Sabbatical Journal March 2008 John Calvi
I don’t know why I have a small excitement for shopping at thrifts stores. Maybe it’s the long shot of finding that lovely old thing that has somehow survived until now and isn’t too broken or worn for me to enjoy at some ridiculous price. As this sabbatical began I found a small stuffed Bugs Bunny positioned as though flying through the air with a big smile on his face. Bugs has always been a hero for me- very important teaching, spiritual teaching, that Bugs is never afraid, keeps his sense of humor, and enjoys adventure. I have him flying through the air (fishing line from the ceiling) near one of my desks. A reminder that I too am in mid-air, having an adventure, and will eschew fear.
As I cleanse myself from trauma and torture work, I am noticing-
- I choose music that is more upbeat and less sad
- I rest more easily and sleep more deeply
- My thoughts are not stuck assuming the worst possible outcome to any scenario
- My appetite for people is slowly returning
- I can clean out a desk in my office unattached to slews of undone projects
- My prayers of thanksgiving and gratitude are returning
- I spent 3 weeks painting the upstairs, enjoying newly flexed and sore muscles
- I’ve begun to think creatively again on teaching about torture, but not too much
- More than tired, I am happy and grateful to be resting, washing, restoring
I have begun a new adventure, unexpectedly. I’ve been diagnosed with osteoporosis. I am reluctant to discuss this and still somewhat in shock. No sign of illness, except on the bone scan. No pain or symptoms, just some caution on ice etc. I am just learning what this means and how to respond. I hadn’t expected this part of being an elder at 55. I am still finding the handles on this new reality to eschew fear.
I did some hands on work with a friend and felt the rush of Grace and compassion with some longing and warm familiarity. To enter into the dance with Divine energies even for a few minutes washed me with delight and the other person felt better too.
The return of light as spring pushes through, moving the glacier on our roof, is a time of some struggle coming to hope. Our little home in Vermont, embedded in snow and ice, begins to hint at the end of frozenness. The woodpile is low. The biggest change comes soon- we go from ice to tons of mud to green growing things. And it all seems so fast. But first another ice storm tomorrow that we’ll try to see as character building rather than the cause of some slouching and being disheartened. Spring has always come before, hasn’t it?
Of course, the great spiritual discipline that suggests maturity is to behold the most wonderful with the most difficult and to be in awe of all creation. And failing surprise quizzes only means one is more ready later to do better, one hopes.