Archive for February, 2020


Be served by this. This green. The lushness and the hush. Let your eyes drink the beauty and your soul the silence. There is no work today.  #mahiano #serve

Lent word: Command

Tell the stones to become bread? Nah, I will ask that Mountain. It is witness. It will know. #command #kīia


I will lead you into the wilderness and I will allure you. In the still and quiet places you will hear my voice calling you. Calling you home. #wilderness #koraha

Lent word: Led

ash wednesday crosses are tucked into the edge of a mesh fruit bowl lent 2020

Where will all this lead?

#led #arahina #lent2020 #photoaday

Over the past few months I’ve been privileged to host Annique Goldenberg at the Cathedral working in the Living Water project. This project explores our connection as a community to our local water source the Birrarung (River of Mists) aka the Yarra.

Incorporated into the paper are water from the Birrarung, linen from tablecloths that have offered a lot of hospitality, calico from retired altar cloths, pulped paper from service sheets, hymnals and prayer books – it’s beautiful to see those elements honoured together in this new form.

Also as part of the project we were invited to whisper a memory of a river to ours as part of expressing connection and I shared mine from sitting on a rock amongst the stepping stones across the Maribyrnong with the water moving all around me. It was good to remember the stillness and rapids, the hush and the rush, and the feeling that this river lives here, even as I do.

I invite anyone coming through the city to pop in and have a look. There is also a great little photo exhibition in for International Women’s Day celebrating significant Anglican women in the history of Melbourne.

We enter a new season

It’s getting darker in the mornings. It feels portentous. We are at the beginning of Iuk (Eel) Season, when the hot winds stop and the temperatures cool. The days are getting shorter – equal length with the night – but we know that will shift towards darkness.

This is the time to savour the harvest fruit, enjoy the last blooms, and store up what we can against colder and leaner times to come. The word Lent comes from the Old English lencten (lengthen) because it’s observed in spring, when the days begin to get longer but that is not so for us here. Time is running out. Can you feel it? Share the joy of a common table now… Share pancakes.

an abundant heaped pile of warm pancakes

The tradition of Shrove Tuesday arises out of using up fat and yummy things before the fasting of Lent, using up anything that might go off in the 40 days that you’re not allowed to have them. On this day, we are meant to confess and be forgiven (or shriven), starting Lent with a clean slate and I wonder…

I have sometimes been flippant about what we give up for Lent. As if the idea is to make us think more about God in the sense of: “Oh God, I’d kill for some chocolate right now”. But what if it can be a chance to re-set, a chance to work for that balance of day and night in equal parts in other areas of our life. I find looking at ‘What to give up for Lent’ lists a daunting read. From chocolate or social media to negative thinking or laziness.

The previous season to this was Biderap, the time of year when the rivers are most likely to run dry and the risk of bushfires was highest. What does it look like to drink your fill now the river runs again? What does it look like to think about investing in what safe space look like? Or rebuilding? The leaf litter and undergrowth have been cleared, the air is clear of smoke, maybe this the furthest you have been able to see in a long time. Maybe this season has clarified something about what matters most to you and invites you to commit to that. What will we let go of and what will grow anew in this season?

bright red shoots of regrowth starting to peep out of a charred and black tree trunk
Photo credit: Jacob Bolton

Shameless

a picture of the cover of shameless by nadia bolz-weber. A black white image of the garden of Eden but the humans and the snake are in colour.

“This is the body of Christ, every lump and scar and curve of it. We are present to God and to each other and God is present in these human bodies. All of them.

God is made known: in the miracle of our infant bodies, so recently come from God that you can smell God on their heads; in the freedom of our childs bodies as they were before shame and self-consciousness entered into them; in the confusion of our pubescent bodies and the excitement of our teenage bodies as they become familiar with desire; in the fire and ice of our young adult bodies as they connect with each other; in the goddamn mind-blowing magic of our baby-making bodies; in the wisdom in our aging bodies, and in the so-close-to-God-you-can-smell-God beauty of our dying bodies.

Incarnation, Carne, Flesh

Nadia Bolz-Weber, Shameless 2019

Nadia Bolz-Weber’s writing reminds me of Anne Lamott’s – raw honest stories. You can’t deny that kind of witness to ‘holy resistance’ that says: I will testify to the experience of my body and the experience of my God to what the truth is.

We get so many messages about what are bodies are, what they aren’t, what they’re supposed to be. What we should eat, not eat, go on a diet, eat a pie, you should be thin but men like a woman with some meat on her bones.

Indeed, we all feel gnawed on by the relentless message to be something other than what we are. Let this book be the sip of living water that affirms you. Affirms your body. Affirms your sexuality. Affirms your identity, made in the image of God.

Why do shameless and shameful mean basically the same thing? Shameless: brazen, barefaced, brash, impudent, unblushing. These adjectives apply to that which defies social or moral proprieties [Free Dictionary].

Be shameless then. Be defiant. Be shamefreely and defiantly you. Made in the image and sexuality of God.

Waste not

Our garden isn’t in good shape, but in one particular corner the soil is full of rubbish – broken plastic, tin, glass… it’s kind of not that safe to work in. I’m trying to get time in our outdoor space regularly figuring every little bit helps, and at some point it will tip to beautiful. The other day I felt a glimpse of that when, in addition to all the rubbish above, I started pulling out whole bottles. After about an hour I had a bunch of them lined up.

I think that it might have been easy to think, “I’m just going to dig out this whole section and get clean fill in here”, but there was something to taking a slower approach, picking through and being more careful with my spade. Someone was careless putting all the rubbish out here but I will be care-full in trying to restore it. When we’re looking for ‘good soil’, maybe it’s important to know there may be things in the bad that are worth keeping as a promise of things to come.

Unbound

I gardened today in the rain because I picked up sales plants from Bunnings last week and I haven’t had a chance before now to get them in the ground. I know the odds on these plants aren’t great but I feel like they’re the underdog and someone needs to root for them [lame pun intended]. With our new business I’m working to fill in our boundless backyard on a budget with cuttings – foraged and from friends, seedlings, and these sale specimens… Look at how much life is in them. Look how far and wide and deep they want to go and how much they want to grow.

Gardening is good thinking time. It’s only mid-February and I am saying “No” to things. There’s no room. There’s no resource. But I wonder whether perhaps I am like this plant, with so much life in me that somehow I don’t need less but more. More time, more space, more light, more to drink (cheers!)… what does it look like to consider tending to myself in this way? This year I am eking out a writing day again and it feels kind of wonderful.

Unbound, just how big could I grow?

What if, when a season ends, or a job, a community, a relationship… what if we imagined it to look like this? That we have grown all we can here and there is no more room. We need a new space, we need a new environment.

Is your environment nourishing you?

a picture of sustainable gift tags celebrating love

Our friends Marita and Andrew got married today, a beautiful celebration of love and embracing difference. As a small token we gave them sustainable gift labels I had made… they will have many moments beyond today to celebrate together and consciously choose ways to love each other, and to give and receive love back and forth between them. A covenant of family, friends and community… a covenant of love that connects us all, one to another.