here we are

October 21, 2009
Jonathan
Hi.  How are you this day?  Let’s see…..  What can I speak of?  Today was a beautiful beautiful day – I got my Hebrew test back and did well on it.  And then spent some time going to the lake and swimming (grin – it was breath-taking!  And bracing!  and probably the last time I’ll do it this season.  Smile.  But it was good.  I biked over, past the blaze of orange and yellow maples that line the walkway in front of the museum of Science and Industry.  There was no one at the Point.  No one looking out toward the water, a deep blue under the gray of today’s high and thin clouds.  I carried my bike down a couple of the steps and stripped down to my bathing suit.  Geared with goggles, I dipped my foot into the water.  Chilly.  Then I dove in.  I came up gasping and wanting to let out a whoop. I swam a little and then realized that I had to stop and catch my breath after the shock of the cold before I was going to be able to enjoy swimming to the first bouy and back.  It was lovely – my head above the water as I stroked my way there and back,  bhyaguta jyastai (just like a frog), as Guru once mused.  Smile.  I felt invigorated when I got out.  My body pink with the blood that had come to the surface of my skin to warm me up a little (or at least that was my take on the situation).  Then I biked home to a shower and some clean clothing.
I spent some time studying in the sun with Andrew Langford.  Funny how we’re in a time in our lives when in thinking about relationships, I find myself wondering if they’ll last.  Is this the one?  Wry smile.  I guess, to be honest, it’s something I think about in dating you.  Sort of, how long might this last….  I know we’ve talked about the future – about hoping to be around for a thirtieth birthday, or when we’ll be in Nepal together, or times we have to adventure, or being in Portland together.  We sort of talk around this question of how long our relationship will last.  And I normally do so on purpose.  Wry smile.  Grin.  Talking around it feels safe, no pressure, nothing specifically in words, that sort of thing.  But hey, I think about it.  Even if I’m not saying it directly to you.  I could see being with you for a long time.  A long long time, I guess.  And I guess I sort of see this coming time of living together as a period where we sort of figure out how long that long time might be.  I guess I also recognize the possibility of location a challenge to being together – if we’re both wanting/needing to be in different places for a long time, then I see that as something that would push us to say, well, this is it.  Having said that, I am also thinking and feeling that I DO want to be where you are as much as I can….  So yeah.  Kind of an exciting place to be.  This nebulous space of, well, maybe you are someone that I want to be with for a long long time.  And I’m/we’re in the process of figuring that out.  Smile.  What fun!
Anyway, another wry smile.  Talking about other people’s relationships with you got me sharing about ours.  Don’t you love being in on my thoughts?  Welcome to life in Thandiwe’s inner circle (being the special one who gets to hear it all/ an awful lot of it).  Grin.  You’re wonderful.  I’m just thinking about stuff in the past that you’ve just been so cool about.  I love that I feel comfortable enough with myself and with you and with us that I feel pretty good letting you know what I think and figuring that if it’s a problem, well, we might as well find that out sooner as opposed to later.  Another smile.
So yeah, reading in the sun with Andrew this morning.  He and I are doing dinner tonight, too, which should be nice because I feel like I haven’t gotten to see much of him lately.
This afternoon, I had my colloquium class, which is just us first year MDivs.  And we’re sharing a chapter of our spiritual journeys – why we’re here and what we bring.  Today’s people floored me – I was humbled beyond words by their articulateness, their willingness to share of themselves wholly and deeply and honestly.  The stuff that was shared was gutsy, brave and true to who they are.  Wow.  I’m not even sure what that will mean for me.  I guess I get to just keep listening. I was talking with Cynthia (the head of ministerial studies, at whose house we had dinner the Friday you were here) about my own sharing (since I go at the very very end) and she told me not to worry and that my cohort, my peers would pull out of me the story that I need to share.  There are so many stories. I mean, there are stories that are funny, stories that are humbling (about me being humbled by other people), stories that are sad, stories that are joyous and stories that are just plain pathetic.  Wry smile.  Of course everyone has such a multitude of stories that they can tell.  Perhaps I have to talk about people.  For so much of who and what I am is based on the people who have been in my life, and I am so profoundly, so acutely aware of this (one reason that I am SO very glad that you’re in my life is because of this influence that the people around me have on me, and I am so blessed by your influence, your presence, your passions and care and reasonableness and honesty and so much more).  Yeah, and this is why it’s important for me to choose who I am around.  Because I am fed by people and it is thus that I am able to go out and love others.  Sometimes I feel like a conduit, that there is so much love people pour upon me that I just can’t help but let it overflow.  Smile.  And perhaps this is God. The Divine.  This pouring in and out.  That which is poured in and out.  I don’t know.  But hearing the two people share today was such a moving opportunity to have shared with us their understanding of the love of what we call God – people finding forgiveness for themselves when they believe they are beyond forgiveness; people accepting themselves when they are often taught that they are unacceptable.  And the people who spoke today spoke of these things (forgiveness and acceptance) as God.  God in their lives.  What a powerful and wonderful thing.  If it is made up, it is a wonderful wonderful story with such power for good that I see in these people. That I could feel from them as they spoke.
Can you tell I was pretty moved by this stuff?  Smile.  Funny, I began this email not sure what I would write about.  But it seems I have plenty to say.  Thanks for listening.  For accepting me in all that I am.  I still feel that you have seen little of the fearful, insecure, angry sides of me.  Smile.  There are those too.  I don’t think I’ve really shared with you how depressed I got the semester before being in Kalimpong and the semester after returning from Kalimpong.  Smile.  Strange how such a joyous time could be fit right in the middle.  Ah life.  I tend to be my own hardest critic, and an ever-present one.  Anyway, perhaps these are other conversations.
For now all my love.
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About Thandiwe

Hopeful cynic, creative, seriously silly, lover of people and places, hypocrite, third-culture kid, queer, life-long learner, white woman, Christ follower, outdoor enthusiast: I am a seeker of justice and truth who has re-found my spiritual home in progressive Christianity. I serve as the Associate Pastor at a small Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) congregation near the mountains of Colorado where I live with my beloved.
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