Sunday, September 23, 2012
I'm sitting in a sunbeam in San Francisco, wearing my lava-lava and a green tee shirt. California cool. Today is the Folsom Street fair and I've been thinking about it for several days. Obsessing is the word. My fascination is not disapproving; on the contrary. But I can't go there. It is unsettling enough to think of all the alcohol and sex. Being in the midst of it would be much harder. "Don't go into the lion's den" is good advice from a friend. But it still leaves me with the agitation. Counselling myself to "let it go" is a good reminder, but the thoughts stick like burrs in my socks. I did a new thing last night: I told somebody what I was thinking! A friend came for dinner at the friary and casually asked "How are you doing?" Looking him in the eye I said: "I'm a little strung out. My mind is full of fantasies. My heart is with my vows and the community. I feel tired out." It was perhaps more than he bargained for. But he rose to the occasion and we talked about how to be authentically present to those feelings. I was thinking "offer it up"--the feelings of agitation can teach me to practice my faith and disciplines of prayer and meditation. He suggested just "feel them all the way down"--my agitated state is who I am right now. God is in those feelings; God is revealing God's self to me in that limbo state. Hmmm. Perhaps the desire to get away from the feelings is closing the door on an opportunity to grow. Feel them but don't act on them: sounds like it might be a way to heal some old wounds and worries over time. So after church today I went in the opposite direction from the fair. I walked around admiring the flowers and stopped for a cup of tea. I was able to get out of my head, to enjoy the sunshine: living in limbo-land. Its a good life. I discovered I'm really glad just to be alive. Agitation can a sign of life, like a pulse. Its all part of the rhythms of life as my friend Owusu says.