14 August, 2014
On a corner of the dining room table in NYC. However, I feel compelled to say that this sad skeleton is not the place where I came to know the Society for three years, where I also lived for a bit more than four years… Or, on some level, maybe this has always been its skeleton and as things age and diminish, more of the skeleton is exposed–like in humans. Hm…in a way, the community I knew was people…and this time is about place…but in its own way, this building has been a living organism for over forty years…accepting without question and accommodating for untold numbers of residents and guests who stayed for greater or lesser amounts of time–but each leaving a mark of presence…stories that have become both a part of the pattern of its skin and in some cases, stories that have caused a crack or two, testing the limits of what these constructed confines can accept before something has to give.
The laughter that has filled this place, the multitude of languages, the prayer, the mourning, the keening, the death, the blessing, the difficulties, challenges, conversations, verbal sparring, and the Love… It has experienced a life of great meaning, this place, and now its body is tired and sore.
It helps me to believe that what I am doing here is helping anoint this space…helping to prepare it for death, for evolution, for whatever it is that will come…and this anointing happens by the care I take, by attitude and disposition, by my spirit.
I find myself returning to my understanding of Love…and how deeply that spirit, that feeling, can go… and yet, for Love to be as large and expansive as it can be–that is to say, for Me to experience an ever greater fullness of God, for this Love to be the home I know, there must also be within me a spirit of freedom and detachment… I met the Society in this building…among many women who are now gathered to God and keeping watch…In fact, I met death here in the living room…I was welcomed here, found a place here, and was sent forth from here a better person, a kinder person on some levels, wiser, more authentic, because of all of the challenge and all of the grace.
It is this mix of prismatic light that I pray fills me, inspires me, and grounds me, as I work to free this space from what holds it bound and honor the the incredible swirl of spirit that has embraced it for so long.
28 August, 2014
I am back in Halifax now, having arrived utterly exhausted last night. I am back from the loving embraces of folks at Xavier; back from a slowly emptying edifice that seemed to close in on itself; back from the morning jokes with the guys at the parking garage across the street; back from washing my hands at least ten times a day; back from the conversations and laughter that can happen with strangers; back from a friend driving down an avenue, seeing me on the sidewalk, and calling my name through her open car window as she crammed into a parking spot; back from clamor and echoes against bare walls; back from dust and the well-settled accumulated whatnot of longevity; back from the memory of my first grand adventure, working for the New York Public Library; back from a City that has always had room for me, for who I am.
And yes, it is a bittersweet mixture that fills me here…listening to the seagulls, doing translations, and unpacking the final two boxes that were sprung at last from their month and a half long purgatory in a warehouse somewhere.
The doors needed to close. I could see that. And fittingly on this feast day, I believe too that “Our hearts are restless until they rest in thee, Oh God…”
In thee, Oh God. Not in a particular address or a city or a country. In thee….a home so much more expansive, accommodating, liberating, diverse, endless, fascinating, and freeing than any other I can imagine.