Wednesday, January 31, 2018

a certain irony that has not gone unnoticed...

There is a certain irony that has not gone unnoticed in our home: after worship on Sunday, my last as a local church pastor, I came down with a wicked head cold that has shut down my voice. That is as it should be, yes? I am done with most of my public work. I have run the race set before me as St.Paul put it and now is the time to be quiet. Maybe even silent for a spell, tu ne penses pas? Already I am getting requests to preach here, do some board work there and even help out with an emergency health concern. It has only been three days!  It could be the silver lining in a storm cloud, this damn head cold, as I have neither the energy nor the inclination to do anything but veg out. 

On Saturday, my family will gather with a few precious musical mates for a
soirĂ©e. The next day, my first Sunday away from church, we'll sleep late and then meet my dear Sunday School teacher from CT days, Malcolm Bell and his beloved Nancy, for brunch out in Plainfield. Slowing down after a wild month of travel, parties, leave-taking and good-byes - including a ganga concert with the Post Modern Jukebox in NoHo - feels right.  It often happens this way for me after a big finish: I get sick and have to lay low. My hope is that this pattern will dissipate some as I shift perspective and activity in retirement.

I have sorted through all my church books and added them to my home study. (Now I have to sort through the new collection and shed another layer of texts.) And I will complete working through plastic bag upon plastic bag of papers we threw together on Friday while cleaning out my office. This is NOT a task I want to delay. Mostly I find myself throwing it all into the trash. There are a few photos and editorials to stash in my memory book. And a few files to return to the church office, too. But who wants to look at old sermon notes? Certainly not me! Yes, we did some creative work - and I loved working with my colleagues - but that chapter is finished. The thought of reading through 10 years of sermon notes has no appeal whatsoever. And I still haven't cracked the boxes of sermon notes we moved from Tucson, Cleveland and Michigan. But that is for another day.

Tonight we will eat chicken and pasta, complete my discarding most of my Pittsfield papers while we watch British mysteries on TV, and just rest. Tomorrow
we'll sit down and plan a February trip to L'Arche Ottawa - and work on our new limited financial plan - as we want to look at long term housing options. This is just what the doctor ordered.

No comments:

playing for our lives: a concert to combat local homelessness June 15 @ 7 pm

In an interview with Krista Tippett a few years ago, the late Jean Vanier gave contemporary people of compassion his antidote for despair:...