Funny, this is the first day I've gotten up in over two months and wished I had somewhere to go and something to do--like work! I don't think it will last long, it's just that I've finished with the several writing projects I took on after leaving St. John's and feel a bit out of sorts.
I've done the last draft of "The Igloo Factory", the novel I've been working on off and on for years. I haven't had the time to go through the whole thing one last time and 'polish the polish', so to speak. But not working gave me the time. I've also up dated two novellas that are quite new, unlike the IF. Plus I've gotten together all the bits and pieces of a manuscript about parish ministry called "Farther Along" and am not quite ready yet, having spent all this time in fiction, to start working on that. Soon though.
In going through several filing cabinets looking at that stuff and sermons and poems and such, I ran across an email I wrote to Malinda Johnson at 8:24 pm on August 24, 2004! I sent myself a copy, I told her in the first line, "to remember and grow from". A lot of the email is about a dream I had--one of the few 'church' dreams that was good and joyful. (Most 'church' dreams begin with the congregation packed into a huge space and then I do something like open my Prayer Book and realize it is full of pictures, not words!!! Unable to remember how to start the service, the people gradually drift away and I'm left in an empty church...or with one acolyte who is looking at me as if I am the biggest fool in the world....)
The dream is weird and strange about an outdoor baptism that is wonderful and crowded and full of lots of excitement. Malinda and Michael Spencer are in the dream helping with the crowds of people.
Then I wrote this--almost 6 years ago:
"Then there was this day--actually as I look back, there were many things that could have been thought of as 'negative'--people lying to me, Pauline falling and going to the hospital, painful stories I heard--but for some reason, it all felt like what I'm supposed to be doing with my days and, as I've said before, if anyone found out I got paid to spend days like this: simply being present to people in a multitude of ways (having a discussion with a soup kitchen volunteer about the relative merits of outdoor vs. indoor cats, for example)--well, they'd pass a law against having this much to be thankful for while getting paid!"
The truth is that for most of the years I was Rector of St. John's I did fear that if anyone figured out what percentage of my time was spent 'being' instead of 'doing' something, they would be astonished. So, since the 'work' (if you can call it that) was so much of my 'being', there is little wonder that I might wake up from time to time and feel a hollow place when all that used to be.
Like I wrote above, it won't last long, but the feeling did remind me of how extraordinarily blessed I was all those years at St. John's. And how thankful I am for them....
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