"Love is a harsh and dreadful thing to ask of us, but it is the only answer."--Dorothy Day



I was slated to do the communion meditation again at CCfB this week, but had nothing in mind to say. I've been mulling it over since last Sunday when JTB told me it was my turn. Then on Thursday night, I was at the Bible study I often attend, and it hit me. And this is what I ended up with for today. We were talking about whether or not the church (both capitol and lower case) should be involved in politics. My answer…“Of course” and a long tirade about the way the church has been made to look in the public eye, and the underlying reasons the current administration has for picking the issues they have picked. In the process of my weekly tirade, I made a statement that led to a realization on my part.

I have lived most of my life in a state of intentional otherness. I, since I was a child, have chosen to identify myself with a myriad of things that make me different, to such an extent that I fully belong to nothing. When I was very young, it was my logical mind. I was never silly or petty or girly in any way, and refused to be a party to such foolishness. And then I was too angsty, punk-rock Bohemian to conform to the standards of anyone. And in college, I was too angry, girl-rock, politico, revolutionary, Bohemian to not remain an other. I had all my other statements lined up…separating myself by my ideals, my politics, my momentary Vegetarianism. The fact that I’m not a traditional Southerner, that I’m liberated, that I’ve been to a union ceremony. That I’ve seen The Last Temptation of Christ and wasn’t appalled. That I am controversial, a mystery wrapped in an enigma, all tied up in a quandary. That it’s me against the world.

While me against the world is good for songs, poems and manifestos, it’s not really so fun. It’s pretty overwhelming. When you live as an other, there’s no one to trust with your problems. There’s no one to take care of you when you’re sick, or to worry about things with you. Or to help you do whatever it is that you might need help doing. It leads to anxiety and anger, lots of yelling and arguing, sometimes for arguing’s sake. Just to be heard.

I have been aware of my state for while, but lacked the power to change it. Due to the state of my family, I essentially raised myself. I have had few very times in my life when I felt like I actually had someone to take care of me when I needed them. In college, with my friends there (who once tricked the dorm counter clerk into giving them a key to my room, because I wasn't answering the phone and they were worried). And now, with my church, CCfB. What I have experienced there over the past few weeks has been amazing. And I don’t know what to say other than that. I have felt that I am fully a part of something. I am so, so grateful to be a part of this body. It has been such a blessing to be a part of such a family.

Since Nathan has not been able to be here the past few weeks, he asks about church when I speak to him on the phone, generally on Tuesdays. I’ve told him that I feel like there’s something happening here. Something truly remarkable. For whatever reason, I feel like this is what a church is supposed to be, in it’s purest, simplest form. Like that talked about in one of my favorite scriptures, Micah 6:8.

He has showed you, O man, what is good.
And what does the LORD require of you?
To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.



I LOVE this show! LOVE IT! My four roommates over the past 3 years have all been subjected to my Sunday night ritual. After several viewings, they all come around. I have developed a routine around it.

I come home from CCfB, hoping that my roommate won't be home. I prefer to watch alone, for the same reason I see powerful movies alone (ie. The Pianist, Philadelphia, Hotel Rwanda). There is great potential for sobbing. I can hold it in a bit, and I always do when a roommate's around, but it's not the same. And then I sit on my couch and watch. No snacks or drinks. Nothing to get in the way. Just pure, unadulterated joy.

I find that I am very affected by anything to do with giving people a home. Habitat for Humanity commercials, the end of Life as a House, that scene in Garden State where Zach and Natalie talk about finally feeling at home, books about people going home after a long time away. It's endless really. Having moved around and around and around when I was a child, I feel a strange sort of connection to these people, as I have felt a sense of this before. It is difficult having no sense of stability and security. I sometimes find myself missing a place that never really existed. Home is important, whether that means a place, a feeling, a person. It's something everyone is searching for.

I am so impressed by ABC giving people such wonderful things every week. At times I am bothered by the branding and commercialism of it, but I guess they've gotta pay for it somehow. Home...what an amazing gift.


