If I were not in seminary, which is to say, if I were still employed and, instead of a tuition bill had a paycheck and a two-week Pesach vacation coming up, I would be planning a trip to Prague, rather than reading The Lovely Daughter's blog and emails with such longing -- longing to see her, to participate in her discovery of a new life, to enjoy a beautiful city pretty much off limits to Americans when I was her age.
If I were not in seminary, I would not be memorizing reams upon reams of facts that vanish from memory within hours (minutes?) of the requisite test, be it Greek or Bible or History, and preclude my spending time sifting through materials and ideas that have some meaning for me and would, presumably, lodge somewhere in my mind as a consequence of having been considered rather than jammed into short-term memory for the purpose of meeting someone else's expectations.
If I were not in seminary, I would be re-engaged in church leadership, or perhaps traveling to South Africa to work on hunger issues as one of my friends will this spring, or be headed for Zimbabwe to work on a school and library as another has done three times.
If I were not in seminary . . .what it all boils down to is that I am living the life of a 20-something with the body, mind, heart, and experience of a 50-something. I am used to producing and sharing and giving and achieving, and it seems that all I do right now is absorb and occasionally spit back.
Yes, I exaggerate, for the benefit of the exposition. (Lovely Daughter: Mom, your stories always have more in them than actually happened. Me: Well, sweetie, you want to hear a GOOD story, don't you? One should not feel too constrained by facts.) Yes, I still have church classes and programs to plan and teach; yes, I am involved in things here at school; yes, I am working on field ed possibilities for next year that will enable me to get out and live a life closer to the one I used to have.
Hmmm. Now that I have vented a bit, it occurs to me that perhaps we need some way here for us - ahem -- older seminarians to gather and process our experiences.
Wonder just who should address that possibility?
(Oh ~ the image ~ the famous Prague astronomical clock, as photographed by my sons a couple of years ago. I can live vicariously, I suppose.)