Friday, November 20, 2015

Spa Ha Moment: Yesterday

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The day ended in the hot tub, after a mad dash from our warm bedroom out into the frigid air, icy grass pricking our feet, ending in a great hasty slide into the steamy water.

It had been a great day.

I think the greatest luxury life can afford us is a day where we can think almost entirely of others. That was yesterday.

I arrived at work to see that the project I have been working on for a couple months had come to completion. The project, Merry Christmas, Provo an album of local producers and musicians (and local artists Steve Vistaunet and Justin Hackworth) singing holiday cheer, had been shipped to us in big brown boxes. I cut open a box and pulled out a cd feeling a sense of pride and a huge wave of relief. Every single cd sale will go towards funding United Way's Sub for Santa program. And this year, each child will be paired with a literacy specialist to make sure every child has skill-appropriate books in their home.
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And thanks to corporate sponsors, 100% of the proceeds will go towards the program.

I have been listening to this album for last couple weeks and I have to say, I really adore it. It has a large range of sounds from folk to rap, R&B and electronic and I love the production on it. It's happy and haunting. And I really enjoyed working with my best friend Scott Wiley at June Audio and other Provo producers to make it dynamic in all the ways. The Lower Lights* donated the rousing Once in Royal David's City. Mindy Gledhill's new project, Hiveriot produced Up on the Housetop. Even dance music favorite Late Night Alumni contributed a beautiful original song Silent Lights
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If you would like to buy a digital download or have a cd shipped to you, OR BUY ONE LOCALLY you can find all that information here. Right now, you can get this album, Volume 2, and last year's Volume 1 together for only $10. THAT'S RIGHT FOLKS!

After caressing the cd for awhile, I went out with Provo's film crew Channel 17 to film a promo called C. Jane's Guide to Holiday Shopping in Downtown Provo. Our hope is to inspire our community to shop small for Christmas this year. We traipsed all over downtown with a camera and mic, in and out of our local shops, feeling so inspired to think carefully about buying gifts with meaning. And I love chatting with the local shop owners, I know running a small business isn't easy and I am grateful they are willing to be so creative and courageous to do it. Plus, I got to get all sexy on that fuchsia couch (thanks Unhinged!)
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Later in the day when the clouds and the dusted mountains were turning November pink, I came home to find Christopher at the kitchen table doing homework with the kids. I jumped on the couch with my baby to snuggle her and in a moments we were joined by everyone else. Sometimes a day at work makes me feel that much more lovey towards them all.

Then the babysitter arrived and Christopher and I made the (ill-fated) decision to ride his motorcycle over to BYU to catch the Ruby Bridges speech at the MOA. We were lucky to be offered VIP seats which saved us four hours of waiting in line. The event kicked off a socially slanted Norman Rockwell exhibit with themes of racism, elitism, family and faith. Ruby's own painting, The Problem We All Live With, is also featured in the exhibit. It was an honor to look at that painting while listening to her talk about what it was like to be six years old and the first every integrated black student at a previously all-white school in one of the most racists parts of New Orleans.

Ruby talked a lot about how racism and senseless violence is still very much a part of our country. She talked about how there is good and there is evil and we need to decided what team we are on. She ended with, "Racism is an adult disease. Stop using our children to spread it."

Racism is an adult disease. Stop using our children to spread it.

It was a really emotional experience. I was caught up in tears almost the entire time. I am sorry racism exists, but I know it does and it is my pledge to raise kids who understand injustice and equality. I want them to be on the good team, and I know it starts with me being on the good team too.
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After the speech we jumped on the motorcycle again and fought with the wind and cold to downtown where we hit the last of Justin Hackworth's holiday party. The Hackworth's are like family to me, and I love seeing them succeed in their crafts-Amy's writing and Justin's photography. They bless our lives with their ideas and creativity. It was hard to leave the party with so many people to chat and connect with--we're so lucky to have so many lovely people in our lives.

Before heading home we stopped by to get Flemish stew at Bruges. One of our favorite neighborhood teenagers Jarrad Miller works there and he inspires us to make our kids get jobs when they get old enough (REMEMBER THIS IN YEARS!). He serves us with a huge smile and give us the family and friends discount with a wink.

When we got home--near frozen and feeling stupid for thinking we could motorbike on a mid-November night (we wanted to avoid parking, ok?) and paid our delightful babysitter Stephanie, Christopher and I bounded into the spa to sit in silence and look at the stars.