AIDS Walk New York

This weekend is the AIDS Walk in NYC. This is my third year to do it. It's a great experience. Thousands of people walking through Central Park on a Sunday afternoon, having a great time, enjoying each others company, and of course supporting services for people living with HIV/AIDS and research to find a cure.

If you're interested in donating money, here's my donation page. And if you're interested in walking, it's not too late. Just click here and sign up with my team.

The AIDS Walk was a big success. They raised $6.5million. Thanks for your support.


Seeking Safety.

On Thursday night, I went to the MCx Young Professionals Small Group for the third installment of a discussion about homosexuality. I went in expecting another fiery discussion, as at the previous week's discussion I could not keep my mouth shut. I've apparently become notorious among this group for being able to talk circles around anyone. At one point someone asked me a direct question and there were Oooos and Aaahs at the prospect of this person taking me on. He responded with "Oh no. I'm not taking her on. Casey would destroy me in a second." And I had begun the evening having dinner with a friend where we got into a discussion of the reasons why other countries are justified in their bad feelings toward Americans. I don't even know how we got there.

I have VERY strong opinions. One might even call me opinionated. How sad. I don't like to admit that I am anything negative. I am convicted. I am resolute. I am steadfast. I am thoughtful. I am challenging. And maybe even opinionated, but I hate admitting to the negative connotations of this word.

The minister of Manhattan Church of Christ was there on Thursday because we had asked him to be a part of our discussion. His opinions and ideals matched mine, so I never felt compelled to speak up and was given time to just listen. He said something that has stuck with me. He never delivers sermons that contain political overtones, because he wants to be a place of safety for people. A place of safety. Someone who is approachable and who can engage in an even-handed discussion. Someone who can maintain their passion on a topic without becoming inflammatory. Hmmm...I'll have to think about that.


Seeing the Trees.

I found again yesterday that I often cannot see what is right in front of my face. There have been many, many times in my life when I've been telling someone a story, just for the sake of telling a story because that's what I do, and the reaction of this person has made me realize something fundamental about the situation that I had not allowed myself to see. That I am finally content somewhere. That it is important that my birthday is remembered. That I should have somewhere to go for Christmas. That my illness is a big deal. That it is important that I am taken care of. That I am not alone. I'm sure everyone has this feeling, but I feel at times like I am blind. I don't know how to change this. I don't know how to be able to see the forest for the trees. How to understand and be aware of these things without someone telling me. But I guess that's where the whole not being alone thing comes in.



In discussing my allergies with someone (who I cannot at the moment recall), it was hypothesized that maybe I am an alien. How else does one explain living on a planet where you are allergic to everything occurring in nature? Seriously, I am not exaggerating. I had allergy testing done again last year and on the list it just said "Trees"--Check; "Grass"--Check, and so on, ticking off every thing occurring naturally on planet Earth, not so much by specific trees and grass, but just knowing that if it's there, I'm allergic to it. I do believe I might even be allergic to myself.

As we speak, NYC is apparently engaged in its worst allergy season on record. Something to do with the winter being too mild and the pollens being release with such ferocity that it could only be a sign of the acopalypse. They will soon have to create another level--High, Very High, and Absurdly F-ing High--to describe what is coming our way. I looked at the Weather.com Allergy Almanac yesterday and can track the severity of my symptoms with the eb and flow of the pollen counts. I would at this point trade my left eye for some good, old, run-of-the-mill sneezing and itchy eyes. Once when I was in high school, there was a day where I sneezed maybe once every thirty seconds...for the entire day. I would take that over what I've got right now, hands down. What I get instead is a headache that pretty much encompasses the entire right side of my body. You're thinking "That sounds serious and like nothing a simple allergy could cause." But, oh, these are no simple allergies we speak of here. These are like Clark-Kent-being-exposed-to-Kryptonite type allergies. So, so sad when pieces of your home seek to destroy you.