Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Floundering and finding

I am not sure where this entry will eventually end up as my mind is in wandering mode at the time of this writing...

We have had a strange and unusual Spring here in southern Oregon. Here it is nearing the end of April and we are still getting snow in the mountains and the valleys, including my own. It could be another one of those years where we are in the 40's and 50's until the first of May when it will--as before--rocket to 80 degrees within 24 hours and leave us all stunned and coming down with

I want the warmth to come, the light, bright and good, the greening of my world. I need the light to shine in the darkness of my weary spirit; weary from grief, loss, hurriedness, workday stress, the loneliness in the crowd kind of feeling, the stillness of my home. I want to put my hands in the earth and inhale her in all of her fertility and life-giving presence. I, I need flowers and growing things to involve my hands and heart in moving meditation and in those moments, continue a silent dialogue with God about everyday stuff, and about what I'm to do with my life, aside from the usual perambulations of the every day.

I spoke with my spiritual director this last Sunday, and we talked about finding our identity as women of our respective generations. From where we have been to where we are now and what the future may make of us in time. There are times when I find myself in a mental desert searching for myself, if only I knew what I was looking for, I may find it. Or maybe its a mountain I must climb to test my endurance of the seemingly ordinary. On other days I think I have figured it out but you know, we never really do...figure "it" out that is. We lead ourselves to think we are coming within reach only to discover that we are further away than we initially thought. This is when I tend to want to simply forget about ever discovering that "thing" I am supposed to be. And why is that so important? To try to fit myself into an identity or a role that I think I am to engage for the rest of my life.

I have been silent in this blog for a while. Yes I did write a rant on letter-writing which I didn't announce to my usual list of readers but just let it sit there to be found by those who might happen by. Lisa Fox of My Manner Of Life has also been in silent mode. I have read some blog entries by similar spiritual women who have wondered if their blogs should or could continue. Closeted Pastor and Gartenfische have approached this subject and I like what they say about it, and the support they have received to keep on writing. All three of these blogs by these extraordinary women should continue in my opinion but then I am selfish in this respect because I love reading fine writing about things that really matter in life. I know I can find substance in each one of these places given the articulate prose.

When you are a searching person like me, you need inspiration in its many forms. Being a lover of literature I have found some especially good places to immerse my often empty cup of myself and find myself filled with refreshing word images and enlightenment. Recently I found Choralgirl
and her poetry offerings as well as her prosaic commentary on poets of our time to be refreshing and enriching. I also recommend the pithy writings of the author of Wyrdbyrd's Wyrld where topics are many and the views are varied. And if its the Barkings of an Old Dog that you want to hear, I offer you Clumber, who's perspective is vertically diminished yet brimming with good bites and dreams...of bites...of something, preferably tasty sans drool. I find that dogs always have something sage to offer us, either silently [its the eye communication] or physically [dragging us by the leash, or depositing wet tennis balls in our hands]. I love the picture of Laika, the space dog's memorial statue in Moscow. I earnestly encourage you to take a look. Somehow Clumber pawed his way through cyberspace to find it.

And as Clumber is a seeker of God and of the doggy esoteric, I too am seeking God in the everyday, in the dogs [I am becoming partial to golden retrievers, hence the blatant dog picture] I happen upon [and occasionally the kitties; most definitely the rabbits], in the people I meet, intentionally or otherwise...perhaps my journey is about them, or they are in some way a part of my journey in finding out who I am and what I am to be. I welcome the thoughts of my readership and their perspectives on the matter. I admittedly say that I become tired of feeling lost in certain aspects of my life. But maybe this is the way its supposed to be: that there is no "fitting in", that we are always going to be in a state of flux. Perhaps in my spiritual life, floundering is part of the finding. Either way, I am never alone.


The photo of Mt McLoughlin is courtesy of the USGS and the picture of Dewey the golden retriever is courtesy of his human, Shawn Nolson at The sleeping volcano that is Mt McLoughlin is in huge, plain view of my office in the northern part of the Rogue Valley of southern Oregon.


Choralgirl said...

Hi, Catherine-

First, I'm terribly envious of the view from your office window. :-)

Next, thank you for your kind comments; I'm glad you like what you read on the Reef!

Third (and most important), traveling mercies to you. I get that the sojourn is sometimes exhausting, and I hope you find some oases along the way. And that the "empty cup of yourself" brims with surprising gifts from time to time.

Peace to you, Fellow Traveler!

Jan said...

Catherine, you are such a thoughtful writer, thinker, soul. Thank you. I have few words tonight, but am grateful for yours.

gartenfische said...

Such a thoughtful post. I also feel lost and uncertain, searching for myself. I don't know if that will ever get better and maybe there's not much I can do about it. I have never fit in and it just seems to be the way it is. But I love what you said at the end: Either way, I am never alone.

Thank you for sharing your struggle--yourself--so poignantly.

Love to you.

The Swandive said...


Your words "But maybe this is the way its supposed to be: that there is no "fitting in", that we are always going to be in a state of flux. Perhaps in my spiritual life, floundering is part of the finding. Either way, I am never alone." speak directly to my own heart, and I could not be more grateful to you for putting words to my ache. Bless you in your journey, and hang on to what you know, you are never alone. Peace.

Catherine + said...

Choralgirl, thank you for your sweet thoughts. I wish you peace along the way too.


Catherine + said...

Dear GF and Swandive, knowing that you are on a similar journey gives me hope that we all find ourselves or what we are meant to be; and that we do not have to travel this road alone. You will be in my prayers as we go along the way. Thank you for sharing your journey with me. Love to you both.