Travel--any sort, but especially flying if only because it's one of the extreme forms of transportation (not counting ziplines or bungee jumping) is risky. Stuffed with surprise, shock, suspense. New locations multiply the number of uncontrollable factors.

But it is also a relief. The very fact of kinetic energy destined towards an end is a promise of purpose, the hope of better to come. Exhilaration. Careening down a runway, building speed against the traction of rough gravel, wheels crunching hungrily for lift off and finally, heart jumping into the throat in anticipation, breathless, rising weightlessly into the air, faith placed entirely in the engine, pilot, mechanics we know nothing of.

I can't imagine life without travel, without experiencing new cultures and the people and locales around them. Growing outside myself, expanding my interests, being challenged to think and speak differently, never content with my state of being.

The sense of adventure is heightened by time. Knowing it has to end eventually, in some way, increases my sense of ambition from the start of the trip and I even play unintentional mind games. Every hundred feet ascended into the air I watch a slow-motion movie of failure. A distant popping noise like the firecrackers that sound like guns, scaring me for just a second until I laugh nervously. The pop and then deflating and twisting, the twisting and ragged turning until the engine sputters out its final stale exhale, and we're left hovering in its fumes. . . and then dropping. Dropping. Sinking to the earth for the final time.

To not travel outside oneself is to become too comfortable in a worldview. Its end is my own righteousness. It's breathing without a perceivable meaning, except my own physical life which will eventually disintegrate into dirt again.

How can we live believing that the meaning of life is us, is for us, is circled around us? This life ends too quickly, floating through the air and into the earth as weightlessly as a feather.


Bigger But Not Better

The plant outside our kitchen window in California. It's a bit larger than our London plant. And it attracts pretty dragonflies! One of these days I'll take pictures of the luscious vineyards and strawberry stands we get to drive by everyday.

Denver will always have my heart, but nothing beats California vegetation...


Whatever Hippie Means

Due to the allowance of a particularly revolutionary and yet not so revolutionary book in my house (which I brought in myself, so no excuses here) I'm decided to reorient my personal time continuum with the divisions "BHA" and "AHA," or, "Before Hippie Amy" and "After Hippie Amy." Not because I recycle a lot more or try to hang dry my clothes as much as possible or wear dreads (cuz I don't actually wear dreads) but because I'm thinking a lot more about living in a commune these days, or at least something that looks more like a commune. What I mean is a commune that looks more like an Acts church where we share everything. Doesn't that make so much sense--economically, relationally, spiritually?

This irresistible book is called the Irresistible Revolution by Shane Claiborne. It took Shane's words to help me understand certain areas of the Bible that I've been ignoring. Maybe it's better to say I chose not to highlight those areas. I'd been hearing rave reviews for awhile, but the idea of reading it myself unnerved me a little. I knew it would be convicting and life changing. And it was true. And I'm not even finished with it yet.

Mostly it has me asking lot's of questions. Like, how can I implement Biblical ideas of communal sharing practically while living in a small town of northern California in the twenty-first century? Practically, what does that look like? I don't think I could take it so far as to share a house with people. Maybe if I was single, but not so much as a married person. But there are other ideas. Can it mean sharing household items with people in your neighborhood? Having a co-op type "store" in your church where people could leave things and borrow things? Forming a babysitting service and helping neighbors around the house with handyman stuff? Probably all of the above and whatever else God's blessed us with--including possessions, money, and time. Time. Now that's a challenge.

I guess what I'm asking is how can I be more generous? That'll be my new definition of hippie.


Half Moon Bay

Plucked for a moment--

rootless, breathless--

for one gaze

of the beauty that would drown her.