Returning: Some Highlights

I went on a journey for 12 days down the east coast which you can read more about.  I have lots to process, but here are some initial offerings of things for which I am grateful (both silly and sublime):

  • renting the cheapest car level possible and ending up with a Ford Mustang convertible
  • wandering through Edgell Grove cemetery where my mother is buried and sensing the peace of her resting
  • visiting with my uncle’s ex-wife, the mother of one of my cousins who so graciously shared stories with me
  • stopping in the town of Wiscasset, Maine on my drive up to stay with my aunt and having lunch with another blogger (who is perfectly delightful)
  • spending three days in Boothbay Harbor, ME, walking for hours along the water
  • the stories and photos my aunt was able to share with me, spending time with her and her husband
  • visiting an old friend and being able to offer some support through a difficult time
  • arriving in New York City for the first time in 12 years, the last time I was there was when my father died
  • walking half a block from my hotel to the building where I grew up and seeing one of the doormen who has been there since I was a child, now 80 years old
  • the fact that this wonderful man immediately recognized me, exclaiming “Christine!” with a sense of joy and telling me that my beautiful smile had not changed at all
  • seeing a friend I grew up with and sharing memories, including our shared crush at age 13 on Rick Springfield (who apparently now is making a comeback)
  • having time to go see the Cloisters, my favorite museum in all of Manhattan
  • visiting Ground Zero and having the breath knocked out of me as I emerged from the subway and took in the vast cavern of space where those towers once stood
  • indulging in one of my guilty pleasures — staying in an anonymous hotel room with a comfy bed, room service, and in-room movies
  • watching three powerful films, each in their own way — Juno, Atonement, and Into the Wild
  • attending the Leadership Institute of the SDI Conference and engaging in meaningful conversations about ways to support people in ministry

(photos from top to bottom: my zippy little rental car I used to drive from Massachusetts to Maine and back again, the doorman from the building where I grew up, the Empire State Building in New York City taken from Bryant Park) 

There are a lot more stories running through my veins and I know some of them will find their way to this space over time.  I have much to reflect on, many gifts to hold within me for a while to see what they say to me.  I spent a lovely weekend at home reconnecting with my beloved husband, my sweet Petunia, and watching Season 3 of Battlestar Galactica (another guilty pleasure, but a great show).

As busy as my time away was, I did have some time to reflect on my dreams for myself and the things I long to have time for.  I realized that as much as I love blogging and the relationships I have made here, that trying to maintain a five-day-a-week schedule has taken a lot of time that I could put toward some other writing projects that need my attention.  So for a while I am cutting back to three days a week, keeping many of the features I have enjoyed posting here in a less frequent format:

Mondays: alternating Poetry Party and Spiritual Reflection

Wednesdays: alternating Abbey Bookshelf and Sacred Artist Interview

Fridays: Visual Meditation

Of course there may be times I am inspired to write more often, but I am trying to find the balance of a discipline and allowing myself enough room for other possibilities to emerge.  I am so grateful for all of the support I receive here (and no, none of this is an April Fool’s joke) :-).

-Christine Valters Paintner @ Abbey of the Arts

** Visit this week’s Poetry Party **

You might also enjoy