I am still contemplating contemplation.
A good thing to do this time of year. It is the season of Lent.
Years ago, when I was filled with fear, worried about my son, I attended the Novena of Grace at St. Ignatius Church. 9 successive days of prayer. ("Novena" is from the Latin word "novem" which means nine.) It was a profound, painful, moving, healing experience. I am like a yo-yo Catholic. I keep pulling away and bouncing back.
But St. Ignatius has a Contemplative Mass Sunday evenings. I have been before. It is beautiful. Quiet. Dark. Candles. I may have to visit again before Easter.
I like my little church. But I have feeling restless. Wanting to go deeper spiritually, but also not wanting to become a hermit. Wanting to connect to other people, without being drawn too much into this world. I think perhaps I would like to connect people that are on a similar journey as I?
Part of this, I know, is that I am an empty nester. My kids are also like yo-yos. They left home several years ago, but we all reuinted when my daughter graduated college, moved to Salem and got engaged. Then when they all moved back up to Portland and left me in Salem, I felt truly on my own. But that didn't last. The train commute regularly up to Portland was draining. Then my kid's needed help paying rent.
Boom, we were back living together again!
I got used to be a mom of adult children.
I settled into my role. I like to help. I would make a couple of crockpot meals a week. Do the dishes. I liked to feel I was contributing.
But then, BOOM! The house we were renting was being sold. We had to break up our little community.
It is a good thing. My daughter and her husband and baby to be need to make their own lives. My son needs to find his path. And I need to rediscover the real me.
I am still a mom. I am also a sister, a daughter and aunt and a great aunt. And soon I will be a grandma.
But I am also a Zita. And there is still a me inside that would like to explore more of this life.
As I was pondering all of this, early this morning, I stumbled upon this quote by the late Wayne Dyer:
“Thoughts are mental energy; they're the currency that you have to attract what you desire. Learn to stop spending that currency on thoughts you don't want.”
― Wayne Dyer
I wrote that earlier bit this morning. In the wee hours. (Still struggling with my late rising.)
You can tell this is written later. Because the margins are all weird. My computer is trying to kill me!
But, I TOTALLY need to write that Dyer quote on a card and carry it with me.
It is now 9:44 p.m. I have just returned from choir practice.
I had an interesting day. I started out so sluggish. But as usual, my piano students invigorated me. I love sitting back and listening to the fruits of my labor. It is always humbling to realize that with most of my students, I started them from the very beginning.
To hear them play music and realize I will always be a part of their history takes my breath away.
Especially on days where I am in the moment and appreciating that moment.
Today, one of my newest students proudly showed me her practice sheet as I walked in the door. She had practiced every single day last week and noted the time on her chart.
She was so proud. This in turn made me proud! And she made great progress in her note reading today. Plus, she earned a reward. Emoji stress balls are great bribes for kids these days, just saying!
I've often thought that happiness and relief go hand in hand.
Remember how I told you the choir I accompany has been working on Bach's B Minor Mass?
We were planning on performing a few movements next week. But we are no where near prepared. I feel especially ill prepared. With my move, and just being under the weather, (in which case is VERY low, considering this dark, cold, bleak winter!), I just have not had enough time to practice.
But oh what joy my heart felt tonight, when after some discussion, the director and the choir decided we would not perform next week. Instead we would continue to work on the Mass next term.
And now, I am feeling inspired to really practice and do this piece justice. Because it is indeed a glorious piece of music!
And coincidentally (or not!), on the break tonight I got a text message from the pastor of the church I used to play at in Salem. He has asked me to play for an evening vespers service and for Maundy Thursday!
I told him I no longer live in Salem. He has offered to give me a ride, since he also lives up north.
This pleases me on several levels. I have felt the need to play more music. I especially have felt that my soul needs to go deeper. Especially now, during Lent. And going back to the church in Salem will be especially healing.
You see, when I lived in Salem, I was quite cranky and bitter about the lack of bus service. I did not realize Salem buses did not run on Sundays. And during the week, not so frequently.
So I did not present my best self. I have since felt guilty about letting my misfortune color my personality. I honestly do not know how obvious my crankiness was, but I have had much time to think about it.
And now when I meet a cranky person, even though I am sensitive and often hurt, I try to give them the benefit of the doubt. That maybe they are experience pain, or difficulties in their lives.
I am always so grateful when God presents opportunities to heal the past.
And moments to exhale. Relax, let go, and recharge. So that we can go forth and inhale new life and new opportunities.
I have a feeling I am going to sleep well tonight!
And perhaps tomorrow, my margins will normal!
Talk to you then...