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  • Lately, I’ve been a reader not a writer, a listener not a teller. Cowbird has been like a book of Psalms for me or Parables, a source of comfort and practical wisdom. I’ve been meandering through the site as if it was a footpath in the local woods. I’ve turned my camera on and taken the time to notice the layers of life all around me. It’s on these walks that I allow myself to contemplate the questions that don’t fit comfortably into daily life, the problems that are the grain of sand in the oyster whose irritation creates the pearl. For me life is an awe inspiring mystery beyond human understanding and limitation but always drawing me in to a deeper awareness, unfolding a broader perspective. Life always seems bigger after wandering in the weeds and the wilderness.

    I’ve been a Catholic, a Congregationalist, a seeker, a doubter, a visitor, a hoper and a believer. My bookshelves look like the resource library for a course on the World’s religions and philosophies. I’ve been driven by fear of hell, fear of being on the wrong side and fear of being ostracized. I’ve been formed by humans claiming divine authority and the divine humbly showing up as human. At times I’ve been exhausted and confused by my own search and I’ve taken the lazy way out and become a “member” letting the group define a God in my life. I’ve given up, convinced that my name is written in bold, black caps at the top of God’s very big book of bad. Many times, however, I’ve rested in the tangible presence of an inexplicable goodness. Sixty-five years of living, looking, studying and all I’ve become more sure of is what I don’t know but what I do sense. There is something more than me and in spite of all the sadness, unfairness and inequality I’ve experienced, that something is good. For me that’s true because there has always been kindness and support to get me through the tough times. I may not have seen it or accepted it right away but when I became willing it was there. I have no idea what IT is. I think knowing is over rated. Sometimes it’s sufficient to just feel.

    The other reason I’ve come to feel there is something more than me is what I’ve found on my walk through Cowbird. Faith is at the heart of so many stories here, not a fully defined and articulated faith but a belief in the power of our stories, in our own power, a belief in one another and a belief in something that inspires us to speak. I find it from angels to higher powers to personal courage, inspirational journeys to heal or accept life and the raw vulnerability of life’s most painful moments. After a couple of weeks of reading and listening to all of you, I’m no closer to knowing if there is a God or what that God might be but I’ve returned home to a bigger life with more room for questions. I’ve returned home with a deepening sense of an inspiring loving presence in the heart of the life changing stories shared here and for that I’m deeply grateful.

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