Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Doubt-- being of two minds

last night...

I wrote a post which I can't quite get myself to publish, maybe later.

I turned on fans, opened windows, put on my mask, and cranked up a pre-jazz era CD. I hate soldering, but maybe one day I will get better at it. for now I have to hope that my designs and my color choices will impress folk.

I took it to the bathroom sink to wash off the flux. In my studio, I held it up to the light, and I struggled to see it. It was dark outside so I couldn't hang it in a window and back up. It was inspired by a friend's grief. And until that moment it was just an idea. It is the light that brings it to life.

as I struggled to see it as a whole, this song came on.... Mary by Patty Griffin

I came down to fit some prayer time in before Mosaic Woman got home, and skipped my opening ways. The Jesuits taught me that one should start prayer by saying hi to God. So I breathe, In and Out.... Here..... I am.

I skipped to writing down blessings and it started dark... Thanks for the challenging job, turned to the sweet peppers brought in for dinner, then I wrote... "Do I want my job? what went wrong today?"

I look back now and just see it as being tired. so so many emotional fires to put out for one stoic guy to handle.

I am a man of doubt. Every Sunday I sit in church and wonder how I can believe such stuff, then it passes. A hymn touches my heart. The Eucharist touches my soul. Most days at work I wonder if I will last long at my job, then it passes as I have fun with a class. Today I ran into an amazingly bright student, who just can't get his thoughts on paper, as he gathered to go to his off campus apartment. I told him he was running out of time to prove to me he was as bright was we both thought he was. I told him I would be in my room. He showed up after making a deal with his residential staff. He knew his stuff as I asked him questions. We brainstormed ways to get him to college. Like I said he is bright and he could list several things holding him back. When I told him to head back. He rose and put out his hand to me. He frustrates me greatly at times, but I will go back tomorrow, and at some point ask the Lord, who I don't always believe in, to help me through. I will remember that hand. That gesture.


  1. This is an absolutely beautiful post on so many levels about how belief in God works.

  2. Interesting post about art, teaching, and faith. Occasionally, I look around and try to figure out why I am in church because I feel like a fraud with no faith and no business being there; other times, I can't imagine ever feeling that way. Sometimes I pray and it doesn't work - or it maybe it does but I don't recognize it as anything other than mind wandering about trivia.

    I hope you have an opportunity to take a picture of your new creation in a window soon.

  3. GG--- thanks, it is how belief works for me, but from conversation... not for everyone. if it resonates with you, just add it to that list of our similarities.

    Kathryn---as for resonating ... that last line hit home. as I was going through the final stages of the project, our camera was malfunctioning. Yesterday my wife read that a bop can fix it, and she e-mailed me to say it was working. I got home a bit later than normal and the sun is sinking faster, and the window I had hung it was a poor choice, but if I kneeled and tilted my head then I am almost saw all the glass lit up fully. so I took a photo or two. But for now that image is mine because, like I said it is for a friend.

  4. Doubts and prayers and struggles with students - this is my life every day too.

  5. Diane-- I think that the charge given by Jesus to forgive someone 7 x 70 is a prerequisite, then there is the ability to say I am sorry is also helpful when teaching. I had to do both today.

  6. The 7x70 thing seems impossible to me at times but I know it's real. OK about the pics - some things don't need to be online but I do enjoy the pictures of your artwork.

  7. Kathryn-- not easy, but when it doesn't happen, it is just ugly. I have been there and will probably be there again. It is an awareness thing, I need to see how my emotions are affecting my behavior and a grudge is not going to get me to where I want to be... I need to go prep for "Evolution Fidays" time to teach randomness.

  8. I'm struggling with writing about doubt and hope and faith -- and about hands.

    I sought the sacrament of the sick before surgery. I'm a sacramental theologian, I thought I had faith, I thought I trusted -- but when the moment came to open my hands to be anointed, I nearly fled.

    And now I'm glad I did not run from the grace that let me trust, that let me have faith...

  9. Michelle--- hands... so I am reading about randomness and genetic drift and I am reminded...

    interlock your fingers.

    look at your thumbs, one will be on top.

    your genes have determined this.

    now to transition from to pray...

    I look forward to reading the results of your struggles, yes, once again I expect to have pleasure from your discomfort ;')


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