It has been SO nice to focus on people and matters outside my fairly self-absorbed space of the past year.
My spiritual director made his final vows as a Jesuit on Saturday, so the Lovely Daughter and I went to the mass. It takes at least twelve years to get from first day to final vows in the Society of Jesus, no matter what you've done before you get started -- in his case, an M. Div, and then many years as a parish priest. It's pretty cool to observe the solemnity (and humor) with which the Jesuit community marks a man's final and most complete commitment to membership in its ranks.
A friend of mine, a religious studies professor, had asked a small group of people to serve as first readers on a book manuscript he's working on, and so Sunday three of us got together to discuss its current manifestation. Another process of coolness -- to be a tiny part of a book in the making.
Tonight I've just returned from a lengthly planning meeting for my own church's adult ed program for next year. My days of chairing that enterprise are behind me but I still get to participate. I am extremely grateful for the opportunity, because as a group we are way up there on the imagination-ometer, if I say so myself.
And . . . I started CPE today. The hospital has 35,000 employees and covers I don't know how many city blocks. Enough that I am beyond description in terms of being geographically challenged. The chances of my actually answering a page within a day of receiving it would appear to be limited at the very best. I am more likely to find the North Pole than I am any destination on that campus.
I am WIPED OUT.
And yeah, the gutter guys are still here. I suppose I should look at it this way: the gutter-and-soffit catastrophe is absorbing pretty much all the stress I might otherwise direct toward CPE. As a lining, though, that one looks more like rust than silver.