First, an explanation perhaps. Why months have gone by without a word. A post in October but penned in August. A flurry of opinions I’d sat on for months before that, released into the world with trepidation and with consequences. Life hasn’t really been the same.
How’s your practice? Some might ask. Quite rich, in fact. But different. Relationship. Layers of mystery peeling and revealing a hollow core. Looking for that which must be articulated in order to propel myself into the world of form. Learning the dance. Listening to so many stories, so many lives dwindling–dangling on the edge of oblivion. My own narrative surges and stumbles, shapeless now, receding only to form again. That familiar armor arising, the sting of abandon, of unworthiness, of not belonging, of wanting to fix, of not knowing but wanting to.
I have been writing. Reflecting. For months, I was trying to tell the most important story of all. How can I make them see that this is all I can do? This is what I was born to do, right now? Studying high school algebra and geometry, arithmetic. To prove I am able? Able to do what exactly? How can I show you what this work is about? What my life is about? Tell me yours, your meaning, your heart. I want to listen.
I felt so far away. Floating. Legs dangling, feet heavy and wanting so much to dig themselves into the ground. And then, somehow there was a touch down, and those feet started to grow roots.
It started with several different opportunities to do clinical pastoral education this summer and then an offer of admission to a PhD program in practical theology. All of the sudden, this big career change I have been trying to figure out through the life of this blog started to take shape.
This space originated from a liminal period, a time of stark endings and beginnings. It served its purpose well. Now, as I face the ending of this incredible period of exploration and personal freedom, I see how much a theme transition has actually been in my life. Not that it isn’t in other people’s lives, of course, but more than some people perhaps, I have been in seemingly constant transition for at least the past 14 years. Just as I begin to get comfortable with a job or a home, boom! It changes. A pattern of living that has had both good and bad intentions. I’m moving into it and away from it at the same time just now.
The tagline of this blog: “Exploring living by dying to every moment,” reflects just how much I’ve consciously brought this aspect of present moment transformation, dying and being reborn, into my spiritual practice. Although I know it’s just an idea and has little to do with what is actually happening right now, the fact that I’m about to commit to a place and a career for a minimum of four years is absolutely terrifying.
My writing here has always been stream-of-consciousness, and now I am entering the world of academia where I will not be writing in such a deeply personal way. I welcome that change, but I also mourn the loss of the other. It may be inappropriate to be grieving already, who knows, perhaps I will find time to continue to write in a therapeutic manner as well. But I will definitely be repurposing myself in the service of scholarship. Somehow or other, I will also find a way to continue to find space to be quiet and investigate inwardly, as that is one of the aspects that made me an attractive candidate for the program and which I know is an invaluable asset in chaplaincy and in relationship in general.
I am so grateful to my family, teachers, peers, and one beloved friend in particular who have supported me over these past few months. How incredibly formative and beautiful these life connections and these particular meetings of minds and hearts are. And how, like a flower, they bloom and then fade, fall and emerge again. (There are shoots coming up in the garden already, early March in Connecticut!)
The liminal. Movement. That is all there is. Nothing stays the same but nothingness, space itself.