My Theology

ExPluribusUnum, or "one from many", is the Shortest Way to Describe My Theology.

I believe that we are all mere human beings trying to make sense of our existence; so we should keep that in mind when we interact with one another. We are one people, composed of many persons. "God" is found in the love we share. The only way to get to that holy place is to practice more love!

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Do Black lives really matter in America?

If, God forbid, I were to be killed by an officer of the law, I wonder what types of things would be alleged about me in public conversation.

I wonder what sorts of opinions would be shared by the public at large. How would my character be maligned? What misjudgment would I have made that would turn out to be the ultimate cause of my justified killing? How would everyone come to believe that it was my fault? Because, of course, it would be my fault.

Some parents advise their children just to be themselves and act naturally if they have an encounter with the police. Other parents, black parents, have to teach their children that acting naturally is dangerous and can get them killed. Black youth have to learn to be character actors in order to survive. Literally.

“But A – you don’t have anything to worry about. You aren't in a gang, you aren't a thug, you don’t commit crimes. You’re respectable, you’re well-liked, you don’t get into trouble.”

Does it matter? No. Black skin is threatening. Black speech is threatening. Black culture is threatening. Shoot first, ask questions later. If I ever found myself “in a situation”, would I live long enough to play The Part? Would I live long enough to play that role that we – Black children – are all taught, and convince a scared cop that I am not in fact dangerous?

You see, all Americans grow up in a racist society. You may think that you are not a racist. Indeed, you may not be a bigot with overt racial prejudices spilling from your lips; but the institution of racism is alive, well and thoroughly embedded in our society and culture. Each of us is taught to fear The Black Man. The Black Man is a savage beast. The Black Man is a wanton criminal. The Black Man must be kept in check. The Black Man is a menace to society – his number must be closely managed. We are all taught to fear The Black Man.

We have all been raised in a society that has taught me to fear my own reflection. I watch you cross the street when walking toward me on the sidewalk at night. I watch you women clutch your purses a little closer. I watch you stare straight ahead and walk sternly forward, ignoring my “hello, good evening”. But it’s OK, I understand. I’m dangerous, and you’re just using common sense – the sense of self-preservation that every good American has. I do the same thing if I’m approached by two or more black men that I don’t know. Obviously, they are up to no good. Otherwise, they wouldn't be walking together, right? What business do two or more black men have prowling around like that? It’s unseemly. Obviously, their “hello, good evening” is a pretense to get my attention so they can taunt me, rob me, or beat me, or tauntmerobmebeatme all at once. Right? Obviously. What in the world could a random Black Man that I don't know –  a stranger – have to say to me on the street? Nothing good, obviously. Black culture glorifies violence, right? I mean, there's so much else for the average Black Man to focus on, right? So much sunshine and rainbows...right?

How much deeper the fear for someone who doesn't look anything like me at all? How much more afraid must someone be who doesn't have an insider’s knowledge, who doesn't know any “good” Black Men (what are those?).

None of this makes any sense. Am I just rambling? How do we make sense of race in America? How do I make sense of my existence? Do you have to make sense of your existence? Do you have to think of excuses to explain why you are? Do I have a right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness? Am I still only 3/5 a person?

Do you ever have to ask yourselves these questions? Where do the answers come from? Are there any answers?

You, America, you brought me here against my will. I have played by your rules. I have been a slave. I have been a servant. I have been every sort of subservient, impoverished, groveling not-quite-a-man (in your eyes, my eyes, reality?), and I can’t win. And now you don’t want me here. Where can I go? Where is home? Who am I? When I stand up for myself, you beat me down. I beat myself down, because I have been taught that it is too dangerous to speak when I haven’t been spoken to. When I stand up for myself, I am playing the race card, because after you've suffered injustice for long enough, is it still injustice?

Or is it just Life?

Even when I am successful, I cannot win. “That’s pretty impressive, for a Black Man! You're so well-spoken! So articulate!” Sounds like, “Wow, I didn't know monkeys could talk!” Yes, the successful Black Man is a trained monkey. Right? When will I be allowed to be fully human? When will you respect me, America? When will I be able to stop looking over my shoulder? When can I stop carefully monitoring what I can say, what I can do, how I can move in the world? Because the world was made for You, and I’m an ingrate of a guest in your house. Of all the possible outcomes to this game, is there any where The Black Man can win?

I’d settle for a draw.

