Monday, 31 January 2011

Tomorrow, today, yesterday ...

In recent weeks and months I have probably been doing too much thinking, reflecting and pondering. One of the reasons perhaps for the hiatus on this blog ... there are also others which must for the moment remain unbloggable.
Tomorrow night I shall once more be at the feminist theology group, Georgette Gribi who is a cheesemaker, mother of four and also has a doctorate in theology, will be leading us in thinking about the person of Ruth: Ruth la Moabite : comment habiter son présent, entre un passé tragique et un avenir incertain ? (Ruth the Moabite: how to live in the present between a tragic past and an uncertain future?) I'm looking forward to it.
This year we've had as our overall theme "Between the past and the future how to live in the present?" I have had to confront various personal demons as we deepened reflection of the theme but, having worked through some (though not all) of that, I've been thinking about what it is that we are at any one point in our lives? Am I the sum of my past - the sum of my achievements and failures; of my work, qualifications and relationships up until now? Am I the sum of my future - the sum of my dreams, my hopes, my unexpressed half-formulated desires, of all that may be and could become? Somehow as I live in the present I live between the accomplishments and failures of the past and the hope and possibilities of becoming of the future.
The only way to live in the present has to be with some kind of humility - yes I did once do that, perhaps I will again but for now I am doing this ... and enjoying life and love and what John O'Donohue would call "the shape of a day". I am currently reading his Divine Beauty on the bus in the mornings. Perhaps the kind of living in the present moment he encourages is exmplified by this ""Let us beging to learn how to bless one another".
Maybe as I stumble between the past and the future, incoherently and unknowingly it will be important for me to realise how much I have been and will be blessed by others - but also how much I am blessed in the present I am so much part of.
Part of living in the present is to accept the vulnerability of the moment that is now, but it is also to give thanks for all that has been. Hence the picture of the Canal du Midi. Just thinking of it reminds me of holiday, repose and gentle days - part of the past and also hope for the future.