I worked in a foundry many years ago. In all the years, and all the jobs, since then working at the foundry remains my favorite. There is something stilling and quieting about being around the noise of industrial production and the element of fire, molten metal’s allure like the embers of a smoldering camp fire that captivates attention but is impossible to touch. Like an elusive dream reached for but beyond our grasp, to desire the velvety smoothness of glowing embers, flowing metal… we will never know the touch without being eaten alive.

Refining fires, ‘course, is a wonderful metaphor and the LP is in those fires at the moment. And it is a dramatic metaphor for a process that is going so smoothly for us. Or… maybe what feels smooth for the LP is that we have deepened in our trust – trusting of the act of listening, the justice attained in the moment of listening one human being to another human being – so that what otherwise would be undesirable (Marcia stepping down from the director’s role) is simply part of the process as our organization becomes more ‘delicately wrought.’

I am taken by the velvety smoothness of our transition so far. We are stepping down from our service at 325 House. In the refining process it has become apparent that our service doesn’t quite fit there even though it seems as if it should. Similar to our experience at Bean’s Cafe, what strikes us as a natural setting for a listener to be available, guests have demonstrated that… actually… these two locations aren’t as natural as we thought. Refining is taking place.

As I write to you this week, I wonder if listening itself is a refining act – and simultaneous with that wonderment is a sense ‘of course it is.’ Of course the very act of listening refines communication, opens the space making it ‘pure’ by ridding it of any unnecessary debris.

This feels like such a simple message it barely needs saying. If I was sitting beside a camp fire right now, and if this was a handwritten letter on fine stationary, I would feed it to the flame and allow myself to simply be more drawn in.

with love and gratitude,