Today Is the Day by Carol P. Christ

I have been thinking of moving to Crete for almost two years. I signed the pre-contract for my new apartment in Heraklion on September 28 last year and anticipated signing the final contract in October. However, the owner did not submit his paperwork until the end of November, and little work gets done in Greek offices over the holidays. Moreover, the sitting tenant was doing just that. She been asked to move in July, and with an expired lease, she lost the formal eviction case in October. The realtor and the owner felt certain she would move before the holidays. She did not.

I spent December and January in a kind of hibernation. I knew I would eventually get the apartment, but I also knew I could do little to make it happen more quickly. I sat on my couch, stared out to sea, and waited. Soon it was mid-January and nothing had changed. We were still waiting for a paper from the Municipality of Heraklion and the tenant had not budged. Continue reading “Today Is the Day by Carol P. Christ”

Liminal Space by Carol P. Christ

From the Latin word limen meaning threshold.

When I returned to Lesbos in mid-October, I imagined I would be living in my new apartment in Crete for the holidays. In fact, my lawyer and my realtor insisted that I arrange to transfer money to Greece quickly, as they expected the contract to be ready soon.

When I opened the door and entered into what had been my dream home in Lesbos, I was greeted by the smell of damp and the sight of peeling paint. The previous winter had been the rainiest in many years, one of my living room walls is partially underground due to a slope, and moisture had seeped through the walls. I wanted to move out—and fast. Continue reading “Liminal Space by Carol P. Christ”

Moving On by Carol P. Christ

Last year when I was newly in love, I found myself wondering if my boyfriend would ask me to move to Crete to be closer to him. Pondering this possibility, it suddenly dawned on me that I was ready to move on. I had been living in Lesbos for twenty years, and I never expected to leave such a stunning island. I have an incredibly beautiful home that I renovated at great emotional cost. Nonetheless, I had been mildly depressed for a number of years and seriously distressed for three.

I consider myself intelligent and charming and fun to be around. Though I am highly educated and involved in environmental work and politics, I can also talk about the weather, people, and television programs. Despite the diversity of my interests, I find myself isolated in my village.

I have many Greek friends, but we rarely socialize together. Greek men in my village still often go out with each other, leaving their wives at home. The women meet for coffee parties in the winter, but because Greeks are very family oriented, they rarely develop the kinds of close female friendships we cherish in North America.

In the summer when the days are long and lovely, most of the locals are working day and night in the tourist industry. In the winter, they rest and spend time with their families. Since the economic crisis that began in 2009, most Greeks cannot afford to go out on a regular basis. Continue reading “Moving On by Carol P. Christ”

Be-pistemology by Marcia Mount Shoop

Marcia headshotEpistemology—the study or theory of the nature and the ground of knowledge, particularly with respect to the limits and validity of knowledges and the sources of knowledge.

Beingthe qualities and characteristics that constitute conscious existence; a living thing. 

I look outside the open window of my temporary apartment and read and re-read the sign that beckons drivers to notice this unspectacular place.   “Welcome Home” it says in black Times New Roman font on a plain white background.  As if saying it so simply, makes it true.

It doesn’t feel much like home to me right now.  And thankfully it doesn’t really need to.  Soon I will move into a new house.  Then I will take the next step in working to make a home in this new place where my family and I have moved.  For my husband, kids, and me, the knowledge that the apartment is temporary helps us deal with the strangeness of it.  We know it’s not for long.  And knowing that helps us behave in certain ways and cultivate particular expectations.   This mode of operations allows us to bide our time.  We have done just enough settling in to feel ok here—unpacked a suitcase, stocked the refrigerator.  But we won’t hang pictures; we won’t be too intentional about meeting the neighbors.  Being cordial is enough.  After all, this isn’t really home.  My nine-year-old daughter has actually made a rule that no one is allowed to call this apartment “home.” Continue reading “Be-pistemology by Marcia Mount Shoop”

Adventures in Churchgoing by Elise M. Edwards

Elise EdwardsI am often greeted by warm smiles and handshakes–and sometimes even hugs–from churchgoers around me.  But I wonder if the friendly people would be so welcoming if they knew that I identify as feminist.

It’s hard being a feminist and visiting a new church.  I’ve recently moved to Texas from California and I’m looking for a church to attend.  There are many things I love about church: corporate worship, talks with people of faith, gatherings where friendships are built, and opportunities to serve and to learn. I also love to sing, and my not-ready-for-primetime voice would love to join a choir with and contribute to other people’s worship experience.

In my past, I’ve been a member (or regular attender) of churches where I felt welcomed and affirmed. Yet, I always feel defensive when I seek out new places to worship.  I question whether a church will be affirming to women and girls as whole selves – as embodied, thinking, feeling beings.  I mentally prepare myself to hear male imagery and language for God and I pray themes of male headship vs. female servanthood are not expressed.  I feel like an investigator seeking out clues to determine our compatibility.  It’s no wonder that I’ve recently heard several people compare visiting churches to dating.

Continue reading “Adventures in Churchgoing by Elise M. Edwards”

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