But still, I wonder what America would say about me if I were to be cut down before my time. Do you ever wonder about such things? When will I stop fearing my own reflection? How will you help me? What more must I do to help you?

Do Black lives matter? How can you tell?

Monday, June 9, 2014


During the work week, I usually set my alarm for 5:30 a.m. My commute is a rather long one, generally lasting at least 90 minutes, but more often than not around 2 hours or more. Each way. I try to use all of this travel time productively—by reading, listening to interesting podcasts, meditating, writing, learning new's time well spent! And I love my job, so it's all good. In any case, I usually hit snooze several times before I actually drag myself out of bed and get going. But today was different.

Last night, I went ahead and set my alarm for 5:30 and realized that I would really have to get up when it went off. Why? Because I was made aware that members of the Westboro Baptist Church would be traveling to Tenleytown to protest at Wilson High School, a school that I pass almost every day on my way to work in nearby Chevy Chase, and I wanted to show up in support of them in their loving counter-protest. So at 5:30 this morning I forced myself out of bed, showered and dressed, and headed to DC.

I had intended to wear one of my yellow "Standing On the Side of Love" t-shirts because the student organizers asked that people representing others groups and organizations wear identifiable (and hopefully colorful!) clothing, and also because it's become sort of a habit for us Unitarian Universalists to wear this uniform when demonstrating for a cause. However, my brain was not quite awake when I left the house, and I left the t-shirt at home. Oops. Once I finally arrived in Tenleytown I did indeed see some "love people", and I went over to them and introduced myself. I was happy to note that there were other people of different faiths present as well, witnessing to the reality that love really is greater and broader than the hate espoused by the WBC.

But the most amazing thing of all, and the most inspiring, and the most hopeful, is that this significant event was organized by and realized through the efforts of students at the high school. The high school version of me from the mid-90s could not possibly have imagined a world in which not only would it be possible to be out about my sexuality, but that I would have the support of my school, my neighborhood, and my broader community as a gay young man deserving of respect and of love. But this is the reality for the teenagers who attend Wilson High School (and their principal!), and for students in others schools with GSAs—including my alma mater, which I hear has begun a group in the past few years. When I recall the dark depressive moods I would endure, obsessed with thoughts of suicide but never willing to attempt it (thank God), my inner teenager weeps with joy for the possibilities available to high school students these days. That younger me didn't think I would ever make it past the age of 20, much less that I would grow into a happy, loved adult, and that I would be able to marry the love of my life legally. These kids don't have to wonder as much. For them, the possibility of future and present happiness is very real, and they know it. It truly is amazing how much the world has changed in this relatively short time.

And in the midst of all the chanting and the cheering and the general merry-making, there was one young lady with a simple sign that read "Christian values equal LOVE!" So simple. And so not the message of vitriolic hatefulness promoted by the Westboro Baptist Church. I'd choose the message of the students at Wilson over the WBC any day. These students get it. They can teach the world a thing or two.


"Christian values equal Love!"

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

I Got A New Name

Until 2008, when I formally requested that the state of Florida issue a corrected birth certificate, my legal name was not Adrian. Never mind the 29 years before then when everyone called me Adrian. Never mind every single form of identification I have ever had in my life. Never mind the fact that someone very obviously made a typographical error when issuing my original birth certificate (not to mention that my parents never thought to have it corrected!). No, my birth certificate prior to 2008 very clearly says that my first name was something other than Adrian. Or was it?

Before September 11, 2001, all I had to do was tell people there was a typo on my birth certificate, and they would use my actual name. On occasion, I would show a driver's license or other document to prove my sincerity. When I moved to Maryland in 2003, the Motor Vehicle Administration here simply transferred the information from my old New Jersey license onto a new Maryland one. I don't know why there was an issue, 5 years later, when I went to renew it. They insisted that all documents had to match; and because they'd begun scanning and storing this information, I would have to provide a birth certificate that matched, exactly, all of my others IDs. And so I requested that the state of Florida change my name. To Adrian. So that a piece of paper reflected reality. Weird, right? I know!

Today, for only the second time—and the last—I have legally changed my name. This time, the last name. It's one of those things I didn't really consider at first. All those years of struggling to gain access to marriage the beginning, it was purely a fairness and justice issue for me. I was single, with only the hope of one day finding the right guy and no viable prospects around. Having to change my name was least of the things I thought about when dreaming of marriage equality. Fast forward several years from then—I remained a committed activist but also became half of a committed couple. Once gay couples gained access to marriage rights in Maryland, what would I do with my name after getting married?

