Wednesday, November 23, 2011

shameless celebration


Yesterday, I received my Master of Arts degree at the fall convocation of Concordia University.  It was a fun day and a nice break from my ongoing doctoral studies and work.  I love a good ceremony, especially one with a lot of colour, action, and some bagpipes!  Plus, I got to wear a costume!  Today it was back to work.  I spent most of the day grading, took an hour or two to cram in some reading for tonight's class, spent a few hours discussing postliberalism and postmodernity with a prof and some grad students in my evening class, then came home to finish this week's grading.  The tasks for the day are now done and it is 10:21 pm.  

I know how to work.  I can get things done.  As a graduate student, the list of things that one must and should and could do are never-ending.  It can easily overwhelm me if I am not careful.  Working seems very responsible (that would be my Anabaptist roots talking).  Celebration sometimes not so much.  However, the God of the Hebrews insisted on celebration as part of the rhythm of life.  And sometimes, it would go on longer than expected, as in the case of the week-long party after the temple was built that stretched on for another week because it was just sooo good and no one wanted to go home! (see I Kings 8)

I am happy to say that I am getting better at celebrating without shame.  Without feeling a twinge of guilt about the work still undone.  Without feeling slightly uncomfortable about extravagances given and received.  Without diminishing the beauty and joy of a moment that is special to me and to others.  Without shame or self-consciousness about being the centre of attention for a few seconds.  Without feeling fat or old or tired or not as statuesque as the next person.  Without entertaining worrying thoughts about the future.  Without apology or justification.

Just celebration.  Pure and simple.  It's important to God.  And it is becoming more important to me, too.

the photo:  my personal photographer for the day, Awa, who understands celebration better than most, I dare say.  Photo credit to Dean, who generously took the day off to be with me.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Matte! Congrats! Party on!
Joël!

Matte Downey said...

thank, Joel!