A single tongue of flame

Ever since I got back to Connecticut, I've been rereading To Dance With God, a book I have no memory of my family ever having been without. I remember reading it before, and not understanding a word of what it was saying. Now, 20 years later, aware of the flow of Catholic mass and the liturgical calendar, it means more to me.

Yesterday Mom asked me about how to celebrate Pentecost. "Fire," I answered. By lighting a fire. Windsocks, pinwheels, kites for the wind; but when the sun went down, by lighting a fire.


Tomorrow shall be my dancing day

Not many people get excommunicated, in terms of absolute numbers. But a great many people do excommunicate themselves. That was, in a sense, what I've done; being independent meant being detached. It meant that I could poke fun from outside, or simply just lash out and rail. But it also meant that I don't remember the last time I took Communion, rather than standing by and watching it from the pews at a piss-poor Mass.
I didn't realize that until Monday night, and I've been madly craving it ever since.

Tomorrow is Pentecost. Tomorrow is the end of the written history. Tomorrow marks the final day of the liturgical calendar, the last day of the Easter season, the transition to Ordinary Time. On Monday dawn, Sacred Time will be over, and we will be reduced to the church in the world, living as we await the promised return.

It's been at least seven or eight years since I last set foot across the threshold of the church I walked away from. Tomorrow, no better and only a little worse than when I left, I will darken its doors once again.

Some of it will be to say thank you to somebody I expect will be there. Some of it will be to hear the reading of Acts 2 again. But some of it will be, I hope, to share Communion again.

Tomorrow, insha'Allah, shall be my dancing day.

I bought a red shirt just for the occasion.

This week in Andalusada blogging: 5/26/2012

This week has been sadly neglectful of the blogs I ordinarily lurk on, but it has been most productive on the one that I actually pay attention to regularly.

Since the last update, I've written as follows:


Smarter folks than I

Not so long ago, I wrote about my realization that faith is trust, not assertion. That I was in a really toxic behaviorist headspace, because "faith" to me meant assertion; "faith" was a work in its own right, and that work was faith, because without it it was dead, and what the Epistles were saying had absolutely no connection to what was going on on the ground, and that contradiction heightened to collapse.

I'd never thought to look outside myself that way, because I was confessing, not critiquing. And I'm still not really in any position to look outside myself that way, because I'm not sure whether I can without envy.

So I'm going to let Morgan Guyton, who's made a similar observation, say it better than I:
But what is this faith that we receive from God? Many Christians have been taught that faith means simply “believing in things you cannot prove.” Under this definition, “faith” very quickly turns into a set of propositional statements about Jesus that we’re supposed to accept without proof: born of a virgin, died on the cross for our sins, raised from the dead, coming again at the end of time, etc. To have faith comes to mean simply that you agree with whatever the Bible says about Jesus. I don’t think this is unimportant, but is it really what the Bible is talking about when it says the word faith?
Here’s the problem with this definition of faith: it’s really a work even though it’s not supposed to be....
Seriously, give the man a read. Everything he says is like that.

He is the first of those that this blog will tag as "smarter folks than I."


As was then, as is now

A friend talked to me on Facebook today. Came to me looking for help; and, when I answered, seemed more interested in ignoring my advice than in listening to it. Demanding that I say something, as I pounded out my thoughts.


Two kinds of silence

When I'm with the heterodox, we run out of words.
When I'm with the orthodox, we're afraid to talk much.

Praise Allah for the two kinds of silence.
And for the difference between them.


This week in Andalusada blogging: 5/19/2012

In no particular order, I have:
Thus concludes a week of sadly neglecting my thankless days and dreamless nights.


Also, what she said up there at the top

So far, this series has been as follows:
Tonight I'm going to interject with words not my own, from the same series of posts.

I used to think I needed to “reach out” to those who are marginalized, overlooked, oppressed…


The problem with the problem with homosexuality

On Friday, Kathy Escobar posted the first controversial post I've ever read on her blog: "unless we're all free, none of us are free." (One of the things that keeps me coming back is that she's reinventing a very old style of rhetoric that I love to bits.)

So of course I thanked her, admiring her prophetic voice. (I actually do like the challenging power of faith; but I take that damn hymn deadly seriously, then as now. And until I get my own soul in order, I'm in no shape to use the prophetic voice; I'd just be prooftexting badly to say what I could say, more effectively and comfortably, with the radical-critical voice instead.)

And I decided to respond to one comment, because it gave me a springboard to redirect what looked like it was a hard line into a prompt for dialogue.

This is what I wrote, edited only slightly for formatting.


This week in Andalusada blogging

This week has been an extraordinarily busy one on Andalusada.
It's been a pretty good week.


I used to... but now... (4 of x+1)

In the last few nights, I've gone over bits of myself then and now:
Tonight, the long-promised part 4 of this series:

Faith used to be a capstone that needed holding up; now it's a cornerstone that needs building on.


I used to... but now... (2 of x+1)

This whole thing began here. In keeping with my meme du nuit tag, I continue with the second part of it tonight.

I used to need to assert my faith; now I need to trust it.


I used to... but now... (1 of x+1)

This entire thing was set in motion by a blog I've been lurking on, because I've never gotten around to posting very much this last week.The question was what are some of yours?

And I answered. These are my extended answers, because I feel like they merit some unpacking, and because there are just enough that I can make this a multi-night habit and get back into the routine of paying attention to both my functional blogs.

I used to define myself in oppositions; now I'm defining myself in relations.

Glossary of Andalusada

This is a placeholder. Because it's going to be constantly evolving, it's worth putting here specifically to avoid cluttering up the Andalusada blog itself. (On a more venal note, it's also a reminder not to neglect this blog either. As I visibly and shamefully have.)

With that said, here goes.


Andalusada principles and practices

This is a cross-bloggage. The original was posted here.

IRL, Islamic Spain ended around 1250, with the collapse of the Almohads. Andalusada is the story of how that civilization never died; how its death was, in fact, derailed before it could begin. Even more importantly than that, however, Andalusada is the story of how that derailing (and the survival) changed the world beyond recognizability into uncanniness.

I'm not purely making things up as I go, though. There are some rules of thumb. Here they are.

Because dilletantism knows no bounds or timelines

Tonight's cross-blog whoring is of an extended rambling about music in an alt-history.

It's rather illustrative of the kind of thoughts I have about the timeline as a whole - the random fluffy details, because if you live inside the world people are sensate as much as traditionalist.

It also says the most about the verse ca. 1930, of all my posts so far. Which is predictable too.