Monday, January 26, 2009

I Am Woman

"What's that called, what priests become when they enter the priesthood?"

"Celibate," I replied.
Then I spelled it out for him.
C.e.l.i.b.a.t.e.
I don't know why I thought he might not be able to spell it.
My kids will be shocked to find I voluntarily spelled a word for
someone instead of asking them how they thought it might be spelled.

When I was done he nodded and turned back to his computer.

"Thank you."
He hesitated and then added,
"I was trying to write a joke to a friend."

How did I know that's what he was asking? God only knows. I'm sure one could fill in the blank with many answers to what priests become when they enter the priesthood.

I'd noticed this young man sitting beside me earlier because he banged on the computer keys just as energetically as I do but he looked much too young to have learned to type on a typewriter. Which is my rationale for why I pound so viciously on the keys. Random thoughts zinged back and forth in my head as he typed away. Was he telling his friend that he'll never be celibate? Or teasing his friend that he'll always be? Had he clarified it because he thought I'd think he was wanting to become a priest? I was dying to look over his shoulder and find out but manners prevailed and I kept my eyes on my own screen.

You never know what's going to happen at the public library. I'd just come from the weekend workshop yesterday and was checking email and blog comments before I headed home when this young man asked me that question. I'd also come to the library in search of a book I'd seen on the shelf last week but alas, someone else saw it too, and took it home already.

I live in a not so big house. Lest it one day resemble dearest one's grandma's house - with hallways reduced to a maze because of clutter piled up on either side, I've been clearing out stuff. As I sort through closets and cupboards I've been letting go of stuff that I'd hugged tight to my chest up until now. The problem with living in a not so big house is that there isn't space to keep it all. The blessing of living in a not so big house is that there isn't space to keep it all. So slowly I've been throwing, giving and sorting it all away.

This past weekend I let go of baggage
that I've held tight to my chest for eons.
Stuff I was sure I would always need.
I found out I don't.
I feel like I stepped out of a cocoon
and into life.

It was exhausting, grueling work. I woke up Saturday morning at a friend's house feeling like I'd been beat up during the night. I woke up Sunday morning feeling like a train had run over my body, too. All that told me was that I was stirring up deep emotions and my body knew it.

Last night when I went to bed I felt free and open.
Weary, very weary in body but renewed in spirit.

Today is a pajama day for me. Extra good self care.
Making sure the energizer bunny gets
as much lap time as possible,
for her sake and mine.
A replenishing of my spoon supply.

This weekend I had stuff I hadn't named before
spelled out for me in language I could understand
and in concepts I could embrace.

In the most positive way imaginable,
meaning without any rancor towards men,
celibate or not,
this could have been the theme song for the weekend:
(I Am Woman - by Helen Reddy)




3 comments:

Patty said...

Today is pajama day for me too! I need to do what you are doing! Get rid of stuff! Stuff I do not need or use, but have been hanging onto for years and years. Thanks for giving me some incentive! Now I just need to get started!

Christy said...

I got rid of stuff yesterday too!

Tomorrow should be a snow day here in St. Louis.

Anonymous said...

Sounds like it was time well spent, Hope. I am happy for you.

Mich