When Betrayal Makes Sense by Sara Wright

 When I was a young woman, a divorced mother of two, working as a waitress I became obsessed by a window hanging in a local store. This cluster of grapes was fashioned out of thick, uneven hunks of stained glass that the artist had retrieved from bombed cathedrals in Europe. The grapes shimmered – ecclesiastical purple with limed green leaves. Although I could hardly afford to, I paid an outrageous $50.00 for this piece and hung it above my bedroom window. I never regretted the choice. Whenever I looked at the stained glass, I had the strange sense that there was a message hidden there. I ignored it.

After my brother’s death two years later (my youngest son was two) I lost most of myself, but held on to my love for plants tending to them with deep affection and attention.

My first word was ‘fower’ for flower so my relationship with plants stretched back to babyhood. I believed the flowers plants and trees that lived around my grandmother’s house were my close friends.

Continue reading “When Betrayal Makes Sense by Sara Wright”

Sustaining Feminist Spiritualities in the Seeming Absence of Community by Elisabeth Schilling

LaChelle Schilling, Sustaining Feminist SpiritualitiesThe spirituality I cultivated during my teens through evangelistic Pentecostal Christianity was based on possession, hierarchy, and exclusivity, although I would not have said that at the time.

As I gradually moved away from that faith community in my mid-20s, no longer wanting to equate a rewarded closeness to God with being set apart from others, I began finding myself participating in quiet conversations with the readings of Thomas Merton, Elaine Pagels, and with poetry by writers such as Olga Broumas.  The words I was drawn to might not have been expressly or consistently religious, but they offered spiritual nourishment in their eroticism, earthiness, and sacred metaphor.

It was also around that time when I decided that feminist theologies were healing in their questions and re-visions of God and concepts of salvation and sin. To understand that being a spiritual and/or religious person could mean being aware of and pursuing my desires and connections to other people instead of being a gatekeeper was redemptive. Continue reading “Sustaining Feminist Spiritualities in the Seeming Absence of Community by Elisabeth Schilling”

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