Well, it has been about 9 months since I last posted on this blog and I find myself grateful for all that the blog set into motion in my life. Although I haven't been consistent with posting on the blog, I have found myself living with greater intention and focusing on many of my goals (lots of healthy baking, putting laundry away-sometimes, buying local, taking risks, touring wineries, reading the Sunday Times and many more....) and have still left some room for growth (moderation in Facebooking... getting involved in a book club, etc). I've continued to blog with my students for class, posting on different blogs that they follow where I post links to articles with my personal reflections and/or questions for their reflection. But I'd like to get back into blogging with no real goal in mind other than creating a space to reflect, process and learn.
I just read a beautiful reflection by Margaret Silf in America Magazine about unfinished business. She told the story of a young woman who ran the London Marathon earlier this year at age 30, raising money for the Samaritans. For those not familiar, the Samaritans are the people whose signs you see as you approach a bridge, offering a phone number that will support people feeling hopeless and suicidal. This young woman tragically died just short of the finish line and as her story spread, heartstrings were tugged around the world. She had raised $500 for the Samaritans, but within days, over $1,000,000 had been donated to the Samaritans in her name. Silf makes the connection between this beautiful memorial for a woman who didn't finish her race and all the things unfinished in our lives:
"Perhaps such a memorial could stand for each of us, in our own way. We
run the race, we do our best, we try, but so often we fall short of
completion. We don’t quite get there. We fall at the last fence. We want
to bring a masterpiece to God, but all we manage is a child’s drawing, a
rough sketch, an unfinished dream. If we think of our shortcomings as a
failure, then thinking of the “last things” may well fill us with
dread. But what if we could think of them not as something we didn’t
finish, but rather as a seed whose blossom and fruit we cannot yet see
or begin to imagine?"
There are often days when I feel like a child's drawing instead of a Picasso... I walk into class with a great plan and somehow, it just doesn't happen. It doesn't go the way I imagined, I can't seem to steer us in the direction I want to go or the questions I thought would provoke a mind-blowing conversation lead to minutes of awkward silences. One of my goals when I began this blog was to focus on the positive... to see the glass half full and imagine the possibility instead of focusing on what has yet to be realized. I think that's exactly what Silf is challenging us to do. As we approach Advent, I'd like to think of it as a time to be intentional, to turn things I might regret or wish I'd done into reality, or as Silf says, turn them into conscious acts of love.