That little red building has caused so much angst and tears and weariness, and also great love, beauty, and wonder. Former fishery, previous luggage factory, and current molder of graduate student minds and hearts.
It's pretty impossible for me to put into words just what the last few months have been like. It has been a very hard labor, but I believe, a very good work. We have been asked to write, read, reflect, and wonder about a great many extraordinary and challenging things. I tell people, my time is not my own. It belongs to graduate school.
In other news it's been a really stunning fall here in the PNW. Really long and lovely. But I was thrilled to wake up this past Saturday and see snow on the ground. You can't take the midwest out of me, and I was missing that beautiful first snowfall in Chicago. It has now turned appropriately cold and wintery here, which is a welcomed seasonal preparation for me before going home in a couple weeks. We have started marking our apartment with bits of Christmas. It gives me something to anticipate and look forward to on the other side of the final exam, group project, and two final papers on the docket for next week.
In the midst of all the labor and fatigue, there has been much beauty:
I sometimes am so awed at the privilege it is to live here, to witness such beauty. It is what reminds me of my place, of the promise of hope, and the great and wondrous story being told right before our eyes.
This week I am especially grateful for the new and lovely friends that have breathed such life into my time in Seattle. They are a testimony to God's goodness. He hears the lonely ache of our hearts and demonstrates love for us in the human souls around us. I am learning to bless the hard times, learning to lean into the wounds and consider sacred the loneliness. Yet, I continue to be astounded at God's kindness.
These words from Rilke's Letters to a Young Poet have been ringing true for me these past few months:
Have patience with everything unresolved in your heart and try to love the questions themselves as if they were locked rooms or books written in a very foreign language. Don't search for the answers, which could not be given to you now, because you would not be able to live them. And the point is, to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps then, someday far in the future, you will gradually, without even noticing it, live your way into the answer.
I am trying to practice a love of questions and have patience with the unresolve in my heart. It is a hard work, an unfathomable task. But there's something magical in the mystery of it. And I believe that we become stronger, truer, healthier when we let ourselves dwell in that space. We can wrest our way towards the answer and still bless the struggle and silence.