Monday, August 30, 2010


I have a more than passing interest in the nature of power.  I majored in political science in college not because I had any interest in governments but because  I wanted to better understand power.  Attending college after having just emerged from a broken marriage, I felt powerless.

I crave power, and at the same time fear it.  Acutely aware of its ability to corrupt and abuse, I dance around power gingerly.  When I feel overly powerful I become frightened and find ways to deflate myself; when I feel powerless I resort to manipulation and subterfuge.

Having been told over the years that I have a "powerful personality," I struggle with inept attempts at containing myself.  At times I tamp myself down in order to blend in, and at other times I'm a bull in a china shop.   Every now and then I find a comfortable balance that feels authentic.

My internal war with power most often plays out in my marriage, but that is a topic for another day.  Most recently it messed with my head at work, and I'm still trying to sort it all out.  Another example of Life being a classroom!

Bob Lively once said there are only 2 kinds of power: political power and spiritual power. Political power is very tricky; spiritual power is rock solid. My quest is to handle the first with grace and to accept the second as my salvation.

Saturday, August 28, 2010


Someone called today and requested I write a poem for a friend.  She asked if I was still in the "poem writing business."  After four years in the real estate rat race I wasn't sure I still had it in me.  I have written very few poems in the last four years.

I wrote the poem this morning.  I had forgotten how each poem soothes and comforts me!  Perhaps it is only an illusion that they are ever written for someone else.

I am grateful for the opportunity to remember the poet within. 

Wednesday, August 25, 2010


Just returned from visiting my college roommate, Sheila Rae Morris.  When we get together mostly we talk about religion, politics and family.  Sheila is a writer, and she shared with me an essay on faith from her most recent (though not yet published) book.  Our religious experience as children was very similar; she was raised Southern Baptist and I grew up immersed (literally) in the Church of Christ.   Her essay is an honest and poignant description of how she made the pilgrimage away from her Baptist roots to celebrating the truth of who she is and always has been.

Our conversation reminded me of the time in my life when I no longer believed in the notion of "Scripture."  Sometime in my early forties I was having a conversation with a neighbor, a fundamentalist Christian who kept quoting the Bible to me.  She asked me how I justified my position on some issue when the Bible, to her, clearly disagreed with me.  I heard myself reply, "because I do not consider the Bible to be authoritative."  Our conversation came to an end, but I knew in that moment that what had once been true for me was no longer.

So many writings and teachings have informed me over the years.  Books and teachers have educated me, inspired me, provoked me, challenged me and radically altered my world view, and I am grateful.  Yet, I am even more grateful for the day I realized that none of them could, any longer, command me.  That realization afforded me one of the most exquisite tastes of freedom I can remember.

Sunday, August 22, 2010


Years ago I published a monthly newsletter titled Stepping Out!  The header contained the two definitions of "stepping out," which are now shown in the header description of this blog.  I realize that these two "actions" describe the ebb and flow of my life,  or perhaps Life.

Four years ago I stepped out of semi retirement and plunged into a full time job in real estate.  Two weeks ago I stepped out of that job to retreat.  Both were conscious decisions.

Once again, surprisingly, I desire to write in order to rediscover or discover anew who Robyn is.  Here is what I know about me and writing.  I am terrible at writing in a journal.  Why?  Because no one but me will read it, and I bore myself.  Chalk it up to hubris or extroversion, but I write much more clearly when I have an audience.

Thus, this blog. Wow, this is so much easier than putting together a paper newsletter, folding, stamping and mailing!  And it is certainly a work in progress -- I've never attempted a blog so I've much to learn about the technicalities.  I welcome hints and suggestions.

Feels in some way like coming full circle and yet so, so different.  I've missed you.