I fantasized about many different options, some more realistic than others. What if we both changed our names to something different? What if we combined our current last names...just smoosh them together and take a few letters out? Hilliham? Grilliard? Would we hyphenate? If so, whose name would go first? The younger one's? Would we put them in alphabetical order? What would the new names sound like? Joel has a PhD, so he's earned the right to be called "Dr."; how would my name sound with a title, should I ever get one other than "Mr."? What would it look like in print, if I ever publish anything, as he has? If we had the same name, would answering a land-line phone, should we ever get one at home, be impossible? (Which Mr. do you want?!?) Well, we decided pretty early on that Joel wouldn't be changing his name, so the theoretical change would be up to me if it was to happen. After all, we wouldn't be required to change anything...many people don't these days! The choice was mostly mine then.

I did not want a hyphenated name. That just wasn't appealing to me at all. The next best option in my mind was just to have a double last name, so the choice became whether my name should come first or his. I chose to have mine first, and immediately after being married I updated all of my social media profiles to have my new name: Adrian Hilliard Graham. I read somewhere that Maryland considers actual usage when determining the legitimacy of a name change (outside of the whole marriage process), so I began using Hilliard Graham everywhere.

But people still called me Mr. Graham. And I didn't mind. When Joel and I checked into our hotel suite the night before the wedding, I asked the guy at the front desk to look up the reservation under Hilliard. He couldn't find it. I took a deep breath so as not to get frustrated—we had a wedding block staying there, of course we had a reservation!—and then I asked him to look under the name Graham. Eureka! "Adrian and Joel?," he said. "Yes!," I exclaimed. He checked us in, told us to call if we needed anything, etc. And then he said, "Have a good evening, Mr. Graham." For a split second, I wanted to say "No, it's Hilliard. His name is Graham. And it's Dr." Why? Because I was exhausted, and feeling snarky, and I have grown accustomed to correcting confused people. But instead, I paused and let his words sink in, and I realized that I would be getting married the next morning (!), and this man's "mistake" gave me a visceral understanding of what that could mean. Starting a new life...taking on a new identity as a married man...taking on a new name...

Being a gay couple comprised of one white man and one black man, we, by default, bring a lot of diversity to our relationship and we present such to the world at large. Some day (no, not this year!) we hope to adopt children, and who knows what their ethnic or racial makeup might be. The world we inhabit being such as it is, our children will already have certain challenges to face simply because of who their parents are. Of all the reasons I could come up with for a unified family name, this was the best. Both Joel and I want to ensure that no matter the background(s) of our future children, there's something concrete that ties us all together and gives us strength as a family. The first thing that will do that is love, because love is most important of all. But the next thing will be our name. Of course, having the same name doesn't mean much at all without love; and the presence of love can overcome even differences in names to create the bonds of family. But every little thing helps!

So I let all of that sink in and soaked it up for several days. A few weeks, actually. It was only a few days ago that I settled on moving my last name to a second middle name and adopting his last name as my own. I was still considering the double last name thing, telling myself that I could use both or either, depending on the circumstance, and I didn't want to feel like I was losing my identity altogether. I guess I could still use both, but my legal last name will be the same as my husband's. In Maryland, you first have to acquire a certified copy of the marriage license showing both names, then you have to go the the Social Security Administration and have them update your name in their records and issue a new card, then you have to go to the MVA and have them update your state-issued ID, and THEN you can change everything else. I'd hoped to get everything done today, but apparently the SSA needs 48 hours to completely update their records electronically, so I have to wait a few days before I can get a new driver's license. In the meanwhile, I will begin tackling the rest of my life.

It feels good to have come to this place. It feels...legitimate. And legitimizing. I would never admit to needing legitimization, but having received it I can say however that it feels really good! Of course my activism does not stop here; there are so many more battles to be fought. But I can pause for a while and savor the moment, for as long as possible! And yes, I am still glowing! It feels good to be married. It feels good to wear my new name. It's going to take me a long while to get used to it, and to get other people used to it, but it feels damn good.

Adrian L. H. Graham

And for fun, an April 2013 video from Billy and Pat!