It's no secret life has been a bit messy for me and many of my friends lately. In the mess of it all, and after many late night hot tub sessions in silence and discussion, spotting the deer as they bound in and out of our backyard, feeling the cold biting our ears, I have found some peace. I hope it's lasting peace, but for now, I have found resolutions I have hoped and prayed would come.

Days like yesterday remind me of the miracle of grace. Somehow life forgives and let's us start all over. And what once felt like a landslide of impossible recovery turns out to be a finale of one type of faith and the beginning of a new one.

But I can't say this enough, thinking of others really is a luxury. And a grace.

Thank you Bullfrog spas! WE LOVE YOU!
* Lower Light's Christmas show tickets are now on sale. But they are going really fast, so feel free to hurry up and get yours. And Grandma's. And Uncle Russel's and Aunt Beth's!
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Tuesday, November 17, 2015


"I read your blog. I don't agree with you but..."

I find that statement like fingers on a chalkboard. This blog is my life story. You are essentially saying to me, "I don't agree with your feelings and your life story." That is a really weird statement.

I am a personal essayist. I write my narrative. I'm don't write persuasive essay. I am not here to spill logic. I do not write to change your mind, in fact, there's a good chance I don't even know you. And I'm quite certain if I got to know you, and you told me your life story, I wouldn't say "Oh, I disagree with your story BUT I LOVE YOU!"

When you love someone you don't disagree with their story, you listen to their story. When you say you read my blog and disagree with me, what you are saying to me is that you are reading my blog while judging me. And while I fully understand I have no control over that on a public blog, I do have the ability to explain how it feels.       

I write what is in my heart, I don't write to change your heart.  

Let's be really clear about that.

Feel free to come here as a reader not worried about me trying to make you believe what I believe. I don't believe in that practice. It's not about agreeing or disagreeing it's about learning.

Hope that makes sense.

Monday, November 16, 2015


 There is something truer than truth and it is love.
-George Handley (Mormon scholar and friend)

What being an ally this week has taught me:

Love is dirty. It stains you as much as it sustains you. It ails you, it heals you. It is the poison you drink the and antidote that saves you. It is the pull in your perspective. It gives you ears to hear.

When you decide to love without reservation you also agree to be changed indefinitely. Love requires sacrifice, it demands all. It determines all. Love remodels the soul, and the physical-once you decide to love you will never feel or look the same again. When someone chooses love, those around them wonder "What happened to them? They look tired. They seem angry." Because love is not comfortable, it's not pretty, love is work. It is war you fight every day.

Love is different from romance. Romance is romance. Love is labor. It's hard labor. It's not showing up with roses, it's showing up with resolve. Love never sleeps, it will wake you up in all the ways. Love will burst your bubble. It will give you new eyes to see.

Love will dictate where it is to be applied and where it isn't. Love will send you away or it will pull you closer. If you listen to its incessant demands, love will tell you where you need to be-in a relationship, out of a relationship, in a pew of a fraught church, in a new community or alone. Love will give you new legs.

Love has no patience for your concerns about social acceptance, or habits of your heritage. It will transcend your insecurities and insist you follow. You must follow love. You must follow love. You must follow love or it will follow you and hunt you down until it engulfs you.

Love is the act of doing for others what they cannot do for themselves. It is honoring the marginalized, speaking for the silent, standing with those who stand alone. It always feels radical, it always feels scary, it always requires bravery.

And it's possible that love can actually make you feel like your heart is swollen, bruised and pained. You will feel it pounding in your hears in the mornings and you will grab your chest with your hands and apply pressure, and you will say, "I feel like my heart may break into a thousand pieces."

Of all the elements on the earth, love is the heaviest.

And in return, love offers you courage. And I think that is about all it gives. But it is enough.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

In Response to Sarah and Janet (thank you for asking)

janet said...
Where is a place where we can discuss what can be done to make a difference? I think the place is with our brothers and sisters who are hurting. I'd suggest making a list of ten people who are affected most by this change and check in with them. In my heart I believe listening is first, discussing is second. Stories change us for the better.
Sarah said...
CJane, I would love to hear some personal stories of the people who are affected by this decision. Could you gather some and post? I think it would be very effective in promoting understanding.
 Sarah, thanks for asking. My friend Jerilyn Hassel Pool has been curating stories of the people who are affected by this decision. I asked if I could repost here. And I'm closing comments on this post, but if you want to discuss you can find me on my facebook page C. Jane Kendrick.

