As you can see from my blog posts, April ended up full of reasons not to write. A little over a month ago, I left my paying job at the church with hopes that I would have more time to write, work on personal projects, and rest. I am also looking for meaningful work and doing the discernment work to figure out what that means and what ways may open before me.
With Ben and I getting married in June, there are many things to do in the next 2 months. We are also co-producing the Boston 48Hour Film Project in early May. Between those two major projects and some travel I'm doing to see family and friends, my schedule at least is just about solidly planned until the wedding.
My friend Katie is on the Camino de Santiago; I've been following her blog throughout this Lenten series. Her stories and experiences continue to remind me that to be busy, to resist rest, to have to say no to spending time with family and friends, may not be divinely driven. Each day when I wake up, with a day where the empty spaces are quickly taken up by chores, personal educational projects (like an herbalism course I'm taking online, or a SEO 2 week course I'm also taking online) or writing thank you notes... often the day is over before I realize it and I can't figure out what I did all day!
Its in this bewilderment of busyness and time that I have moments when I say to myself "I should be writing on my blog... but what should I write about? Nothing interesting happens to me anymore. Should I write about cleaning the kitchen?" I brought this concern to a group that I have been meeting with on and off for the last 10 weeks. Its through the Soul of Leadership mini-program, and our small groups have met 3 times for mini-clearness committees. My small group suggested that I try practicing the Jesuit practice of Daily Examine, where I spend some time each day asking myself where God was present in my day.
1. Become aware of God’s presence.
2. Review the day with gratitude.
3. Pay attention to your emotions.
4. Choose one feature of the day and pray from it.
5. Look toward tomorrow.
I can't say that the results of this practice are interesting at all, but its a great way to remind myself that God is in the small moments as much as the larger story.
Yesterday, while I was getting ready to head downtown to participate in the Good Friday Peace Witness, I started monologuing in my head. "What's the story here?" I kept asking myself as I walked down to the subway, got coffee at a local coffee shop, sat on the train and watched the people around me. There were some children laughing as the train went over the river. People smiled at the laughter. My eyes briefly met some of the other people around me- there was meaning there in those eyes. I wondered to myself, "is this what it felt like to the apostles to meet Jesus on the road after he had died? This small sense of happiness and joy?"
Because of the busyness, this week hasn't felt like Holy Week at all. I didn't participate in a footwashing or love feast on Thursday night. And while I felt the traditional sadness that Good Friday is usually laden with, I didn't really feel energetically charged like other years. Yesterday I spent some time trying to read about the subversive witness of the Gospel. Ben and I sat down to watch the Gospel of John... and ended up finding the portrayal quite humorous (we didn't get more than a third into it, though we'll try again tonight!). Over and over, I have felt frustrated that the "magic" of Holy Week is absent.
All this being so, the worship before the Peace Witness was actually quite deep for me and from it a message was given that concluded with a Friend singing the song "Where you there when they crucified my Lord?" I found myself singing the song in my head, yet expanded the verses to "Where you there when he met them on the road?" While the "shoulds" keep coming up in my head, "You should be thinking about the crucifixion today; You should leave the resurrection for Sunday...etc" The experience of meeting Jesus on the road is for what ever reason what is alive for me right now. I don't even know if that is actually a verse or not but its the part of the story that keeps coming up for me this Easter season.