Saturday, January 20, 2007

An Olio

Just thought I'd throw that word in there. It keeps coming up on my online crossword puzzle clues as a melange, mixture, hodgepodge, or variety show, and it describes well my state of mind today. It's been a week of contrasts, with the death of a much -beloved Vashonite and the subsequent pastoral needs and challenges his death presents, the ongoing repairs to my home's drainage field, a busted window, and furnace rattles, and the amazing nomination of this blog for the annual blog awards.

I'm tired, irritated, and thrilled, all at the same time. Thank you to whoever provided the thrills! I needed that---a lot. It's helped me realize, too, that I need to take some time in the coming days to get completely away from ministry and take some time off. When I get symptoms of compassion fatigue, I know I'm about to fall in the soup. It used to be, when I was a teacher and counselor at a middle school in Colorado, that I'd take a mental health day and play hookey, stay home, go to the mountains, do something different than what I'd been doing.

I went to Vashon yesterday for the day, planning to meet with the bereaved family and organize a memorial service. Little did I know how extensive were this family's resources for responding to the event! Most of it was planned when I got there and all I had to do was help them put it in a reasonable order, ask a few questions about donations, flowers, music, and so on, figure out what my part in it would be (fairly small), and then enjoy a piece of cake and cup of coffee before going on to meet with the Caring Committee of the Fellowship to organize the food and housing brigades for next weekend, which is the date of the memorial service.

I was grateful to be just one of several speakers, offering only one moment in the service, rather than masterminding the whole thing. What a relief, even though I loved this guy immensely and would not have minded doing the whole thing. But to have others step in and take care of all the details I normally shoulder was a great gift. It won't be a religious ceremony, but it will be perfectly suited to the personhood and character of this great man.

Then, last night, weary and heavy-laden with multiple ferry rides and dark drives on I-5, I discover that angels have nominated Ms. Kitty for several blog awards: best new blog, best minister's blog, best writing. Wow! My blogging skills have deteriorated slightly since I posted last and I'm on Safari and not sure I can manage linkages properly in my bleary state of mind, but here is the link to the awards, just typed out, not done properly according to Joel's instructions. (You can probably manage it anyhow.)* experiment

PS. The housing repairs are underway and should be finished shortly. The cats will be delighted to be able to go back into the basement and I will be delighted to have my house completely available to me once again.

*you'll notice that I went back and successfully linked the nominees page. hurrah!


LinguistFriend said...

Well, olio appears to be some Romance language's version of Latin aula, from the later Latin form olla "pot". The contents of the pot, e.g. a stew, include heterogeneous ingredients, a quality which was abstracted from food to other things.
It sounds as if you were steeled for having to organize the memorial service, but it is not bad for you not to have to exert yourself so much.
About the deceased, it speaks well, I must think, to have one's life in such order that one's death is in order also. I must envy that, since I know that at present I could not equal it.
Congratulations on the nominations. It is my first time out in this stuff also, so the sensations are unpredictable.

Joel said...

Way to go!