June 2nd, 2006

wayside cross

Give me a place to stand . . .

The house is in an uproar, with boxes and stuff everywhere. My library is entirely packed, and the downstairs where my computers are set up has few comforts and much chaos. It's becoming ever more difficult to get any work done.

So today, I went out to Wilderstead, despite the chilly rain, and sat in cozy and familiar old furniture and listened to the patter on the roof while I finally got my brain to engage on some travel problems.

Whether we're talking a two-week trek, an eight-week summer camp season, or a six-month temporary move while a parsonage is being readied, people fail to understand that no real work can be done without peace and rest. Once we leave on a trek, I can only deal with the itinerary and challenges thereof; planning ahead or making plans for anything else is off the table. When I directed summer camp, everything had to be on hand Day 1; thereafter, there was no time away from the incoming challenges to deal with anything else.

This is why the hassle over moving twice in one year is so critical from my point of view. I can't just leave half my stuff unpacked, especially things like my library. I would never be able to relax and actually concentrate on the work to be done. Everything would be ad hoc and improvised. So once we light in our temporary digs, I plan on unpacking my soul as if I were going to live there for years; then, pack it all up again and move later that year. This is insane, but the alternative is to become a blithering idiot, exhausted in body and mind, unable to concentrate or establish an emotional connection to my work.

Why can't people understand this? I'm afraid I sound "difficult" to work with. But in actuality, if I don't take care of ME, then I'll have nothing worthwhile to share with anybody else, and then my work -- that is, my parishioners -- will suffer for it.