Hanging at the Top of the Roller Coaster

What a jumbled up week this has been…  Things I have noticed:

  • Feeling very attached to news from and word about the Arizona shootings/tragedy on January 8.  Sharing the moment of silence during the televised memorial service on January 12 and wanting to be a good person, to be kinder and gentler and stronger and braver.  Horrified at the scope of misery and so very frustrated by how mental illness–a biological illness, treatable when detected and responded to early enough–can still in 2011 be demonized and bear the stigma of carrying accountability that in truth we all share.
  • Finding myself wanting to control everything else possible in my world, just to see if I can.  Knowing that this is futile and not being able to stop trying to do it anyway.
  • Wanting to winter-hibernate.  Feeling like I need more sleep and rest and so not exercising and not journaling.  As if they were mutually exclusive.
  • Our Christmas tree is still up.  I am not ready even now to take it down and put everything away.  The lights remind me of  joy and hope and I still need to be able to see them.  And, it is kind of weird to still have everything up.  This is a familiar annual struggle for me.
  • I spent all of yesterday practicing handbells to play last night at church during a friend’s ordination to the priesthood and found humble satisfaction in actively celebrating.
  • I didn’t honor my own instinct earlier last week and felt sad when I missed a gathering that I really wanted to attend.
  • Rejoiced at the power of medicine and surgery to restore sight to those who cannot see.
  • Kept telling myself “it’s only the second week of the New Year and there is still time to figure 2011 out.”
  • Keenly felt the approaching transition as today we attend our church for the last Sunday (having been part of this community for seven years) and prepare to move with my priest-husband to a new church and a new as yet unknown community.  Knowing a mixture of sadness and excitement as I give thanks for these past years in our family’s life and feeling quite clueless about what lies ahead.  Understanding that this kind of transition is a regular and expected part of the clergy family path.

And so, today, we observe the eve of the day that we celebrate and honor the life of  Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.  Even as I juggle interiorly the random notings above, I can feel something centering within me as I recall the loss of this great man.  I think about peace and non-violence and the terrible paradox that took his life and the lives of John and Robert Kennedy.  I think of how much I have been blessed by the many “beloved communities” that have supported and nurtured and challenged and loved me.  I think of how much time is still left for me to grow braver, grow kinder, grow more patient, grow more peaceful and I give thanks. 

This week has felt like ratcheting my way up the giant hill of a roller coaster and now pretty much feels like hanging at the top and waiting for the ride down–kind of scared, kind of excited, hoping/knowing/trusting that the rails will hold me up and that in that security I will be able to fly.  My prayer today is to let off the brakes and say yes to riding down the big hill and to all the holy moments that lie ahead.

Let us honor the memory of Dr. King and let us hold hope for the future like the radiant beacon and shining treasure that it is.

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