--I find it disconcerting that I was so wrapped up in my administrator/teacher duties yesterday that I forgot it was the Feast Day of St. Hildegard of Bingen. For more on her life, go to this blog post that I wrote for the Living Lutheran site.
--Hildegard is one of those women who did so much, despite the constraints of the medieval age in which she lived, and I wonder why on earth I can't accomplish more. Or let me be more accurate: by last night, I was wondering why I seem destined to copy the same files again and again and again.
--At least I have them to copy. One of the hard lessons I've learned of administrator life: don't let anything out of your control before you make a copy. I make both paper copies and electronic copies.
--I think of Hildegard who must have faced similarly repetitive tasks as she kept her nunnery afloat. Yet she managed to write so much music, music that has survived. What's wrong with me?
--Let me stop to remind myself that I have written quite a lot--maybe not this week, but most weeks, I get a poem written and some other creative work too, in addition to blog posts, which for me, take some time to compose.
--Hildegard of Bingen wrote regularly to all the powerful men of the day to encourage them to pursue peace. Like Hildegard, I've dedicated some of my time and energy to social justice matters. That work is important, but it does explain why the time for my creative work ebbs and flows.
--I wonder if Hildegard thought that she wasn't writing much. I wonder if she envisioned larger gardens. I wonder if she chafed at the duties that kept her away from the creative work or social justice work that she wanted to be doing.
--My theory: in the day to day, we feel we aren't doing much. But when we take the full measure of a life, we see how much a life can encompass.
--Here's one of my favorite parts of the blog post that I wrote for Living Lutheran: "We all face constraints of various kinds, and the life of Hildegard shows what could be accomplished, even during a time when women did not have full rights and agency. She was an abbess, and because being in charge of one cloistered community wasn’t enough, she founded another. She wrote music, and more of her music survives than almost any other medieval composer. She was an early naturalist, writing down her observations about the natural world and her theories about how the natural world heals us. She wrote to kings, emperors and popes to encourage them to pursue peace and justice. She wrote poems and a morality play and along the way, a multitude of theological meditations."
--Like Hildegard, we can compose our lives similarly.
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