Sunday, September 19, 2021
Saturday, September 18, 2021
I arrived to campus yesterday to find that we had no phones and that there was water seeping up from between the wall and the floor in one part of the hallway. It had made quite a puddle overnight, but it seemed to taper off in the morning as we kept an eye on it. I can't figure out what caused it--there's no plumbing nearby, but I don't know what may be running down the wall in terms of plumbing or ductwork. The office on the other side of the wall was dry.
There are days I feel our campus is cursed. It's not an old-school kind of curse: no one's first born must be sacrificed, there's nothing that will haunt future generations. But every day it seems that there is some kind of new challenge.
Yesterday I wrote a poem that's been in my head for a few weeks, a poem about a wicked witch in an enchanted forest who realizes that she's mellowed at midlife. Once she would have brewed a potion to turn a snooty prince into a toad, but these days, she's brewing tea to soothe the weary soul. Once she would have constructed cottages of gingerbread to lure children to their doom, and now, she tips the Amazon driver who brings her the exotic ingredients she can order online, so she has no need of children to bake in her oven.
I still need to work on it--that last bit doesn't work as well as the first. But I like the general idea.
I thought of that witch late yesterday afternoon, when the UPS person arrived at my office door. He had a big box. We weren't expecting any packages, so I did double check to make sure that it was ours. It was addressed to our IT guy.
Could it finally be the HDMI cables we'd been waiting on? Some sort of device that would make our printer able to talk to our laptops? We've been bringing our laptops from home, but that means that to print anything, we have to turn it into a PDF file, save it to a USB drive, and walk the USB drive to the printer. It's fine for a document here or there, but it's extraordinarily cumbersome for the kinds of printing we used to do daily.
I pulled out one of the boxes that was packed inside a box to discover this:
I don't want to sound ungrateful. I'm sure that these headphones are lovely, especially at one of our sister campuses, where everyone is working in a conference room to be able to access the mi fi hotspot device that gives us internet connectivity. But at my campus, we are able to continue working in our individual offices, even if we have to close the door.
In terms of what the campus really needs, headphones would be very far down the list.
I said to one of my colleagues, "If this was a scene in a movie, it would strain belief." Campus requests laptops, HDMI cables, bluetooth devices to enhance connectivity--and we get headphones for people who are working in individual offices who have no need of headphones. Maybe one of the other campuses got our cables and connectivity devices.
What makes me think that we aren't cursed--or what breaks the curse each day--is the patience and good humor of colleagues. When one of us slumps in despair, the rest spring into action. When one of us can't figure out how to rig together one more set of connections, someone else spots a solution.
I don't know how long we can limp along like this. Part of me fully expects to be saying that week after week, year after year. But we'll figure out a way to keep making a way. We're educators, after all, low on the priority list, with non-existent budgets for supplies, creating magic out of curses.
Friday, September 17, 2021
Thursday, September 16, 2021
It's Yom Kippur morning, so maybe it's appropriate that I woke up wondering if I had been too harsh, too insistent, too pushy in my recent interchanges at work when I made inquiries about timelines and our tech crisis. We've been trying to make do the best we can, but I've also felt it's important for people above us and in the tech department to realize what it looks like on the ground. I ended a recent message this way, after saying that I realize that IT has a lot of issues to deal with these days:"But [I was told] that getting internet and computers for the classroom would happen by Sept. 3, and that hasn't happened yet. So we are building platforms out of boxes on tables so that the faculty member's daughter's laptop that she brought from home sits high enough to connect to the flat screen that we can barely move out from the wall to be able to use it with the HDMI cables that I brought from home. These are the mornings that I wonder if we're being filmed for some strange reality show."
Wednesday, September 15, 2021
For the next several months, our church will be using the newly published A Women's Lectionary for the Whole Church. Why switch to a new lectionary? Hasn't the Revised Common Lectionary been good enough for all these years? What can the new one do that old ones haven't?
Tuesday, September 14, 2021
We are in the 3rd week of seminary classes, and it's been 4 weeks of technology hell at work. For years, I assumed that the technology set up at work was the most solid and secure, so it's been strange to find myself in the new condo where the internet connection is so solid. I'm grateful and realizing I'm lucky. I'm tired of lugging my laptop everywhere, while also realizing that I'm lucky to have one to lug, and I know that if anything happens to it, I can replace it fairly easily. It has not always been this way for me, and I do understand how I am speaking from a place of privilege.
I don't want to rant about work, at least not today. I spend much of every work day these days letting others rant to me about these tech issues I can't solve.
