Saturday, August 20, 2011

Three Days Full

After a two-year hiatus filled with colossal adventures, I began a new academic year this past Wednesday.

Thanks to subbing for a world culture/geography class, I could begin writing about the experience with traveling 6 or 7 times to Brazil with at least 100 kids; or lunch duty where one tub of applesauce went down a front, one tooth came out, one kid Really Wanted breath mints, and another kid saved his chocolate milk to have for dessert; it would also be tempting to mention the eighth graders who were wearing stretchy cloth book covers on their heads while doing homework in the library, or the fifth grader who said "You know, really, I like to read everything."

If I wanted to go in order, I might mention getting up early enough to watch the sky stretch awake and reveal her morning's glory or I'd try to find the words to talk about the way the sun has learned to unravel the threads of its luminous new day greeting and pass each one through a different fraction of stained glass in the library. I'd have to mention too standing outside and spreading my arms in welcome to the humid earth smell of flowers and grass, what it is like to be sipping coffee and have a dragonfly land on your arm, and the long, and roaming conversations with a friend who is at once far away and as near as my heart

I could also throw in getting lost on foot and in the car; leaving the building and not being able to find a door to re-enter; and feeling a sense of civic responsibility accomplished when I registered to vote here, changed my drivers' license, and got a library card.

(Yes, getting a library card makes the list of civic responsibilities in my notebook.)

But wherever I would begin, the end point would be the same. This moment, the middle of a Saturday where I have cleaned the bathroom, changed sheets, sent emails, made plans, done two loads of laundry, swept my room, run errands, spent time ripping out barcodes from books still soaking wet from a flood that happened about two months ago, and watched it rain.

This moment now...with me considering deeply the generosity and wonder of God...and thinking about a nap too.

It is a good place to end, this moment now. And a fine place to begin, as well.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

July, 2011

I have described this past month in many ways to people...

Living poetry, transparent freedom, being in the veil--not on one side or the other, but in the midst, standing between, breathing deeply in the astounding place where divinity and humanity touch...

I was part of an annual educational project in Leon, Mexico, that worked with youth who were trained as leaders in a two week day-camp for younger children from the same neighborhood. There were 45 volunteers and 200+ children, ages 5-14, attending. It was great to work with my rscj sisters, and fabulous to see the youth learning techniques, assuming responsibility, being creative, and helping their community. The kids who attended were also phenomenal...wanting to participate, learn, play, grow...

But, as well, my time in Leon was much more than that.

I had experiences of God that were transformational...experiences that came through long and winding conversations, through invitations to enter into the lives and stories of friends as well as people I had only just met, through freedom, love, honesty, mutuality, kindness, respect, tenderness, laughter, silence, stillness, prayer...

This gift, in total, is not at all something separate from my life, a set apart moment of experience, though it was lived, learned, revealed, through events and, that is part of its authentic is something that is woven together with other threads, something that makes my being more whole, more complete, stronger and more wondrous.

It is a gift that makes me want to throw back my head and fling my arms wide and say "YES!" and "THANK YOU!" as well being a gift that humbles me with its generosity and deep knowing and feeling.

It was, simply and complexly, a wonderful month.

As I get ready to go to bed this evening, two bits of poetry come to mind and heart...

"for Christ plays in 10,000 places/Lovely in limbs, and lovely in eyes not his"
--G.M. Hopkins--

"Para que todos vivan/ en ella/ hago mi casa/ con odas/ transparentes."
So that all may live in her, I make my house out of transparent odes.
--P. Neruda

Tonight, with all strength of soul, I find myself saying again and again "YES!!" to a life of discovery and revelation.