Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Feeling a little blue

A few weeks ago I came across a job description on Facebook that seemed tailor-made for me.  I wasn't actually looking for a job, but this one was so perfect that it sounded like a call, or like it could be a call, and so I responded.

The call came from Richard Rohr's Center for Action and Contemplation: they were looking for someone to catalog his works -- to write abstracts, create tweets, and confirm sources for his quotes -- and they wanted a writer with a background in library science and an interest in/understanding of Rohr's theology: a perfect description of me. Twenty hours a week -- I could easily manage that -- and work from home; again, perfect.

So I sent in my application, and they liked it enough to put me through a 24 hour performance test: they gave me meditations, homilies and quotes and asked me to produce abstracts, tweets, and sources, which I did.  It was fun -- I read a lot of Rohr, so it was a delight to find new pieces and summarize them, and it was a hoot searching for the root source of the quotations.  I felt certain I'd done a good job.

But as I did the work, I wondered: is this how I would want to spend 20 hours of my time every week?  I wasn't sure, to be honest, but decided to trust that whatever choice they made would be the right one both for them and for me.  And when notice came yesterday that, though my work had been excellent and my credentials impressive, they had chosen someone with more cataloging experience, there was a sense of relief.  Oh, I thought, now I won't have to carve out time in my schedule for this; I won't risk having to give up the things I'm involved in now.  And if cataloging experience was that important, I might not have enjoyed the job as much as it looked like I would.

And so I let it go, feeling certain that the right choice had been made.  But just because we think we're letting something go, that doesn't necessarily compute with our bodies.  What the head knows and what the heart wants are often different things, and so I went through the rest of my day noticing that though I really was comfortable with the decision, I was also sad.  So I was kind to myself, gave myself an extra scoop of ice cream for dessert, and spent the day finishing a novel rather than plowing through my usual to-do list... and tried to listen to the sadness.

And mostly, I think, the sadness was based in that constant low-level hunger we humans have for recognition, for identity, for association with the known.  It would have been fun, and I would have been proud, to say "I'm working for Richard Rohr." Of course it would.  But instead I will continue to carve out my own identity in the world; to focus on my writing, my painting, my acting, my service to the community -- and that feels like a call as well. 

So it's all good.  And all shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of things shall be well.
Amen.

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

What goes around

And so,
what goes around comes to a end,
and, upon reflection, begins anew.
What looks like a cloud, obscuring light,
instead brings brightness to the scene,
and what looked like a stepping stone
turned out to lead nowhere --
and all is good.

Monday, July 25, 2016

Welcome this moment


As the flower welcomes the light,
as the bride welcomes her groom,
welcome this moment, 
with all the gifts she brings.

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Let Love build a nest


Let Love build a nest in our hearts:
let it take all the broken bits -- the hurts and the betrayals,
the losses and the longings --
and weave them all together,
their hollowness a cradle for the blessings yet to come.

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Peace in your wake


May you find peace today,
and leave peace in your wake.

Friday, July 22, 2016

Let love keep winning


It feels like the ultimate test of faith:
to continue believing love will triumph over hate.
Please: do something unexpectedly kind today --
let love keep winning, in spite of all we see and hear.

(From a window display in San Francisco, several years ago.)

Thursday, July 21, 2016

When nature beckons


There are moments when events, or your surroundings,
seem to beckon: try this! Come over here! Look at me!
Don't be afraid to step out of your comfort zone:
listen, heed the call, explore: something new and exciting
may be waiting for you, just beyond those familiar borders...