These days

I have started and deleted a number of blog posts over the last few weeks in a vain attempt to express what I’ve been thinking about.

I’ve tried to sketch evocative images, full of music and light and warmth and a light breeze in a place where it’s always 75 degrees.

I’ve wanted to describe evidence of the divine I’ve seen everywhere. I’ve wanted to talk about how after a summer where God seemed to be avoiding me much of the time, I see and feel the Spirit everywhere. Classes, chapel, meetings, casual conversations… something is always there.

It hasn’t worked. Either the words have escaped me, leaving my prose heavy, wooden, and lacking in any voice, let alone my own. Or I’ve written every detail of some of the moments of the last few weeks, trying desperately to engrave them upon my memory, only to find that the meaning was lost in the details. And then there is all that is deeply meaningful but not appropriate blog material.

I don’t know what to do with this. What I do know is that I am keenly aware of the fleeting nature of these days, of the golden, leafy days of Michaelmas term senior year. I may be headed towards more and more stress about jobs and GOEs and ordination and life back in the real world, but life on the Close doesn’t stress me out anymore. The acute feeling of being an awkward 7th grader that was with me through junior year, much of middler year, and even this past summer seems to have vanished with the arrival of the newest class. Even the sense of needing to know as much as possible about as many things as possible has faded. I’ve always been intellectually curious and quick to assimilate new information; I don’t need to learn something here to have a chance of learning it at all. I’ll learn what I need to know when I need to know it; that won’t stop when I turn in my key to the chapel gate.

What am I really thinking about? People. Relationships. The sense that in the blink of an eye the incredible people who have surrounded me here will be distributed throughout the country or left behind in seminary, never again to be in the same place at the same time. It’s already happened with the class ahead of me. Sometimes I expect to see them… but they’re not here. Some I knew well, talked to at length. Others I knew little about. I never bothered to spend the time to ask them to tell their stories. And now they’ve moved on, and it seems to me that I’m lesser for it.

When I first came to seminary I was struck over and over again by the many different “forms” the call to priesthood takes. I looked at those around me and said to myself, over and over again, “that is what a priest looks like.” Every person I met was truly unique, regardless of what church geek cookie cutter we all claimed to be from. I was more certain than ever that God was really calling me, because if it was possible that so many different individuals had the same call, it must actually true for me too. I still think of that often. I have also found that in living in this community, I have seen clearly, for the first time, many things I thought I knew all about already. I have come to understand redemption, sacrifice, courage, friendship, persistence, humility, integrity, and holiness in totally new ways. This is a huge part of the reasons that, despite all the flaws and frustrations of this place, I still wake up every day grateful to be here.

There’s a long, twisting road between here and graduation, a road that will take about 23 seconds to travel. Eight months or so from now (barely a tomorrow away) it will all be over.

In the meantime…

I will try not to devolve into cynical senioritis too soon
I will try not to let the stress of the future get to me
I will try to value the all of the people around me even as I start to make decisions about who is “coming with me” when I leave
I will engrave halcyon moments in my memory to be referenced later when things seem especially dark and isolated out there in real world ministry

I will sing.

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~ by Sophia on September 9, 2008.

2 Responses to “These days”

  1. ~And I know for a fact that you have a rich and beautiful voice and a lovely song! May God continue to bless both voice and song!!!

  2. Beautifully put.And when you figure out the stress management thing, send it my way, will you?

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