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Pregnancy and the Liberation Front

Pregnancy and the Liberation Front

It keeps ringing in my mind, the question—will this satisfy? Does this satisfy my bearing body, mind, and soul?

A while back, just after some new friends asked us to bring poems to their party, Berry’s “Manifesto” entered my ears. Thank God, too, for I felt I had lost my mooring; I did not find my bare and pregnant footing secure on the Liberation Front, but felt instead tucked away somewhere in the back behind selfish sentimentality and careless caution, shut in the “mothers’ room,” it seemed, away from the unction and the action.

And then I remembered those words, words that had once called a congregation to worship through me, through my all-woman, dress-clad, wild-haired body. I remembered those words, that question—“will this satisfy a woman satisfied to bear a child?”

9 Less-Waste Goals: January Update

9 Less-Waste Goals: January Update

January was a quick and focused month around here. I did not blog regularly; my mental energies went almost entirely to implementing our 9 less-waste goals for 2019 and, of course, entering into my third trimester of pregnancy.

As I promised myself, however, I pause now to review and reflect upon the month and our efforts. This is not a shaming protocol, but rather an opportunity to consider what went well, what rose or fell in priority, and how I might proceed this month in the pursuit of embodied and ecologically-conscious love.

Love Marks Me

Love Marks Me

Noticed today that Aaron's mark of love and troth rounds my finger even when the gold hasn't been there for a week. I kinda dig that.

I haven't been wearing my wedding ring because between the dry winter air and my amazingly frequent trips to the bathroom my hands reach for lotion almost of their own volition. Maybe that's another way love is making its mark on me.

Pregnant people pee a lot. For me it's up to 3-4 times an hour or absolutely any time I stand up, whichever comes first. Like the marriage signified by that band about my finger, the thing that does not go away even when the gold is gone, this process of creating new life challenges my notions of control and self...hood? Sufficiency? Self at all?

Marriage asks me to bend and try, go and stay--to do wild things and tame things outside my own perspective, ingenuity, initiation, and will. In responding I find that I am caught up in something bigger than myself where any notion of "control" is truly absurd. It just doesn't fit.

Pregnancy is like that, except it doesn't even ask first--though it doesn't compel, either.

It just happens…

9 Less-Waste Goals for 2019

9 Less-Waste Goals for 2019

“Waste” is an anomaly. There is no away in creation; humans are the only species to think up such a thing.

Going zero-waste is an overarching direction in the Coyle-Carr household. We have been working toward sending less to the landfill and decreasing our need for recycling for several years, learning all sorts of creative skills, tips, and crafts along the way.

But as I explored in a recent post, a life that makes “zero” waste in the society in which I live is impossible, which can be disappointing and discouraging if individualistic perfection is what we are after. In the journey toward ecological well-being I have found that perfection is not helpful. Further, it ain’t even the goal.

I want to make less waste and more life!

The goal is to love. And love is the long labor of a lifetime.

Here are some specific ways I hope to press on in love this year.

Why I Shave Ritually, Not Religiously

Why I Shave Ritually, Not Religiously

A year ago this week I shaved my legs for the first time in two years.

"’Bout time you shaved them hairy legs, ain't it?"

We were in a Chikfila parking lot, my dad and I. I remember.

He held some sway, for I started shaving that weekend.

I had been wanting to shave my legs. The older girls at church did it, so the idea held a special glow. There are few coming of age markers for girls and I craved one, needing something to announce my place on the cusp of young womanhood.

My mom had held me off a while. Perhaps she wanted to preserve my childhood. Perhaps she wanted a watershed experience for me, too, and maybe did not know how to give it. Perhaps it is difficult to watch your daughter grow up.

Regardless, at his words I got what I wanted. But it was not special. I remember feeling that I had been shunted to the bathtub to do the deed, isolated there with the shaving cream and the blue Venus razor.

I knew even then that I had gotten what I wanted at the cost of something dear.

The awareness still raises the fuzz on the back of my arms. The first rule of patriarchy is this: You can have what you want on our terms.

This time the cost was body-confidence. Evidently there was something wrong with my legs without shaving. Something was wrong with me. My body was wrong.

This is the way of patriarchy. Get what you want, but only if you feel bad about it. Sure, have it, it croons, because otherwise you are deficient and gross.

St. Nicholas, Our Brother

St. Nicholas, Our Brother

The feast of St. Nicholas is upon us. Tonight lots of little shoes will be set out in hopes that he will stop by in the night. Our stockings are certainly hung with care.

I so enjoy the fun of this feast day because I enjoy our brother.

Though not much can be said for the St. Nicholas from our 21st century historicity standards, thousands upon thousands of faithful folks have carried stories about him through the centuries. These widely-held legends all have common threads running throughout as well, themes of generosity, liberation, compassion, and faith.

How We'll Advent this Year

How We'll Advent this Year

Advent began yesterday in a soft and glorious manner. The children called us to worship with their song and the family of faith looked on as Hope lit up the sanctuary. It is here. The season of watching and waiting is finally here.

Advent pasts have looked quite different than this one in the Coyle-Carr house. Until now, at least one of us has faced down finals and term papers ‘til Gaudete Sunday three weeks in. This time around, though, graduate days are behind us and a bump swells before us day by day.

Our family is changing and growing, as is its expression of vocation and faithful living. We are seeing things in new lights and from new angles. There is a stirring in our bones even as we feel the most at home yet.

I do feel rooted. My feet can almost find their way around here. I technically became a Texan last Friday.

And here comes Advent.

When Temps Rise, Our Thermostat Does Too

When Temps Rise, Our Thermostat Does Too

As I sit here and type the outside thermometer reads 93 degrees and the indoor…74.

Actually the thermostat is currently set to 78 degrees because as I did more research for this blogpost, I (re)learned that the official Energy.gov recommendation for daily AC use in the summer is 78 degrees. Fahrenheit. Yes, you read that correctly.

For the past month Aaron and I have been enjoying a balmy 74 degrees indoors with only a little complaining, mostly from me at night. His encouragement kept us on track, however, and here we are sort of willing to punch the thermostat up a few more degrees.

Maybe you’re wondering (as I was last night) why the heck our thermostat climbs with the summer temperature. Well, I’ll blame it on the pope.  

Molly's Mac-n-Cheese: A Peacehaven Chronicle

Molly's Mac-n-Cheese: A Peacehaven Chronicle

As soon as I pulled into the Peacehaven driveway on my first official day as the summer chaplain I realized that I had left my packed lunch at home. I have hypoglycemic anemia, so forgetting my lunch is no small matter. Furthermore, I was anxious about forgetting anything around my new “coworkers,” or having to ask for a lunch break off the farm.

I remember that the house rhythm was unusually quiet that morning. Sometime around 11:30 a.m. I heard Molly, one of our Core Members, humming to herself in the kitchen as she pulled out an enormous cooking pot and two boxes of Annie’s Shells & Cheese.