Holding Space for Something New


salmon juvies

I learned a fair amount about stormwater pollution in my last job. The more obvious pollution is well obvious – oil spills and the like. What is less obvious is how sediment/soil runoff is also a pollutant. When fine sediment enters a stream it fills the interstitial spaces between the rocks and stones of the streambed. So what? Well, this is harmful because these spaces are where salmon lay their eggs. And if there are no spaces, there are no eggs, there is no continuation of salmon life in that place.

What are the interstitial spaces in our lives, bodies, days, hearts? Continue reading “Holding Space for Something New”

The Gift that Keeps on Giving

simone-weil“The purest but rarest form of generosity is giving someone your attention” 

Simone Weil

On this past Valentine’s Day year, I had just finished work and I was walking down Railroad Avenue here in Bellingham. I glanced in through the front window of a local restaurant and here’s what I saw: a young couple in their 20s sitting across from each other, holding hands, and staring into each others eyes? (Oh David you’re so old-fashioned.) Nope. They were Continue reading “The Gift that Keeps on Giving”

noticing kairos moments

Have you ever gone to pick an apple or a peach (or any fruit for that matter) and as you grasp it, you realize it’s already in your hand? If the path of your arrival has crossed the path of the apples growth, maturity, and its time of release, you’ve stumbled into a kairos moment.

The ancient Greeks had two words for time: chronos and kairos. We are steeped in thinking of time as chronos time — clock time. And with the advent of ”time technologies” like the clock, watch, and our accompanying obsession with speed and control, we get obsessed about time saving devices, and devices that trick us into thinking we are saving so much time. (please tell me where this Time Bank is if you know).

All the while Kairos time is alive and well, yet not as well known.  Continue reading “noticing kairos moments”

Healing from Trauma (Seven!)

If you don’t know how to say NO your YESSES don’t mean a thing” – Dr. Gabor Mate

Yesterday I had the privilege of going to a day-long seminar taught by Dr. Gabor Mate. The topic was ”When the Body Says No: Exploring the Stress-Disease connection.” (He has written a book with the title of the same name). When I first read an article by Mate about seven years ago I was skeptical; now I find his logic and research difficult to deny.

When trauma occurs in a person’s life – especially early childhood trauma — it results in: Continue reading “Healing from Trauma (Seven!)”

Giving up Control (and Loving It)! Six!

photo: playing catch

I have fond memories of playing catch with my dad as a kid. Often it would be after he got home from work, and he’s have something on the grill. I felt connected with him in a special way.

I’m a parent now – of a fifteen year old and I’m learning what it’s like to be in this new season of parenting. She’s not a little kid any more and yet she is not an adult. How do I not dominate too much, but also not be too passive in permitting everything, or giving no boundaries?

Well here’s what’s great about improv and what I touched on in my last post. Improv is Continue reading “Giving up Control (and Loving It)! Six!”

It’s Embodied Learning! Five! (or, Improv-ing as the Church)

IMG_1137 - Copy

[This is a fifth post in a series of seven answering ”What does Improv Give us?”]
[Preface – know that this is not ”improving” but ”improving”]

It’s a Monday night in June and ten adults and two middle-schoolers gather in the Adult Ed room at the north end of our church building. There are nervous chuckles, as many people gathered are stepping outside (for some WAY outside) of their comfort zone. We are coming together for the first of four improv classes that I’m facilitating on Monday evenings. I started taking improv classes at our local theater – The Upfront – five years ago and it’s transformed my life. As often happens, it’s hard for me to keep such things to myself. Continue reading “It’s Embodied Learning! Five! (or, Improv-ing as the Church)”

Uncoupling Anxiety from Uncertainty! FOUR!

Puzzle pieces You Me

[This is my fourth post in a list of ”What improv gives us?”]

For most of my life I’ve coupled together anxiety and uncertainty.  When there’s uncertainty of how something’s gonna pan out, anxiety gets pulled right along the tracks with it. I’m realizing recently that they can be uncoupled. Uncertainty doesn’t have to bring anxiety along for the ride.

If anxiety is wedded to uncertainty we often will try to (key words: try to) reduce uncertainty in our lives, because anxiety doesn’t feel so great.

When we enter into an improv game or an improv scene we don’t know how it’s going to turn out. We don’t know where the story will lead. Continue reading “Uncoupling Anxiety from Uncertainty! FOUR!”