Getting ready part two...

Haven't posted anything in a few days - mostly because we were chilling out with my sisters - but also to simply take a break. So today is all about random and sundry thoughts along the journey so far. When we left three weeks ago, it was barely spring - still nearly frigid at times - but now our beautiful yard is awakening with blossoms. Still, we are itching to go and here are a few random thoughts discerned along the way...
+ First, staying off Facebook wasn't working. We both missed many of our friends, family and colleagues and found we wanted to stay in touch. So, as that realization dawned on us both at about the same time, we're going to test it with selective postings. It is just too much fun to be in relationship with such wonderful people.

+ Second, we are both SO ready for part two of this sabbatical - our residency in Montreal - to start for a variety of reasons.  We want to get into the new rhythm of things in that fabulous city, we want to start doing deeper into our respective sabbatical commitments (prayer and bass playing for me; photography for Di); we both like being settled much more than free floating. My friend, Martha, wrote a brilliant sentence during the sabbatical rewrite /editing process that says "During the closing week of May, James and Dianne will settle in Montreal with time spent in daily prayer and quiet reflection along with ambling and visiting." So wise and essential to create transitions - and the time is right.

+ Third, I continue to study and think about the implications of Christian antisemitism as I work my way through new texts by Amy-Jill Levine and James Carroll. Both writers are helping me not only rethink some of the facile observations I've made in the past, but also to think about what all that means for me as a preacher/teacher upon my return. At the very least, I need to do a series - with congregational conversation - about some of the new insights I am gleaning from these scholars.

+ Fourth, I am ready to start playing the bass!  I haven't practiced or played in three weeks and that is way too long.

+ Fifth, we need to kick-up our ability to think and listen in French.  To say we haven't done much homework in the last six month would be a gross inaccuracy! We've done almost NO homework.  I need to get my ears working in a new way - and my tongue, too. Finissons-chose en français passe!

+ Sixth, I am most curious to see how Princess Lucie makes the transition. It was a treat to get home and pick her up last night - there was so much enthusiasm and love - and somany licks and cuddles, too. She will always be a bit of a nervous girl in new settings, but with enough attention, exercise and treasts she can also be a very good girl as well. Her adjustment is important to us both as she helps keep us grounded in the land of the living when we ge too caught up in the world of art and ideas.

+ And seventh, this is not a season for the status quo - this is our time for going deeper - so we both feel like we best not spend any more time than necessary packing and running errands. We are scheduled to depart on Sunday, but my hope is that we get out of Dodge earlier. 

I rather like the way Matthew Holloway puts it in his gentle poem.  Today will given over to our necessary travel errands - but tomorrow may be time to move out...

a time taken

to breathe
re-evaluate the world
take stock of thoughts
and reassess them
allow the soul to rest
the heart to sleep
and the mind to be free
time has it own value
time is limitless
and it will be taken
to breathe 


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