I am in an office of the Pastoral at the moment with a cup of tea. I actually said the Creed this morning while sitting in front of the window that looks out across the street in front of our house. Not that saying the Creed is AT ALL a usual part of my praying, but this morning was the first time I have been able to make it though that much internal English…the first time to say as a whole something I know by heart in English. And better to try something whole and memorized for me…rather than thinking my own thoughts in English, trying to pray in English with my own internal conversation… there are bits and scraps only…then it all either runs into itself in Spanish and English or just plain stops because I can not sort out which one to use. Silence is something to relax into, and I can on occasion, when there is actually a space to be silent! Five people, one bathroom, and one room other than bedrooms, and a highly communitarian style of living that begins at 630 in the morning and goes until 1030 or 11 at night…well, it poses a challenge. Yes, I can stay in my room or go there earlier, but those times in the morning or in the evening are when everyone is there and together…watching ¿Dónde está Elisa?, a ridiculous yet captivating telenovela, or simply having a snack and talking or working on something.
The other thing that I do rather enjoy on a simple, human level, is that every one says good night to one another when they are going to bed and good morning when first seeing one another in the morning. The intention of it, the impulse to greet one another simply because you see one another for the first time after six hours of sleep. Nothing big, just a simple Hola or Buenos. And when you go to bed, it will be six or seven hours until you see one another and here´s hoping you have a good night too.
This reminds me of night prayer at the Benedictine monastery in MA when the abbot prays that all may have a restful night and a peaceful death. At one time, I thought it rather morbid to pray each night for a peaceful death, especially in the same breath as a restful night. But, in a way, it is a sign to me that each new day together is a gift. Should we not see one another again, may it be well for all…and if we do, what a treasure that new day.
As I sit here, writing, watching the students arrive, and enjoying the last sips of tea that could strengthen the weakest of souls, it makes me realize how or why writing is different than the internal dialogue…it comes in and goes out my fingers, if that makes sense. It comes, it goes, there is room for new. When it is just me thinking in head and heart, it gets all swirly. Wild experience.
To each who read CTL, know this brings a smile, a hug, a laugh, and a new spring green leaf from the copihue outside the office.