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Wedding Rings

In many ways, my husband Joel and I are very conventional, if not traditional, in the ways we choose to live our lives — our lifestyle. Sure, as gay men in the 21st Century, we might occasionally like to think of ourselves as counter-cultural, cutting-edge, trend-setting, even radical — and in some very important ways, these are all true — but when it comes to most things, we can be downright boring we're so normal.

When we agreed that it was time to get married, we initially decided against wearing wedding rings. For one thing, neither of us is accustomed to wearing jewelry, not to mention that I have lost every single ring that I have ever owned! Rings are a potential safety hazard in Joel's line of work, and sometimes are just inconvenient for us. Joel is frequently playing around in the dirt, planting things, weeding, and gardening; and I just don't like having things on my hands when typing (which I do too much) or playing the piano (which I don't do nearly often enough). So we thought we'd skip the rings. After all, why do people wear them to begin with? What tradition, what symbolism, would we be perpetuating? How would these be relevant to us?

For a brief time, when we couldn't let go of the thought of rings, we entertained (half-heartedly) the idea of tattooing bands on our ring fingers. Now there's a sign of permanence and commitment! However, our insincere enthusiasm for that prospect fizzled rather quickly. I never wanted a tattoo anyway! What to do?

In the end, we decided to go ahead and buy rings. What an interesting experience. All of the places we went put their energies into marketing towards brides — in fact, the selections of men's rings we saw were very minimal compared to the broad range of women's band that are available. In some ways, this made our task harder, but in many ways it was much easier. We ended up at a sales counter looking over a selection that appealed to us, and got help from a sales associate to size our fingers and try on different rings. Apparently, one hand (perhaps it's the dominant one?) is about half a size larger than the other...I had no idea! As we had considered wearing ours on our right hands instead of the left, we tried rings on both. Once we selected two that we were happy with, the associate remarked that we'd chosen beautiful rings, but that they didn't match! Joel quickly replied, "Neither do we, so it's fine!", which made me laugh out loud. He's so cute. So we bought the rings.

The funny thing about this whole situation — well, two funny things — is that no one really, until now, knew that we'd seriously considered dispensing with the whole ring thing altogether. I'm not sure how that scenario would have played itself out, and I guess I won't know now. The other thing that fascinates me is how many people want to know why we wear them on our right hands — everybody knows that wedding bands are worn on the left hand! I mean, if you don't follow convention, what's the point, right? What does one communicate, or not communicate, by choosing not to wear a band on the left hand? [Insert shrug here]. 

While there isn't really a single reason for our choice, here are a few things to consider, in no particular order:

  1. We are both left-handed and left-hand dominant. Theoretically, wearing our rings on our right hands would be less "inconvenient".
  2. Wearing bands on the left hand is not a universal tradition. Many cultures wear them on the right ring finger, some on a different finger altogether, and some probably don't wear rings at all!
  3. Some gay couples purposively wear their rings on the hand opposite that which the predominant culture would choose, signifying that their union is similar to but different than a heterosexual marriage.
  4. In many ways, my husband Joel and I are very conventional. We might occasionally like to think of ourselves as counter-cultural, cutting-edge, trend-setting, even radical...but when it comes to most things, we can be downright boring we're so normal.

Sunday, May 25, 2014

May 17

I have been married for one week and one day.

On May 17, 2014, exactly two months ahead of the nine-year anniversary of the day I fell in love with my partner, we were finally, beautifully, joyously, and legally married at the First Unitarian Church of Baltimore, surrounded by about 250 of the people we most care about and who love us with a boundless love. It was miraculous — a dream come true, and just perfect, despite a few hiccups along the way. We are so happy.

Photo Credit: A.N.G.R. Photography

Over the course of these nine years, I have (on several occasions) fantasized about getting married on many different dates, for various reasons. I don't really know much about numerology and the like, but for some reason I wanted to choose a wedding date that was significant. All of the dates I'd chosen came and went, and we remained unwed; we've felt ourselves to be married for quite a few years now, and settled on telling people that we were getting "wedding'd", although I can't describe the sense of legitimacy and finality we've at last been allowed to experience now that marriage equality is the law of the land, at least here in Maryland and a handful of other states.

During the summer of 2013, we'd finally agreed that it was time, and decided we would like to get married in the spring of 2014. Because Joel comes from a family of farmers, we understood that this would be a difficult time to schedule a wedding, due to the uncertainty of the weather for planting season in Western Pennsylvania. However, we decided that sometime in May might work best for our families to travel to Baltimore from the various states where they live.

