life in the suture zone...

In the earthquake faults between tectonic plates, the suture zone is the in between place where they meet. I find in that a metaphor for the times in which we live... and invite your conversation in the suture zone.

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Location: Bakersfield, CA, United States

... a struggling, but mostly joyful, apprentice of Jesus.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006


Well, I’ve had more than enough to choke a horse going on in my life for the last six months. Second time in two days I’ve used that hackneyed phrase. Yikes! It’s a pretty apt metaphor, though.

Many of these things have caused multiple questions and issues to swirl around in my small head. About the time I reach out to grab one to blog about, something else goes “WHAMMO” and I’m off dealing with some other crisis or change.

As I think of swirling, maybe I ought to reverse the metaphor. Maybe I'm the one swirling and not the ideas. I’ve watched fall leaves floating down a stream and caught in an almost perpetual loop in some eddy in the current. Maybe I’m that leaf right now. Or maybe that leaf keeps floating with the current, bumping into different rocks, bouncing off in different directions. Maybe that is a better metaphor. I don’t know.

Anybody out there ever feel that way? Right now I do.

Or maybe like a pinball bouncing off the bumpers never quite knowing what’s going to happen next or what direction you’ll be shooting off in a second from now. This has been the winter/spring of surprises, some of which I know will have long-term implications for my family. Not that all of them are bad. Some have the potential of being that, or at least burdensome. Some were burdensome (the death of my mother-in-law, for instance), but not all. But it’s just so many all at once.

I can’t list them here because they involve other people including my family and ongoing issues (not our marriage, lest any ugly rumors start!). But it just makes you want to scream out, “Will somebody take something off my plate!!!”

I spoke with an acquaintance this past Sunday, someone whom I usually see once a year. He’s planning a move from his home to another country in October of this year. His comment? “If the Lord wills it. It looks promising, but....” and he shrugged and left the sentence unfinished. I told him (and he concurred that his experience is similar) that God seldom, if ever, consults with me on these matters.

I guess one could say all this is happenstance, random, the bad luck of the draw, a series of unfortunate events (a la Lemony Snicket). I choose to think otherwise. Now, I’m not blaming them all on God. Some of them are my fault for overextending myself and thinking that I must become involved in situations that I really didn’t need to become involved in. (I know, how arrogant of me!) But...

One other metaphor before I close this post. This period of rapid change with so many things changing and happening could also be compared to a fractal. It remains to be seen what will appear from all of these unrelated things. Fractals seem to eventually evolve into some kind of beautiful pattern, if we wait long enough. Beauty ex nihilo (out of nothing). Seemingly complete randomness that resolves over time into some kind of self-organization, or Self-organization.

Maybe this is just the mystery of creation, of human experience, of the divine fingers mixing and applying the fingerpaint. Despite the chaos, that’s what I choose to believe.

"And God said, let there be...."

It's just painful in moments like this to be the fingerpaint.