Monday, May 14, 2007

Crawling out, catching up

Well, when I got the "ok, where are you?" note from br'er John in Florida, I knew it was time to crawl out of my hole...

I wish I could say, "Gee, what happened? How'd it end up almost a month since I last posted?" But it's much easier than that. I've been in a funk, and I just have been particularly uninspired to sit down and write.

Oh, I've had plenty to write about, too. But I just couldn't kick it - and didn't really know why, until this weekend. Mother's Day weekend. Mother's Day weekend, 2007.

Mother's Day weekend has become the traditional graduation day for many colleges and universities...including the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago. Yes, Mother's Day 2007 would have been my graduation day, if I'd stayed. If I'd been able to stay....if, if, if. Blah, blah, blah.

Classic signs of depression show up. Not cleaning my room. Laundry piling up. Exercising stopped. And I have been largely just going through the motions.

Good things have come, despite my best efforts. It looks like I can find a place to land at a local Lutheran church that seems to have some good stuff going. I have also started working with a start-up chapter of the DeMolay youth fraternity in Van Wert, OH, about a hundred miles south of Toledo, and finding some blessing there. I'm still going to meetings, still working with sponsees, and working on a long-overdue 4th-step inventory.

But I have to admit that at the end of the day (or even at the beginning of it), I've been pretty uninspired to write - despite the blessings I know come from it.

Which brings me back to John, and another kick-in-the-pants from a long-dead inspiration:

Writing can be a true spiritual discipline. Writing can help us to concentrate, to get in touch with the deeper stirrings of our hearts, to clarify our minds, to process confusing emotions, to reflect on our experiences, to give artistic expression to what we are living, and to store significant events in our memories. Writing can also be good for others who might read what we write.

Quite often a difficult, painful, or frustrating day can be "redeemed" by writing about it. By writing we can claim what we have lived and thus integrate it more fully into our journeys. Then writing can become lifesaving for us and sometimes for others too.

(Henri Nouwen, Bread for the Journey)

OK, OK. I get the point...

This is the hope of this current personal inventory - to let go of the "might have beens" of the past. There is no way to make "the way it was" become "the way it could have been." None. I am where I am - and many of you who have read here regularly have told me that life is better because I'm here, and not there. My prayer is that I can get the Greek chorus (koine Greek, of course...) to agree.

To Laila, Dirk, Ben, Tom G., and all the folks whose journey at LSTC ended yesterday, blessings and congratulations. I am glad for you - even though a part of me still wishes I was with you. But we are walking different roads, for now.

And that's OK, I guess.


Michael Dodd said...

Some years back I had the experience of walking a labyrinth while some other people I love dearly were walking the same one. I noticed that at times we seemed to be going in opposite directions, at times we walked alongside one another for a while, at times I was far out on the edge, then I was near the center while they were on the opposite edge of the circle. Yet we were indeed all on the same path towards the same center.

For me it was a lesson in detachment from people who mean the world to me but who were about to go to places far apart. Instead of seeing and talking with them every day, now I may go years without much contact beyond email.

Yet we are still together on the path -- me in Wisconsin with Tom, one of them in Iowa while his partner is in DC, another in DC and looking for love and working hard on his program, one in California with a job he wanted but that took a long time coming, and another with an amazing position in Georgetown. We are not in the same place on the path -- but when the path is into the heart of the One, all parts of the path are one, too.

Heidi Renee said...

Thanks for peeking out and saying hey - those kind of milestones are hard to handle alone.

Love the Nouwen quote, it's one of my favorites.

Erin said...

It's good to see you :)
Inventory work is just draining... I suggest you tackle the laundry first ;)
Peace to you, friend.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the post, pal. I've been stopping by your blog about every other day for a while, not seeing anything new and simply hoping life was treating you well -- and that YOU were treating you well. Peace to ya.

Anonymous said...

I'm glad you're back! I was worried about you. I can't find your email address, so please email me.