Wednesday, February 28, 2007

You Say It's Your Birthday

Today, I turn 38. I remember on my 30th birthday...I was so pissed. Not in a drunk way, I've never been into drinking, but in the ticked off way. I liked being in the 20-something category and was mad I was now 30. Then, I realized a very important fact of this moment, I'm the youngest (biologically) I'll ever be again. I am older than I was five minutes ago, and so on.

This a-ha has helped me every birthday...I'm so young right now...and now....and now....and now. Makes me stay present...and as they say, we call it present because it's a gift.

I look at my being mad at being 30 and wish I was 30 again. This reminds me of the story about the 95 year old woman who said, "oh to be 70 again.". It's all relative, isn't it.

So, for your birthday, hug your mom and thank her for going through hell to have you on this day. I crack my mom up every year when I say thank you to her as I usually celebrate her on my birthday. I had the easy part I figure.

I was born 3.33am, late by a month apparently, already tall right out of the womb and a pisces which helps me understand why my work is my life and my life is my work. Well, I read that on some astrology site anyway.

Happy Birthday to you, whenever it is. Make sure to celebrate you, we are to be our own biggest fans. I'm off to eat Italian food and a dessert thing called a "pazookie" typical of Luane and I to eat something with such a bizarre name....of course, it includes a chocolate chip cookie, 2 in fact. Go big or go home. :)

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Consistently Inconsistent

Howdy folks. One of the things I'm continuing to improve in my life is consistency. This comes to mind immediately as I blog for the first time in forever it seems. I miss it actually. I'm in my element when I write (sometimes stream of consciousness in all honesty) blogs, articles and just about everything. It comes with the cost of sitting at a computer however. We're filmmakers, we like to be up and about...using clothespins to hold up gels for lights (called C-47s in "the biz"), eating pizza inbetween takes and waiting for the plane over head to go by so audio is happy.

The other time I feel in my element is when we're doing a Q&A after a screening, teaching at a workshop, and participating on panels. I LOVE it. I taught for 8 years at a university and sometimes I'd only walk into the classroom with a topic and I'd end up with the best discussion and epiphanies I could share...never could happen when I planned it out. It's when I feel most connected to God, actually, which is probably why I'm so happy doing it. I always pray before we start that what is said is what is supposed to be said and always out of love and courage to be authentic. If you've come to a screening, hopefully that resonates with you and your experience with us and the movie.

The reason I mention my moments of being in my element and consistency is because I had a meeting with Rev. Deborah Johnson (she's in the movie) and we had an incredible talk about a million things and one of them was consistency. She helped me realize that when I look at the life stuff I don't enjoy as much and the times I worry or doubt or go chasing after outcomes I seek, I'm making something else my God. She mentioned that when I'm writing, when I'm doing public speaking, that's when I'm making God...God in my life. That's when I am trusting, when I have faith and it has always worked out for the best.

By not taking that faith, that trust, that connection with me in the rest of my life, I'm therefore disconnecting and placing faith in something or someone else...which leads to disappointment, fear, and more. It's like a universe safety measure...make something else your focus and it won't work...guaranteed. Rev. D. talks about how we as humans are charged to "tend the garden" and be careful to not run around and say "we do God's work". God's work is God's, it's not ours. We're to do what it is before us to do. What a relief, huh? As a result, we fit into the rhythm of life as God's work flows through us when we make ourselves available for it by not making our job, our movie (maybe that's just me), our plans, our mate the most important aspect of our focus as it drowns under pressure.

So, in the spirit of what Valerie Joi reminds us in the movie and what Rev. D reminded me yesterday, consistency is the key. Remember how you feel when you're in your element...and take it with you wherever you go.

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Luane's a Marathoner in Training

Last week, Luane and I went to my Grandfather's memorial race in their small cowboy town here in California. My grandfather started this race when the town library was having financial difficulty and couldn't buy anymore big print books. Well, my grandmother, the avid reader and wise native american owl she was, read those big print books. They weren't just for her either, she'd read them out loud and record them so my grandfather and his traveling insurance salesmen friends could listen to them...the first audiobooks ever recorded.

My grandfather started running marathons in his sixties, was very active in the local Lions Club and a running club. He gathered his boys together and started a run for the library. After he passed - before his time - they named the race after him. We're proud as a family and reunite every February at the race. It's a special time to me.

Somehow, Luane and I missed the 1 mile run she signed up for and she ended up spontaneously running with me in the 5k. She not only was wearing her ski jacket but she also had to visit the bathroom...during the whole 3.2 miles. She did it. This is a woman who wasn't sure she could do a mile, someone who just a few years ago experienced FIVE car accidents in one year and was on her back for months.

She's truly a miracle. She rehabbed herself and just did a 5k....with a ski jacket on. While on the run, she met Team in Training members of the Leukemia Society. She was moved and fell for the idea that through a team situation, she may be able to handle a half marathon (13 miles).

