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under pressure…

The pressure is the weight of my hands pressing down on my shoulders. At first it was a reminder to keep my shoulders from hiking up around my ears, stress-making, hunching, not at all open as postures go. Now, it’s a binding of sorts. I find I’m hugging myself tight, trying hard not to unravel and that seems all kinds of wrong to me.

There’s always been some talk in our house around moving back to Chicago. I’ve always been the one dragging feet, anvils, tin cans…anything to slow us down. I like this Nashville place, I like these Nashville people. It’s only now that I’m feeling that pull back to Chicago again too. I mean it’s come and gone but now it’s a steady thrumming in the back of my head and I know it’s going to happen, maybe soon, maybe not. Either way I’m wrapping my thoughts around this idea of moving while I’m still in this very liquid place with Orthodoxy.

For months I’ve been grousing about the lack of community and the need for community as a next step in my journey…and now we’re contemplating very seriously this idea of moving 500 miles north. I find myself searching online for Orthodox churches in Chicago….asking the few Orthodox friends I have in that town where I should consider for a community of faith. Sadly, my number of Orthodox friends even there are limited. Among those few several no longer practice but still count themselves as Orthodox “at heart.”

One more bend in the river that I thought would be a gentle stream I’m meant to cross.

And so the pressure comes in…hands pressing on my shoulders, my own hands. It’s not comfort as much as it is a ticking clock. I’m tempted to rush my journey again just as I’ve begun to embrace the idea of community as a long term process. I need a sponsor, I need people. I keep thinking I need someone to just vouch for me, get me in so that when I go to Chicago I can bring some letter of recommendation and just slip in someplace, easy and seamless.

Because that happens sometimes, right?

If nothing else is set when we move- a place to live, a neighborhood familiar, school, work, seasons…it would be nice to have a community of faith…where I can go to meet God, liturgy, mystery, anchoring.