Tuesday, September 22, 2015

NSW (Day 9) IPCA VII Grieving, Strength and Landing on Your Feet

In the shelter of the tree: strength begets strength!
It's late on this 2nd full day of the IPCA Conference and yes, its been another full day: workshops, plenary sessions and regional meetings with a 2 and a 1/2 hour tour of the Sydney Harbour thrown in for good measure.

With supper over I'd had enough of crowds and it was decided that Peg and Greg and I would gather in the lounge in my residence building with a bottle of red wine that Greg had purchased the day before.

With the wine open we began to share... deeply of how we were experiencing this event, how we were feeling about the news of August 20th and what it has meant for us to be together on this journey of service together for the past two years.

Said simply, it was a sacred time.  Deep honest sharing.  Some tears.  Much laughter. Even more gratitude.  And still more sadness for the place at which we find ourselves... but, as we reminded one another - we have each other - and there is incredible strength in that.  We have the memories of where we have been and what we have accomplished and why we put our heart and soul into it...

And so, with the bottle of wine empty - hugs all around the room - as by this time our circle of conversation had expanded to include others... I ended the day most grateful for all that has been and for all those who are part of my life.  And yes, still concerned about what tomorrow will hold... but, and perhaps it was the wine...

Our last point of agreement was a theological one.  We all came to agree on what we called "cat theology".  Cats always land on their feet.

Yes, they may land harder or softer.
  Yes, the may land a little disoriented.
    Yes, they may land and even be slightly injured after the drop...
       but cats, they always land on their feet...
and so we believe will these cats...

As some of you know, I've developed this habit of ending each day identifying that for which I am thankful for as each day comes to an end.  It seem appropriate to share it here:

Gratitude:

  • for deep honest conversation with colleagues and the continued commitment of so many who work with those who are incarcerated;
  • for the two Muslim participants in this gathering who shared so deeply of their commitment to the work of prison Chaplaincy;
  • for the boat tour of the Sydney Harbour and all I was privilege to see;
  • for nice red wine and the opportunity to grieve and be fully present with two of those who have shared in the journey of KPC Inc.;
  • to know that I am loved and that the love I offer is received with gratitude;
  • that I am one sleep closer to being home...


... on the Sabbath Road...

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