Walhydra’s Porch

Friends,

I’ve added a new page to this blog in order to connect you with another of my blog’s called Walhydra’s Porch.

I entered the blogosphere in 2006 using the tragicomic voice of a character I call my “curmudgeonly alter-ego,” Walhydra. Walhydra had come into being as a storytelling device in the mid-1990s, when I was invited to join the Crone Thread, a private listserv of mostly pagan, mostly women elders, folk who understand,

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“Fearing joy”

Back in June, I published a very long essay on this blog titled “Melancholia & thisness: where does joy abide?

In brief, this essay was a response to leadings I gained from rereading Kim Stanley Robinson’s Red Mars. More specifically, is began with a description of melancholic temperament and walked through the approaches to reconnection with life adopted by Robinson’s characters (Kami and veriditas, Thisness) in order to arrive at joy.

In the key passage, I wrote of my experience in

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Weeds (Part I)

Part I: The parable of the weeds in the field
Part II: Religion or belief
Part III: Wilderness and cultivation

The parable of the weeds in the field

In a July post on Walhydra’s Porch, I built a story around the troublesome contrast between a new Lutheran pastor’s doctrinally correct sermon and the palpable, all-inclusive embrace of an image of Jesus which spreads its arms over the sanctuary where the sermon was preached.

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Faith as a way of paying attention

The inside blurb to Secrets in the Dark: A Life in Sermons begins, “Frederick Buechner has long been a kindred spirit to those who find elements of doubt as constant companions on their journey of faith.”

The book was a birthday gift from my mother two years ago, and I’ve been slowly making my way through its gentle, surprising sermons ever since Christmas of that year.

This past weekend, just as the newest post for Walhydra’s Porch

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Melancholia & thisness: where does joy abide?

Somewhere I have read that joy does not depend upon happiness.

And somehow I have come to understand that salvation is first of all about this life, not the next.

Joy and salvation are intertwined in how one receives this finite, fallible, mortal existence. How one goes about each moment and each day. How one forgives the hurts and errors of each moment—one’s own and those of one’s fellows—and proceeds to the next moment with all the possibilities of life

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Am I a nontheist…? (Part III)

Part I: Languages of belief
Part II: Survival faith and practice
Part III: “Someone should start laughing”

“Someone should start laughing”

I have a thousand brilliant lies
For the question:

How are you?

I have a thousand brilliant lies
For the question:

What is God?

If you think that Truth can be known
From words,

If you think that the Sun and the Ocean

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Descartes’ other error

One of my Friendly correspondents has reminded me that, back in February, I addressed some of the concerns of the previous post from the perspective of my alter-ego Walhydra’s hopeful skepticism.

In “The Virgin of Hollywood, Florida,” Walhydra groused at length about the gullibility of “the masses,” who blithely toss their belief after every tabloid headline, urban legend, or political sound bite.

Yet she found herself wondering: “How does one move from scorn for the credulous to a working, sustaining

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On waiting and squirming

Being of melancholic temperament, my Quaker practice is occasionally reduced to long periods of inner struggle between faith and circumstance.

These are not periods of doubting God or of doubting that I can rely upon God.

Rather, they are periods during which I have difficulty finding God’s reassuring silence in the midst of my own emotional noise. Or, sometimes, in the midst of a kind of emotional shut-downness, when prolonged distress has dulled itself into exhaustion.

As

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“Teacher’s-petitude”

I was hesitant to start a blog of the sort in which one promotes one’s own ideas, opinions and knowledge so nakedly.

This venue of blogging ups the ante on the temptation one sometimes experiences in meeting for worship: to voice the clever things one has thought of, instead of waiting upon a true call to vocal ministry. Instead of holding the thought in one’s own quietness, unless and until it becomes viscerally clear that one cannot not speak it

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