I read today that when we are happy our field of vision expands. True enough, metaphorically, but apparently it’s true physiologically as well.
I’d always thought it was the other way round. I remember distinctly the phase in my life as an undergraduate when I felt I learned to see for the first time. I’m sure I’ve blogged about this and preached about this and bored you with this before; but it began with a prayer walk on the beach when I learned that even the sand above the tide line was damp in winter. And it continued tide by tide, ripple by ripple, leaf by leaf till the joy broke in flowering chestnut trees, and swallows soaring across a vast sky. I believed that the seeing made me happy; but maybe it was the other way round.
I sat down to blog tonight, and was at a loss. There are things I dare not say. Things too fragile for naming, that leave my breath suspended so that I don’t know whether air or tears or laughter will come next. It is all good. It is all familiar. Yet it has been such a long time.
This transition is sending me right back to basics. The customs and norms I find here, the particular life-journeys I am beginning to accompany leave the field wide open so that I find possibles in every direction: how will we engage deeply with scripture (how do we already, what needs to be broken open?) what is the shape of prayer, here, and how do we keep deepening it? how does our worship express and form our identity? how do we express different calls?
I know already (and others know too) it will not all be easy. The very things I am most certain of in my vision of the the church, the liturgy, what it means to be a priest are the things that most obviously expose differences between my understandings and the congregation’s norms; they will provide the first conflicts and the first opportunities for growth (mine and theirs).
So, I’m reading Dom Gregory again.
And Ruth Burrows.
And Job. (well, we can thank the CofE lectionary for that).
Then there is the story of Samuel and Saul and David that breaks my heart every time.
I suspect it will be Ephesians next.
Tomorrow is liturgy planning for a funeral, a wedding, the end of Young Church’s year; there are notes of a meeting I should have written up a week ago; and hymns to choose; and people to meet. Thursday, the school show, then a funeral; Friday, a wedding rehearsal and much to do for the Young Church; Saturday a first meeting for a wedding, and then a wedding proper; Sunday, the end of Young-Church’s year, in which they will help lead the congregation in worship, and then a Barbecue on the lawn.
So I may not blog much.
I may (perchance) twitter.
But know that it is good.