Friday, November 09, 2007

Near the Edges of Meaning

I read several blogs , and while a couple are industry things and technology things that I aggregate in my Google Reader, there is a whole section of blogs that I check in with personally to see how they're doing (btw, writing this post has inspired me to update my blogroll down there, something I hadn't done in a while, so you may see some new things).
I got turned on to Sweet Juniper! recently. It was Dutch's post about a certain online parenting mag that drew me in. Dutch has a great sardonic wit and I enjoy finding out what this self-extracted-from-the-rat-race, stay-at-home Dad née Lawyer is up to.
Today I stumbled upon him to find this, and, well, you just have to go have a look, because it would be unethical of me to just stick the picture up here.
As I got to looking, its part of a whole series he sticks under the label Friday Morning Street Urchin Blogging. These are pictures that just tear at me in the most exquisite sort of way. There is a deep repository of humanity, story, and meaning in each moment. If you don't feel up to exploring the whole series, let me just direct you here and here.
Now, I have no idea why he posts these, I don't understand what the point is. I mean, maybe there is no point. Maybe he, like me, just thinks these are fascinating, beautiful things which deserve notice. I don't really know, and it's that ambiguity of meaning that I'm most ok with. Life doesn't have to present itself for answers. It doesn't need to. After all, we're human; finding and assigning meaning--especially where none exists--is part of what humanity does. But there is that space before we assign meaning that life is ambiguous, and I relish that moment.

We have a friend who is part of a non-traditional ministry for the Presbyterian Church (I don't think it's untoward of me, so I will pop a little link in to it here for those that are interested). Lately, our friend has been getting some flack. There are those in our Presbytery--which is one of the principal suppliers of his funding--who take issue with how he finds meaning in this whole exercise known as the Church. See, I like Won because he, too, is comfortable with ambiguity. I believe that the journey to meaning is just as interesting as arriving there. There are those in our Presbytery who don't want to be on the journey; they have 'arrived' and seem to believe that if you haven't arrived with them you walk treacherously close to heresy.

But then I look at the Urchins that Dutch has posted and I remember that living on the edge is what humanity, God's creation, does most. I also happen to think it is one of the things that we do best. On the edge, when we are facing our own failings, and looking square into the face of ambiguity . . . that is the journey I am interested in taking.

We have some friends and acquaintances who are in transition right now. I so desperately want to be able to look each one of them in the face and tell them, it will be ok, it will get better, surely it will get better.
But I can not, I dare not, because I do not know that. What I do know is that being unsure and feeling like you're floundering is not a symbol of failure or a cause for reticence: it's a sign that you're human.

I don't know why Dutch puts up his street urchins and maybe some day he'll describe what it's all about, but I hope not. I don't need or want someone else to assign the meaning for me, I am so content with finding it on my own, I am so in love with the journey. My dear friends, I wish I could give that to you. The journey is hard and the journey is long, but along the way there is so much joy.

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