musical musings

My blog entries of late have ranged from my experiences of exploring the history of my groovy sisters to random observations from my time here in the UK. What hasn’t been here so much is the deeper journey, which is always so hard to process oneself let alone blog about! So I turn to my trusted friend, the ipod, for some randomly generated inspiration:

Song # 1: So Many Ways by Mates of State

Oh, oh what have you given me?
Nothing and everything

The other day I found myself lying in bed, thinking … Wow. How on earth did I get here? Sleeping in a single bed in a room overlooking a back garden in London, with two other Sisters sleeping in the adjacent rooms. Whenever I stop to think about my journey, really think about it, I am stopped in my tracks. God has given me everything, and yet it’s up to me to take that gift and live it so that it doesn’t become nothing. Part of what I was thinking about that night in bed was, what makes my life now any different from my life before, other than the fact that I’m spending 3 months living in London. How am I living into being a religious sister? A Sister of Peace? How do I bring that to my ministry? How do I bring it into me, while still maintaining my essential Susan-ness? Deep thoughts … but luckily I managed to fall asleep rather than tried to figure it all out.

Song # 2: Teach Your Children Well by Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young

You who are on the road
Must have a code that you can live by
And so become yourself

They’ve stayed in my prayer day after day lately, those questions. And the answer seems to be that I am on the road, trying to live the Constitutions of the CSJP’s, seeping myself in the history of our community as I get to know our present, living into the future, hoping to become the me God dreams I can be. It’s a journey, and I’m here for this experience as an essential part of that journey.

Song # 3: Crooked Teeth by Death Cab for Cutie

I'm a war, of head versus heart,
And it's always this way.
My head is weak, my heart always speaks,
Before I know what it will say.

Ah … my constant struggle. As an INTJ and a 5 on the enneagram, my head is constantly thinking. Constantly speaking. Constantly trying to overrun the heart. My head seems strong, but really it’s weak. The prayer images that have been returning to me all year have been heart images. Not trying to war with the head, but trying to bring balance to the equation.

Song #4: Crash into Me by Dave Matthews

Into your heart I'll beat again
Sweet like candy to my soul
Sweet you rock,
And sweet you roll
Lost for you, I'm so lost for you
Oh, and you come crash into me
And I come into you

Weird how this song I don't really like (mostly because I actually got into car crash shortly after hearing this song on the radio once!) reminds me of the Sacred Heart, which keeps thrusting itself upon me! Hey, I’m even in Sacred Heart Province right now!! Whenever I manage to quiet myself down and open myself to Jesus in silent prayer, I find myself yearning to open my heart to him, to open my heart to all of God’s children, to let down my defenses, to let him crash into me so I can come into him.

Song #5: Yankee Bayonet (I Will be Home Then) by the Decemberists

But oh my love, though our bodies may be parted
Though our skin may not touch skin
Look for me with the sun-bright sparrow
I will come on the breath of the wind
Don’t get me wrong, I have no delusions of being a mystic or anything, and it’s more desire than anything else. But then moments happen in life where the Spirit moves, be it in a sun-bright sparrow or the breath of the wind or the face of one of the clients at the day center or a random moment of the day. God moments.

Song #6: See A Little Light by Bob Mould

Listen, there's music in the air
I heard your voice, coming from somewhere …
I see a little light, I know you will
I can see it in your eyes, I know you still care

Those moments when God breaks through remind us that we are part of something greater than ourselves. They give us light. We can look into the eyes of another human being and see the eyes of Christ. We can hear the voice of a loved one and hear the voice of God. The journey of faith is the journey of life – they are one in the same.

Song #7: Heavy Metal by Clap your Hands Say Yeah

It's been a year and now we find…
What happened to our heavy metal?
What happened to our coat of arms?
We find that we're stuck in the middle
Picking up the pieces of our hearts

My coat of arms is not melted, more than one year into this novitiate experience. The desire to open myself is there, but in a way I am stuck in the middle. But I don’t think I’m picking up the pieces – I think I’m starting to put them together. Balancing community life with ministry and prayer is tricky, which is why it’s great to have these intensive experiences within the novitiate to try it out, make mistakes, live into this life as I continue my discernment journey.

Song #8: Native Son by the Judybats

What have you done
Where have you been
Who do you know
Where have you been
Who do you know?

And when I return, there will be plenty of opportunity with my spiritual director and novice director to reflect on this time. But for now, I think the key is to remain present in the moment over the next month and about a week before I head back to New Jersey.

1 comment:

Melissa said...

Loved this post! God sends messages to us in so many ways and I have always found music to be so powerful in that way, especially in terms of bringing it back to myself, you know?

Savor every moment of London. I was blessed to spend a year there in the mid-80s and it made such a difference in how I view the world!