A kind client of mine mentioned yesterday that he has missed my blog. I know I have been hiding under a bushel for awhile, feeling the need to be silent while I re-calibrate. I knew the transition from mountain to town would be big for me without question, but not until I entered the process could I know how complex and deep the journey would be. I appreciate my client’s gentle urging. It encourages me to attempt to find my voice again, to pick up my instrument. I told him that writing is certainly my craft, the one I have been honing my whole life. For decades – as a minister, public speaker, professor, doctoral student and during the last few years of article and consistent blog writing – rarely would a week go by without care-filled work to find words for some of the deepest thoughts and images of my soul and what I observe of the soul of the world. I have felt like a violinist who put down her instrument. Maybe now I will pick it up again.
Before resigning from the ministry, and while in the conflict that led to it, I remember hearing about an Irish saint whose legend says that while despairing over the direction God wanted him to take in life he decided to push his boat out to sea and then pull up the oars and the rudders and let the forces of God and Nature take him to the shore where he belonged. The story goes on, but I don’t remember the details well enough to recount them here. I was deeply moved by the image of letting go of one’s own design and control enough to push out to sea and let Nature decide. It helped me to decide to leave all that I had known and had trained my whole adult life to do when I left the ministry.
Leaving the retreat center and home that I had built on the mountain to move into town has felt like a similar push to sea. I have had ideas and intentions about it all, but have been basically waiting, and still await, Nature and God to bring my boat to shore. I have felt lost at sea, but trusting while keeping a prayerful vigil.
Lately the image of setting sail has been occurring to me. There is a time to push off and let the ocean take you, and a time to set sail and direct the course – while still working, of course, with the huge forces of wind and sea. I feel the urge to set sail now. I pulled up rudder and oar when I set out to sea, now intend to use them again.
At this point I can’t see yet where I am going, but I know the sail is set and I will work with the currents, like Columbus setting out for a new world. I have found a completely charming home to buy so that I can set down roots, and have an office in downtown Asheville that is enchanting, in an old timey building with a view of town and the mountains beyond. These are my ship, I will begin to direct its course.
God and Nature will always be boss, but I want to pick up my bow and play the music. The rest note has been good, time to make some noise.