AWOL

I’ve been AWOL from this blog for the last few month. I have excuses, but everybody’s as busy as I am. Mostly, I just haven’t had anything much to say…or rather I’ve found myself unable to put into words the continuing, rich experience of  the life I live.

It’s mostly pretty ordinary.  I work…but my work is training choirs of all ages…all those singers…all those wonderful people and all that wonderful music in my life! I spend time with a family whom I love and who love me…Cynthia, the most loving, interesting, smart, sensitive, gifted, and thoroughly beautiful human being I’ve ever met;  Hannah and Emma the world’s most wonderful daughters (not space here for adequate descriptions) and Dave, a Prince of a son-in-law!

I read…the most incredible books–fiction, scripture, spiritual works, all kinds of non-fiction.  I have great friends who engage me and probe me and love me even when I fail to engage and resist probing. I have ridden my bicycle almost 2000 miles so far this year. The up-close view of the natural world that those rides reveal is astonishing to me.

I eat exquisite meals of great variety, prepared with love by Cynthia’s or my own hands–or occasionally the hands of another. I pray. In fact I sometimes feel as though I am unable to not pray anymore. God speaks to me and loves me and surrounds me and fills me and draws me to himself and burns and soothes me so constantly that I am unable to comprehend or respond to his loving and drawing and burning…

OK, so forget I said that my life is ordinary. Is there any such thing as ordinary life? I’ll try to post again sooner rather than later, and more specifically.  My life is so infinitely rich and varied, it’d be a selfish shame not to share it.

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6 thoughts on “AWOL

  1. A lovely testimony to your life-as-it-is-now?

    Would you have written the same at the age of 25 or 30? What would have been said differently–what present then that’s not now, what absent then that’s present now?

    Or do you think you would written much of the same?

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  2. I’m pretty sure that I would not have made that entry 20-25 years ago. I was mostly too caught up in “getting somewhere,” advancing my career, and losing the battle with self-inflicted stress then.

    Now, I guess I recognize that I AM somewhere–here, that whatever career I’m going to have is a present reality, not an illusion to grasped at, and that life need not be a constant battle.

    Embracing life is much more satisfying than attacking it. Mary really did choose the better part.

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  3. Ric,

    I am a new inquirer to become an Oblate. I was in attendance on Oblate Day, and I really enjoyed your report on the International Oblate gathering you experienced. I was wondering if you could please put a summary of your report here on the blog, emphasizing the three main points that the Abbot Primate (not sure if title is correct) made in his address. I personally would appreciate it very much, and others would benefit from it also.

    Peace and blessings!

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  4. Toni,
    Your wish is my command. See the latest post for a report on the Abbot Primate’s address. Thanks for your interest.

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  5. Ric,
    Thank you for posting the report(s) and links, etc. There is a lot there! Much appreciated from a monastic beginner.

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  6. Ric,
    So you were more Martha than Mary 25 years ago! I suppose those two are always vying in us in some combination. I’ve been ambitious after a fashion–I suppose you must be to finish a doctoral program–but not savvy about “getting ahead,” or pushing hard to find the best fit for me professionally (or a place that would give me more institutional space/time for scholarly work vs. teaching). I’ve had more of a sense of trying to keep many responsibilities going, commitments to many persons and projects, alongside a sense of call to write, theologically and otherwise, and to accompany other human beings in friendship. I can feel the prestige-seeking tuggings, but they usually lose out to another face of Martha: trying to keep high standards in just about every area of life. Figuring out where to parse here–what commitments to let drop–is my more immediate challenge. (Not collecting writing assignments on daily readings in larger classes? Even though students make clear they do far less course reading without earning points for it?)

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