Blogfail, Empty Places and Owning Up: YFNA Attempts to Crawl Out of Her Own Rear End.

I gotta be honest. I feel like a bit of a failure. Blogfail. Um, kind of epic blogfail.

I lost the fire, lost my way, lost hold of the questions I was trying to answer. It happens. There have been at least a dozen post ideas that have flitted non-committally through my head like your winsome, New-Agey friend with all the scarves and divination stones who just wants to borrow your flax oil but can’t stick around to help you move your couch. But I’ve just felt like I haven’t been doing my homework, so I don’t deserve to have a voice.

Wow. That’s one for my therapist, eh?

Anyway. I just chickened out with my “following the music” idea, because frankly I did not think I would be welcome in the kind church that has the music I’m talking about. I fully confess to holding cowardly, preconceived and even bigoted notions about a number of things here: 1) That African American churches are the only ones in this town with good gospel music; 2) That African American congregations would not like an atheist white girl wandering into their midst to feed off their music; 3) That African American churches would be more conservative; 4) That conservative churches would fill me with rage and be therefore utterly intolerable for me to sit through. In all truth it would seem from my research that at least Cowardly, Preconceived and Even Bigoted Notion #1 is most likely true; if there are racially diverse churches with old school gospel in this town I have yet to find them. But then again so much in this town is homogeneous, in a way that continues to gives me the squeebs. Despite its good intentions, Portland has a long, long way to go in the diversity department.

As for Cowardly, Preconceived and Even Bigoted Notions #2 and 3, I have no data there. They are truly born of my own unjustifiable, under-examined biases and microaggressive privilege. I own them, I do not seek to defend them and I humbly commit to working on them.

Cowardly, Preconceived and Even Bigoted Notion #4 is a little harder to process. It was much, much, SO much easier to practice unconditional love and radical acceptance for intolerance disguised as religion when I got to have a party about it every Sunday. It was SO much easier to stay in patience and compassion when I could go and drown in the joy that was balm to all the hurt and rage. I think I could wrangle with #4 if I knew I could tap into the strength afforded by one hundred bodies on either side committed to the same effort. I am not as strong without that.

It needs some thought. Instead of avoidance, I mean. Avoidance has been very effective up till now, but that big achey cavern in my gut where my strange, wobbly, translational spirituality used to lie is still there, just kind of patiently thudding away until I’m ready to attend to it. I think it’s time.

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