Friday, February 17, 2012

freedom 5

freedom friday 5 on the revgals site.

Jan, our host, introduces today's play by telling us:
After spending the past six weeks with my right arm tightly bound to my body with a "shoulder immobilizing" sling due to shoulder surgery, I was able to discard that restrictive device three days ago. Such freedom in movement is to be savored! This brought to mind how we experience freedom in many different ways in our lives. For today's Friday Five, tell us about your times of release or detachment (freedom!).
In "Me and Bobby McGee," Janis Joplin sang, "freedom's just another word for nothing left to lose..." Pauline theology/christology brings us concepts of both freedom and liberty. I'll go with Jan's suggested categories, though she suggested we could add or replace them with our own. I love this picture of a computer "key" to unlock freedom's possibilities and I'm playing in green for the one remaining Sunday of this stretch of Ordinary Time and to match the "freedom" key on the keyboard pic.

freedom key1. although I'm a fairly major psychological risk-taker, I tend to be very guarded and cautious about physical risk-taking (as in sitting by the fire in the lodge while almost everyone else is skiing on the slopes, as in not going into the ocean deeper than waist-high...), but I'll mention the great feeling after a few days or even a couple of weeks of being laid up with the flu or a bad cold and yes, I really was that unwell and yes, it really was almost impossible to do almost anything; this I know because it's all relatively easy now.

2. for spiritual and all around healthy freedom, get out of all the denials and rationalizations and admit the truth of what I want, what I need, and the truth that in some, in many ways what's going on is not okay in the least. You cannot change what you don't acknowledge!

3. revisiting the past and learning from it definitely gives us a degree of emotional and *other* freedoms; so true that those who don't remember the past tend to repeat past errors, sins and transgressions.

4. Especially given that I wisely realized that not continuing called (authorized, professional, etc.) ministry was better stewardship of my life, gifts and preparation, in a vocational sense I'm very clear that I'd prefer to be earning my keep doing fairly routine, mundane things in order to save energy for endeavors I love, such as theologizing and designing. However and needless to say, I continue to find myself at the mercy of local pastors and musicians, because everything I feel called to do and need to do in those areas (theology, liturgical art, liturgical music) requires an invitation or at very least, permission. Real life is lived locally and literally in the flesh; as wonderful as aspects of the internet have been for me and lots of others, without that actual community, my hopes, dreams and expectations still are burnt toast. In terms of vocational (or any kind of) freedom, for sure it's about bounded freedom, since the style of the setting or the people therein will specify limits, but that's okay and makes a lot of things lots easier than trying to discern and work through everything myself from endless options.

5. Back to recent events I won't blog here about regarding relationships, once again awareness of your own history, the history of the individual *other* or the community is vital in discerning what allowances to makes, what limits of your own to set, and the importance of the person of community in my own life and world. Crass as if sounds, no one has unlimited time or energy and knowing some history helps lots in making wise, life-affirming decisions.


  1. Somewhat academic (but real) responses are welcomed. I also can appreciate the freedom one experiences after illness, newly appreciating what good health means. Sorry you were so ill and glad that you are on the mend.

  2. I can only guess at your challenges around vocation, and am sorry that it has been so very difficult. I hope that the Spirit brings yo9u peace and enables you to feel the satisfaction that comes from finding a sense of vocation that honors your God-given gifts....even if it is not exactly what you sense is your vocation. But also, I am glad you are well and would love to know more about your art....


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