Monday, November 9, 2015

Asterisk* Part II

I have received so many loving messages, text emails and comments these past few days. I appreciate it so much. Because I have been lifted and validated I felt like I could lift and validate others who are hurting. Thank you. This weekend left so many of us feeling like we were in a personal crisis--emotionally, spiritually, even physically. I felt it, many of my friends felt it, I know we all tried to be there for each other--liking status updates and commenting with compassion. Again, I am so grateful.

I also heard from a few people very upset with me for the previous post. I have felt all weekend long a desire for myself to show what I mean when I say "it was the actions of *my fellow LDS sisters whose privileged** lifestyle make them utterly incapable of hearing or seeing the pain shared by SO MANY. This church works for them, and in that they feel justified in not listening and not considering a bigger picture."

Here are some of the comments I received by my fellow LDS sisters (and I think a brother) for my post asking for more listening and understanding. (To be honest, they don't even come close to the comments I got when I wrote about voting for Obama YIKES.)

CJane is a hypocrite. She doesn't encourage healthy dialogue. She has let her "fame" get inside her head.

 Cjane plays the "compassionate police" quite well.

Yeah, I think I'm done here. She obviously doesn't want to hear from anyone who thinks differently than her.

I think you need to get over yourself. A very hefty dose of humility would do wonders for you. Read D&C 22:4- seek not to counsel your God. Surely you don't feel God is inspiring your comments, so who is?

Courtney would realize by moving just how isolated Provo / Utah County is from the rest of the church and world. ***

Here is MY "F YOU" letter to Cjane. Your are judgemental as HELL! 

If I was your mother, I would feel so incredibly hurt. 

your tone and intolerance for people who think differently than you is the opposite of love and understanding. In fact, it is bullYing, condescending, and arrogant. You are a beautiful writer and you speak much flattery. So did Nehor, Korihor, and Sherem. Do you know who those people are? (yes, duh Anti-Christs)

All the fame and attention from the world is not worth giving up your birthright. I promise you are not being influenced by angels of light.

The reason why I feel compelled to share this is because these comments are the EXACT thing I was talking about in my post. These ugly droppings. They exhibit the point. Not only here on the internet but also in real life. And it's one thing for me--someone who has a sizeable support group and does this by profession (even still it's shaken me up all these years to the point of almost apathy)--but it's entirely something else when it's a gay Mormon teenager, or a single lesbian mother who has no family support, or trans tween. Whatever, it happens in our church all the time and it hurts. It hurts so much we have to post numbers to suicide hotlines on facebook when things like this happen. When you decide to say things like this, or defend policies that hurt people before you have a chance to hear with empathy to their story YOU ARE HURTING THEM. It's not pretty, it's not righteous, it's not ok. IT'S NOT OK.

I'm just asking: is it possible that before we jump to defend the church we take a moment to listen? Reach out to your LGBT friends and take a moment to hear them out. Even if you still have a roaring desire to defend the church you will have, at the very least, listened to people whose hearts are totally and utterly broken by a policy that most likely doesn't affect you in the same way it does them.

I hope hope hope I've made a point here.

* please note I never said "it was the actions of  ALL my fellow LDS sisters" I also didn't say "my CONSERVATIVE LDS sisters" I also didn't say my "FAITHFUL LDS sisters" there has been some mighty misinterpretation of that line. The definition was those who are "incapable of feeling the pain shared by so many". Do you feel pain about this too? Well then, I'm not talking to you am I? Do you have a different opinion than I do after contemplating this in your heart and hearing others out? Oh, that's great. I'm not talking to you. Also, guess what? IT'S PERFECTLY FINE TO BE ANGRY ABOUT SOMETHING ESPECIALLY WHEN YOU FEEL PEOPLE ARE BEING HURT!

 **please take a moment to read about heterosexual privilege if you haven't before. Enlightening!

***this is called gaslighting. I am supposed to believe if I weren't in Provo my problems wouldn't exit. In Mormon circles it's a way for people to avoid having to see problems in the church at large. When you come across an unhappy Mormon in Utah you can blame Utah and not the rest of the church and therefore skirt the issue. I usually respond to this statement with, "Do you have female bishops where you live? Because if the answer is no then probably this isn't about living in Provo."

I gotta go to bed.