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Showing posts from 2023

A Mormon Temple

If you had the opportunity to step inside a temple of the Church of Latter Day Saints, would you?  Last month two LDS missionaries came inside a little bookstore I was taking care of for the day. Delightful conversation about theology, anarchy, and adventure ensued. I told them about my church hopping days. Before they left they handed me a little brochure, "I think you'll appreciate this." It was information about a temple just built in Helena... and it would be open for visitations until dedicated! Yes, I was interested. I finally made it out yesterday, the last day before being closed to non church members. Really, it was a fascinating, thought provoking experience. There were many pieces of art throughout the entire building, some of it original paintings others quality prints. One of the most unusual and loveliest was of God hugging Jesus. There was texturized carpet and embroidered chairs and large chandeliers. So many mirrors, and I badly wanted to get

Turtle Island for Women who Love Woods

Last weekend I taught hand sewing and embroidery at Turtle Island , an off-grid thousand-acre nature preserve in North Carolina. I also participated in blacksmithing and netmaking classes and went on a long quiet walk... discovering I shared a birthday with one of the founders. It was a beautiful weekend to unplug and pick up skills. The students were a delight. I watched them fall in love with sewing, some of them claiming they'd never thought such a thing possible. The truth is matters of femininity are far from despicable once we move past the lie that we're incompetent. The word empowerment gets thrown around a lot, but it's simply capability and joy.  Some call it domestic servitude... because they want more corporate slaves and fewer competent women guiding communities. A skilled, capable woman isn't a doormat. She's a queen with a broom in hand ready to beat the pulp out of that doormat so you'll feel welcomed in her domain. ,,

What it's Like Driving Twenty Hours In A Day

What's it like driving twenty hours in a day? First let's squelch the misconception that traveling is exciting. Instead of sitting on your cozy couch staring out your sparkling windows with curtains you sewed you're cramped in a driver's seat staring out a bug-smeared window. Simple as that.  This morning I woke up at some rest stop in South Dakota. It had a ridiculous sign posted "encouraging" people to stay only three hours. I slept six.  Lost the sheet of metal I'd skillfully duct taped to the top of my car to cover a busted skylight. Dear God, pour the rain on my enemies. (Please don't let my enemy's car be parked next to mine tonight). I listened to the rest of the audio book "Body Keeps the Score". Excellent material. Sustenance: half a bag of chips, a sourdough peanut butter sandwich, a square of chocolate, water, one coffee, vitamin d capsule (forgot to take other vitamins).  Many friends called.  When driving through

Sanctified Gossip

Women are leaders in grace, conversation, and reconciliation. You know what odd combinations I love to see most in evangelical home churches? A woman fully living in her femininity, and yet quite not silent in church. It isn't that I wish to defy 1 Timothy 2:12, but that I understand sobriety isn't the absence of speech or the presence of silence. It's that I understand that the works of the Proverbs 31 women are so perfectly aimed the attention lands where she intends --her fine work, her husband, her community.  Several years ago, I attended a dance that demonstrated traditional femininity and masculinity through honor, sacrifice, respect, and romance. The oddest of statements was issued: women traditionally were the leaders of conversation in society. They hosted spaces for men to converse, and certain women were sought after for invitations  because the spaces they held invoked the best discourses. Arguably, these women weren't brazen or given to much de

My finished Quilt

An era of my life is finished.  Last night I tied the last knot on this quilt, a project for my hope chest that's been with me since February 2018. A friend said it must feel like a child after all this time. Not really, it is more like an unanswered thesis. But it is written, and for that I am thankful.  This quilt is something I began to dream at twelve years old when I found the embroidery pattern, a bunch of baskets of flowers, at a quilting shop. When I "won" a Janome sewing machine (pretty sure the woman just liked me and drew my name and called it a "second winner". She also copied out the pattern for me, because I'd admired it for so long, and told me to someday use it.  Years passed, and then one day, a little over five years ago, I needed something to lift me out of a mindset. The s ong based on Psalm 42 by the Sing Team was my current favorite song. It felt like I was eating a lot of tears and would be for the rest of my l

Toastmasters and Doomer Optimism

I began speaking a couple years ago shortly after returning from Germany, mostly at political events to share about the girl who doesn't exis t.  As someone who loves words, it felt horrible to stand in front of people and ramble on toward ideas. I refused to have written speeches to rely on. I wanted to be "a real speaker". But the writer in my also groaned. . . and so I joined the political speech and debate club, and when it was discontinued, the leader took me under his wing for a few weeks and pointed me toward Toastmasters.  I didn't really have time to join Toastmaster, though. I went to the meeting, a raveling, but spirited crowd doing its best to draw in more members by being the very best themselves, and although I only had a couple weeks left in Montana before leaving for a long road trip, I paid my dues and joined the club.  That's how it's been ever since. Not once have I truly had time for this spectacular club. Life remains always relentlessly f

I Saw the Light (Gaslit)

*Disclaimer, I'm writing about an exchange with a large twitter account because it's a prime example of the culmination of struggles in my heart right now, and she likely won't see my post. If she does, I would hope she would at least appreciate my perception of the event and that I'm willing to be honest. We have all these terms we throw around about people to justify our perceptions of them as toxic. Truth is life isn't as simple as that, and we're too complex to be the pure victim or the total perpetrator.  A couple months ago it came to my attention that there was deep tension between two acquaintances and myself. I'd known of it for a long time and didn't know what to do about it... until I realize I could just be honest, accepting, and kind.  Within two day I'd reached out to both young women and reconciled.   Something unexpected happened. They reciprocated. We forgave each other, the misunderstandings were shattered and forgotten, and we now

Remove My Heart of Stone, Jesus, Be Alive!

Our life reflects the good decisions we make long after the moments are done. Years ago I went to Germany and realized my community was stifled because it was isolated to a single building, like a tree growing inside a greenhouse, unable to branch out and reach to the sky. I do not advocate forfeiting original roots, and yet when I turned that new leaf over I flourished. The fruits yesterday:  Three of my friends joined me and we visited the Holy Rosary in Bozeman for Easter service.  My heart is constantly drawn closer to a good catholic mass these days (I know of two catholic churches nearby that are not good).  We arrived just on time, therefore could not sit together but found random empty spaces and split up. And yet such services aren't meant to be experienced any other way.  The wholesome, rose-colored light, the incense, the hymns and abundant scripture reading predominantes the senses. It's all my favorite part. And then a small word from the pr

Wearing Lace At Home

The first thing one usually likes to do when they get home from a long trip is look into their closet and wear the clothes they haven't touched in months. And of course, I did that. But what I'm wearing above I had with me all those months... and yet never wore that combination together. Odd how that is.  Except the mittens. I've found them in my drawer, a birthday gift from years ago that I thought so lovely yet was unsure of how to wear.  Until my fingers were too cold to quilt and I wanted to quilt.  I've done a lot of road tripping. And yet this last one was truly the best one. I'm still glowing. How good it is to be a gypsy, woke on all the right day to the surprises, gay and because I was homeschooled and learned my words from old books and could care less what those who've never read have to say about my vocabulary.  To have dreams is one thing. To witness the advent of your visions is another. And that's where I'm at.