Today I want to talk about a comment that my professor made in one of my seminary classes last night. We were wrapping up the Zoom session, and the professor was talking about the assignments we've turned in, and her grading process. She said she'd been feeling down lately, but then she started reading our assignments, and she felt so inspired and so hopeful about the future of the church.
For those of you who have lost track of the progress of my life, a quick digression. I'm in my first semester of classes at Wesley Theological Seminary, where I'm working towards an MDiv degree, which is the degree required by my Lutheran denomination (ELCA) to be a pastor. Almost every student is headed towards some sort of career in the Church, which I'm using as shorthand for Protestant Christian organized/institutional religion space.
Back to my seminary professor, who is feeling hopeful about the future of that institution because she's reading our writing. I watched her tell us this and watched her get a bit choked up as she told us how much we had made her feel better.
I confess that I did go back to the course shell to scroll through our Discussion posts. I had a different, though related, response--I feel relief, like I have found my people. Last night, as our professor was instructing us about how she wanted us to approach the Bible, I felt a similar relief. She mentioned that she'd had students in the past who approach the Bible as inerrant, unchanging and dictated from God, and she always advises those students to find a different seminary, because Wesley is not that seminary. Again, I felt relief, because I would not do well if Wesley was that kind of seminary.
When I looked at the various specialty tracks that Wesley offers, tracks like my chosen one of Theology and the Arts and but also Public Theology, Urban Ministry, and the African American church, I couldn't imagine that Wesley would be a conservative place, and so far, the theology I've found has matched what I could see myself proclaiming.
I think about what my professor told us last night, and I, too, feel hope for the future. And I also want to remember this moment as one of the better pieces of writing feedback that I've gotten so far--if I can write anything that makes people feel hope, that's a piece of writing that has fulfilled one of my writing goals.
Monday, September 13, 2021
Sunday, September 12, 2021
Saturday, September 11, 2021
And here we are, twenty years since September 11, 2001, with the horrific events that catapulted us into this twenty-first century. I've been reading all sorts of essays and articles that take a look back, some with an analytical eye, some simply observing, all tinged with loss and hauntedness.
All week, I've thought about the kind of post I might write today. But on this morning, I find that I don't really want to write about the event in terms of my own personal recollections. And the kinds of larger implications I might want to explore, well, I'm not ready/equipped to do that right now.
But let me collect some scraps, which may or may not be useful later.
--I remember driving down to the University of Miami while events were unfolding. I remember all the apocalyptic books and movies I had read and seen and wondering if we were at the beginning of a war. Should I be scanning the horizon for mushroom clouds? Should I turn around and head home?
--I did continue on and conducted my first class as if nothing had happened. It seemed important to preserve normalcy. I look at that sentence and wonder what I was thinking. I look at that sentence and wish I had cherished that normalcy that was even then vanishing.
--At the time, it seemed like a one time apocalyptic event, a day blazed in our memories. As the pandemic has unfolded, I've reflected on the difference with a slow motion apocalypse, compared to a September 11 kind of event.
--But as I've reflected, Sept. 11 has also triggered its own slow motion apocalypse: wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the war on terror and all the ways it transformed individual countries and the world, on and on I could go. I feel like I had a bigger list at some point, but I can't pull it up now.
--As we look back, I'm struck by all the opportunities lost along the way, all sorts of opportunities.
--And of course, I wonder what we're missing now. When the next apocalypse roars, we will look back and see what? Will it be the apocalypse we're expecting (then, mushroom clouds and nuclear war, now all sorts of climate change triggered awfulness)? History tells us that the answer will be both yes and no.
Friday, September 10, 2021
Thursday, September 9, 2021
Wednesday, September 8, 2021
Yesterday was one of those nourishing days. Did I get a lot of cleaning done at the old house? No, I did not. But that's O.K., even though it may mean a very long day later as we get closer to Sunday's open house.
Let me list the delights of the day:
--I had the day off for Rosh Hashanah. Our school's previous owner didn't even give workers most of the federal holidays off, let alone any religious holiday except Christmas. It's a nice change, especially this September, when we have days off each week for Jewish holidays.
--I went to the library and got the book I need for a seminary class, the book that sounds enough like books I already have on spiritual practices that I wanted to look at it first. While I was there, I found the newest book by Julia Cameron. How I love the public library.
--I had some cheese and crackers for early lunch, one of my favorite meals. I read a chunk of the Cameron book, and once again, I'm grateful for the public library. I've read so many of Cameron's books that while it's great to have a new book, I'm always glad that I didn't spend a chunk of money on a book that says what Cameron has said before.
