Tuesday, July 31, 2012

My New Blog--Three Things that Brought Me Here

After 214 entries in Physical and Spiritual Well-Being, I am going through with what I suggested I'd do on June 23--renaming my blog.  The new name, as you can see, if Connecting the Dots & Nourishing the Soul.  There are three reasons that I finally decided to go through with the change--mostly because of other things that represent change.

First, yesterday morning (July 30) was the first run for me with Back on My Feet after my return from Armenia.  I ran the whole way with one friend and faster than I had all week long in Armenia.  The friend asked if I had decided on changing the name of my blog.  I had not realized that this particular friend had spent all that much time reading my blog.  It got me thinking again.  The old blog was about physical and spiritual because my blogging started with running.  But my life is more than just running (as is indicated clearly by my choice to miss two weekend long, slow runs in the months of June and July).  The idea of connecting the dots is so much what my life, my writing, my teaching, my research, and my tattoo is about that it seemed logical.  I was also impressed by the fact that a student in Armenia has already found and is reading my blog as well.  The connection is not just things that I bring together in my running but in people I bring together because of what I have written.

Second, I had a slightly life changing experience yesterday.  A colleague with a terminal illness whose decline I have watched for nearly a year was at a meeting with me yesterday.  This colleague is still as sharp as a tack mentally and still able to carry on work.  At the end of the meeting I commented on how he had carried the intellectual weight of what we were supposed to discuss during the meeting but that I hoped my "color commentary" (a sports term) was useful.  He agreed that it was and pointed out that we are like relay runners with the baton being handed off from him to me.  He was quite serious and quite clear that this is no longer a "some day" issue but that the hand off is something we can see on the horizon.  That is sobering in a way that I have not had to deal with before.  I'll have to connect more dots.  And my soul will grieve when that day comes but process the experience of someone going through the process of a terminal illness.  I have not had to do that with a close friend or colleague before.  This is a new experience and I am sure that this struggle will also find its expression here on many occasions in the near future.

Third, the trip to Armenia in addition to brining me challenges to my running brought me an even greater hunger than I had already for spiritual fulfillment.  It is not that I haven't had much fulfillment. I have.  I have been blessed to experience wonderful spiritual fulfillment in any number of ways through my teaching of Sunday school, through my sharing in my blog (even with priests in my parish, one of whom commented that he gets such feedback from so few), and through my experience of music.  The trip to Armenia just highlighted and brought alive my hunger in ways that I have not experienced before.  The wonderful food I experienced in Armenia, my baking and cooking immediately upon my return, and the focus on food in the first set of readings when I returned brought me to a point at which the poignancy of "nourishing the soul" is key.

Even though my last blog ended in the middle of a thought--the wonderful experience of the readings of the 17th Sunday of ordinary time, I am ready to start new.  To connect more dots.  To refresh and nourish my own soul.  And to hope that others find ways to nourishing experiences of their own.  

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