Thursday, August 30, 2012

Going Places

Now that I am part of the "empty-nest" establishment, and have been made even more free since burying the cat, I find that I am increasingly agreeable to my wife's whims.  (Sure, I wish she would be even more whimmy, but we won't get into the fine print.)

On our free evenings we sit on the back deck and eat dinner together (usually my cooking), or we hike or kayak, and sometimes we dine out.  One day last week we even danced.  (If you want to call it that.)

Now and again, we have conversations.  Sometimes we do other things.  (I won't get into the fine print.)

But most frequently we sit at home, in silence, reading glasses pinched to our noses, working late into the night, asking each other questions about our various papers, and letters, and emails that we are working on.  Usually, my wife wants my opinion about a certain turn-of-phrase in a staff letter (she's a school principal) or she asks my opinion about a legal concern that could potentially impact a student or parent.  So, in a way, I'm not only pastoring a church, I'm helping to operate a school, too.  And I continue to learn.  My education is never complete.

As for me, I often hand over my latest essay, article, column or poem and ask my wife to give it a read.  She usually declines, stating the obvious reasons:  "I'm too tired!" or "It's too late" or "Do I really have to read more of your crap?"

I see her point. Most of what I write may be so loosely defined.  I've got essays that don't go anywhere.  Stories that lead to dead ends.  Poems that need new direction.  Whole chapters of books that have fallen into the ditch. 

And my oil needs to be changed frequently. 

Sooner or later, however, a few of these pieces get to leave the house.  Some of them make their way to places like New York, or Chicago, or to various points west of the Mississippi.  Most come back.  But, thank God, a few of them find a home elsewhere and never return to me.

The nest is empty.  But I'm still floating a few feathers on the wind.


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