--I made this Facebook post and hoped that it didn't sound like cultural appropriation: "I have today off for Rosh Hashanah, which means I can tune in for the Opening Convocation for Wesley Seminary, which I'm watching now. I'm wishing I had apples and honey and a cake to complete my ecumenical adventure, but instead, I'll eat cheese (Stilton with blueberries) and crackers and enjoy a new year celebration with my seminary."
--Unfortunately, the sound quality for the opening convocation went in and out, so that I only got every 7th word or so. Eventually, I gave up on hoping that the tech wrinkle would work itself out and went on to other activities.
--I had the most amazing nap, the kind where I sleep deeply and wake up slightly panicked at not being sure where I am or what day/hour it is.
--We have been waiting on a plumber to come and fix the kitchen sink in our rental condo. Every other faucet has great water volume and pressure, but the kitchen faucet has dwindled to a trickle. We thought we would have to wait until Friday for the plumber, but he appeared yesterday, and we were home--that would not have always been the case.
--The plumber said we need a new faucet, so we'll be waiting a bit longer for the landlady to choose one and have it shipped to us. But in a way, that's good news. If it was a supply line issue, it would likely be a much less easy fix, but we have plenty of water and pressure in the line. And I'm glad to have the plumber confirm that we do have a problem. Why I would doubt the evidence of dwindling water that my own 2 eyes can see--that's a topic for a different day. Hopefully a new faucet will be the cure, for our kitchen water issues, if not for my self-doubt issues.
--We made a great dinner, one of our basic go-tos: salmon, brown rice, broccoli, butternut squash souffle (an easy side dish in the freezer case). And I have left overs for lunch tomorrow when I return to work for my 2 day work week this week.
--I "went" to week 2 of my virtual synchronous seminary class on the New Testament Gospels. For the second week, I was very happy. I love the instructor, I love the subject, I'm learning new stuff but not being overwhelmed with all I don't know.
--I finished my day off by looking at the flier my realtor made for the open house and feeling happy about it. Hurrah!
I did have trouble sleeping last night, perhaps because of my amazing nap. But I feel pretty good today, ready to see what this second day of Rosh Hashanah vacation brings.
Tuesday, September 7, 2021
I did not have the Labor Day I expected, but it was a pretty decent holiday. What makes it extra great is that I have an additional 2 days off this week. My college is now owned by Orthodox Jews, so we have today and tomorrow off for Rosh Hashanah.
I expected to spend Labor Day at the old house, cleaning like a madwoman to get it ready for the open house that we have planned for Sunday. Because of the work that I've done in the past 2 weeks, the house is fairly ready, and because of the work that my spouse has done, the outside of the house is fairly ready, but the cottage still needs a lot of work, the exhausting kind of work, the kind that neither of us wants to do.
We've been getting low on food, so I planned to go for provisions, and because we're still in the middle of a never-ending COVID-19 spike, I wanted to go early to avoid people. I was able to do that--hurrah! By the time I got home, my spouse discovered that his department had changed his Philosophy class yet again, and since Sept. 8 is the first day of the term of that class, he settled into getting some work done on that class. I, too, have a class that needed attention, so I was able to enter all the dates into the syllabus and to set up the rest of the course shell. Today I'll go back to make sure I didn't miss anything.
By late morning, we returned to the question of what kind of work we wanted to get done, and we decided that he should keep working on his class, while he was feeling energized that way. I did some work for my seminary class; I watched two video lectures on the first creation story in Genesis. I learned that the noun for the breath of God is feminine and singular in the Hebrew language. It's a thought that has brought me much cheer, and I'm not sure why.
I had bought some plug in air fresheners for the house, and I wanted to take them over, plus I wanted to clean the fridge, so mid-afternoon, I headed over. I am trying to be gentle with myself, as I come face to face with evidence of how bad a housekeeper I am--how bad we both have been. I'm not sure what all I scrubbed away as I restored order to the fridge. But at least now, someone can look at it and not say, "I am no longer interested in buying this house. Clearly the people selling this house can't be trusted if they let the refrigerator get to this state."
By evening I felt exhausted, and I'm not sure why. My Labor Day work had not been that grueling. But exhausted I was, and I tumbled into bed just after 8 p.m. But in many ways, that's not all that unusual for me.
My day was full, but in different ways than I expected it to be. I got work done, but different work than I expected. Now to see what this Rosh Hashanah day off brings.