She comes home, signs up with the local team, and they had been training for two months already. She shows up to the her first run with them and she runs 8 miles. No joke. In two weeks she went to "maybe I can do a mile" to running 8 miles (no ski jacket this time).

She signed up to run an entire marathon in Alaska in June. I'm so incredibly proud of her I can't contain it well. I run with her on her "buddy" runs and love being her cheerleader and number one fan. She's had this goal since last year and hadn't acted on it. Then, it ran along side of her and her ski jacket and she grabbed it.

Funny how life has a knack for showing up at the right's to all the quantum leapers out there running a mile to 26 in whatever you do!

Friday, February 23, 2007

Alexandria - Success & Spheres

Maybe not the most PC of titles, but hey, truth is truth. Thanks to HRC, I flew to Alexandria, VA to be present with a screening of our movie at the Black History Museum hosted by the Alexandria GLCA. They are on fire...going from 30 to 300+ ACTIVE members in a short time, building alliances with Equality Virginia, local UCC churches, Virginia Partisans and many other community and political members.

I was fortunate to meet many of them in my brief stay and I'm a better person for it. I flew all day across the country reading Joe Vitale's Life's Missing Instruction Manual, somehow was sprite with energy when Richard picked me up in Baltimore and we enthusiastically chatted the whole way to VA. We recounted our days growing up in the Church of in Oregon and him in Mississippi. We got there in plenty of time and had a wonderful dinner that included jasmine rice and this green bean thing that was to die for.

If you've been keeping up with this blog, you know there's two goals I have to every visit I'm on: eat at a locally owned restaurant and find a chocolate chip cookie (no nuts). Considering I was in VA from 5pm Thurs night until 5am the next morning, I managed to manifest both without even trying.

Greeted by Karen and Lewis who hosted the screening and enjoying the room filling up more and more to the point we had to keep the doors open and squish more chairs along the walls and...well, everywhere. This was the first Q&A I handled solo and although there were times I tried to toss a question to Luane's ghost, I think I did okay. The feedback was fantastic and the audience was very supportive and energized. I LOVED being at the Black History Museum in February with this movie. It was perfect. This is also where I had my first cookie.

During the Q&A, I try to find a way to encourage all of us to, in the words of Rev. D., "take this consciousness and multiply it" we are mindful of rippling out this energy and unconditional love and compassion for ourselves and others and not let it be a moment in passing. I retold a story Richard told me of two high school girls who allegedly committed suicide in a flash of Romeo and Juliet moment. One jewish, one a Christian, both women. And they wanted to be together. Taking their lives was how they thought they could be together. Had the screening been two weeks earlier, had someone who understands reconciliation gotten through to them and been a safe space for them....what ifs abound. For those of us in this work, we know how textbook this behavior choice has become, and how it almost became our story.

So that's how I'll wrap up this never know who's in your sphere of influence who could use your support - and remember, you don't have to understand in order to support - to be who they are, to have a safe space to go out there and you'll be the change you hope to see.

Saturday, February 17, 2007

What Happens Here, Happens Everywhere

I just wanted to post some links on what's going on with the UK's Anglican church and the US' Episcopalian church. What's going on reminds me of a friend who visited several churches with me when I moved. She couldn't understand why there were so many churches. After two years of trying every donut we could, she said "why aren't there more churches?" She found many churches the same and for her taste, worship style, etc. she wanted to see more churches. Well, the current chasm is one of many causes of church splits over history. It's hard to see this lesson of focusing on differences rather than our simlarities played over and over in religion. I'm wondering when God's lesson of unconditional love and oneness will finally prevail. Here's what my mother would call, the "2x4 theory" in action...that's why the last song of our movie is called, "Whisper". May we stop and just listen to the whisper.

Gay Christians march against Church homophobia UK The protestors will demand that the Archbishop of Canterbury provide equality for gay and lesbian Anglican Christians worldwide, and for the Catholic church ...

Nigerian Primate has unexpected Valentines Day gay encounter UKArchbishop Peter Akinola, scourge of lesbian and gay people and their supporters in the worldwide Anglican Communion, had an unexpected Valentines Day ...

Last bid to stop Anglican split According to the Lesbian and Gay Christian Movement (LGCM), some 100 bishops worldwide are homosexual, though many are not active. At the centre of the row is The Episcopal Church (TEC), the liberal body representing Anglicans in the US ...The Awakening -

Gay NZers abandon mainstream religions New Zealand
While mainstream Christian denominations such as Anglican, Presbyterian and Methodist churches refrain from overtly preaching an anti-gay message, ...

Article (Telegraph): gays, marriage and Rowan Williams He had long supported the Lesbian and Gay Christian Movement. His theological attitude to homosexual relations depended in part upon finding in the Bible a condemnation of homosexual acts performed for gratification, but no biblical ...Chelmsford Anglican Mainstream -