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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 **

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8 Responses

  1. kigen, I actually don’t mean permission in that kind of wincing way, I actually use it in a much more spacious capacity in that we should all live in such a way that we give each other “permission” to honor what is true for each of us. Hope that makes sense, definitely didn’t mean to make you wince. ;-) (I feel a future post coming on!) :-)

    eileen, I would love meeting you on a future trip. I purposely limited myself to one blogger connection because I had so much happening. Plus I will be getting out to Maryland fairly soon as I have a good family friend I want to connect with there. Happpy spring to you too.

  2. Christine,
    Thanks for sharing your travels with us! Wish I had known you were to be here on the East Coast – so would have loved meeting you. I totally know where you’re coming from with the blogging deal. I find that I have more demands on my time these days, so my posting has been rather sparse. I do make a point of stopping by here regularly even if I do not comment. Happy Spring!

  3. “Permission” in your answer made me wince. Sorry. “Follow what is emerging” feels like spring! Thank you. I’ll keep that and work with it today.

  4. Thanks Songbird, it was indeed wonderful on many levels.

    kigen, your comment made me smile. Thanks for the permission to follow what is emerging, which is how my spiritual life unfolds, but there is this organizational part of me too that perhaps I should reflect on a bit.

  5. Christine! You are a mystic! The great mystics are famous for giving their gifts in ample diversity, depth of thought, and productivity. I for one say, no need to rein yourself in, on purpose — it will happen naturally, of course — some weeks posting every day, some weeks hardly or not at all — since the Spirit guides you (which is why we all support you), what need is there to explain a schedule or apologize for a time of silence?

  6. Thanks Tess, seeing Gene again was definitely an unexpected gift. It was good to get away as well and look at my commitments from a different perspective and realize I need to do some shifting again.

  7. Thank you for these glimpses of your trip, and what a lovely story about your 80-year-old doorman. There aren’t enough of these souls to go round!
    It’s interesting what you say about cutting back on your blogging schedule. I get the impression a lot of people are doing this and it makes sense – blogging should be a pleasure, not something one is scrambling to fit into a schedule. And it never occurred to me that it would be an April Fool’s joke until I read the last bit.