Thursday, January 16, 2020


Dear All of Us,

So, how is it with you?
Are you a stay put person,
or mostly mobile?
Do you prefer set and stable,
or lots of movement and vibe?
Where you conceived conservative
and plan to stay such right up to the pearly gates?
Or, from the get go has it been progression 
to ever new points and persuasions? 
Do you dance life in pretty much the same spot,
or all over town and countryside?

In other words, how do you deal with 
      location and relocation,
be it geographic, ideological, cultural, spiritual, social, 
political, relational, occupational - all and every?

The verve and tenor of our spiritual journey
are muchly effected by both location and relocation.
They are the "where' of it.
They contextualize and condition it.
Things like:

      - our tradition and upbringing - 
       embraced, rejected or modified
    - our maturing, evolving consciousness,
      or its regression 
    - our pain, pleasure, ennui 
      and where they "put" us -
      locate/relocate us
    - our current cultural context 
      ( compare the "safe and set" 1950's 
      to current cultural convulsing )
    - our health and wealth - 
      comfortable, compromised or ...
    - where and how we live - 
      Boston, Belfast, Bucharest -
        town, country, city - 
      our social and ecological environment
      - with whom we live - 
      terrific, toxic, or...
    - the kind and conditions of our work -
      obsessive, creative or ...
    - our spiritual community,
      or the lack of it.

The list is seemingly endless and the effects as well.
Those effects of location and relocation 
are both quite immediate and yet cumulative.
They have a significant impact on the condition and quality 
of our spiritual living:
     - is it best to hold on or move on?
     - staying too long stultifies
     - yet, often staying can stabilize
     - a certain spiritual practice may be a mainstay,
       or it could be a flame out if we stay with it too long
     - relocating can free and expand - example: 
       the spiritual authors we read,
       ( I read Thomas Merton the first half of my life 
        to great benefit and still do, 
       but Gerald May and Richard Rohr have had the eyes of my soul
       in this second half of life), 
     - do I adopt a more conservative/liberal stance -
       religious practice, moral evaluation, theological position, 
       political/social posture
     - be it moving on to a new religious community,
     - be it living out contemplation more actively, or just the opposite

Many have little choice about where they're "at"
and if/when/where  they are relocated.
That can be where they live, their health, relationships, work, 
finances, cultural context.
It's a matter of adjusting, maximizing 
where they are and/or are transported.

Many of us have some say about where we are "at"
and when we choose to transition to a new "at" (location/relocation).
We enter a new relationship, embrace a new spiritual experience,
change our political stance, we decide to move.

The latter is my current.
I just moved to Washington, D.C. to be closer to family.
It certainly has effected me spiritually  -
and financially and worn the live'n heck out of me - 
lost six pounds in a week!!
It meant letting go of the comfortable familiar 
and trying to deal with so much that was uncomfortably unfamiliar.
It was a "relocation" in all sorts of ways - friends, church, bank, doctor, 
letting go of a car and learning the Metro, unpacking hundreds of boxes 
to find and relocate everything from toothbrush to legal papers.
Worthwhile and exhausting.
It was a rough go to get here and here is a wonderful place to now be.

The transition, moving from one location and all that it had meant,
to relocation and this promising place, put me nowhere for a while.
That was  tough. 
Living in liminal space 
(liminus in Latin means doorway) - 
being totally in-between - neither here nor there was a stress.
Former and familiar were gone.
New and accustomed had yet to develop.
Vulnerability and chaos resulted for a painful period.
It caused me to constantly refocus and recommit to simply being in "Being", 
and that in the liminal nowhere of my here and now -
paradoxically a naked nothingness in All That Is.

Moving of any sort sure shakes up your soul.
That location to relocation makes it ever so clear that,
while we daily deal with the immediacies 
of all our "locations" and "relocations"-
physical, social, intellectual, value system and all the endless rest -
they are all part of a flow, partials on the way to the Ultimate
and our growth into It,
but in no way are the The Ultimate.
That's a good "Soul Shake".

                 " Cast all you cares upon the Lord.
                    and He will sustain you..."
                                          Psalm 55:22

                  "The Lord will keep your going out 
                    and your coming in 
                    from this time and for evermore."
                                          Psalm 120:8

See you next week, 
wherever we are located or relocated.
Holding us all in 
The Love Who Is God,

        John Frank

A warm welcome to those joining in here for the first time.
It's a blessing to have your company.

                             "frankly speaking'
                                 spirituality for the street

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