This painting by Jack Baumgartner portrays Jacob Wrestling the Angel from the book of Genesis. It’s a central metaphor for this blog – wrestling with life, health, urban issues, and even with God.
there is that big giant tree in front of me. I suppose if I knew about trees I would know what kind of tree this was. But as I gaze on it in a form of meditation, I see two things. One is a tree that is reaching to the blue sky at any cost. The other is a tree that is heavy with its burden of the leaves and branches drooping towards the ground.
It happened to be the same night that some guy in his 20s with apparently significant mental health issues took a gun and went out onto the Danforth and shot up the whole neighborhood. It was the same street that my family and I had dinner on just a few hours earlier.
People lost their lives.
People lost their friends.
People lost their sense of safety.
One last major update is that the renovations on our home have finally kicked into high gear. Our basement is now officially demolished and we’re soon about to dig down the floor and do the underpinning so as to make our basement more liveable for me.
Riding my bike the 7km to work
Can’t make it
Down the alley
Behind the dumpster
At Summer solstice I’m reminded that this was around the time of year when I was first diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 1997.
I’m ‘celebrating’ 21 years of life with this disease.
Since having to leave work because of my health, I’ve had nothing but time on my hands. And when I have all kinds of time, I have all kinds of thoughts.
Lately the main one running through my head is ‘who the heck am I now?’
But here’s where you might think I’m losing it; It all started with a dream. I don’t remember dreams well, including this one, but I woke up the next morning feeling as though it’d be worth checking out becoming a SD myself. Up until that point in time, I never once had this thought.
I’ve had so many wonderful experiences and have learned so much these past years that I could never even remember most of it all. It’s been an amazing ride. The folks who live on or near the streets have taught me so much about life, love, gratitude, community, and God. And the people I’ve worked alongside over the years, my colleagues/teammates, have been so kind, generous, educational and supportive to me I wouldn’t know where to begin to say thanks.
I’m really looking forward to the next stage of this crazy ride I’m on. I’m moving into a transitional, supportive apartment while my house gets renovated. It looks like I’ll be there for the summer. It’s meant to act as a bit of a rehearsal for moving home.
But the reason for my blog is to talk about my last week of spiritual direction training.
It’s been a wonderful 2-year journey.
I have not been able to travel to Niagara Falls for the whole training week like I have done previously, but I have been able to take in the lectures and my small group gatherings via Skype.