knee-high donkeys on their heads. To speak with God to say thank you and i love you i love you again and again. And help me, because i don't know where exactly i am. Because it has nothing to do with isolation, it has to do with the reorientation with that we need, to hear the earth and the heartbeat of God.

The current doesn't even touch Him.