May 3 ended up being too early, and because the Sunday closest to May 5, "Union Sunday", is a kind of High Holy Day in our congregation, we didn't want to take that weekend. May 10 was Mother's Day, no. May 17 seemed like a good date.. And May 24 — this weekend — is Memorial Day Weekend, so we didn't want it now. Next weekend, May 31, would have been much too late. So May 17 it was.

Curious to know what "significance" May 17 might have, I looked up historical events that took place on that date:

On May 17, 1536, the marriage of Henry VIII of England to Anne Boleyn was annulled.

On May 17, 1875, Aristides, a thoroughbred chestnut colt, won the first Kentucky Derby. Great, but not so significant to married life, and I wouldn't realize any connection until much later...

On May 17, 1954, the U.S. Supreme Court unanimously decided Brown v. Board of Education, allowing for racial integration and declaring that separate is inherently unequal. A-ha! Something of import for a racially mixed gay couple! May 17 seemed like a good date after all!

On May 17, 1990, when I was a hurting, depressed, and moody eleven-year-old boy generally unaware of such external goings-on, the General Assembly of the World Health Organisation (WHO) eliminated homosexuality from its list of psychiatric diseases. Being gay was no longer considered to be a mental and emotional deficiency! HALLELUJAH! May 17 seemed like a GREAT date!

And on May 17, 2004, after the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court ruled in Goodrich v. Department of Public Health that barring same-sex couples from marriage was unconstitutional, couples in that state began marrying. In this number were the seven couples from the court case, all of whom were wed at the Arlington Street Church (Unitarian Universalist). JACKPOT! Joel and I would be wed on the 10th Anniversary of the very first same-sex marriages in these United States of America. And since May 17, 2005, this day has been celebrated as the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia (IDAHO, or IDAHOT since the 2009 inclusion of Transphobia in the title). We couldn't have landed a more perfect date!

It wasn't until we began trying to block hotel rooms for out-of-state guests that we learned that May 17, 2014, would also be the date for the Preakness Stakes, the second leg of U.S. horseracing's triple crown. Oh well, we weren't going to change the date now! We'd just have to make do with sharing our day with the Preakness, and we did. And it was such a glorious day.

I often joke about having CDO, which is like obsessive-compulsive disorder except with the letters in the right order [insert LOL here]. I'm not sure why it was so important to me that we be married on a date with some oomph to it...but I'm so happy that we did! We have the rest of our lives to celebrate, together with the world, the power of love to overcome obstacles, and to win over the hearts of humankind.

I'm so in love, I don't think this glow will ever go away...

Photo Credit: Amy Genevieve Kozak

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Unitarian Universalists Believe What We Must

I'm tired of people claiming that Unitarian Universalists don't believe anything, or that we are just a social—or worse yet, political—club. Where does the notion come from, and why is it so easily perpetuated? Every Unitarian Universalist that I have ever met has either known precisely what they believe in, or have been somewhere on the path of discernment, discovering just which beliefs resonate with them and which do not. Mainly we are both of these types at the same time. I know this is just a shade of difference from that latter type of person, but I don't know anyone who believes in nothing. Who believes in nothing? How does one believe in nothing? Everyone believes something about the nature of reality and our existence in it, right?

I am also weary of people claiming that Unitarian Universalists can believe anything we want to. Although I find this to be a slightly less offensive position than the first, I find it to be equally untrue...or at the very least, ambiguous enough to warrant serious doubts. Unitarian Universalists don't believe just anything. True, we believe many different things, but is that really saying the same thing? There are other non-credal faiths out there. What makes us the ones that people just don't get? Let me try to explain non-credal: we are not required by any institution to accept any theological position as true and binding which does not resonate with and originate within our own spirit. Non-credal doesn't mean non-belief, and it doesn't mean belief in any- and everything. It means that Unitarian Universalists believe what we each must believe.

Yes, I believe what I must believe. I believe that God is present within everything that exists, and that we all exist within God. I believe that God is not a person, but that I am personally connected to, related to, indebted to, enamored with, and dependent on God. I believe that everyone else is, too, but that we each speak from our own experience and background, and thus use the words of our own language to describe what we can only describe very poorly, perhaps ineffectually. I believe that I, with God, can make a difference in people's lives, including and perhaps especially my own. I believe that many Unitarian Universalists who are not me will not believe any of the things I just listed and may bristle at all the "God-talk". I believe that that's OK. I believe that how we treat one another is more important — and a better indicator of the presence of God in our lives — than the differing beliefs we hold and the words we choose and use to express them.

