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.

My Photo
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.




Blogger Marshall said...

OOOOhhhhh, yeah, I know that feeling. :)

I can only note that "swirling" is more pleasant that lots of other verbs... :)

Hoping it lets up soon.

9:50 AM  
Blogger Marshall said...

Rereading your last post & concerned about your well being. As it is the last post, I'm hoping that your silence doesn't mean that circumstances have worsened.

I read the other day (can't recall where) that serenity lies is letting go of your demands on a moment. That rings true for me, but, actually, my mind runs to all sorts of unhelpful sayings today: "I can't go on, I'll go one" by Samuel Beckett chief among them. Life is tough! Now, of course, I myself feel that so accutely that I doubt the --

No, strike that. I was about to write that I doubt the "eye on the sparrow" love of God, but that's not accurate. In fact, the biblical saying is deeper than it may be commonly understood. It says that no sparrow FALLS apart from God's attention. But Good's attention doesn't prevent the fall. It doesn't keep the lilies of the field from getting plowed under, either.

Some eastern philosopher said that "nature is not human-hearted," or as my friend Leslie puts it, "Nature is beautiful, but it isn't kind."

Sometimes water is turbulent... Darn it. :) So what does one do? Work to reduce the ego? Throw oneself recklessly into love despite?

I do hope that events settle down for you, though, my beloved friend. I truly do.

2:23 PM  
Blogger --Nina said...

Are you still "swirling" Owen? I think I know what you mean since I feel like I am in such a "swirl" right now. Too much on my plate. Don't know how things will turn out. Don't know how I will handle some things. I want to be "rescued" from some things and encouraged in some things. How long will some things continue? I hate being too busy, with too much on my plate, and with no way to really take anything OFF my plate when I really need to. I know you posted a while ago; I hope you and Dorothy are well! Just wanted to say that I've been there, and AM there right now...

Love you guys,

11:06 PM  
Blogger Owen B. said...

Hi, Nina,

Still swirling, but in a slower pool on the river at the moment. Not that I am not busy. I am. And, while nothing is really resolved yet, some aspects are more at peace than they were when I first posted this.

We know what you are going through with your grandmother. But you need to understand one thing. You can only do so much. When you go beyond that point you aren't doing anyone any favors.

Blessings and prayers as you go through this time.

6:10 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home