Just a heads up.  I’m planning in the near future to change the name of this blog.  I had originally thought I might call it The Sunset Juggler.  I have the photo (no, I’m the photographer, not the juggler) to go with the name.  And my sense of life in general, and life with God and scripture in particular, is that we are always juggling and wrestling to find our way.  And, this is more true for me since maybe April of this year, in the aftermath of my gastric bypass surgery, as I see the probability of retirement of some kind approaching (more quickly, I suspect, than I had anticipated), I also see myself as being (at least at the start of) the sunset of my years. (more…)

We have been blessed to have a week in a timeshare (The Sandpiper) in Lincoln City, Oregon these past three years. For me this is really an annual slice of heaven. I’m going to miss it next year. Anne’s school starts too early (or our week runs too late). It’s a nice place, by my standards. A bit shabby, but comfortable. We’re on a bluff above the beach, overlooking the ocean. With the sliding glass door on the balcony open (as it is now, and most of the time we’re home) I can hear the waves breaking and there is a gentle ocean breeze. I don’t think I can tell you how nice this is.

I think I could have a wonderful vacation of we never got out of the house! (more…)

Ok.  So I’m back from my (CREDO 2) conference in Virginia, and trying to get back into the swing of things.  And for me that includes reading the daily offices (out of the St. Helena Breviary).  So I’ve been reading today about Dunstan (who was born in 910 C.E. and died in 988 C.E.).

This morning I read the commentary from Brightest and Best (where it was commented that when clergy travel without their collars they often annoy people who want them “belled like a cat” so that they know their normal, every day lives are being interrupted by an emissary from the spiritual life).  And I’ve been thinking since about the sacred and the profane in Benedictine thought (more…)

Our diocese is trying to do something new with what we used to call stewardship.  We’re trying to focus on what we have to be grateful for — all of which comes, of course, from G0d.

I have to admit that I have a real tendency to notice what I do not have, particularly if I used to have it, and often do not pay nearly so much attention to what I do have.  Which is a lot.  And I find this to be true whether I’m looking at money or youth or health or things.  I know I have a lot (a whole lot compared to the rest of the world as a whole).  And I still often notice more what I do not have.  I suspect there are some other people like me out there.  I think our culture trains us this way. (more…)

So, Anne and I are back from (my doing) supply in Alturas.  It was fun.  I was there as their priest quarter time just over 16 years ago (the last year I was in Susanville).  Have seen some of the people since, but hadn’t been back to the church.  (I’d forgotten exactly how to get there!) (more…)

Well, after reading Brother Adam’s piece on simplicity (and ashes, and how he had chosen to look at the ashes of his own losses, rather than the rebirth that was happening out of the ashes), I’m hesitant to write (yet again) about my gastric bypass experiences.  And I need to acknowledge up front that, on balance, this remains a resurrection experience for me.  I continue to lose weight at a brisk pace (almost 50 pounds since February 8), I continue to reduce my medications (though not officially with the last reduction) and new life possibilities are opening up (not all of them having to do with my health).  So the bottom line is still good news here.  I went out with a friend Monday (I’m on vacation this week) and took a lot of photographs in the Sausalito area.  Life is, mostly, good.

But I’ve been blogging about this mainly so that others who are considering such a surgery (there are other surgical options) or someone going through this can get a sense of what this has been like (is like) for me — and (remembering that every experience is completely individual), just possibly what it might be like for them.  And probably the biggest learning is that it is an ongoing process (and likely to remain so for a long time).  I keep wanting to be completely “healed.”  But it doesn’t look like it’s going to work out that way in any near future.  I’m going to have to live with this and adapt to this for some time to come.  Maybe a year or two from what I can gather.  And even then I expect life to be very different from life pre surgery. (more…)

Well, much as I want to say I’m fully recovered from the surgery, and simply looking at how life moves forward after gastric bypass surgery is accomplished, I keep getting reminders that I’m not there yet.  And, as my wife reminds me, I cannot really expect to be “over” the surgery and fully recovered and back to a new normal yet.  It’s been just over five weeks.  I haven’t had my second follow-up visit with my doctor yet.  I don’t know if my vitamins are in balance.  I’m not eating “normal” food yet — just “soft” food. (more…)