Wednesday, October 30, 2013


I do not want to get into the habit of using this lovely blogging area as a place in which to vent and bitch on a regular basis - and I apologize for needing to write this particular blog.  It was in the way of all of the other things I am interested in writing about and hopefully my acknowledgement will clear my path, so to speak.  ~ Kerstin

I've found myself agitated and repelled by debate on a national and international level for some time now, often remarking to my husband that I'm ready to sell everything and move to another location, another country, a simpler way of existence.  My rational mind knows that no matter where one stores their material possessions and lays their head at night, there will be issues and conflict; my heart and soul are heavily weighted by right/wrong conversations or even brash arguments all around me regarding all sorts of challenges this nation and our entire earth faces.  Dinner or drinks with friends, liberal, conservative and right winger friends (and all in between) spouting all over facebook - it's everywhere and I'm tired of it.  It opens up the gate for invisible fear over many things far beyond my control and interferes with loving and feeling loved.

When did we forget about nuance?  When did we begin to lose sight of the large and continually shape-shifting area of grey that subtly and gracefully connects rather than polarizes us as humans?  Nuance helps us to bridge some of the gap when we search for answers to great challenges.  It's so disheartening to listen to or read about radical my-way-or-the-highway thinking.  There is good in the worst circumstances; there is bad in the best circumstances; and always there will be.  I believe that in the grey matter lies the provocative path to compassion, to understanding, to harmony and finding humility and compromise.

On a personal level, I see myself withdrawing from some topics even with people very close to me on the basis of this.  No nuance = little or no compassion.  No nuance = no attempt at understanding.  No nuance = I'm not very interested. And this is the saddest part.  It creates an additional divide; a personal as well as ideological divide.  Why would I want to spend time debating anything in which my fellow debater sees no evidence of grey matter?  Because then it not a conversation in which each party both seeks and imparts greater understanding; it's a lowly and uninteresting who wins and who loses situation.  It is no longer the subject matter only - but a study in who is the more gifted debater; therefore the subject matter falls by the wayside; an opportunity to learn and grow forfeited for a very short lasting feeling of being 'right'.

Health care, national debt, political party lines, who should resign, be impeached, Fukushima, radical environmental concerns, GMOs, climate change, big, small, short and long wars..... AHHHHHH!!! I want to know how your day was - what touched your heart, what you learned about yourself, how you made even the tiniest wrong right, what you did after you made a mistake to correct it, how you did the right thing even when it was the hard road, what made you laugh, what brought a tear to your eyes....I want to know you better than your ideology.  Together, lets explore the mysteries of faith and spirituality, the beauty of this earth, the never ending capacity of Love, the endless ways in which we can be of service to each other.  Each of these possesses great nuance and mystery - that, dear reader, is very interesting to me.

Yes, I know, there are some big things that really need to be fixed - and in my humble opinion it'll take a long time to fix them if we continue to write this evolving story only in black and white - we really need mystery and the grey expanse of nuance to find our way to the creative kind of thinking that begins to solve big challenges.


Wednesday, October 23, 2013


Conflict is ubiquitous in our lives.  Big ways and small ways, short ways and long ways, it's a constant hum in the space of human existence.  Should I sleep a little longer; I'll be late.  I should say I'm sorry; I'm still mad.  I want another glass of wine; I might have a headache in the morning.  Too many calories; I really want that dessert.  I want to be friends again; my feelings are still hurt.  It goes on in every area of life.

I wrote and sent a letter to a woman I've been estranged from for several years ago today.  I wanted to say 'sent a letter to a friend' in my last sentence, yet I don't know if that is true today.  I still have a refrigerator magnet stuck to the door that she gave to me several years ago that says, " you'll always be my friend, I know all of your secrets".  I don't know why we fell away from each other- but I will confess that she was a package deal, and I suffered the other component of the package - never having the cajones to ask for precisely what I wanted; just time with her.  So, I guess it was my decision to stray from caring for that relationship the way a person needs to in order to keep a friendship.  I'm nervously hoping that we might reconnect, and nervously wondering how I will handle the 'package' if that happens.  Conflict.

This past weekend, wrapped in the warm embrace of long friendship, at the beach and away from day-to-day I found myself considering straying from my goal of my Camino next summer.  Not straying forever, just for a little bit - perhaps altering my plans to accommodate a getaway with a group of beautiful women that I've grown up with who will all turn 50 next year.  Today I finished reading 'To The Field of Stars' by Kevin A. Codd; a memoir of a priest's camino.  I cried through the last few pages, and again, could - in detail - see myself walking the pilgrimage.  Conflict.

The importance to me of a spiritual pilgrimage; self examination, tears, joy, awakening, enlightenment and reflection will never have a 'right' time.  Religion has been a second thought for a lot of my adult life -but spirituality has not. It continues to move closer and closer to the prominent thought, the prominent path, and I feel very little conflict in the journey of seeking humility, grace, understanding, peace, compassion, love and joy. No conflict.

I'm not 'un-conflicted' by writing tonight.  I'm not sure what my ultimate search is for as I write about conflict.  I do feel a bit more peace through examining why I am where am tonight.

God bless everyone, no exceptions.