A mid-course correction...

Today is mid-course correction day when it comes to the sabbatical - and that mostly means rearranging our living space so that I have more privacy for practice. We've been here for 4 weeks. Tomorrow we leave for a few days in Ottawa and their jazz festival. And truth be told, I haven't accomplished as much practice as I had hoped for. 

Partly that is just natural, yes? After all, it has only been 28 days - and the first week or so was given to settling in. Partly it stems from the way we're set up, too:  we're both working in the large center room. This is lovely for together time, but less so when it comes to me playing scales for 30 minutes or puzzling through a practice drill on both bass and digital piano. And to be completely honest, partly it has to do with being free and without timetables. So, put it all together and there has been less time to nourish my chops. Oh yes, add to this the surprise of learning to deal with a nervous dog in the city. She continues to be a sweet blessing, but a demanding one !

So last night (at 1:30 am) we talked about making a mid-course selection in how we organize our remaining time (12 weeks) as well as our living space. We're going to turn the guest room into my practice studio. We're going to give over 90 minutes each morning to my study and rehearsal. I'm going to stop blog writing first thing in the day, too. That will likely come at day's end so that I get serious time on the bass in 4-5 days each week. That leaves us the afternoon for wandering and the evening for music and play. 

In this morning's reflection, Rohr wrote about integrating our failings into our hearts and souls.

Francis had a genius for not eliminating the negative, but instead using it, learning from it, and thus incorporating it. He goes to the edge and the bottom of society, he kisses the leper, he loves the poor, he wears patches on the outside of his habit so that everybody will know that this is what he is like on the inside... So much of religion has taught us to deny or hide our shadow, which forces us into a fatal split from foundational reality. 

Owning the many changes and challenges of this sabbatical - as well as my own resistance - and making a shift strikes me as a blessing. I don't want to waste this sacred time given to rest and renewal. And part of not wasting it is recognizing how easily I could fritter it all away. As Rohr continues:

Just as we grow by ultimately accepting and forgiving our own failures, conscious people, like Jesus and Pope Francis, are able to say about others, "Who am I to judge?" (Luke 12:14). That's quite the opposite of religion as exclusion! In my fourteen years as a jail chaplain, I met people who had done things that are wrong, sinful, immoral, or "bad"; and yet when I drew close to a particular life, I found that the human heart was most often either sincere, mistaken, or afraid. Inside of that frame they sought apparent good but not the true good. It did make them do some stupid things, for which they are now suffering because evil is its own punishment. But, in fact, the human heart has a kind of tenderness, sweetness, and littleness when you draw close to it, even in its fragility and fear.

So let the next and deeper phase of this sabbatical begin.

credit:  photographs by Dianne De Mott


Di said…
The top photo is not one of mine. The credit goes to JF Leblanc.
RJ said…
Ooops.... ok!

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