Thursday, November 08, 2007

Extragavant Unbusyness

In chess, the end game often means that play has been reduced to very few pieces. In my life, the end game is when the pieces multiply, often out of control. The end of term is coming, the end of the calendar year is coming, the end of the liturgical year is upon us, and I have loose ends everywhere.

This is also an extravagant time of year. My students are investing extravagantly in study time, as am I in grading, giving feedback and having office hours. Extravagance creeps into family life, too. There are marvelous holiday meals to be prepared, gifts to be found, and decorations to be put up. The richness of the liturgical season cries out for extravagant attention - to music, to texts, to the preaching. As a result, we are extravagantly tired.

Today I had an appointment with my spiritual director. I worked the last two weekends, will work the next two. I have a grant due next week, and a mountain of grading to do - but in the end decided to take the few hours and go (an extravagance, I know!). I discovered that though the truly intense weeks have not arrived yet, I've already reached the utterly tired stage. After an hours' conversation with my director, we ended as usual with a prayer and some chocolate. As always, he sends me out with the assurance that I need not rush out the door, but am welcome to stay at the old novitiate as long as I wish. Today he looked at me twice and said, "That chair reclines. I'm going to a staff meeting. Take a nap." And I did.

Perhaps it's time to consider being the extravangance of being unbusy?


  1. I am covetous of that nap. My Thursday morning direction is followed by a race across suburbia to get to work on time. I've booked myself a room at Wernersville for a weekend in December.

    was the chocolate dark? then I am really going to be covetous.

  2. Mmmm. Good spiritual conversation, prayer, chocolate, and a nap.

    Meeting with your spiritual director: not an extravagance, but a necessity.

    I think it is, in fact, time to consider the extravagance of being unbusy.

    Aren't you considering a sabbatical? Do you think you could keep that... quiet or unbusy? Just a thought. :)

    Love and blessings.

  3. This comment has been removed by the author.

  4. I took a long nap today - it's beginning to feel like hibernation time to me.

    I love the term extravagant unbusyness.

  5. Anonymous9:45 PM

    May you find some more time for rest as well--thanks for visiting!

  6. I have not had chocolate or direction with the man, but did have gin and tonic with him on the last night of an 8 day retreat-- I'll let you figure out how that came to be. his homilies often touch my heart.

  7. Wayne,
    It was those homilies that led me to ask him about time you encounter each other, you'll know that there is often dark chocolate to be had (though I'll admit that wouldn't go well with a gin and tonic!)...