"God showed me something small, no bigger than a hazelnut, lying in the palm of my hand… and it was round as a ball. I looked at it with the eye of my understanding and thought: 'What can this be?' And it was generally answered thus: 'It is all that was made.' It was so small I thought it might disappear, but I was answered... everything has being through the love of God." --Julian of Norwich

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Reflections on Moving and an Apology

Phew.  Two more amazing summer classes, one TA job, and one move later, I'm back.  I warned you I wouldn't really be able to post after June 25, but I'm sorry I didn't meet my goal of 17 posts before then.  However, I will say that when I set that goal I didn't know that we would suddenly decide to move.  The good news is that I will continue the "Food and Me" series soon.  And you'll get the benefit of all the thinking and growing I've been doing in the mean time.

In the mean time I have a few loose reflections on moving that I thought I would share.

*Moving has definitely made me face the reality of my embodied-ness.  During two years of theological study at Regent, I've come to realize how much our culture, especially evangelical Christian culture and academic culture, de-values our bodies.  In the past century or so, we've experienced a kind of revival of the heresy of gnosticism, which denied that Jesus was fully man because it ascribed to a belief that matter was inherently evil.  This works its way out in the way that we tend to value the spiritual, the intellectual, and the virtual over the physical reality that we live in.  Well, I found it very convicting to clean our old apartment and realize how much I had been ignoring the dwelling place of our physical bodies.  Even though I've been trying to "take care of myself" by eating better, I had been neglecting the simple aspects of deep cleaning our apartment.  After hours and hours of scrubbing scuff marks of the wall, then scrubbing the kitchen cabinets and fridge and oven, I swear I felt like my arm was going to fall off.  Worse, I wished it would fall off because the muscles ached so much I couldn't sleep, I couldn't eat, I couldn't do anything with my right arm.  I couldn't even rest it because it still hurt.  And of course pain killers are loaded with corn--so there was no getting around my pain.  But I felt a little bit like the karate kid.  The work had taught me a valuable lesson:  taking care of the matter around you is important.

*This move was also pretty tough on me, because it came right at the end of a month of classes.  I love Regent summer school because of its intensity:  each class meets daily for two weeks.  But by the end of the month, I was exhausted.  I hadn't had any time at all to think about packing or moving.  In fact, the Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday we were supposed to start to move, I was still writing my food course paper.  Clint was mad at me, and rightly so, because he had finished his paper on time and was working (you know, so we could pay our rent) in the mornings and taking trips of stuff to the new place in the afternoons and evenings.  I felt overwhelmed and burnt out.  But I made it.  I only cried like, you know, 5 times.

*The good news is that I love our new apartment.  We have at least twice as much space as before, a real separate kitchen for me to cook in, cabinet space for all my pots and pans and bulk foods, a garden outside (which came pre-planted with yummy vegetables thanks to our friend Ben who just moved out of the apt) and it even has a washer and drier (a true luxury for the apt dweller!).  But while having so much space is a blessing, Clint and I have noticed how easy it is to get caught up using our computers in different rooms and forget to spend time together.  It was also a little overwhelming to unpack, because everything had been in one room before, and now I had to decide what was going to go in each of the 6 rooms in the new apt.  More space = privilege + more responsibility.

*Finally, after two years of walking to school, Clint and I are public transit commuters again.  There are blessings and curses to both ways of getting around, but I'm looking forward to the quiet at the apartment during the days.  I finally have my own desk, so hopefully it will do wonders for my writing and hopefully my writing career.  I didn't realize before how distracting it was to be able to just run over to Regent and visit Clint at work or stop by the library or other errands.  We're both hoping that we'll be able to be more intentional now about our time.  I know I've been more productive already!

Anyway, this was a little rambly, but I thought I'd give you a little update into my world and thoughts recently.  More on food to come!


  1. Moving is a really effective way of casting our material possessions in a spotlight. Within 2 months after we moved from the 1 bedroom apartment to our house, our stuff had mysteriously expanded to fit. We'd have to downsize quite a bit to be able to move back in (which sometimes sounds really appealing). The new place sounds nice. I bet you're loving the bigger kitchen! :-) I hope you guys are well. We've been thinking of you often. Lots of love from Brandi & me.

    P.S. There's a trek back to Ohio being planned for Oct. 7-10 or so for a tea people post-homecoming.

  2. And one month later, our apartment is full to the gills. I blame my mother-in-law, who is one of the most giving people I know. One week in Calgary and I came back with a car load. But this new stuff also shows a shift in my values. Before I only owned books and clothes, now I own books, clothes and a well stocked kitchen.

    I think of you and Brandi often too. I've lost your number, and gotten it from someone else, then lost it again. But with this free Google Voice thing, it's time for a call.

    I sure wish I could make it to Ohio, but it sounds like Nigel is going to drive up around that time. It'll be a west-coast branch tea people reunion. Nearly as good as the real thing.