Sunday, September 5, 2021
Saturday, September 4, 2021
Friday, September 3, 2021
I have experimented with erasure poetry before, and I'm in awe of poets who can make that work. In the past, I haven't created an erasure poem that I like, but the process has sometimes sparked a more traditional poem for me.
Until I saw the work of Sarah J. Sloat, I hadn't thought of combining erasure poems and collage. I loved her book Hotel Almighty, the erasure poems with collage that Sloat created from pages of Stephen King's Misery, and it made me want to do something similar. But this past summer hasn't been a great time to do that, what with getting ready to move, then moving, then having art supplies in various places.
And there's the issue of intentionally destroying a book. I don't have that many books I don't care about. I thought I might use John Naisbitt's Megatrends, once I glanced through it again to see if it had been correct about its predictions. But when I saw my notes from so many years ago, I just couldn't damage the book.
So, I made a photocopy of a page that had potential. I blocked out some words that seemed to go together. And then I clipped some pictures from a December copy of Oprah magazine. I arranged and glued:
I love that I was able to find an image of a fountain pen for a page that deals with information and how we distribute it. I love a beautiful pie for a page that talks about economy and how we sell things. And the watch symbolizes so many things--same for the glasses and the jewel.
The second day, I started the blacking out. I had thought about using different colors of markers, but in the end, I started with black ink, and I found it very soothing to keep using the marker. The two lane road around the margins I added last:
I also made a PDF by scanning the image, which I can't figure out how to include here. I still don't have the right camera for capturing my sketches and collages. Sigh.
Here are the words:
Megatrends: The Information Economy Is Real
Documenting is difficult.
part of a job
I will return to Megatrends again--I'm interested to see if I keep finding delight in erasing and collaging. Even if I don't end up with something as satisfying as this first creation from the book, the process is really satisfying.
Thursday, September 2, 2021
Wednesday, September 1, 2021
Tuesday, August 31, 2021
In some ways, we've made progress at the office. Two weeks ago, we arrived at the office to find we had no technology: no phones, no computers, no e-mail, no server, no internet. By the end of that first week of Tech Hell, we still had nothing, and when our tech person arrived with a mi fi hotspot device, it was a defective one. That week, I drove back and forth to the office twice a day on most days--once to open the campus since I'm one of the few of us with all the keys, and then back to my home office, where I had working technology.
A week ago, we got the working mi fi, and for a few days, we could do some work out of our offices. We finally got all of our e-mail passwords reset, so we could access current e-mail, but not past e-mail. We had working phones by the end of the week. It seemed that if we lugged our own equipment to the office, we'd be back to normal-ish.
Of course, we still don't have a good way to print from our laptops. If the document can be transformed into a PDF, we can save it onto a USB drive, take the USB to the printer, and print that way. But not everything can be transformed that way. Grr.
Yesterday, we figured out how the library assistant could bring her laptop to campus and how we could keep the laptop safe; the library is much too open to leave it out in the open. We looked at the available offices, and she chose one to work in. She went home to get her laptop so that she could spend the afternoon cataloguing. She returned and got set up.
You know where this is headed, don't you? The mi fi device went out at 11:30, and when I left in the late afternoon, it was still out. The library assistant took her laptop and went back home to catalog. I stayed to be the person in charge of the mostly empty campus. I have a lot of my books for my seminary classes on campus, so I have now read ahead. I wrote the first essay that's due Sept. 8, a 3 page spiritual journey kind of essay. I answered the phones, which were still working.
I have no idea what to expect today. We did discover, by way of someone's smart phone, that our mi fi provider was having issues as of 8:30 yesterday morning. Will they be resolved today? Who knows. I've downloaded the additional materials from my seminary course shells, so if I need to spend a day reading, I'm prepared.
What a strange month it's been with all sorts of issues that I never anticipated would be part of my working life. Here's hoping that it gets sorted out in September.
Monday, August 30, 2021
If you need a sign of hope, here's a monarch butterfly sighting for you:
Two weeks ago, my spouse moved milkweed plants from the other house. Did we also transport monarch eggs? We had six caterpillars at one point. We ended up with at least 3 chrysalises, and yesterday, a butterfly emerged out of one of them.
The chrysalis was hanging off the table, and we tried to avoid the area for a week. Yesterday morning, our efforts paid off. We watched the butterfly for a bit, and then we went to church.
My spouse returned in time to watch the butterfly fly away. Was it confused by being six stories off the ground? It did take some time for the butterfly to adjust to the strange way the wind works in the U of the condo building. It landed on the top of a palm tree and then it flew away towards the Arts Park.
