Reordering for Normal

Photo: My friend Trish was over last week and said she wanted to make a quilt for our interim priest who is leaving at the end of next month. I was like, that’s a great idea! How can I help? I am not the fastest quilter, as y’all longtime readers well know. And I don’t love my sewing machine. She is faster and better at all things quilting than I am. But I could drive her to Gather Here! And I could help her choose fabric and colors! So, off we went: Me, Trish, and two little boys. This is what we chose. I can’t wait to see what she produces!

When I went to the monastery that one time a million years ago (2 years ago? 3? Lordy.), one of the things the Brother who was leading our group spoke to us about was praying unceasingly, choosing to pray while doing anything at any time. He spoke about prayerfully washing dishes. What does it feel like to talk to God while doing mundane things?

I thought about that a lot as I tried to pick up the pieces of life this weekend. Every little piece of clothing strewn across the messy, messy bedroom of two little boys was not a nuisance, but an opportunity for prayer. Prayer with every grunt and groan as a bent over and stood back up again with some article of “oh my God, didn’t I just wash this??” in hand. Prayer with the strain of my back picking up the heavy basket full of adult clothes and kiddo clothes. Prayer with all the doo-dads to be relocated and put away, the things kicked into a corner for the umpteenth time, with every growl as I took the sheets off the beds for washing (and embarrassment for trying to recall just how many weeks it’s been since I washed them last). Serenity came and went as quickly as you can imagine. When I finally sat my ass down to catch up on Project Runway only to be interrupted by a husband who wanted to play video games (“Sure, no problem, it is Father’s day and all…”) or two little boys begging for some screen time “finally” (“I guess you did get that playroom clean. Very well…”) I was all prayed out.

I mean, not really… but kinda. It’s fine. I got my time eventually. And when I did sit down, I felt the appreciation for not having anything else to do in that moment. No emails to write. Nothing to lead. Peaks make the valleys worth it. Valleys make the peaks worth it. The places in-between are the work that always has to be done. I appreciate this valley. More work is ever on the horizon.

I really did get a lot done. Not as much as I wanted to, but a lot. I didn’t realize that I hadn’t thought about Father at all yesterday until after everything was over and I’d gotten into bed. My third estranged Father’s Day. Weird, huh? I suppose it does get a little bit easier as the time goes on. A blessing and a curse.

I’m back to teaching mode, working on a syllabus for the camp class I’m teaching next week. 6 campers will be writing short stories with me next week! What? Oh, I hope I don’t disappoint them! I can’t decide which stories I want to share (there are too many. Also, uh, it’s hard to find short stories that are appropriate for youngins… especially ones you don’t know well! I want to mix in at least one from the Levar Burton Reads podcast (going to listen today to confirm no bad words). Then, of course, I’ve gotta frame it just so. Syllabus writing, much like choosing fabric for a quilt, is a really fun experience. So much potential. So many dreams dreamed all at once. So much hope it’s all going to turn out the way you want it to. So much understanding and forgiveness for the fact that it’s not going to turn out quite how you envision. But, if you’re lucky, close. We’ll see how it all turns out. I keep telling myself that, no matter what, it’s just a week in time. And, no matter what, the boys get to enjoy an awesome week and an awesome camp. I can do anything knowing that.

Speaking of things turning out close to how you want it to go:

All four wings are done!!

I purchased fabric while I was at Gather Here to solve my “no legs” problem. I pray it works. But first, time for details. Face, hands, hair, halo, smiting angel power around the hand. And necklace, I just realized. Crap… maybe I should do that first. Hmm…

AND knitting!

Goth Girl is on the needles! Yay! I’m only about an inch and a half in, so I don’t have a great photo to show you of how it knits up, but what I’ve knitted is pretty, sooo pretty. Goth Girl comes from Gale’s Art Yarn. I looked at her site and couldn’t find the colorway listed anymore, but maybe if you want it, you can ask for a special order? Anyway, it’s suuuper nice. If I can get an inch or two more on it, I’ll include a photo for Quiet Thoughts.

It’s a week for doing work, Dear Reader. Good work. Sometimes mundane and even stupid work. Intermix the dumb, mind-numbing stuff with something good. Work that does something for you or does something for someone you love. If you’re the praying type, try to do it with a prayer in your heart or on your lips. If you’re not, maybe put out a happy vibration, something to hum through the universe and tip the balance a little toward the good and the right and even the just. When I see you on Friday for Quiet Thoughts, I’d like us both to know that the world is just a teeny tiny bit better because of an effort we made. We can do that, right? Right.

I’ll see you then.

See you Friday for Quiet Thoughts.

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