Shoots of Green

Who is this person?

I don’t recognize her, and yet, I do. It’s a strange feeling watching the past wash away… not as if it’s not there, but as it floats further and further down the z-axis. The woman that I’m kayaking with on Sunday called me a “social butterfly,” and if I hadn’t been sitting down, I might have fainted. Since I’ve been here, my only MO was to write quietly in my room… and then I got tired of only talking to Argo via e-mail (before World War Me), and I was freaked out that I couldn’t seem to stop processing the past instead of making room for the future. Scales called my attention to it, and when she did, it started the mind worm of how to make more friends, and if it worked out, a girlfriend…. but I see that as long into the future, because in my heart of hearts, I am not ready for any sort of committment, no matter how small. I still need to work on me, and getting lost in the dopamine of new relationship would take so much away from it that the best I can do is “new friend rush.”

Last night I talked on the phone to a woman for over two hours, and even that was big for me (I’ve made TWO phone calls now). As I have said before, I am deathly afraid of making calls, and also invested in moving out of my comfort zone to accomodate new life… because it certainly won’t happen if I don’t try.

I hope and pray that Dana is moving on with her own life in the same way, because I care about her feelings and it would be so easy to watch all of this happen. Even though we are now meant to be apart, that doesn’t mean that we don’t both hurt at the idea (I’m guessing… I can’t speak for her). But now that we’ve been separated for over a year, it feels like it’s time to let the grieving aspect fade into the background. Not that it’s not still there, just not so EXTREMELY LOUD AND INCREDIBLY CLOSE. I have to remember that I moved here because of this very thing. I knew for certain that I could not create an emotional boundary with her, that I was certainly still in love with her (at the time) and it would show every time we got together, because I cannot imagine that our friendship would have ended altogether if we were still in the same city… or maybe it would’ve. Who knows? Judging by the response I got the two times she’s been to DC in the meantime, I cannot say for sure. But in Houston, it would have been very hard to stay apart because we had so many mutual friends and Aaron on “third mike.” I can’t imagine that the silent treatment would have lasted too long.

On the other hand, the way our relationship ended was brutally traumatic, mostly because hurt people hurt people… and I never want to put myself in that situation again… Lapsing back into old patterns would have torn me apart, even more than blowing up my entire life and “starting over” in Silver Spring… in quotation marks because I loved living here years ago, so it is not entirely unfamiliar.

But I write about Dana here so that I can let go of those feelings and not carry them into the new relationships I’m trying to create. I already have a space for this, I don’t need to talk about it… anymore. I am sure that Scales is tired of the Dana/Argo saga, but I hope that I was as good a listener as she was and that we continue to be that for each other. I’m really looking forward to meeting up for dinner tonight, because it’s been so long that we actually have stuff to catch up on.

I am sure I will have much more to tell her on Monday, because until Friday, I’m going out every night, on Saturday hanging out in Columbia Heights for the afternoon, and on Sunday, having what is hopefully a relaxing day on the river. I just hope that I am strong enough to follow through with all of these plans, and I think I am. It’s just a different side of me that I haven’t seen in years.

The woman that I am meeting on Saturday is a serious writer, both creatively and a journalist. Those are two different types of writing altogether, which is probably why we ended up talking for over two hours last night. There were no light and fluffy questions, but real discussions on what’s going on in DC- politics, but also the poorest of the poor neighborhoods and what is to be done about them?

We both go to liberal churches- she’s Episcopalian, so of course I had to sign off one of my messages by saying, “in the mystical body incorporate…” I want to go with her to church at least once so that I can actually use my red leather prayerbook that’s been sitting on my dresser since I joined CCC.

But there’s a solid reason I went back to the UCC. It’s that I wanted to be able to create my own liturgy instead of always using someone else’s… I mean, I’m a writer. It’s a goal to create my own prayerbook, although there are very few paragraphs I could write more moving than “The Prayer of Humble Access.” Additionally, Howard is a UCC school, so I’ll be able to complete my denominational requirements there as well as all my classes.

Many, many people have said to me, “but you might be the only white person in your class!” Bitch, please. If that’s the most difficult thing about going to seminary, then I’m not doing school right. The issue I foresee that transcends race is that there is no polity in the UCC. Every congregation can believe what it wants. So I could have some amazingly conservative students in my classes, but even that doesn’t bother me much because in terms of other types of Christians, I’ve learned not to throw the baby out with the bathwater. Just learn all I can, and share all I can. Because it is just as possible that they will learn from me. The theology of promise and inclusion is one that widens the circle, and I am only as holy as the person I like the least (to quote Nadia Bolz-Weber). If conservatives are excluded from my inclusive nature, I have already been defeated.

And perhaps that is the point of trying so hard to get out of my comfort zone. If I want to go forth and be the person that God is asking, I should probably leave the house once in a while.


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