And this morning, the 2 other chrysalises have butterflies emerging.
We may not have the kind of thriving butterfly gardens that we've had elsewhere, but there are 3 monarchs in the world today that weren't there last week because of our little 6th floor balcony butterfly garden.
Saturday, August 28, 2021
Friday, August 27, 2021
Earlier this week, I was walking, as I do almost every morning. The sun rises later each day, which is fine with me. In late June, it's almost impossible to avoid a sunny morning walk, and I prefer the time just before sunrise.
I'm also noticing fewer people out walking their dogs. Is it because dog walkers wait until there is more light? That seems probable. If one must scoop dog poop, one would want to be able to see it. I also think that as in-person school resumes across the nation, we have fewer people vacationing in the short term rentals in the neighborhood, and fewer dogs here with vacationers.
On Monday, I made this Facebook post: "Early morning, just before sunrise, a gray, grizzled guy on a big Harley rides by, strains of music trailing behind. No, not "Born to Be Wild" or "Bad to the Bone." Nope, early REM: "Radio Free Europe" or "Don't Go Back to Rockville." The torch has been passed."
It is strange to think that the bands I once saw as so cutting edge--REM, the Police, on and on I could go--are now staples of classic rock stations that no one under the age of 50 listens to. What will music look like 40 years from now? What will it sound like, and how will it be delivered.
Time will tell. But in the meantime, off to work I go, loaded down with lap top and cell phone. It's a passing of a different kind of torch.
Thursday, August 26, 2021
This fall, I return to school as a student. I'll be an MDiv student at Wesley Theological Seminary. Although classes don't officially start until next week, students get access to the course shells in advance, and I've been trying to take advantage of that.
I decided to keep a copy of the syllabus separate from the course shell, just in case I can't access it at some point (power failure, system being upgraded, that kind of thing). And in light of the total technology failure at work, I also printed a copy.
Yesterday, I started downloading course materials for the same reasons. But I won't print all of them, at least not yet.
The most important thing I've been doing is thinking about the course requirements: the readings, the discussion posts, the essays. I'm intrigued at my responses to the course requirements. Once I got the textbooks for the classes, I wasn't as worried about the readings. And I have continued to write in a variety of ways in the years since I graduated from college, so I'm not worried about that.
I am relieved that the course papers don't seem to require access to a research library, but I'm also relieved that the Wesley library will ship books to me, at least according to the new student orientation course materials.
In fact, what's strange for me is that I'm looking at the page requirements and worrying about my ability to be concise. When I was in grad school for my advanced degrees in English, I fretted the other direction: how would I ever write 10-20 pages? Now I think, hmm, only 4 pages required? Can I really develop these ideas in just 4 pages?
I feel fortunate that I've been writing daily during all the years between undergraduate classes and now. Not everyone will have that part come so naturally to them.
One of my classes, the Hebrew Bible class, has a map quiz the first week of class. My immediate reaction was panic, but then I reminded myself that I have plenty of time to study, that I have study aids, and that I'm allowed to use those during the quiz. It's doable!
"It's doable!" was my reaction to many aspects of my classes. I haven't been real sure what to expect so finding out that it's doable is a relief. I won't let myself think about how many of the pieces of my life need to stay stable for this to be doable. They are likely to remain stable, and if something happens (sickness, internet access, computer crash), I know how to pivot.
Decades of teaching means that I know how to be a good student. I will be a good student.
Wednesday, August 25, 2021
There is something about late August that makes me feel doomed. Let me document this year's ides of August. I realize that we're almost two weeks out from the 13th, when the actual ides would be, according to the Roman calendar.
Actually, as I think back, August seems to be a sinkhole of a month, the month of beginning a war or launching an invasion (which will often start a war) or pulling out of a disaster of a policy or ignoring the intelligence which will lead to a disaster which will lead to a war (here I'm thinking of September 11).
Sadly, I don't expect U.S. policymakers to learn anything from our time in Afghanistan. Reading this article about all the fruitless ways we've intervened in the world, starting with 1950's Korea, makes optimism a tough sell, and reading this article about Afghanistan in particular leads to despair. But perhaps instead of looking back, I should be looking at our present. What's being ignored? What will we shake our heads at, 20 years from now, wondering why we didn't behave differently? I suspect it will have something to do with the weather and the climate, something August foretells.
