Friday, 19 June 2009

Life is a verb - a meditative linguistic Friday Five from RevGalpals

This week's Friday five from Rev Gal pals is inspired by Patti Digh's book Life's a verb, 37 days to wake up, be mindful and live intentionally. I don't know the book, not entirely sure it's my sort of thing but here goes ...

1. What awakens you to the present moment?
Walking to the bus in the mornings. Watching the play of light in the chapel. Drinking a cold beer at the end of a hot day. Looking at the ever changing sky. Seeing a friend's face lined with illness, fatigue or sadness. The smell of fresh lavender. Taking time out to drink a glass of wine with a friend.

2. What are 5 things you see out your window right now?
I have my back to a window - looking out makes me realise that there's a weeping tree with leaves and branches dancing in the pre storm wind, very beautiful. There's a large gas-guzzling 4x4 making me think about why in this city of Geneva where public transport is brilliant so many of us still use the car. There are stormclouds gathering, they look ominous but bring the promise of a cooler night if only the storm would break, this makes me think about the stormclouds in my own life and my desire for the freshness after the storm. There is a cedar tree planted symbolically like tens of thousands of others which were planted to reforest the landscape following the war in Algeria. It reminds me that overcoming violence, rebuilding life is a long term project and fragile one. There is also a glimpse of the mountains beyond where the sun is shining a reminder of long term goals, other realities, less stormy places.

3. Which verbs describe your experience of God?
Discerning, being, seeing, dancing, enveloping, judging, enlightening, journeying ... interestingly all of them verbs in the continuous present, indicating ongoing work, something with an unspecified beginning and certainly not yet finished ...
4. From the book on p. 197:Who were you when you were 13? Where did that kid go?
I was a screwed up teenager, a classic oldest child, already an adult, leading youth groups and teaching Sunday School. I loved French and reading. I didn't always fit in well at school. I was very bright but not very focused or disciplined. Actually thinking about it 13 was a key age for me, soon afterwards I started running away from life by getting ill. First psychosomatic then real illness (knowing what I know now of course psychsomatic illness is also illness). I still find it a bit hard to forgive the teenager who pretended to get ill and then really got ill. What's quite interesting is that that child decided to go on a journey and realised that she didn't need to run away but could integrate things by journeying towards meaning and people. Today, of course the integration is never complete and illness is still an issue. I can also see that even running away is part of the journey. The teenager who loved French still does and managed to have a life in which she speaks it everyday and she's still reading for pleasure and therapy.

5. From the book on p. 88:If your work were the answer to a question, what would the question be?
Why does your phone ring so often?

Anyway I leave you with this from Life is a Verb:
Say yes.
Be generous.
Speak up.
Love more.
Trust yourself.
Slow down.


Mavis said...

Yes I know that oldest child thing. Great verbs!

Nik said...

Oldest child as well - with the sib. being 10yrs younger. The upside - hey, I got a real live doll for my 10th birthday... the downside - I also got the nappy chores.

My dear, if I had all that outside my window, I would never concentrate on Mr Knox as I should be :)

Hehehe, and as I type in the lab this morning, the 1st tour group have arrived to come and admire the car park!

Jane said...

So why do you think my desk faces teh wall! :)

Jennifer said...

Thanks for dropping by my blog!
Fresh lavender would be inspiring anytime!

Songbird said...

Thanks for visiting with me, I'm glad to find you! I like the way journeying weaves through your answers.

Jan said...

Fresh lavender reminds me of my mother who grew it in her garden and dried it in her bathroom. Nice memories.

It's wonderful that French continues to be part of you. I wish I'd done that with another language. My oldest daughter learned German, Korean, and Chinese, which I admire and envy her for.

Sue said...

Great play! I love your answer to #5. Thanks for stopping by my place!

Sue said...

Oh, and I meant to add that my partner lives with MS also and we too are VERY thankful to live in a country with a health care system that works for everyone and works well. Thanks be!