Tipping Point

You know those moments when your heart is overfull, but you can’t sort out the words to express that, and so you just start writing?  Yeah.  That’s what this post is.

This has been a weird sort of week.

Re-entry to life in Calgary after my time in Florida was different this trip, mostly because of the many mitigating circumstances.  What circumstances? Well, how about finding my grandma slumped over less than twelve hours before I was supposed to get on a plane, sending her to hospital, and then spending the next two hours getting in touch with all of her children, and then trying to pack for a two-week vacation in a totally different climate, while venting to the friend who came over to keep you company after such a traumatic event.  How about getting an email a few days into the trip that informed me that only 4% of people would have survived what my grandma survived that night, and beginning to process the reality that if I hadn’t happened to go upstairs when I did, she would be dead.  I saved a life.  That’s a weird thing to think, never mind have it be true.

And then there was all the other family stuff that was triggered, followed by the hospitalizations (in one day) of my sister-in-law, and my mom.  Oh yea, and my dad left for a fishing vacation while mom was in the hospital with complications from her emergency surgery, and grandma was still in the hospital waiting for her surgery, and how him leaving triggered all sorts of other family stuff.

And did I mention that all of this happened while I was still in Florida – having conversations about a change in faith direction that I’m pretty sure my family is not going to be all that excited about.

And while I was away this time I started to sense that I’m heading towards a shore.  A shore in the Catholic church.  And that, well, that’s a kind of overwhelming thought because of all that it carries with it – the family baggage, the personal questions and wrestles.

And so I spent this week reeling, trying to find equilibrium as I continue on this journey.

My mind and heart felt saturated with information, and yet I fed it more.  More lectures. More reading. More writing. More processing.  (And more avoiding too.)

And then there’s this – I’ve thought a lot about confession and about catharsis this week.

I listened to an audio lecture on confession as I rode the bus to meet some friends.

I experienced the catharsis of meeting with my therapist, and of a longish Skype date with  Kirsten as I continued to process.

I recognized anew some costs of this journey that I hadn’t anticipated.

And then I hooked up Netflix this afternoon, and on a whim decided that today would be the day I’d watch the Blue Like Jazz movie.

Blue Like Jazz was a book that had a big impact on the shaping of my Christianity in my early twenties. Not so long ago Steve Taylor made it into a movie.  And today I watched that movie.

I wasn’t expecting to be transfixed.  I was planning to watch a bit, then pause and move on with my afternoon plans.  Instead I found myself glued in place.  And the ending, oh the ending…

Blue Like Jazz was my tipping point for the week.  The point at which this somewhat incoherent post about my journey this week began to spill out of me.  The thing that made me realize again the costs of this journey, and yet also recognize how deeply my heart longs for the shores of faith that I seem to be headed toward.

And I’m thinking about confession, and what living a life of authentic faith looks like, and about the pain of journeying, and about catharsis, and all of these thoughts are shaping me today. Because I long for the catharsis of confession (and I don’t even understand clearly what falls into the categories of things that must be confessed).  And I struggle against the costs of this journey. And I get all teary when I consider a well-demonstrated moment of honesty and humility, rooted in faith.  And then I long even more for this journey to continue, because this is the journey that is taking me to new places of faith, to new depths, and I may not be able to find words for it, but moments like those closing scenes in Blue Like Jazz, those are the moments that I know deeply and truly that this is indeed my journey.

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