on fishbowls

When I worked at the City, one of my more stressful assignments was managing our office move back to a newly renovated City Hall. Our Historic City Hall (being just over 100 years old makes it historic in the Northwest) was beautifully restored and included greater access to the public. As a result, however, our new large conference room had very large windows that opened out into the public atrium area. We had an employee contest to name the new conference room, and the name that stuck for a while was "the fishbowl" for obvious reasons.

I know that some of you have been following the musings of bloggy friend Kicking & Screaming. I've never met him, but he's a Paulist and they're usually good people in my book. Not to mention that his formation director is my friend and former pastor. Anyway, he's sharing his own musings of being a priest-in-training on his blog. Today he writes:
My time in seminary has been good, but when people ask me what it’s like I often remark that it’s a fish bowl within a fish bowl. One time, during a bout of theological and existential frustration I was having, I called one of the Paulists that I knew “from the outside” and asked him for advice… he told me that St. Paul’s College is very much like an echo chamber, and not reflective of the real world. Sitting here now amongst other Paulists of varying ages reminded me that there is indeed a real world out there where all of this theory needs to be lived out, and that I am part of something much bigger than my community in Washington DC.
Theological and existential frustration? In Novitiate? Who ever heard of such a thing!! I must admit it's nice to read other people's stories about similar experiences. This post hit home. Change a few words around to reflect my groovy sister experience rather than his Paulist experience and I could have written that.

Fishbowls in my experience are transitory, which is good to remember. Even our now not so new conference room at the City is now simply called the "large conference room" and the blinds were usually down.

1 comment:

Tom Gibbons said...

Thanks for the shout out - yes I did meet Ricky in San Fran. Great guy!