It's been a while.
Every day for the past week, I have written "Update blog" on my to-do list, and every day I have sat down to look at a blank screen and tried to sort through the whirling in my mind to figure out what to say. The title of my blog means roughly "sneakily joking", but to be honest, lately I haven't felt all that funny.
The shootings at Va. Tech hit me really hard. Anytime that sort of evil manifests itself, I want to crawl into a hole somewhere and cry for a week. After 9/11 I sank into a strange sort of reverie that lasted for months and resulted in a complete change of career, one that I treasure not so much because I happen to be good at it, but because it gives me the opportunity to really touch people's lives. At the same time, it is so, so hard, and tiring, and often I wonder how long I can keep doing it. Processing my own grief while helping 90 students work through theirs, answering their questions when I have no answers for my own, all the time waiting to see if we will get worse news about students from here being victims -- it's difficult and draining and makes me wonder how I can possibly get enough rest to make up for the energy lost.
I've been unpacking, and in the process unearthing ghosts; books that belonged to my mother or that were mine as a child, items and mementos from the long-forgotten past, memories that make me laugh or cry or shudder to think of.
Of late I have had some spiritual experiences that fall far outside my normal contexts, and it is making my head spin. My mind is at conflict with itself -- part of me wants to believe, the other part is sure I cannot. I will confess, I am jealous of those people who believe seemingly without effort, without sarcasm or cynicism or fear of losing control, the ones who follow the rules and accept without question the instruction of pastor, priest, or elder. As much as I disparage it now, I miss the stark black-and-white world of my Fundamentalist Baptist upbringing. There the definitions were easy, even if living within them was nigh impossible. Judgement is much simpler than acceptance, and condemnation much less complicated than healing.