Reflections in the Silver Cup

MOVING TO NARNIA

July 10, 2018

Tags: earthship, Gallup, Gamerco, moving

When I came back from my last tour, I wrote that I was in transition. At the time, I thought the transition would mainly involve the next step in my writing--what to write next, how to work on getting existing material published, even whether I'd continue writing or not.

But there turns out to be more. I'm preparing for Move Number 66. To Narnia. What could be better than moving to live in Narnia? It is, however, a bit embarrassing to acknowledge the number 66. In fact, as I got ready to talk things over with my brother Rick, I felt compelled to ask him to promise not to laugh.

"What if I can't help it?" he said.

"Well, just promise not to make fun of me." He could do that, and he didn't even laugh. As it turns out, it is Rick's Earthship #1 that I will move into on October 1.

This isn't quite as precipitous as it might sound. Anyone who followed my blog, A Year of Standing Still knows that I've never been fond of Albuquerque. But when I went on tour, I left behind a faith community I'd grown to love at St. Andrew Presbyterian Church. I came back for them, and I will miss them very much. I settled in a neighborhood I do love in one of the oldest parts of Albuquerque, and I will miss it, too.

For a year I lived without a car. Then I bought an older car that made it possible to get out of town. But I hate driving in Albuquerque, and for the most part I don't. I hate the urban-ness of being here, and those feelings contribute to a feeling of being imprisoned. More and more I have longed to live surrounded by nature and fewer people–the way I have done it for so much of my life in places like Teec Nos Pos, Gallup, Watsonville, and La Jara.

So...Narnia? Really? I won't have to step through the wardrobe in Spare Oom, though I may have to buy a wardrobe. That's because of the nature of the walls in an earthship. Some of you may not know what an earthship is, and I will leave you in suspense until the next blog post (although there is this new thing called the Internet), due next week. But Narnia is the name of the lane on which my earthship stands (or cuddles into the earth). The road was named by my nephews and niece, lovers of the Chronicles, when they were young. Technically the place is in Gamerco, NM, slightly north of Gallup. Gamerco was a planned community founded as a mining town in 1920, the name being an amalgam of Gallup American Coal Company. Narnia lies across from the platted town and across from what was once unfortunately named NM Highway 666, now NM 491. The dwellings in this area are far apart and cradled among hills and mesas covered in piñon, juniper and sage–just right for me.

The just-rightness is confirmed by how the earthship became available and by the fact that I've hardly told anyone yet that I'm moving, and already I have more offers of moving help than I've had for any single move undertaken in the past. After 65 moves, that says a lot.

Next week: A SHIP IN THE DESERT

© Anna Redsand 2018 All Rights Reserved

LEAVING FACEBOOK

June 30, 2018

Tags: Facebook, sign up, newsletter

98th Cottonwood Pass Campmeeting
Joining Facebook was like falling down a cozy rabbit hole. I loved finding out what my friends were doing and what was important to them. I loved reconnecting with friends I hadn't seen or heard from in years, and I loved making new friends. I loved hearing about events like the nostalgic one pictured here–a campmeeting that we went to every year when I was young. I loved posting photos and seeing friends' responses. I started getting a lot of my news on FB. I found out about social actions I could be part of. I used FB to make people aware of my book and events for my book. That made FB seem essential. I enjoy seeing other writers' successes and sharing mine.

Because a huge chunk of my work takes place on the computer, it's been easy to slip over to Facebook throughout the day, check in with friends, respond to them, feel connected during work that can become isolating. Going there so often could also be distracting, but ultimately I got my work done. Most of it. Getting my news there proved to be dangerous at times, so I had to use fact checking sites if I wasn't reading from a news source I trusted. As the news has gotten worse and worse, dismay and discouragement, anger and hopelessness have become more and more prevalent in my newsfeed. I've decided that I'm only going to do individual book events from now on, and promoting this book is getting old for me. There are other ways besides FB to post and see photos, which is what gives me the most enjoyment on FB.

All this to say, I'm leaving. Here are some ways you can connect with me, see my pictures and know some of what I'm thinking about. I very much hope you will stay connected.

1) SIGN UP! SIGN UP! This is actually the Number One way (though it doesn't have to be the only one) I'm hoping you'll choose. If you sign up you'll get an email notice whenever I post to my blog, and of course I'd love for you to read my blog. I expect to post at least once a week. To do this, go to the "News from Anna" tab on my website and follow the directions (it's easy) in the upper right corner of the page. Only I will ever be able to see your email address. You can unsubscribe at any time, but I hope you won't.

2) If you want to see my photos, follow me on Instagram.

3) Use the "Contact" tab on my website to send me an email.

4) My Messenger account will remain open, so you can always message me.

5) Ask for my email address if you don't already have it.

I plan to deactivate my Facebook account next Friday, July 6. I really hope to see you here on my blog! I'll miss seeing you on FB, but I know others who have left and have started to share more with individuals on Messenger or by texting. How about that?!

