greetings from mars

I joked a while back that to many of my acquaintances in Portland, my joining a religious community was so strange and out of left field, it was almost as if I was moving to Mars. Well, I’ve been here 11 days and while it’s not quite Mars, it is a different world. I’m looking out through the trees at the George Washington Bridge and the NYC skyline, but I’m in a sort of alternate reality light years away from the hubbub of the City.

We’re still settling in, and I know it will get more real and more like home. But new beginnings are always a challenge, especially when you are getting used to new people, new routines, new environments, etc… all at once. It’s especially challenging when you are pulled from your support system and transported to, as Steph affectionately (or not so affectionately) calls it … lockdown.

It’s been an adjustment, and continues to be. One interesting phenomenon is that I don’t seem to have enough time to do what I need to do. And yet, all I need to do is be present to God and to this Novitiate House Community. It’s almost like a time warp instead of another planet.

There have been good days and not so good days. Laughter and tears. Moments of clarity and moments of wondering what I’m doing here. I am so glad to have the company of my fellow novices. Last night the 3 of us played a game of Rummikub around the kitchen table. Don’t know how I’d be doing if it weren’t for them.

In the end, it comes down to this … Jesus is inviting me to go deeper, to delve into the scary bits, to love my way into this experience. And so I pray, and I hope, and I love.

Prayers and warm fuzzy thoughts are greatly appreciated!!!

PS - I'm not going back to regular blogging just yet, but I wanted the challenge of trying to capture these feelings for public consumption. Still way too all over the map to come back to the blog quite yet, plus not sure that I've figure out the balance yet either. Stay tuned ...


Susan said...

You're doing great and don't owe us anything! When you write it's great, but the support is there always.
Do what is good for you and the next right thing to do will present itself. (Or at least most of the time it does!)

Anonymous said...

*hugs* and blessings and prayers, Susan!

Anonymous said...

I received this from a friend today. You have got it already.

Here is today's heartfelt blessing:

"There was a man that hated his footprints and his shadow, so one day he thought that if he ran fast enough, his footprints and shadow would not be able to follow him and then he would never have to look at them again. He ran and he ran as fast as he could, but the shadow and the footprints had no problems keeping up to him. And he ran even faster and all of a sudden he fell dead to the ground. But if he had been standing still there wouldn't have been any footprints and if he had been resting under a tree his shadow would have been swallowed by the tree's shadow.

Many times we hate our problems and do our best to run away from them, but no matter how fast we run or how far we go, our problems follow, scurrying behind us like footprints and shadows. Little do we realize that if we will just stand still and wait, breathing deep and relaxing both body and mind, the solution, in similar fashion to the shadow of the tree, will swallow up the problem whole and leave us free to celebrate.

Anonymous said...

Hello Sr. Susan,
Like the other Susan said, you don't owe us, but it might help you to know why I am reading. It is for those ah-ha moments when something make sense or clicks into place as you undergo your journey. Now for a metaphor, when hiking though a large forest to get to a lake my attention is on the Lake and not the forest, or the trees, or the fact that it is also a forest of moss which just happen to live on trees. So I think your time-warp feeling is a really good sign.
Those ah-ha moments are rare and take a lot of work before you get to them, so don't think you have to entertain us and blog all the time. You can always just tell us, "talk among yourselves."
Good luck!

Sarah, OSB said...

Hi there Susan, don't worry, what you're going through it totally normal. I'm starting my third year, and I can tell you, it gets better (and is still tough). It's totally worth it, and the Lord will use all of it, even the tough stuff to bring you closer to Him, so hang in there!!

Anonymous said...

Prayers for you Susan!

Questing Parson said...

And all around this globe there are old parsons praying for Susan.

Anonymous said...

You're in my thoughts!