Krista Tippett spoke at the Powells Bookstore in my neighborhood tonight. She said she gets frustrated when people don't think of her as a journalist. She believes this is because we expect journalists to deliver bad news, and she considers it her role as a journalist to "expose goodness."
I haven't blogged here for almost a year. It's not like I haven't done anything, I just haven't been blogging. For instance, in the last year I published a book. And published an essay in another one. And left a ministry job I loved, but that was breaking my heart. I started another ministry job that I I love without the heartbreak, although in the last year I sometimes wondered if I should be in ministry after all. I thought some about that bookstore/coffee shop/meditation space I could open. Thought about buying real estate for an airbnb empire. I realized that both of those plans require more math than I'm willing to do in a day.
In the last year, I saw the Martian directed by Ridley Scott and wished I had taken math more seriously before it was too late, because seriously, you guys, it is just too late for some things. Saw that new Star Wars movie three times. Or is it four? Saw Spotlight once, and that was more than enough to knock my socks right off. I visited Cleveland and went to the ocean (separate trips!). I read Yes, Please and listened to the audiobook and recommended both ad nauseum. I cooked food with cashews in it for everyone I could. I read almost all of a book for a new book club. I did not buy the soundtrack to Hamilton but I still know that the first words are "how could the bastard son of a whore and a something, something something...." Well, that's all I know.
In the last year, I cried because people died and cried because babies were born. I spent approximately 342 hours wondering if anyone liked my awesome post on Facebook yet. I truly tried to twitter, I mothered a tween into teen-hood and also two and a half new shoe sizes. My husband and I made jokes and made love and fought and made up and disagreed and agreed to disagree. The big sturdy lift and I helped my husband into his wheelchair and out of his wheelchair about 527 times. (That's just a number I made up, by the way and so is the Facebook one from earlier. I really do wish I had taken math just a little bit more seriously).
In the last year, I tore down a shed. I divided things into piles and then I sold the piles, or gave them away or threw them. I sold two cars and and bought one. I said goodbye to a beloved big old serious dog and hello to a beloved little young silly one. I wrote the old school way, with a pen on a big notebook, just for me. I wrote other things that got passed around, and I wrote some things that hit brick walls. I abandoned writing a truly terrible novel.
In the last year, I hurt something and stopped going to yoga for a while and when I went back, I had not forgotten how to do it. I lost a little bit of weight, but not so much that you'd notice. I picked up dog shit from the back yard. I hectored my son into emptying the dishwasher, doing his Spanish homework, saying "thank you."
In the last year, I went a little bonkers. Which for me looks like taking lots of long naps with the dogs and eating peanut butter off a spoon and not answering when you call and binge-watching Star Trek Voyager or The Good Wife (which, perhaps interestingly, has the same director as The Martian. But with less math). I consulted a spiritual director, a therapist, a ministry coach, a mentor, a minister, the internet, a couple of self-help books, Jesus, and a set of tarot cards I got a thrift store.
I want, as Krista Tippett says, to make it my vocation to "expose goodness." But looking back, I've done less of that than I would like. I know that goodness can be found in the everyday, but I like her use of the word "expose." Sometimes goodness is not just evident, not just lying there, all shiny on the ground. Goodness is not always easy to see, to pick up. to slip into a pocket. Sometimes it has to be dug up, uncovered, excavated in order to be exposed - and digging is hard work. I've been busy this past year, and some things have been very hard, which keeps me from wanting to work any harder. But that's what needs doing next, I think - to dig up, the excavate, to expose the goodness that just there under the surface.