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HMB

November 30, 2005

I don’t know if any of you who read these thoughts that spill out of me from time to time ever click the link to where my good friend Heather Baker writes, but you should.  And so to give some publicity to my good friend my post for today is actually one of her posts, to which my response was, "yeah, that’s seems just about right."  Soak it up…A

Of Dostoevsky and Lesser Things.

Last night, when I returned home from my 20/30-something Women’s Bible Study, I sat down on the couch and wanted nothing more than to read The Brothers Karamazov. This is an odd feeling, because usually when I’m arriving home after an emotionally-draining day, I want some mind-numbing television and sleep. For whatever reason, last night was different.

I had woken up that morning frustrated and sad over of a situation with a student, in which I felt partially to blame…and I mellowly filled in the rest of my day trying to figure out what to do. After a series of staff meetings, I picked up a few students for a meeting and was finally able to grin and laugh with them about french fries and tanning. We had a good talk, but as I dropped them off, I could feel exhaustion setting in…

And yet I still had one more appointment and my evening Bible Study…later, Heidi and I were talking about whether or not we should go to Bible Study when we’re exhausted, and I recommended that we should not go if we’re not going to be mentally present….

Later that evening, while physically present at Bible study, I was rather mentally disengaged (disengaged enough to have spilled an entire cup of hot chai down my denim skirt)…and yet, we began talking about this concept again, of whether or not we should stop going to things if we plan to be ’emotionally unavailable,’ and I was reminded of something in Lauren Winner’s Mudhouse Sabbath, or maybe it’s in Girl Meets God, where she talked about how in the Jewish culture, the practices of faith are important because they keep your body doing your faith, even when your soul and mind do not…that way, when you catch up, your body is already there to remember where you were.

It’s a beautiful concept to know that your body can help you to remember things your mind and soul might forget…and for whatever reason, last night, my body remembered that it used to sit on couches late at night for hours at a time reading Russian literature, and it directed my mind and soul that way. A few minutes later, I’m laughing outloud about a shaggy dog in The Brothers Karamazov, thankful that I have not entirely forgotten how to enjoy the process of reading, even though the book mark I was using had notes about Substitute Teaching on it, meaning it’s been two years since I have been a faithful reader of Dostoevsky.

Somehow, over the last few months, the process of hoisting up bookshelves and laying out my Taylor guitar in my living room has reminded me of who I used to be–before Washington, before kayaking, and before Verizon…slowly, my evenings at home have become about reading, knitting, and songwriting. Suddenly, it feels like our homes always need to be places where we build around us the kind of person we want to be, so that when we forget, we can return home and our bodies remember.

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One comment

  1. adria!
    you are flattering.

    thank you for letting me see that my words have applicability beyond myself.



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