For the last year, I've been taking continuing studies in youth and theology with Princeton Theological Seminary's Youth Department. That may sound all proper and studious - and let me tell you I'm learning a great deal; but I have to say I'm incredibly blessed with the sense of family and community that has grown from this group as well. These writings are my first impressions last April...More to come on that soon.
Thank you PTS for being the fresh breath of air, that cool splash of water, that dear comforting embrace and gently nudge to take that next unseen step into...God know what!
There poems are for you, for my cohorts - and for the G-d that brings us all together!
The meals shared too many to count...
Just like T.S. Eliot - "My life is measured in coffee spoons." - or in my case, tea.
So much laughter, questions, nerves and chatter -
until we relax in the space of that moment and before we know it we become friends.
Then change moves in again like the breeze of a lake and pushes us to shift yet again.
To a new place, to a concept that we'd only hoped we'd start to understand and then with some discussion, some conflict and a listening ear and mind - our hearts grow larger.
We are community - growing again.
Then the cars were waiting, the trains and planes sighed with us as we boarded and headed back to where we came from - but we are not the same. We are changed, grown, challenged and loved in this community - this new family. I know we won't wait for the reunion to talk again because I already miss you.
Thank you for being my home away from home, thank you for being my tribe, thank you for being yourself and encouraging me to be myself too.
This flash of true community is the biggest parcel I'm taking home - knowing that there is still so much more yet to come.
T.L. Eastman April 2010
Voices surround me.
Abound within a without of me.
And fill as far as the eyes can hear.
Can my ears see what they say -
or push away from the things I can't stand to hear.
Voices support me.
And some would like to thwart me.
From the places my life needs to go.
Can my heart sustain what repeats in my brain -
or flutter on impulse to and fro.
Clarity and vision would be the position that I'd like to forever take.
So I run towards the gate that leads to the way -
of promise, of hope and of faith.
I'd like to leave behind the ones without grace,
that hold me back from the true path that calls.
With you standing close by, my chances are nigh to swoop and to fly, no clipped wings in my wardrobe to wear.
A Voice sustains me.
And always retains a place to be.
If only my ears would always tune in and hear.
Yet, that dial is so tempting to turn.
When will this willful hand ever learn?
Those other frequencies have no joy to spurn.
They only chatter,and prattle and spin.
A Voice still calls me.
And knows the vision of all I should see.
As I press back to center to hear it again.
Then I will hear that Voice lovingly, gently, directing me
- in the path that once was only a far-off-hopeful-dream.
This Voice's dream I pray will become my reality.