Tuesday, September 04, 2007

First day of school

I’m ready. I’m looking forward to this. I’ll have split-shift Tuesdays: Systematic Theology with the Lutherans, and Liturgics here, done by 11 a.m. Then an elective I’m really excited about, The Rites of the Sick, Death, and Dying, taught by my advisor, 7-9:30 p.m.

I don’t have class Wednesday or Thursday, which is fine with me because I have two 4000-level classes. Monday afternoons, I’m taking Christian Theologies of Judaism. I’ll be busy, but I’m happy about all of it.

The hymns in chapel this morning were “Peace Before Us,” taken from a Navajo chant, and “God of Grace and God of Glory.” Whoever planned the liturgy really thought about it—the hymns distilled themselves in me as “Peace, wisdom, courage.” I know what to expect now; I know what my limitations are, and I know what I hope to challenge. 40 people in that chapel were just beginning. I hope they remember, and hold on to this. I’m writing, in part, so I do.

I’m still all Zen calm and happy from summer. I’m not behind yet, except for the readings I didn’t know about (and that Lizette understands). I’m interested in all of my classes. I have an outside-of-school support system that gets stronger all the time, centered in my fantastic parish. And I know that when I lose my mind, I can go up to the Ranch and work a weekend. Or, just go and be.

Up there, prayer became as natural as breathing. The place, the people, and God worked a healing in me. I need to hold onto that now. I’m doing great on the first day—ask me in five weeks or so how I’m feeling. It’s easy to lose your practice, and your balance, in seminary. There’s so much that you could be doing, at any given moment. There’s always more reading than anyone can do—and I came back with something to prove.

With last spring, and this past summer, in my memory, I know how important self-care is. I can’t hike to the peace pole, in Berkeley. But I can take BART into the city and walk the labyrinth at Grace. I can go down to the Berkeley marina, or up the hill to Tilden. I can call my family-friends for hang-out time.

I said to myself twenty times a day, all summer, “This is such a good life.” It was. And this life is too. Everywhere I go, I am. And God is.

I’m still breathing deeply, without having to remind myself. Now is the time to get organized.

Peace before us, peace behind us,
Peace under our feet
Peace within us, peace over us,
Let all around us be peace.
Let all around us be peace.
Let all around us be peace.


Mimi said...

Have a blessed and fruitful school year!

Kate said...

You're creating space for something wonderful to happen.

Kirstin said...

Mimi: Thank you. The same, to your two! (Is X in middle school yet?)

Kate: I have a lot of love around me. I'm open enough to know it, now.


eileen said...

(((Kirstin))) Wish I could be there studying with you!

Ditto to what Mimi said!

Kirstin said...

((((Eileen)))) I wish you could too!

You might want to check out General's community stuff. And e-mail Mitties. She won't have forgotten you.

Much love, even though I'm a busy and very bad Facebook friend right now!

Jane R said...

Kirstin, you sound in a really good space. I'm glad. I haven't had a chance to stop by here in WEEKS. School began nearly three weeks ago and I am fried, as is my schedule. I miss the Bay Area. Glad you are enjoying life and taking good care of yourself. Look up my fellow parishioner from St. Mary's House, Greg Knight, who is a first-year M.Div. He's good people. He and his wife moved to town a few weeks ago.