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Posts Tagged ‘reflections’

Cookies and so much more

I baked cookies tonight.

I like baking and cookies are quick and easy.

These cookies are going to the Out of the Rain program so that there are homemade cookies when the youth arrive.

Normally that would lead to an extra happy baking feeling, but not tonight.

Before I started baking, I got a message that an old work friend died unexpectedly the other day. She’s older than me, but not by much. We’re close enough in age that it definitely gives me pause.

So there’s that, but while we worked together for three years, I haven’t seen her since 2008 and we’ve only kept in very occasional touch via facebook. I figured baking would feel therapeutic and life-giving, it didn’t. Not like it usually does.

When I started to tidy up, I found myself staring at the recipe card.

It’s in my mom’s very distinctive handwriting.

She wrote out the recipe for me many years ago. I was living away from home at university, and she decided to start a recipe box for me with all of the family favourites from her recipe box. She wrote out recipes of all sorts, but there are definitely a lot of cookie recipes.

I couldn’t possibly try to count the number of hours I’ve spent baking cookies with my mom. If you tried to count the number of cookies we’ve made together it would easily be in the thousands.

That might seem unlikely if your mom was the sort who only made a couple of dozen cookies at any one time. But that’s not how my mom baked.

She didn’t believe it was worth dirtying the mixer if she wasn’t at least making 6 dozen cookies of one type. Doubling or tripling a batch was standard. The chances that she was only making one type of cookies? Almost non-existent.

I can remember covering most of a large kitchen table with paper towel (my mom’s preferred method for where the cooling cookies went) and soon the table would be filled with cookies.

She had the biggest cookie sheets. Three dozen cookies on each sheet. With three of those sheets, we would just keep rotating them through. Sheet after sheet of cookies.

If it was Christmas or she was baking for something at the church, there would be hundreds of cookies. All magically appearing from the oven over the course of a morning or afternoon.

My brother would arrive as the trays started coming out of the oven. He could demolish a lot of cookies very quickly.

I was there, doing whatever task I could do depending on my age. Measuring. Mixing things. Putting cookie dough on the trays. Setting the timer. Putting the warm cookies out onto the table to cool. Filling cookies tins. So many cookie tins, filled with so many cookies.

My mom (and my grandma too) taught me to love baking and to love what that baking symbolized. Sharing what we had. Investing time to make something delicious. Love expressed in very tangible ways.

Unlike my grandma who died twenty years ago, my mom isn’t physically gone, but advanced dementia means she’s gone in other ways …

We can’t bake cookies together anymore.

We can’t talk and share what’s going on in our worlds.

I could tell her about my friend who died, but she wouldn’t understand, she couldn’t share her wisdom, and she can’t hug me like she used to.

That might be the thing the I miss most.

But at least I can make her cookies and carry on her traditions.

Triple batch of cookies complete.

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once upon a time I knew

Child of God

Created in His image

Christian

Believer

 

or at least

I acted like I knew

 

I did believe

I wanted to believe

I was scared if I didn’t believe

 

The GLBG

“Good Little Baptist Girl”

was what I knew

all I knew how to be

all I thought

I should be

 

but The GLBG

was always afraid

what if someone finds out?

 

what if someone realizes

The GLBG doesn’t

read her Bible

or pray

everyday

or even

every week

 

what if someone discovers

The GLBG would rather do

anything other than

pray out loud

in a group

 

what if someone discerns

The GLBG doesn’t believe quite

as hard as they do

or that the GLBG can’t

just take it on faith

because the bible

or the church

or the pastor

says it is so

 

The GLBG always knew

if she were known

she would be cast out

adrift

cut off

unwanted

unloved

because she was never

enough

 

Not good enough

Not spiritual enough

Not … something she didn’t even have words for …

enough

 

The GLBG knew if anyone

God included

looked deep enough

she would be found out

 

The GLBG hung on to faith

for as long as she could

she hid her GLBG heritage

and tried to live into

the faith she claimed

with freedom

and compassion

and grace

 

but eventually

she failed

 

even freedom

compassion

and grace are not enough

when you don’t actually believe

they could ever apply

to you

 

so I left

I wandered

I explored

I listened

 

eventually

I found words

for what was deep inside

 

I cried

I raged

I hated

I loved

I listened some more

 

The GLBG

slipped away

I learned

not to be afraid

not to hide

 

Goodbye GLBG

I don’t need you anymore

I am enough

 

unexpectedly

my path wandered back

I didn’t plan it

I tried to avoid it

but I found myself

at home in a church

where I am not afraid

where I hear words from the pulpit

that assure me of

unconditional love

grace

acceptance

as I am

 

a queer person

of faith

who doesn’t really know

what she believes

but does know

that if god

by whatever name you call

is to be found

they

 

(singular or plural

you choose

but definitely

non-gender specific)

 

they will be found

in the depths

in the darkness

in the margins

in the hopeless

in the lost

in the wanderers


This post is my entry in this year’s Queer Theology Synchroblog on the theme of “Identity”.

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Meditation Reflections

I’ve tried to take a photo in this same spot so many times before and they’ve always disappointed.

It’s become my favourite spot for five minutes of quiet meditation during my morning coffee break. I’d almost decided it was hopeless to try to capture how that corner feels to me in those moments.

Today, I gave it another try. I’m so glad I did.

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Some days are filled with so many moments to notice and memories to capture.

Who can pick just one?  Not me apparently!

Raven Baroque Ensemble

Christ Church Cathedral, Victoria, BC

Roaming Chicken

Chocolate Love

Olive Oil Reflections

Thistle Close-Up

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