Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Thursday, January 8, 2009

blog land

Connections. Boy, they are all around if you can lift your eyes out of your own head and take a true look around our world.

I've followed Ali Edwards' blog for a quite a while. She's pretty cool. I wish I knew her personally. . . anyway, today she had a link on her blog to a blog she follows. So, I took a look. And got far too wrapped up in what I was reading and had pull myself out to get back to work.

Take a look and a minute to read about Brene. It's so worth it.

Sunday, January 4, 2009


After many months (years, really), I took a leap of faith this fall and started attending Sunday morning worship at Hennepin Avenue United Methodist Church. I'd visited the church before - once as a child when I was part of a wedding that was held there, and once when I was in high school to see a living nativity performance during the Advent season.

I'm not yet able to fully describe why I enjoy this new experience so deeply. Perhaps because it's new. Perhaps because I'm participating in it with people whose lives are a bit more like mine. Perhaps because there are more people worshipping together than what is familiar to me. Perhaps because the service I attend is more traditional than not. Perhaps because I can light a candle when I walk into the sanctuary. Perhaps because after even this short time, I'm starting to feel connected. Whatever it is, I'm thoroughly enjoying it right now.

This is an interesting place for me to be at this time. One foot at Saint Paul's and one foot at Hennepin. I've called Saint Paul's home for 33 years, but when I'm asked why I attend, I'm not able to give a reason that I'm proud to share. Because I have for 33 years. Because my mom attends. Because it's a mile from where I live. Because I have some connections there. Because of habit. Or my favorite that I told our new pastor when she arrived: I don't know why I come here, I just do. I feel like I should attend Saint Paul's.

I've come to the conclusion that should isn't a reason at all for me anymore. Maybe a concrete, clearly articulated answer for either is something I won't be able to express. Maybe this all about feelings rather than analyzing thoughts. Time will tell.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

new year's ritual

Tammy invited us a few years ago to take part in a new year's ritual with her. It's now become an annual event. We meet at my place on or around January 1, to celebrate and acknowledge the past year of our lives and state our intentions for the next year. Tammy started out leading us alone through activities. Now we each bring an activity to the experience. And food to share!

This year another friend from UMM, Lisa, joined us. We started out talking about and showing an example of an aspect of our life in the past year we're particularly proud of or grateful for.

Tammy brought her bundle of poems we all helped edit, an acceptance letter from the magazine that she will be published in, and a copy of a book of poetry from a poetry festival she attended last year that includes one of her poems.

Lisa is expecting her first child in a few weeks, so she brought her little boy and her joy for his much anticipated arrival.

Laura was married in July (the picture is of Tammy and me at her wedding), so she brought her wedding ring. And also her first ultrasound picture of tiny baby. She's due in July, just after her anniversary. She also put her Best Buy security badge out and told us she is turning in her paperwork on Monday to take the buy-out package Best Buy is offering to all employees. Her last day will be in February and she'll have a few months to prepare for being a mom.

I shared a painting I purchased at a street fair in Galway. I also showed the prints I made in my letterpress class and gave each a copy of my print. So, Tammy's poetry and my creative energy are moving out in the world!

Ten years ago we all were in a fairly similar place. Just starting out in the real world after college. I'm amazed and grateful for the paths we've discovered as adults. Each of us is right where we need to be, right now.

Tammy called me after she returned home to thank me for the print and hosting us. She knew from our ritual last year that Laura would be pregnant when we met again this year. That's a gift Tammy shares with us. She's an intuitive. So when Laura said she was pregnant, Tammy nodded and smiled. She commented on the phone that this was quite a ritual day. We agreed that our 2010 meeting is difficult to predict. We recognized and could more easily envision what changes are likely in store for Laura and Lisa. And then Tammy said, "but who knows Jilly, we could meet next year and Laura and Lisa could look at us and say our lives have changed the most." As Elizabeth Gilbert says, "the universe likes to be ironic."

Friday, January 2, 2009

Welcome to my first blog posting! I've surprised myself by starting this and spending 3 hours tinkering with the layout this morning. I had planned to use that time to clean and run errands. . . so it goes.

So now I have a couple of email accounts, facebook, other blogs I follow and now my own to keep up with. I'll admit that I liked the designing process, though I wish this blogger site allowed for a bit more customizing. But it's free! That fits with my recession budget.

Some of you might have seen this photo. It's from my trip to Ireland. I'm standing at the entrace we used at the Hill of Tara in Co. Meath. This was on my first full day. And yes, this threshold is really that narrow. My size 7 foot is about as wide as the space! Yet we all were able to pass through without hardly any difficulty. Maybe a sign that we all were meant to experience this place that is thousands of years old.