Today at church I learned from a physicist that it's important that we are at a dark corner of the Milky Way, which is one of the darkest galaxies. Dark allows us to see stars, and dark is also important for growth. Apparently we are one of the only galaxies still growing stars.
I thought about this, in reference to things I understand (read: not black holes). Tulips grow underneath the dirt before they break ground. Human babies gestate in the dark for hopefully 9 months before they see the light. Often a "dark night of the soul" is needed before someone hits a truth, something that brings them into the light.
Today was a convergence of sorts: not only was Michigan Sally in town (yay!) which took me to Bellefield, but a dear friend was in town for her brother's birthday, as were a couple who has moved to Guatemala. So not only did I get to see regular Bellefield faces that I would see any Sunday I showed up, I also got to see folks that I otherwise never see. During one of the songs, I cried. Did I ever think, that 17 year old me, that saw Bellefield and said, oh, maybe I'll go to church there on Sunday, that at 39 I would be returning to visit, still living in Pittsburgh, single, and contemplating a PhD? I didn't even want to be a *librarian* at 17.
The pastor who spoke has a PhD in physics, and he described a PhD as being tested to the point where there's no point in testing you in that subject again. He compared the Christian life as living under a kind professor who tries to guide you the way you should go.
So, two weeks of church in a row, that's good. (After 4 weeks off, due to first to sickness and then a ideological crisis.) I went to the Open Door last week, and had dinner after with Maddy. I'm taking my therapist's advice to go to the Open Door for a month and see if it's where I want to be. (A year ago, it wasn't, but things change, people change.)
When I showed up at the OD last week, the phrase came to my mind, "We're in the question and question portion of this life. No answers right now, just questions." So when people asked me how I was, that's what I said. And they got it. The OD is peopled with new parents, PhD students, MFA graduates...so they get that the questions sometimes don't go away, for a very long time.
I'm sick this weekend. I caught a virus which has had me "grounded" since Thursday afternoon, when, after a day of Summer Reading training with all my children's librarian peeps, I came home and slept for 3 hours. When I woke up with a sore throat, I thought, I guess this isn't just "daylight savings" tired. I took Friday and Saturday off work. I'd hoped to go in this afternoon, when I'd have the office to myself, but I'm still winded, and the work will wait. Somewhere between last night and this morning at church, I forgave myself. I was mad at myself for getting sick. I was mad at myself for losing my cool earlier this week. I was mad at myself for not knowing which church to go to.
And this weekend surprised me with some delights: I became friends with a twitter friend on FB, and got a friend request from another twitter friend. Then a woman who knew me sort of from Bellefield and later the OD, found me on twitter, and it turns out she knows some of my dearest twitter friends. (She now lives in rural PA, darn it, but she is closer than some of my twitter friends in Illinois, Iowa, and Oklahoma.)
AND at Thursday's training, I met up with a PhD candidate from Pitt, who already has a job after graduation at Simmons, proving that there ARE academic jobs out there. I have her email, and once I feel better, I'll shoot her a note to get together for coffee. She was thrilled to meet me, which is always a good sign.
As I write this, I'm listening to a tied Pens/Panthers hockey game. Tied is the norm, anymore, with the Pens. For ages, we just were losing tie games, but at least we got the point, and all of a sudden, we are winning, so we get two points. We don't have a playoff spot yet. Before the game, the awards were given, and Marc-Andre Fleury got the MVP award. And does he ever deserve it. He got another award, I can't remember what it was. It was strange not hearing Sidney Crosby, the Penguin's captain, get any of the awards, but he's missed so much of the season, hasn't played since January 5th due to a concussion early in the year, possibly from both the Winter Classic against the Washington Capitals on New Year's Day and the January 5th game with the Tampa Bay Lightening.
WE WON!! (Shootout, goals by Kovalev and Neal.)
And at 4:00 p.m., having been awake all day, I'm ready for a nap.
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