Skip to main content

goodbye and white

This afternoon I signed my name a few times, and so did Dean, and we are no longer home owners. This morning one of my close friends, who had been staying with us for a week as she was between places, left to journey back to her family in B.C. She is leaving her life in Montreal, not sure whether she will return or not. It has been a day of goodbyes, goodbyes that leave one hanging, as none of us know quite where we will land next. This place can be unsettling or it can help me focus - my choice.

Tonight I have 3 more house guests coming. Tomorrow I have an event where I am acting as producer/set-up person/refreshment coordinator/public relations/host. Saturday we look at some condos downtown, then head away for a quick meeting and a bit of a getaway at our friends' cottage up north. Next week I will start sorting and packing. Life is clumping up again, as it tends to do when change is imminent. Like labour pains, there usually seems to be increased activity and stress just before the birth of something new in our lives. It is a pattern I readily recognise by now and even embrace. The increased pressure makes me stop and ask God for help, it reminds me that only a few things are truly important, and it offers me the opportunity to mature in many areas, specifically grace (oh, how I hate being a whiner and complainer and fault-finder at times like these) and trust (relax, this really is out of your hands to a large extent and either you mean what you say when you talk about God providing for you or you don't).

I had a dream last week in which I was working with some young and energetic creative souls on an ad campaign. They presented an idea for an all-white ad and I immediately understood what they were trying to accomplish and thought the idea was brilliant. Not every one was convinced, so I explained it to the people who were hesitant, namely the bosses. The concept was simple. Everything in the ad, whether it was a photo or video or any other visual, was white, totally white. The thing we were trying to sell was then placed in the all-white setting and naturally, every eye was drawn toward it, no matter how small it was in the picture or how much in the background it served. The idea was not to make the product appear bigger and better than it was (like so many ads do), but to place the object in a natural setting, removing all the distractions so that the focus was on it alone. Like I said, brilliant!

I need a giant white paintbrush in my life. Not to attempt to erase any of its parts, but to tone down all those bits that take more attention than they merit and blur my vision with busyness. I need all those distractions to fade into the background so that I can truly focus on the beauty and simplicity and awesome, sometimes small but always bright, nature of this life I have been given.

What do I want my life to point to? What do I want others to see first when they glance at me and my situation? Everything else must become white.

This is the view from my backyard...for now.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

what binds us together?

For the past few weeks, I have been reading a book by famed psychiatrist M. Scott Peck which chronicles his travels (together with his wife) through remote parts of the UK in search of prehistoric stones. The book is part travel journal, part spiritual musings, part psychology, and part personal anecdotes. A mixed bag, to be sure, and not always a winning combination. At one point, I considered putting the book aside, not finishing it, but then Peck started writing about community. He is no stranger to the concept. He has led hundreds of community-building workshops over the years, helped start a non-profit organisation dedicated to fostering community, and written a compelling book about the topic, one which greatly impacted me when I read it oh so long ago.[1]

In preparation for a course I am teaching next year, I have been doing quite a bit of study on unity and community. Once you start thinking about it, you see and hear evidence of it everywhere. (See my blog on the impact of b…

job hunting

I am on the hunt for a job. PhD in hand, I am a theologian for hire. The thing is, not a lot of places are hiring theologians these days, and if they are, they are usually looking for scholars with skills and experience outside my area of expertise. Today I found job opportunities for those knowledgeable in Religion, Race, and Colonialism, Philosophy and History of Religion, Islam and Society, Languages of Late Antiquity, Religion, Ethics, and Politics, and an ad for a Molecular Genetic Pathologist. Not one posting for a Dramatic Theologian with  a side order of Spirituality and a dash of Methodology.

I know, I know. My expectations are a bit unrealistic if I believe I will find an exact match for my particular skills. I know that job descriptions are wish lists to some extent, so no candidate is ever a perfect match. I also realize that one must adapt one's skill set according to the requirements of the job and be flexible. But there are so few jobs which come within ten or even…

building the church

Imagine two scenarios: 1) Give every person in the room a popsicle stick. Ask them to come together and put their sticks onto a table. Invariably, you end up with a random pile of sticks on a table. 2) Give every person in the room a popsicle stick. Show a picture of a popsicle stick bird feeder and ask people to come together and put their sticks on a table according to the picture. You will end up with the beginnings of a bird feeder on a table.

What is the difference between the two scenarios? In both, each person brought what they had and contributed it to the collective. However, in the first scenario, there were no guidelines, no plan, and no right or wrong way to pile the sticks. People came, placed their sticks on the table, and walked away. In the second scenario, people were given a plan to follow and as a result, something specific was built. Instead of walking away after they made their contribution, people huddled around the table to watch what was being built. Some were…