Wednesday, July 17, 2013

On the Road

... beyond the wilderness ... the mountain of God.

Exodus 3:1

Halfway through our "victory lap," our "reunion tour," our week of transition from novitiate to post-novitiate. We are leaving in a few moments by van for San Lorenzo Friary in Jamaica Plain, Mass., our new home. I have a large piece of baggage, filled to bursting with most of the clothes I own, which I will bring to the house today. I will get to see my new room, which is being given a fresh coat of paint.

It has been good to see the friars, whose reception of us has been warm all around. Without saying anything, their embraces, their eyes, their gestures show that they know what we have experienced, and they can empathize. They remember the spiritual struggles of their own formation. And although today's novitiate is a different creature from its forerunners, some things do not change at all. It is a long and confining year that moves very fast but leaves you wondering what it was all about. At least that is where I am, just beyond the gates of that time and place. At just the moment the friars want to know "what it was like," and when they want to know "did I like it," my memory and motivation desert me. And I don't know how to begin the conversation. Curious.

Perhaps on Friday, when we have our day of recollection at the Sparkill Dominicans' retreat place in Saugerties, the memories, dreams, and reflections will return. And so will the language.

But for now, literally and metaphorically, we are driving, driving, driving into tomorrow and leaning forward heavily from the present moment. We are not looking back, nor are we much inclined to at this point. We are moving, and the moving is going fast. Let's hit the road!

Postscript: I am retiring the digest format I used for the blog since novitiate, but for recent times' sake, I describe the weather once more: "Is it hot enough for you?" Actually, the heat is quite all right. It's the humidity that gets you. I am getting (rapidly) acquainted once more with moisture. And in this muggy muddle I have praised God that my sweat glands and pores still work.

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