The 24th Beethoven Letter by John Calvi
Sabbatical is very wonderful and different. Each month I find a lower gear in resting from overwork. It began with a trip west to see Marshall’s family in Southern California- some time in the desert, some time at the coast, and the start of abandoning my desks, computers, emails, and phones. My sabbatical task is to move all my energies in caring for others towards my own well being. This is odd and I recommend it. I began a news/newspapers fast and focused on painting the upstairs of our little house. A deep blue now makes all the wood trim glow golden in morning and evening light. Remind me to tell you about the wall falling down. I’ve no talent for painting or repair, but delight in every improvement.
To not take care of anyone has been an adjustment. I resist the urge to call any number of people to check on their trauma recovery and instead care for myself- nap, read, or begin the next house project. I changed the toilet seat in the outhouse. This new discipline prepares me for work to come.
Spiritually, sabbatical restores my humor, gratitude, stillness, a quiet mind, and a clean connection for seeking. I can feel my ragged edges reshape to the dovetail of knowing and learning. I have good things to wonder about- how has my leading grown since 1982, can I keep my improved wellness beyond sabbatical, how will age contour my work, what am I learning that others may want to know? One gift of sabbatical is that I can keep the questions, refine them, and await the new learning patiently.
Sabbatical is not only time out. It’s also a health necessity. A hormonal imbalance has been implicated in my struggle of the last dozen years with chronic fatigue, weight gain, and recently a diagnosis of osteoporosis. This discovery is a surprise and a relief. It is the beginning of good resolution with treatment. This sabbatical came right on time! I am feeling better than I have in years, assuring me of good energy and a fit body for the good work of the future. My homework is happily increased.
My plan is for more physical work- stacking firewood, reclaiming the field from an invasive brush species, restoring the abandoned vegetable garden, and painting the downstairs and the exterior. As blood pressure and weight continue to improve, I hope to begin a slow return to my desk to edit a collection of my speeches into a book and CDs. I return to my teaching and touch work in 2009 and include a developing calendar. More information and soon a new journal/blog will be at my website.
I am grateful for all your good care. Your generosity has made this possible. I would greatly appreciate your support now to continue to restore myself. I need your help. Thank you for your gifts.
In the Light,
John Calvi May 2008 PO Box 301 Putney 05346 www.johncalvi.com