Do I believe these things because I want to? No. I believe them because I have to. Life simply does not make sense to me if I don't believe these things. I would be in perpetual despair if these things were not true, because every fiber of my being tells me that they are. If I could believe in whatever I wanted, I would believe that Jesus Christ is the only begotten Son of God the Father Almighty up in Heaven, that He is my Lord and Savior, and that He came to Earth, suffered, died for my sins, and rose from the dead to offer me eternal sanctuary with Him now and at the end of days. Why would I want to believe these things? Because that's what most of my family believes; and because I don't like conflict, I don't always enjoy being on the outside of the in-group (it gets lonesome here), and life in the United States of America might just be a little less rife with tension if I believed as many others claim to believe. Yes, I would believe these things if I could believe whatever I wanted. But I don't believe these things. And not just because I don't want to, but because I can't. My beliefs are not a matter of desire or volition.

Being a Unitarian Universalist is a tough job. We have to figure out what we must believe, many of us by learning from what others believe and sifting out the things that don't evoke in our spirits a sense of the Divine, while retaining those things that do. Our institutions do not determine or proscribe what those precise things might be, but we collectively share guidelines to help us along the way. We agree to walk with one another on the journey, in love. Sometimes that walk is exciting and filled with joyous discovery and revelation. Sometimes it can be boring and dull as anything—but the point is that we do it together. My boring jaunt on any given day with other souls might provide that life-changing and life-affirming moment that they need to make their own connection to the Divine. Who am I to deny them that opportunity? Who am I to deny it to myself?

Unitarian Universalism is a saving faith. The more ways and opportunities we have to connect to the Divine, the better. Hallelujah!

So no, we do not believe in nothing, and we do not believe in everything. Each of us struggles to uncover what it is that we absolutely must believe. How do we put an end to the perception that we are "just a club"? How can I stop being annoyed by these misconceptions?

Monday, January 20, 2014

Why does this blog exist?

I created this blog years ago, purportedly to flesh out my interest in becoming a UU seminarian some day, and to just post my thoughts about religion and life in general. I had the idea that it would be a place where I could think my deepest thoughts, albeit in the open, and engage in conversation with other people with similar thoughts or interests. I have always been one to think deeply about things, or perhaps I have been one to obsess over things...I'm not sure what the difference is. When it comes to expressing my thoughts on profound, complex topics, I find that it is usually easier to get to the crux of things if I take the time to write it out. My brain seems to process things most clearly while in the act of writing them down.

However, I don't write as much as I ought to. Why? I can give any number of good, valid excuses. The lack of time, other priorities, and so on and so forth. But none of the excuses trumps the fact that I just need to write. I have felt so muddled and mentally confused for the past few years. My extreme identification with my social media personae and my incessant need to be connected to the internet - my feeling as though I will miss something if I look away for just one moment - all of that leaves me feeling overwhelmed, rudderless, lost.

You see? Until I wrote that, I couldn't even begin to articulate what the problem is. Too much too much too much - rotting my brain, clouding my mind, zapping my energy. Eating my soul?

So yeah, back to the question at hand. This blog was supposed to be a place for me to expose myself. For me to share my thoughts, and to clarify my thinking through conversations with those few of you who might read what I have to say. I still have hope that that might happen, which is why I keep it up and try to post from time to time. Perhaps my expectations are too high, or too low. I think I might be a little bit of a perfectionist when it comes to things like this, and I don't want to post anything "unrefined". But thinking like that keeps me from posting anything at I guess it's time to give that up.

I really miss the community of Unitarian Universalists that existed on Beliefnet ten or fifteen years ago. I miss having those conversations, and having a community that wanted to discuss the things I like discussing. I've learned that one of the ways I might in some small part re-create that era today is for me to follow other people's blogs and engage with them there. So, if you notice that I've started leaving comments on (and not just reading) other blogs, it's my way of trying to declutter my mind and rejoin the conversations that are going on out there. I need focus and clarity...and it looks like I'll have to get there by accepting where my unfocused, unclear mind is right now, and laying it bare. So here goes.

Perhaps this is part of discernment. Who knows? I just need to write more; it really is a spiritual practice for me. And it'll all figure itself out in the end. Right?

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