© Anna Redsand All Rights Reserved

BACK ON THE HORSE

June 14, 2018

Tags: travel, routine, book tour

At ABQ Pride 2018, me at bottom left
When I was sixteen, I had a bad car accident that was my fault. To top it off, the Gallup Independent published a photo of the wrecked car with an accompanying story on the front page. Cuts around my swollen lips had to be stitched. I was, at the time, being systematically and severely bullied at school, and after the story in the paper those boys had even more to throw my way. And they did.

My father insisted, not unkindly, that I had to get right back on the horse (in this case into the driver’s seat of the car) and drive. He said if I waited, (more…)

THE DISTANCE WE GO FOR OUR ART OR 86 MILES FOR A GLUE STICK

May 22, 2018

Tags: transition, art, creativity

At the end of a major creative project, including the work of getting it seen by hundreds, I think (without anxiety for once) that perhaps I am at the end of my writing career. Or I feel it will, it must, now take a different direction. I am in transition. And transition is a space I love. Maybe it’s why I’ve moved so often—65 times now. I love it because everything is in free-flow. Anything is possible. I am the one to give it form. I know I will continue to create, but what? How?

I have used The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron at least three times, and it was a wonderful guide into freeing and opening the mind. But I need something different. Oh, I will always practice Morning Pages, and I want to be better about Artist Dates, but I need something new to jiggle me loose. I remembered (more…)

MY SPIRITUAL PATH OF DISCOVERY

May 17, 2018

Tags: spiritual seeking, seeker

Guest Post
by
Beth Holloway Oer


One morning while I was on tour in Ohio, staying with my friend Shelley, she got a text message from her friend Beth, who lives in Germany but is originally from the US. Beth had seen an event Shelley posted about one of my upcoming readings and was intrigued by what the posting said about To Drink from the Silver Cup. She went online to try to order it, but at first it seemed she couldn’t get it in Germany, and she had messaged Shelley for suggestions. A few minutes later she reported success and also sent me a friend request. Later I got a message about how much healing had taken place through her reading of the book. In particular she mentioned my rewritten version of the Apostles Creed. As we exchanged thoughts and experiences, she mentioned (more…)

QUESTIONS CHURCH PEOPLE ASK II

April 23, 2018

Tags: LGBT Christian, LGBT church

A SIMPLE ACTION MAKES AN IMPACT


Cultivating warmth in a church, as I suggested in my last post, can mean a deep change in a church’s culture—perhaps too challenging to begin with. But there are smaller things that a church can do to make it safe for LGBTQ people to attend. One of them is very simple but may require courage.

Last week I read to another small group in a private home. The conversation that took place after I read was more important than (more…)

Questions Church People Ask

April 16, 2018

To Bear the Beams of Love
“What was it in all those churches you tried that told you it was unsafe for you there?” Church people (for lack of a better name) ask some variation on this question at lots of my readings from To Drink from the Silver Cup. Two weeks ago, I sat in a cozy Grand Rapids living room with a small gathering of folks who were mostly affiliated with the same Christian Reformed (CRC) church, the denomination of my youth. The pastor of that congregation posed the question. Today I’m surprised to realize that I have been out of that church almost twice as long as I was in it. But that is not the point because that question and its variants are not about me. They are about the questioners and their desire to create a safe place in their churches for people like me. They are asking what they can do to make their churches trustworthy for LGBTQ people.

No one had ever asked in quite that way before—what clued me that it wasn’t safe. I gave an answer, but I focused more on (more…)

ELEVEN REASONS WHY I WROTE TO DRINK FROM THE SILVER CUP

April 5, 2018

Tags: LGBT Christian, Gay Christian


On tour again, it seemed as if this post from April 2016 might be relevant to some readers. The reasons appear in no particular order.


1. I couldn’t help it. My favorite poet Rumi wrote, “There is one thing in this world that you must never forget to do. If you forget everything else and not this, there is nothing to worry about, but if you remember everything else and forget this, then you will have done nothing in your life.” I started trying to write a version of this story when I was nineteen. I kept on trying for nearly fifty years. My inescapable compulsion lends credence to Rumi’s statement.

2. Persistence is central to (more…)

MAGIC ON THE ROAD

March 21, 2018

Tags: book tour, travel, Ohio

Yellow Springs Bike Trail
It isn't magic from a top hat; it's Deep Magic. The magic that happens when you step into the wardrobe and leave Spare Oom. Magic that has happened again and again when I've gone on the road with To Drink from the Silver Cup. I am on the road again.

On Tuesday, March 13, I flew out of Albuquerque, landing in Columbus, Ohio. The magic (more…)

WE NEED GOOD STORIES

February 11, 2018

I have a friend who writes me a letter every Sunday morning. Her letters are full of tales about activities and projects, stimulating thoughts and perceptions, links to interests we share. She practices the art of letter-writing in an era when real letters are almost nonexistent. Yesterday, her letter was much shorter than usual. She told me about her not very good week. And then she asked, "Do you have any good stories for me?"

At first I said no, that I haven't been coming up with good stories lately. Then I thought, wait a minute; I think I might (more…)