Sunday, March 22, 2009

Haiku alert and Thoughts on a sunshiney day At a lakeside park

Had a job I liked.
"Each person their book, each book
Its person" was good.

Changes certainly arrive
Clouding my spring with shadows.
I number my days.

The March lamb watches
As I wander the lakeshore.
She doesn't know my grief.

I warned of haiku.
The warm sun heats poetry
In the changes' midst.

Seeking open jobs.
God gives growth outside of my
Comfortable past.

Rippling waves roll in
And draw my mind to vision.
Pachomius calls.

Old dreams return in
The vacuum of my purpose.
Is this an exit?

Don't say I didn't give warning. Weather forecasts I saw during the week called for rain, clouds, and chilly temps. yesterday. I ran into Trinity in the morning to use the computers and get some job search books, planning to go home and clean my desk in the afternoon. Instead I ended up at Independence Grove in Libertyville walking around the lake meditating on scripture, my new life situation, and composing haiku.

One of my goals for the first two weeks after my black Friday was to spend time examining myself and listening to God for direction. I didn't want to leap at library jobs without some sense of confirmation that that's where I should be. My first haiku draws on Indian library theorist S.R. Ranganathan's 2nd and 3rd law of library science. The first is, "Books are for use." The second is, "Every reader his (or her) book" The third, "Every book its reader." I am personally committed to the idea that reading, and by extension any encounter with media, is [potentially] transformative. There are people walking about whose lives could be changed by an encounter with the right book. One of the joys of working in a library was knowing that I was contributing to that process. I was recommending resources for the library to purchase and trying to make those resources discoverable in our catalog in such a way that once found the reader could be linked to other resources that were related in some way. Not always on, say, a Tuesday afternoon, but whenever I stepped back out of the workflow and thought about what I was attempting to do, I took great satisfaction in being part of that process. Even moreso when I was a direct part of helping someone find what they were looking for, or what they could have been looking for had they known it existed. To zoom out yet another level, the thing that we encounter in the books, the music, the movies that changes and the encounters we seek through those means are tastes of the true encounter with God and at Trinity I was a part of facilitating that encounter as well. I want to continue to be part of those encounters, even if it means taking time away from the library work to get a library degree or if it means moving from the secondary to the primary encounters.

Another thing that struck me on my walk was the return of an old dream. For a long time I've wanted to thought about forming a semi-monastic community that would host a retreat for pastors and lay people. I sat on the shore of the lake and watch the wind blow in little waves and thought how I'd love to have a big house or a couple of houses on a lake shore where people could come for rest and prayer when they were weary. In some of the fuller pictures in my mind there would be a community like a Bruderhof that lived and worshipped there with whom the visitors could join in worship and for meals or not, as they preferred. Maybe we would live together but work in a nearby town or towns. It's never been a developed vision in my mind but it came in strong on Saturday afternoon. I'd like the community to be self-sustaining so that it wouldn't have to raise support or charge fees from visitors, though it would accept voluntary donations if people felt so led. Obviously such a place would have a nice library.

Just some of my thoughts from Saturday. The main thing I know about my situation is that there are opportunities here now, or on their way, that I would never have seen if I was still cloistered beneath Aragorn and the Argonath cataloging DVDs.


Tooz said...

Curiosity--who is Pachomius?

Everett said...

The earliest Christian monastics were men who went out into the deserts or mountains to live as hermits. Pachomius was an ex-soldier in 4th century Egypt who went out to become a hermit but eventually realized that it was healthier to live in community. He gathered some other hermits around him and developed a rule for community life. Consequently he's the founder of cenobitic (community-based) monasticism.

Lydia said...

I'm allergic to that much haiku...

Wish we could've gotten to come to Kentucky to visit while you were there. Mom had tons of fun apparently because she talked about it LOTS AND LOTS.

Jenn-Jenn, the Mother Hen said...

*knock, knock, knock*

Hear that? That's me knocking on your computer monitor from the inside. I miss reading what's going on, and hearing how you're doing with everything. I'm requesting a post, even if it only consists of the words "yes, I am still alive."