I am walking.
Which is good.
(But I am also eating a lot, so...there's that.)
I am much more physically comfortable in the climate of England than I am the climate of Kentucky. The cool air is good for my skin. The humidity is good for my hair.
The church we attend in Oxford, St Mary Magdalen, is undergoing renovations, so High Mass has been held in the Keble College chapel. I miss chanting the Angelus at the Lady Shrine, but Keble is a magnificent space.
One of my favorite spaces is the Perch outside of Oxford in the Port Meadow. I took a cleansing walk in the rain to get there last Sunday afternoon.
It's eclipse season and I'm thinking about identity, the labels we wear, the paths we walk and how those paths take sudden turns or come to abrupt ends or wind their way in new directions.
Is it what we believe, what we do, how we work, how we speak about ourselves that creates identity?
Certainly I am not the same person I was in 1998, but there is a core, an essence that always has been and always will be me.
What am I ready to shed?
What am I ready to embrace?
If an old identity is leaving me, what is it? And what is the new identity coming in to replace it?
I traveled here without a sketchbook. How strange, you think, but listen, I traveled here without a raincoat.
I bought a tiny sketchbook and a pack of pens becuase my fingers itch with paintings. They keep coming to me. Magpies. One for sorrow.
I think of all the people I have been.
I think of things I accept as will always be this way simply because they have been this way for so long. But what is time?
Every moment holds within it the seed of change.
Which way am I growing?
Which way are you growing?
Where do you find your essence?
Pray love, pray love, pray love.
That's the only answer that comes to me.
That's the answer that comes over and over.
I like to walk on the path C.S. Lewis walked when he made his conversion. I imagine I can feel him there, walking beside me. We talk, silently, about what it's like to not believe then believe - how it isn't always sudden but sometimes a slow unveiling.