Monday, April 18, 2016

Packing and Preparing

I have a lot of thoughts swirling in my brain this morning.  On Thursday, I head out again--I am helping my mom lead a retreat for her women's group.  We are going to a retreat center in Richmond.  We were supposed to go a year or two ago, but our various schedules didn't sync with openings that the retreat center had.

I am leading 4 sessions of Bible study on parables and 1 spiritual journaling workshop, the same workshop two different times.  But I am ready for those aspects of the retreat.

What fills my brain?  Packing.  It's a tough time of year to travel in terms of knowing what clothes to bring--it will be warm in the day and cool/cold at night.

And the day before I leave, one of our friends from college will arrive.  It feels odd to say, "Hi.  Bye.  See you on Monday."  I am no longer sure what anyone eats, so I'll just leave the grocery shopping to my spouse and our college friend to figure out.  They were college roommates before I knew either of them, so they have a long history together.

Still there's a bit of straightening of the guest room to do.  It won't be perfect, but that's O.K. because I am realistic enough to know I don't have time (or space or money or . . .) to make it perfect.

In that vein, I wrote a poem that begins this way:

Amish quilters made intentional mistakes
because only God can craft
items of perfection.

I make mistakes without precision,
scattering them across my work
with great abandon, as if to ward
off evil spirits.

To read the rest of the poem, go here.  I love this site because a variety of poets show up here each day, and most of the poems link in a way to some other poem on the site.  It's a modern call and response.

These past few weeks feel full of reminders of end times or maybe just ultimate changes that will come to us all.  There's the death of my colleague, and a good friend with thyroid cancer (treatable with good prognosis) and other new friends with cancer battles, and people retiring.

I wish I could say that all the death and disease that surrounds me makes me savor life more--instead, it makes me want to give up everything that doesn't satisfy me deeply.
The danger with that mindset is that I may jettison something only to realize too late that it did satisfy me deeply.  And thus, I will sit with this mindset, but not act.
This past month does make me realize how important it is to continue to strive for balance, even though it's so elusive.  And so, let me start savoring the feeling of an upcoming retreat week-end, time with my mom and sister, and new friends to meet.

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