Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?
~ (From Mary Oliver‘s poem, “The Summer Day”)
Dear Sojourners friends,
I have some news to share with you that is difficult (for me at least) but wanted you to hear it from the horse’s (or mama bear’s) mouth: Today is my last day as Sojourners' Web Editor and Director of New Media.
Change is hard. There is always a certain lamenting that comes with it, even when the change is, on many levels, a good thing. This was a difficult decision but one I felt I had to make in order to follow the lead of the Spirit. Our CEO Jim Wallis received the news of my impending departure with great grace, love and support. For Jim's friendship, I am ever blessed and thankful.
See the thing is, as many of you know, I didn’t become a mother until about four years ago when my husband, Maury, and I welcomed home our boy, Vasco, whom we adopted from Malawi. Vasco, is now 13 and, as any parent of teenagers will tell you, they need their mamas during these transitional boy-to-man/girl-to-woman years perhaps more than ever before, even as they are sprouting their independent wings and pulling away from their parental units.
Being Vasco’s mother is the single most important thing to me in the world. It is my heart’s work. Writing is my calling and vocation, but mothering goes beyond either of those things. Unfortunately, my position at Sojourners has taken me away from Vasco — both physically when I travel to the Washington, D.C., offices and in other ways as well. When I’m home in the SoJoWest offices (i.e. our guest room downstairs), I’m still not really here.
So I must leave you to be with him more fully (and with his father) in the community where we live among our soul friends, where my spirit is filled and fed and inspired to go and do — but from right here by the shores of the Pacific.
I have made some wonderful friends at Sojourners — more than a few I hope to keep for the rest of my life. To my colleagues: Thank you for your hard work, your devotion to the uncommon good, your kindness and generosity of spirit. For your faith and stubborn hope that the arc of history may be long but it does, as Dr. King said, in fact bend toward justice, I am ever grateful….
The wonderful and talented Sandi Villarreal will be taking over as Web Editor and Director of New Media on Monday. As you know from reading her writing, Sandi is a brilliant journalist and beautiful wordsmith. She is also a ridiculously gifted and passionate designer who knows more about digital media than I could ever pretend to do.
God's Politics and Sojo.net is in great hands with Sandi at the helm. As a fan, I look forward to seeing the exciting new places where Sandi and her staff will take the web site and Sojourners digital imprint in the days and years to come.
I’ll leave you with the poem by Mary Oliver, “Wild Geese,” which, appropriately enough, is also the name of the festival where I heard God’s still, small voice calling me in a different direction (back home, back to being a full-time mom to my beautiful son, the joy of my life).
May the peace of the Lord be with all of you as you continue to serve the world with grace, love, and a boatload of chutzpah.
With a deep bow of gratitude,
Cathleen (aka “Mama Bear”), Your Bloggerina
“Wild Geese” by Mary Oliver
You do not have to be good.
You do not have to walk on your knees
for a hundred miles through the desert repenting.
You only have to let the soft animal of your body
love what it loves.
Tell me about despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.
Meanwhile the world goes on.
Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain
are moving across the landscapes,
over the prairies and the deep trees,
the mountains and the rivers.
Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air,
are heading home again.
Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,
the world offers itself to your imagination,
calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting –
over and over announcing your place
in the family of things.
Cathleen Falsani has been Web Editor and Director of New Media for Sojourners since September 2011. She lives in southern California with her husband, Maurice Possley; their son, Vasco; and two neurotic cats. You can read more of Cathleen's writing HERE and HERE. Follow Cathleen on Twitter @GodGrrl or on Facebook.
Photo credit: Wild goose flying image by Tom Reichner/Shutterstock. Portrait of Maurice and Vasco Possley by the author.