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Showing posts from October, 2010

behind

Today, I finally got to some ironing that had been too long neglected: 12 shirts and 3 pairs of pants. I don't think there was much left to wear in the closet, actually. It seems like I am perpetually behind these days. I am a week and a half behind in the schedule I have set for my reading course in order to finish it in a timely manner. I am always trying to play catch-up in household cleaning, buying groceries, and personal writing. I don't even want to imagine what Christmas preparations will do to an already packed month ahead.

This week I began to think about my education. In order to be all that I can be, I should be submitting articles, presenting at conferences, and applying for awards, but frankly, I just don't have the energy. I know I have missed opportunities for funding and deadlines for submitting papers for important conferences. That's what happens when I am trying to live a joyful, creative, and peaceful life while being a full-time student, a teacher&…

The Waiter

This is the spoken word piece I presented earlier tonight. It is based loosely on Genesis 32.

Someone...is waiting for me.
I can sense it when I walk home at night.
Out there, just out of sight,
waiting, watching, debating when to make a move.
I can feel it when the hairs on my arm rise up slowly
and there is a tingle on the back of my neck, only
it doesn’t stay there. That tingle, shivery tingle finds
the bottom of my spine
and that’s how I divine that
Someone...is waiting for me.
I imagine and hypothesize and theorize
that the encounter will happen in some dark alley.
The marked and the marker meet and greet and all manner of devastation is heaped on me
yes, that is what I fear.
Deep in my belly, that’s where I hear the fear talking
so when I am walking
I am praying, hoping, that nothing happens.
It’s okay, I’d say, to be praying...for nothing.
But still, I know something or someone will, eventually, catch up to me.
It might happen in broad daylight, who knows?
Perhaps I am in a park, and someone sudde…

needs improvement

I just finished grading a whack load of essays and exams as part of my job description as a Teaching Assistant. The students have a lot to learn...and so do I. I occasionally drop my jaw and say, "Oh, wow!" at some of the creative answers that I come across (like mistaking the incarnation of Jesus for the endless cycle of re-incarnation), but the thing that really amazes me is that as much as the students' responses reveal how well they have grasped the material, my response to their work also reveals how much I have to learn in dealing with people.

One of the abilities I have developed over time is being able to see what is missing or where something is inadequate, so I make a good proofreader and a fairly accurate and meticulous grader. However, I can also discourage people by always pointing out what is lacking. Not only in their work and their writing, but sometimes I comment on people's actions and life choices as well. You see where this ends up - I am not alway…

seeds

Today I planted some seeds.
I planted thoughts: some about how good God is and some about how stupid people are.
I planted ideas: some about how to get my work done this week and some about how to get out of commitments I have made.
I planted words: words of kindness to a stranger and words of pride to a friend.
I planted attitudes: admiration for some colleagues and judgments against some others.
I planted pictures: beautiful yellow leaves on the trees outside and overpriced designer clothing that I will never be able to afford.
I planted sounds: the laugh of Dean on the phone and the swearing of strangers on the street.
I planted a few criticisms as well, mostly of myself. Some of my body, some of my tardiness, some of my lack of love for others.
I planted a fantasy or two: one about praise I would get for an assignment and another about the look of disappointment on my professor's face when I failed to do well.
A bit of doubt jumped in the ground, too. Self-doubt and doubt that I can tr…

words and pictures

This past week (and month and a half, actually) has been so crazy busy for me, that I have not had a lot of time to think, contemplate, and have long conversations with God. I miss that. But with a lot of reading to do, lectures to prepare and give, papers to write, several more meetings a week than last term, papers to grade, and being present for my friends and Dean...well, there aren't many words left in my head that don't relate to a paper or project that I am working on.

There are fewer words between Father and daughter, fewer words between Friend and be-friended, less words between Lover and beloved, but there are still words. The conversations I have these days with God are shorter, simpler, perhaps more direct, but also more gracious and overtly invitational. And they basically come down to 3 phrases that I hear over and over again.
1. Do you trust me with that? This is what I hear every time I start to think about situations that are out of my control, that are not wha…

remember me?

Since I started my MA in Theological Studies, it seems that I am forgetting things at an alarming rate. Names. Dates. Details. Questions. Answers. I will remember something someone said, but not who it was. I will remember reading an interesting thought, but not remember where it was or when I read it. Part of the equation is that I am inundated with more information than ever before, reading huge quantities of texts and volumes that not only cover quite a range of topics, but rather large expanses of history. My brain is not amused.

I am particularly bad at names for some reason. I have been teaching a few university classes this term as part of my job as a TA (teaching assistant). I enjoy it a lot. I have no problem standing in front of 40 students and talking, but the topic of Christian Spirituality is broad, and I have to cover many important historical figures and texts. Each class I have taught, I have managed to forget or wrongly identify the name of one of the people I am lectu…