Sunday, January 4, 2009

Rooms and spaces

Hiding in the sewing room from my son, who is at odds with his mother today on most every issue; and my husband, who is lurking in anticipation of the Vikings game. Working on the laundry, neatly sorted mountains of which seem never to dwindle. (My fault, I lose interest in the laundry after a couple hours. Too much happens in between loads; I get involved.) And helping my husband decide what we're cooking (what he's cooking) for friends later this week.

The morning was busy with church logistics but fortunately I'm feeling better than I was yesterday. Not as tired. And it's rather a treat to be worshipping in the smaller sanctuary, of our "north campus." Our congregation sounds more numerous, our singing and praying more full and warm, in the low-ceilinged sanctuary with exposed timbers. No clanking of radiators; nor shivering in a space high-vaulted and wide. Though the narthex is cramped, and we lack an elevator, still we seem to be comfortable there. What happens this year in terms of worship place remains to be seen, since we haven't discussed the repairs or possible demolition of the old sanctuary yet. And we're still waiting for some preliminary response to our proposal to use the old elementary school a few blocks west. The school board is currently reviewing all proposals.

So much is unknown here at the beginning of the year. Our where, our what, our why -- the new council members, the growing deficit, the need for growth. Other possible changes. It's excruciating, in a way, though exciting too. If you aren't too concerned with maintaining a stable routine in your life. Or with knowing where you'll want to worship a year from now. But this morning was sunny, was positive and intimate, and I'm hoping we can continue to pull together as a family, this blended-family of a church.

I close my eyes and consider the rhythm of the household. Next week the holidays end, and we're back to a predictable schedule. This will perhaps resolve some tension between my spouse and I. My son will have school and playmates to occupy him, instead of parents constantly reaching to amuse him with something new without shopping, buying, or driving a lot. It's a small house. Sometimes a small space is a positive thing, sometimes not.

We are in and out of doors in our lives, we are in and out of the places where we define ourselves and our relationships through actions. We invest a lot in these places. They can supercede or hinder our relationships if we let them. What's the best balance? Shelter is a desirable constant, attainable by a dwindling class in this economy. The emotional furniture gets moved around occasionally, and frays and fades. How do we make ourselved new?

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