This gem, sent to me by a devoutly Catholic coworker. And then maybe some knitting content.
Sister Mary Katherine entered the Monastery of Silence. The Priest said, “Sister, this is a silent monastery. You are welcome here as long as you like but you may not speak until I direct you to do so.”
Sister Mary Katherine lived in the monastery for 5 years before the Priest said to her, “Sister Mary Katherine, you have been here for 5 years. You can speak two words.”
Sister Mary Katherine said, “Hard bed.” “I'm sorry to hear that,” the Priest said, “We will get you a better bed.”
After another 5 years, Sister Mary Katherine was called by the Priest. “You may say another two words, Sister Mary Katherine.”
“Cold Food,” said Sister Mary Katherine, and the Priest assured her that the food would be better in the future.
On her 15th anniversary at the monastery, the Priest again called Sister Mary Katherine into his office. “You may say two words today.”
“I quit,” said Sister Mary Katherine.
“It’s probably best,” said the Priest, “You’ve done nothing but [complain] since you got here.”
I sometimes wonder if God feels that way about many of my prayers. My favorite roommate once said, when I was 25 and still knew it all, that she had this picture in her mind of Him looking down and shaking His head and muttering, "d*mned if I do, and d*mned if I don't". I hope that I'm more easily pleased than I was back then. And I hope that I'm far more aware, and more grateful, and more teachable.
I know that we're supposed to ask for the things we need. I've never quite figured out how often we're supposed to ask, or how intensely. At what point does asking become begging, or nagging?
I have worked so hard to stay busy doing good things for the past decade or so, in part because I truly believe that one reason we are here is to wear out our lives joyfully in the service of God and our fellow beings. And in part because being a mom is the hardest job I've ever loved [the Peace Corps would be a cakewalk in comparison] and being a single mom is hardness squared or possibly cubed, even though I have really terrific kids who, now that they're grown at least, try to make the job as easy as possible, and if I don't do it, it probably won't get done. And in part to stay out of trouble, pure and simple. I've said for years that remarriage is one of those things that is important but not urgent. And that I have plenty to do to keep myself busy and out of trouble until Brother Right ambles into my life.
All of which is still true. But I learned a thing or three during that intermezzo with Brother Abacus. One is that I am deeply weary of single blessedness; it is far superior to an unhappy marriage, or to the counterfeit of love that too many people are willing to settle for. My favorite memory is the night we brought his Christmas tree down from the attic and set it up, and I got chilled, so he wrapped me in an afghan on a chair by the fire and sat there with his arm around my shoulder. I want many more moments like that, before I die. [Just, not with *him*, LOL.]
How do I ask for that, without obsessing about it? How often do I remind God that I was paying attention when He said that it wasn't good for us to be alone, and that I get the whole two-by-two-like-the-Ark thing, and that I'm willing to do my part, but that there seems to be a notable lack of enthusiasm on the part of the brethren? How do I fine-tune the forcefield, so that it only repels the cads and the bounders? [For that matter, how does the egg know *which* sperm is the right one for the job, and why have five of my eggs been smarter about their portion of mankind than I have?]
It's been a busy week at work. The workshop all day on Monday, catching up on Tuesday and Wednesday, doing double-duty when my backup went on vacation Thursday and Friday. An optional meeting on Wednesday, which I skipped, and a two and a half hour class on diversity and inclusion yesterday morning, which could have been *excruciating* but instead was lively and productive. The time just flew by. I didn't quite zero out my desk yesterday, but some of the things I learned in class on Monday have blessed the remainder of my work week.
I've taken a few pictures on my new camera but have yet to install the software or the hookup to the USB port. Will try to get both done later today, after LittleBit wakes up and before the bridal shower for a young friend at 1:00. Which means that I need to grab my swimsuit and towel *now* and get my water therapy in and my Rx picked up and something bought for the shower. And I hope to squeeze in a visit to the local YMCA, which Firstborn tells me has an excellent yoga class at a time that's convenient for me. I spent half an hour or more this morning, entering "lap swimming" and birthdays and "knit night" into my planner through the end of May.
Why does this whole "simplify my life" objective seem unattainable?
I finished the first 28-row pattern repeat on LittleBit's sleeves for her Celtic Icon hoodie before going to bed last night. There are pictures on the camera. *My* camera! Still sounds oxymoronic. My + camera = bewilderment, chaos, confusion, and a major learning curve.
Maybe I'll have pictures for you later tonight, or after church tomorrow.
Must. Go. Soak. My. Head.
- Five years into widowhood, after one year of incredible happiness and nearly 14 years of single blessedness. Have given up perfect manicures and pretty hands in order to resume playing the soprano recorder and to see if I can figure out how to play bluegrass banjo. Singing in the shower. Still really, *really* love to knit!