Because so many dear, thoughtful people have taken the time and care to check in on me to make sure I am OK… and also to drop reminders–subtle and not-so-subtle–that it’s been a really long time since I’ve posted anything here… And because I am so touched and grateful for it all…
I just wanted to let everybody know that I am indeed OK and that I am not unmindful of how long it has been since I posted here. :)
In fact, I should love very much to flood you with fresh blog posts. The only problem is that I’ve had trouble thinking of anything worth posting about (with the exception of the upcoming retreat with my Lay Dominican community, of course). I’ve had considerable writer’s block with regard to the blog. However, I have not been letting my creativity wither away. In fact, I have been quite busy with various off-line pursuits: writing fiction, doing some drawing and coloring, reading.
I wish I could say that my spiritual life is going swimmingly… but it’s not. It hasn’t been for quite some time. I’ve experienced a long arid spell. Loving God has been mostly cold-steel sheer will–it’s been a while since my love has been the unquenchable, all-consuming fire that it is often capable of being. Which is not to say that I love Him any less. Just that it is a different sort of love. Love would be pretty boring if there weren’t some variety to it, right? I often experience God’s love of me in a similar way–sometimes it’s all warmth and tenderness and beauty, almost a kind of romance, and then sometimes it’s like being cranked through a wringer or tossed off a cliff, tough as nails (yes, Lord Holy Spirit, I’m talking about You!), and then sometimes it is reserved, still, silent, a desert wind, an encompassing darkness–but never empty or indifferent.
So, it’s not going swimmingly, no. But it is all right. It is going. It is bringing me somewhere. Teaching me something. It always does. In hindsight, I always look back and can’t believe I didn’t realize how very close God was to me, and how much He was saying to me and doing for me.
Health-wise, I can’t complain. The worst I’ve had to deal with is bursitis in my foot. The depression is under control.
At least, the physiological aspects of depression are under control. I still have lots of emotional and psychological stuff to work through. Mainly grief and sorrow. I know that the physical elements are under control because I have once again turned my mind to the elements that are beyond the reach of medical science. They are quite huge and intimidating–even frightening. But I can stand them now and begin my passage through them. And that is quite a relief, actually. I want, and need, to set out on that path.
We are in the middle of a long, extremely hot, drought-ridden summer here in Texas. We’ve had about 27 consecutive days with high temperatures above 100° F (38° C). It’s gone on so long that I dare say (while shuddering) that I am almost used to it! But I still avoid being outdoors as much as possible. Summer has always been my least-favorite season. But in general, as I have matured, I have come to appreciate some things about summer. As long as there are luminous, long-lingering evenings, glowing fireflies and singing cicadas, and a bottle of Sho Chiku Bai chilling in my refrigerator, I find that I can face summer with a rather peaceful and poetic outlook. I think it is this outlook that has so inspired my artistic endeavors of late.
So this is where I am. Typing words about love and summer and God and life. Admiring the silhouettes of trees against a powder-blue sky sketched over with faint apricot-colored mares’ tails. Holding a cold sake cup delicately in my fingers. And thinking about you, whoever and wherever you are, very thankful that you have paused to read these words.
God bless you.