It feels like it will be hot forever, the kind of hot that smothers, the hazy hot, not the clear heat. I used to love to run in the middle of the day when I lived in Knoxville, Tennessee, where the high was 85 degrees, without much humidity. I came home from a run feeling cleansed. Lately, I've been coming in from my morning exercise feeling like I've been mugged. It feels like the world is either on fire or being flooded. This year, that feeling seems more like fact than metaphor.
I've been tripping over my feet. This doesn't happen every August, but I do remember a few years ago commenting on my skinned knees. This August, I'm pulling my left hamstring over and over again. I've tripped over a suitcase, tripped over a palm frond, tripped over a seam in the parking garage lot at work. I've kept myself from falling, but at cost to my hamstring. It will heal, but it would heal faster if I didn't keep pulling it.
If I did a Google search of important artists who died in August, would I be surprised at how many of them have been important to me? The death of Charlie Watts, the Rolling Stones drummer, makes me ponder, while this article in The Washington Post made me smile at the idea of this person with a jazz sensibility making an interesting artistic life.
When I lived in places with more of a sense of seasons, it was easier to tell myself that in a few weeks, we'd get our first break in the heat. Down here at the southeastern tip of the continent, I dread the uptick in the hurricane season, while also knowing we won't get a break in the heat for another 2-3 months. Sigh.
And yet, let me not overlook the signs of hope, even if it's not the hope of autumnal weather and changing leaves. My 6th floor condo balcony now has at least 3 chrysalises. The mi-fi hot spot at work performed well yesterday; I can spend time complaining about how many e-mails I get in a regular day at work, so I was surprised to realize how anxious I felt when I was receiving no e-mails at all.
This morning, as I went on my morning walk/jog/run, I enjoyed a breeze that felt miraculous after weeks of moribund weather. And I reflected on the poet Honorée Fanonne Jeffers, whose first novel The Love Songs of W. E. B. DuBois is an Oprah pick, while also getting a magnificent review by Ron Charles in The Washington Post.
And let me remember that I got a correspondence yesterday letting me know that the article that I wrote for Gather will be published, and sending me forms to fill out for payment. What great news. It came after a day of internet restoration at work and me beginning to feel like I'm going to be able to be successful in seminary classes.
Many seeds are sprouting--let me focus on the ones that give me hope.
Tuesday, August 24, 2021
Monday, August 23, 2021
Sunday, August 22, 2021
This morning, I reflected back on the month of August as a month where I came to realize--once again, and over and over again--how much of the world seems to be held together with tape and a patchwork of chewing gum and maybe a thin veneer of paint here and there. But frankly, the whole summer has felt that way, and perhaps this whole pandemic time, and maybe it has always been this way, but many of us can go for months or years before we're forced to reckon with this knowledge again.
Humans like to think that we're in control, and many of us will go to great lengths to maintain that illusion. For me, this summer has brought week after week of almost daily reminders that we're not. Those reminders have ranged from the small to the huge, from the personal to the global.
When I think of the early days of June, I remember a time when it seemed that we might be turning a corner with the COVID-19 crisis. Vaccination rates continued to chug along, and we finished a K-12 school year with few student deaths and not as many outbreaks as I would have predicted. The world at large seemed calm--or am I remembering it wrong?
Then the condo building in Surfside Beach, just south of here, collapsed, and suddenly, it seemed that more buildings than we'd have expected have serious structural issues. And here we are, two months later, and it begins to feel like all of our foreign policy has collapsed and lies in ruins. The domestic political situation has felt like rubble for over a decade now, so that's not anything new.
This month has been particularly difficult at work. We've had several days with no AC in part of the building, we've had an AC unit leak in the server room, and this week, unrelated to that leak, we've had a total lack of technology. It's been a month where I've been moving from a house to a condo, and tried to get the house ready for the market, and that has come with some surprises. It's exhausting. It's no wonder I'm feeling a certain amount of stress.
Yesterday I got access to one of my seminary classes, and as I explored the course shell, I had conflicting thoughts. The larger part of me thought, OK, this is doable. The fearful part of me thought, what on earth am I thinking?
I met with my small group for my certificate program in spiritual directing. We check in with each other when we first log onto the Zoom meeting. I said, "I feel like I'm holding everything together, but I also feel like I'm teetering. I tell myself, 'Keep looking straight ahead--don't look down!'"
Don't look down--it's what a yoga teacher told me long ago. Keep your focus on a distant spot, and it's easier to keep your balance.
May we all be able to keep our balance.
Saturday, August 21, 2021
It's as exhausting as it sounds.