Lists

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There are so many things on my list today: Paint the coffee table orange; bake the leftovers with lots of cheese and spices to disguise the blandness; locate the next hot yoga class and begin making excuses for not going; do some laundry at somebody’s house; get out of my pajamas; buy a carrot peeler and cabinet knobs; make a cameo appearance in the happiness class; check my email; watch it snow.

But the snow stopped. The knobs are the wrong color, and bland isn’t always bad. The time on my hands is faintly bioluminescent, but there isn’t enough light to do anything but pray, palms together, a gesture of peace. Gratitude. Acquiescence. This, while the world has sunk so deep into the chaos of self that no one can tell an enemy from a friend. The bottom lines have given way. We’ve fallen through. Again.

Generally, solitary confinement is a form of punishment often classified as torture, but solitary confinement of the soul is a necessary discipline for recalibration. For close encounters. For unwinding the knot. Time to let the long tongue and wagging tail of the ever-eager God cleanse the wounds and loosen the grime of everyday life.

But God is not a dog today. Her calendar is filled with boring meetings, delicate negotiations, and a stint of volunteer work at the homeless shelter. She’s doing a reading tonight that will likely be well-attended—I’m glad for her, but I’m jealous. I don’t like waiting on such a busy God.

To my great delight, there’s a glimmer of God in the corner. She shakes her head as I try to snuggle in. “Not now,” she says. “You need to wait.”

“No!!” I wail, “I hate waiting. It makes me very, very anxious.”

“Sorry,” she says. “But you can do it. I’m counting on you.”

“Counting on me to wait?” I ask, stalling, pretending not to know.

“You can’t trick me,” God says, fading.

“Yes I can, yes I can, yes I can,” I yell to the Great Disappearance.

I tell myself I’m lucky she stops by as often as she does, but that’s not how I feel. The time on my hands has turned blood red, and my fingerprints are everywhere. “Get centered,” I tell myself. “You’re making a mess.” Waiting is a transformative torture. The long way home. I feel like a fool when I wait. I picture God, busy dishing up soup, teasing the tattered men with her sexy winks, her arms slung around the shoulders of women, repeatedly stoned. That’s how it is. She’ll come by later, and I’ll rub her feet.

2 thoughts on “Lists

  1. Hello, Rita: cc. Heather McPherson, Christine Robertson, and Pastor Jan Mokund My inbox this evening, Sun. Jan. 19/20 reminded me that I am a follower of your blogs: Short Visits with Honest God…. Phrases in your writing today that really touch me:

    1. “There are so many things on my list today.”… 2. ” But the snow stopped.” … We have had a “snowmaggedon in Canada this weekend.” from Newfoundland to British Columbia. But really glad the snow stopped, the thoroughfares were ploughed by the city transportation services, we were able to walk to an art gallery in our neighbourhood this afternoon, and then to a toboggan hill where many little children and their parents were discovering that snow is something to rejoice in, not to fear…especially when one is just newly arrived in Canada from Uganda. 3. “…there isn’t enough light to do anything but pray, palms together, a gesture of peace. Gratitude. Acquiescence. This, while the world has sunk so deep into the chaos of self that no one can tell an enemy from a friend. The bottom lines have given way. We’ve fallen through. Again.” I wonder about “the chaos of self” ❓🤔❓ 4. “Solitary Confinement of the soul is a necessary discipline for recalibration, for close encounters, for unwinding the knot. Time to let the long tongue and wagging tail of the ever eager God cleanse the wounds and loosen the grime of everyday life.” 5. But God, not being a dog today, has a calendar that is filled, like mine is for this coming week, with : ” boring meetings, delicate negotiations, and a stint of volunteer work at the homeless shelter. She’s doing a reading tonight that will likely be well-attended—I’m glad for her, but I’m jealous. I don’t like waiting on such a busy God.” 6.

    Waiting is transformative torture. The long way home. I feel like a fool when I wait. I picture God, busy dishing up soup, teasing the tattered men with her sexy winks, her arms slung around the shoulders of women, repeatedly stoned. That’s how it is. She’ll come by later, and I’ll rub her feet. Just like the woman whose story is told in Luke 7:36 to 50 *Rita Sommers-Flanagan * | January 19, 2020 at 8:57 am | Tags: Cent

    Thank you,Rita for praying and sharing the fruit of your transformative waiting. My two friends, Heather and Christine are both members of meditation circles, one at Fairlawn United Church in north Toronto, and one at “The Church of the Resurrection/Anglican”, further south in Downtown Toronto. Pastor Jan gives prayerful direction to the Care Team at Agincourt Pentecostal Church in north Scarborough, Toronto. I am hoping to join an early morning prayer circle in this congregation for the next season of my life…BTW, I do not know who Bryan Doyle is….I guess I could look him up on Google.

    Waiting for transformation, Elizabeth Sherk

    On Sun, Jan 19, 2020 at 10:57 AM Short visits with an honest God wrote:

    > Rita Sommers-Flanagan posted: ” There are so many things on my list today: > Paint the coffee table orange; bake the leftovers with lots of cheese and > spices to disguise the blandness; locate the next hot yoga class and begin > making excuses for not going; do some laundry at somebody’s h” >

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hey Elizabeth, nice to hear from you, and what thoughtful set of comments. Yes, I think you’d like the writings of Brian Doyle–he’s a friend of a friend, who planned to introduce us due to the similarity of our writing, but sadly, Brian died of a brain tumor before that could happen. I keep trying to channel his amazing spirit :). Cheers, Rita

      Like

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