25 May 2009

So Sue Me

This was the week.

Last Sunday I wrote my last post in the early morning, led worship at my church, and tore off to Chicago to attend my seminary commencement because a friend was getting an honorary, a parishioner of two churches was getting his M. Div. and it was the 30th anniversary of my own graduation.

Two days later was my son’s high school graduation, which because it is a Catholic High included local clergy whose young people were graduating from their parishes. They extend the invitation to non Catholic clergy as well, so I was there both as father and as minister, invited to shake his hand on the platform and formally ‘confer’ his diploma.

In the middle of all this I planned a memorial service, attended my own monthly governing board meeting, conducted another for the community organization I chair, was back on the radio ‘arguing’ with atheists, and drove to Detroit and back Saturday for the same son’s last regatta as a crew member. (He finally - truly finally as this was the last race of the last event of his last year - got a medal as a crew member, placing second. The results were ninety minutes late because of a timing dispute but “all’s well…” as they say.)

So if I did not get around to writing a post for eight days you might understand. If not, sue me. Was it John Lennon who observed that life is what happens to you while you are making other plans?

I had a whole lot of life this week. Good stuff, tough stuff. It all came round at Sunday’s service, lightly attended because of great weather and a holiday weekend. The comparative intimacy of that service, no more than 200, gave it a more tender tone. My clergy colleague was away, the choir was off, and our service participant brought her 4 year old into the pulpit to do her greeting. I read from James Joyce and spoke of our inherently imperfect memories and how the dead fade from those imperfect memories and how we shall join them in time. But we should not grieve too much, as even our scattered dust will be the soil of some future trees (literal and figurative) much as the letters of words and notes of songs can be scattered and gathered again into new words and new songs. Our particular lives may vanish but our living does not.

In the afternoon we attended a graduation party for a friend of my son - ate yet another piece of rich cake and then came home and dug in the yard as the sun lingered in the evening sky. Weeds went upon the new compost heap, and I admired the sunflower seedlings urging their way upward.

It was a good week overall. I do not know if I could survive another like it very soon.

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