I have a Monday morning hangover -- that is, an emotional hangover. My brain is passive and just barely alert to put a jumble of thoughts and feelings into words. My body is sore from outdoor explorations, raucous games with fit teens, and maintaining a week-long pace that defies the stamina of second half of my life.
But it is good, all good.
This past week, my spiritual friends from El Paso, Texas -- Janet Kincaid and Sarahummingbird Johnsen -- traveled here to my home to follow me in my ordinary days. It was to be a mission trip. The mission? Just what I said -- to follow me in my ordinary days. We kept a travelogue that is too silly and detailed to comprehend. It includes serving coffee in bed, snackies, debriefs, more snacks and meals with family and friends, teens with lots of ideas and energy, and hidden places of natural wonder and beloved community.
I am very emotionally exhausted. I am sad that my circle of active spiritual adventurers can't be here with me all the time. I am grateful for the soulful, artistic, and hilarious connections that we all maintain over thousands and thousands of miles. I am frustrated at the obstacles within my community to create cross-cultural vibrancy. I am inspired by the leaders in my community who "get it" and welcome me into their life and purposeful work. To my love bug kids Cassie and Jarryd and my Chris and Mike and chefs Josh and Cecelia (with mother Jen surreptitiously supervising) and the extended family of humans and felines (Gary, Nick, Gernomino, Kito, Achilles, Bastian, Val, Chris, and Abbot Luke Knowles) at the Dove Street Mansion in Roxbury), thank you for a great dinner and evening. To Natasha, Becky, Natalie and teens-teens and more teens at the New American Center who demonstrate what it means to have a reflex for creating instant community; to George, Randy, Tony, Mavro and the whole crew at Brothers Deli Lynn who kept us well fed; to our friend Ari who served us coffee and koulourakia at the Greek-American Men’s Club; to Jim and Alicia and everyone at the Walnut Street Café Speak Up Community for keeping the hearth warm, completely inclusive and real; to Kare-wren Browown and Alice for a delicious breakfast and powerful session of soul collage; to our housemate Sue who lets us hang out and claim Oscar as we took him on outdoor adventures and debriefs in the Zen Den; to Irene and Anna and Sister Ria (by default) who came out to visit their El Paso friends; to my surrogate mother Paolina who serves the food of my Calabrese ancestors to my people; and to Daisy -- queen chaplain of the treehouse -- who was the only constant in the itinerary. Also, again, to my life partner Mike who is very warm and fun as he tolerates my habit of saying, "come one come all."
I am a spiritual leader. For me this means that I am invited or I invite others to join me in activities and programs intended to examine the dimensions what it means to come together. This past week was a mission week for me. The mission? To share my life with friends who have constantly shared their life on the border with me. We learn so much from each other -- it's all the little things and the habits and the people and the hidden places and the details and tastes and tears and frustrations and hope and people. Especially the people. When we walk through our ordinary lives with each other, we are warmed by the ways that we feel like kin. We are delighted by the unusual habits that we never saw before. Sometimes we travel far to learn about our own lives and the ways it is sufficient if not abundant. We learn what it means to make a home that catches us when we fall, because we all fall.
I'm glad to be exhausted by this. I'm grateful to be reminded that my life has purpose. I'm motivated to save my pennies and get back to the border so I can have my own tune up. I am excited to recharge and do this again, and again.