Monday, February 10, 2014

Update from Sabbatical Land

So today is day two of month two of my sabbatical leave. My last day at All Saints was January 9 ... and so I thought today -- February 10 -- might be a good day to do a little "so how's it going?" blog.

I've written some along the way. About what a gift it was to have the time to do justice to the process of organizing and passing on to Louise's family a boatload of books, pictures and family memorabilia that she had accumulated down through the years. I know it would be a source of deep delight to her that those outward and visible signs of her family history have been so appreciated and gratefully received by her Brooks/Mason family members.

And about how we can work together to rise to Gay Jennings' challenge to all of us to challenge homophobia in the church and in the world -- and to start by "repudiating contemporary efforts to expand its outreach"... including doing our homework on the agendas and alliances of organizations that come looking to us for support.

I've also cleaned out closets, made multiple trips to the thrift store to donate excess accumulated "stuff" and spent a good deal of time very productively transforming a rarely used second bedroom into what has turned into a cozy home office/study. (pictured at right with Optional Labrador Retriever Accessory Package)

We've seen a boatload of movies ... are almost caught up for Oscar Night on March 2nd. Spent a couple of evenings going through and organizing old family photos. Seen some theater ("Peter and the Star Catcher") and some live music ("Mary Chapin Carpenter with the L.A. Phil") ... and read several novels.

I've been sleeping until I woke up. Getting dressed when I feel like it in WHAT I feel like. And finding that the gift of time to pray, rest, meditate and reflect without the pressure to get to the next thing is pretty extraordinary indeed. And I have started to shift gears a little getting ducks in a row to work on the narrative history project I have in my head -- a chronicle of the Episcopal/Anglican Inclusion Wars from my ringside seat. So far it's just timelines and the beginning of a photo archive ... but it's starting to take shape.

One month down; two to go. The month ahead has some travel in it: east to the Episcopal Urban Caucus Assembly in New York and visiting some friends after. Also ahead is a long beach weekend of R&R with Lori and another trip east at the end of March to DC for the Planned Parenthood National Meeting and then Baltimore for a meeting of the Task Force for the Study of Marriage -- working on our Blue Book Report due Advent One 2014. Tick Tock!

Yesterday we found our way to All Saints for the 5pm Contemplative Eucharist -- a service with as few words as possible, lots of music and meditation time and a lovely oasis of quiet, peace and stillness. It was "sabbatificating" to come in the side door, slide into a pew with Lori and get to just "be" in that sacred space.

When it's time to go back to work I haven't any doubt I'll be ready -- I love what I do and where I do it too much to be "done" -- but at the one-month-in-with-two-months-to-go point I can truly say ... in response to the "so how's it going?" question -- it's going just SWELL!

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