Some Pictures and Half-Baked Thoughts

The Bachelor Farmer Café

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East of the Mississippi

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Mills Ruins Museum

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The Mississippi River

Minneapolis is a really cool city. I saw only a small slice: an absolutely charming restaurant called “The Bachelor Farmer Café” with yummy and healthy food, and even more, style to delight the spirit. I would not trade my life in Alabama for anything and I am also grateful to be in a space where I hear many different languages at once, where faces are amazingly different with skin colors of all kinds and features that are compelling in so many different ways. I sat at a table next to a young person I was pretty sure was transgender and I was so glad for a safe space for this beloved child of God to be true to herself.

Because the day was stormy, we only had time to walk for a bit through a park called the Mills Ruins Park, on the banks of the Mississippi which is nothing like what I have experienced of it in other times of my life. I’ve lived in Memphis and I’ve lived in New Orleans where it is so wide and deep and muddy and somehow, more slithery and ominous, certainly so omnipresent that it is like having a giant in one’s midst. In Minneapolis it is younger looking and less intimidating, more fun and at least seemingly manageable—after all you can walk across a bridge here in about 5 minutes. My new friend Hannah and I ended our visit at the home of some friends of hers who live in a suburb between Minneapolis and St Paul. That’s where I got a glimpse of yet another truth about Minnesota, in the form of a back yard that had cherry trees and apple trees, pear trees and a hedgerow of raspberries and a mom from where the women are strong, a dad from where the men are good looking, and three cherubic little tow headed boys who were obviously above average and could have come straight out of a Prairie Home Companion.

I have spent today not in church, but writing. There is so much you can figure out with the kinds of blocks of time I’ve had this week. It turns out the project I’m at work on had been writing itself for years now—bits and pieces reflect in many of my blog posts, in many of the stories I’ve heard myself tell. Any number of times now, I’ve started out to write something I thought I had very clear in my mind only to figure out that, though the starting place was precisely right, there was something totally different to consider and explore instead. The hard part now is realizing how much I want to have time just to see, take in all the colors and shapes and absurdities of my life, and how that can make it so easy to sidestep life as well. I only have two more days after this one before the journey home and I have a feeling I have still only received a tiny piece of everything this workshop has to offer.

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