1. Church is becoming such a source of joy lately I cannot even tell you. I know I am always talking about how independent and introverted I am and whatever, but obviously I so deeply desire community and church is beginning to provide such a strong, growing, stable one for me. Only in the past couple weeks have I started to feel an unfailing sense of belonging there; I believe because I can be quite shy, and also because I keep leaving the country, it took a while (three years) to be remembered, and known, and socially brave, and all that comes with belonging to a group of people. But I am getting there, and it is so needed right now.
Today Priest Sarah and I and others were delighting in the idea of bringing out some different vestments for certain days in the summer (that’s some serious church-nerd humor you guys), and this one lady I love but rarely talk to said “And Mari can be the fashion consultant!”
I have a place! I am joked about! This is so exciting for me! The easiest way for me to receive love, feel belonging, understand affection, is through people making fun of or joking about me.
Today, I was involved in a fashion joke. So that was great and I am happy.
2. I went to my married friends Tyler and Kelli’s apartment last night for this four-course, three-wine dinner party and I stayed until 2:30 and realized that I have these wonderful precious years to do this kind of insane(ly fantastic) thing. How much I enjoy being with hilarious people!—and eating spectacular food created with fresh ingredients from the farmers market and drinking French wine in grand celebration of Bastille Day and needing to run to the bathroom because I am laughing so very hard.
More than any quality, I love humor in my friends; I am only mildly impressed by winning intellect and keen ability to bake really good cupcakes, but I love funny people and I know so many of them! I am so lucky!
3. Kelli and I went out to lunch at Whole Foods—an unplanned activity which brought me cheer and extraordinary gelato. The truth is that most of my inspiration comes from my conversations (well, and also pie). I am not one for surprises but I do appreciate the complete gift of an unplanned hour with someone, with time to relish a burrito while coming to life-affirming conclusions about the Bible and pistachio ice cream—sometimes even how the two relate.
We discussed gender and sexuality in the Church, which of course I would talk about all day every day if it were up to me. We discussed the beauty of feminine strength and how we love being part of a church which celebrates our whole entire selves—not just our souls, but also our bodies and our minds.
And Kelli said this really beautiful thing: “When I joined the Episcopal Church, I began to truly love my body.”