The surfer

The February edition of the IndieWeb Carnival is about digital relationships. Manuel Moreale suggested we reflect on what these relationships mean to us. He kept the assignment intentionally vague, giving us three forms of digital relationships we may take as inspiration.

Here I am.

The surfer, she tells me she met a woman at a 40s singles mixer. The type of woman who reschedules her flight home to Colorado so that they can have sushi in California. There’s a sweetness to tales of the dating world when I’m in a monogamous relationship. I feel only a little bad about appropriating them to satisfy something which I can’t put into words.

Imagine the world in which I hadn’t spotted the surfer in the queer Catholic Slack space of Vine & Fig when I did, that one day she was there. I have no right to define the surfer’s hardship. The day her parents kicked her out because she’s queer. The way she seeks to remain a parishioner in a space that can’t hold both her and the woman she loves.

We don’t know if there’s love yet. We’ll know after sushi and maybe more. I think we wouldn’t be here if everything good and bad hadn’t happened to both of us, but that’s my private opinion.

She tells me about Pema Chödrön and how inspiring it is to read Comfortable with Uncertainty. We ask each other what it means to stand in adversity with somebody. I can’t think of a person who gets this part of me better than the surfer. The steady rhythm of finding, questioning, and returning to the stories of Jesus, the stories of our spiritualities. Walking around them, considering what they mean for us, rejecting their face-value offerings to make space for depth. We are vastly different, but there’s a homecoming with the surfer that I don’t find with anyone else.

Sometimes we talk about what it would be like if were in the same place. Me in Newport Beach, she in Amsterdam. In some of these stories, the dogs are there, in others we meet each other at church. There’s always food involved, and warmth, warmth, warmth. It is vibrant, the friendship we have built, and I lack nothing.

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