I live and write on Lingít Aaní, and gratefully acknowledge the past, present and future caretakers of this beautiful place, the Jilkaat Kwaan and Jilkoot Kwaan.

…a bit challenging. (the understatement of the week) as Annie Lamott said earlier this week, even she is losing her capacity to process catastrophe. (Stay with me, it gets better.) I am just overwhelmed by so much dire news.

I donated to Episcopal Relief and Development’s Maui disaster fund, contributed to a Go-Fund-Me account for a Juneau teacher whose house was in the way of the river flooding in Juneau when the glacial dam let go, and since I’m about to travel to a remote village without any proper trash disposal–  you burn, bury or sink it- I repacked the stuff I’m bringing and replaced plastic with paper and glass. Still, it seems like too little too late.

My computer has been on the fritz too– and the new one isn’t here yet, which is why there are not a bunch of photos with this post. Which is no excuse for being cranky, and honestly, such a problem of privilege that it’s embarrassing to share. But that’s where we are. Everything, even a broken computer is weighed on a new, existential scale–

Attending church has become that way– all or nothing– with ’em or agin ’em. Like my friend’s bumper sticker says– Jesus called and he wants his religion back–

I was in charge of our very small church’s morning prayer service this past Sunday. That means figuring out the lectionary ( the lessons and collect appropriate for this particular “Year A Sunday closest to Aug. 10” as my instructions noted. ) It’s more complicated than you’d think. The psalm  was three parts of two different ones. Rather than even try to have us read it together and shuffle though the prayer book, I read it to the small congregation. (Which was bigger than usual– at 12. It felt like a good kind of record to break this summer.)

The gospel was the famous one about Jesus walking on water toward  the disciples in their storm-tossed boat, and how Peter steps out to join him– and he does, for a few steps, until he sinks. Jesus says that if Peter had more faith he’d have stayed dry. This story is usually one of those black and white Sunday school lessons– sink or swim. Faith or doubt.

For me treading water feels like a real victory these days. Is that true for you, too?

And here’s something else that I wonder about: the focus is all on Peter trying to walk to Jesus, to be like him even– and failing– but what about why he left the safety of the boat? What about having a little faith in the people he is with, or even some loyalty, or love for them, especially in that difficult time —  and to at least wait with them until help arrives? (I mean,Jesus himself was right there!)

Before church, Chip and I donned rain gear ( it was pouring) brewed coffee in to-go mugs and stopped by the Old Field Kitchen for fresh, warm currant croissants and went out to the ballpark to watch our very adult daughter (her oldest is a teenager) and friends play in a co-ed softball tourney.

Yes it was muddy and wet, cold too on those aluminum bleachers, but the two local teams were playing hard. The rules for co-ed softball are more confusing than the rules for Episcopal church services. The batter begins with one out and one ball. All fouls are strikes. Some home runs count but most don’t if you have X amount already–each inning — that sort of thing– there’s more, but I never did figure them all out.

I enjoyed the game none-the-less, mainly because the harbor master played third base, the police chief was on first. A fisherman pitched. A miner, a kindergarten teacher and a college professor played together. Yoga instructors and grocers and a stay at home mom who just had baby number eight were all out there in the rain, all playing hard just for fun.  There was no arguing a call or even a hint of bad tempers– they listened to the umpire and cheered for each other.

In the end, my daughter’s team won 16-15 and everyone smiled and lined up and slapped hands and cracked jokes.

This all made me feel better to be in this small-town boat.

Also, it turns out that fall hasn’t arrived early. The forecast calls for sunny skies.