goodbye. finally. (part the third)

i promise this will be the last one….

the year of post-training school
ts ended at the beginning of May, and was swiftly followed by a period of what i came to call as “low-grade grief”.  similar to a fever, it seemed to just hang out, always below the surface, exhausting me and causing me to tear up at the slightest provocation.  i went from seeing the same people for 10+ hours a week to seeing them maybe every other week, if that.

it was hard to let go of.

in the summer i began developing the gallery, putting legs on a dream a friend presented me, preparing it to open in October.  open it did, despite the last minute wall painting and art installation that was happening just 24 hours prior.  we had a great opening night, and have continued to grow our influence since then.  the gallery has truly been a rewarding challenge.

i also helped launch a church in October, that actually meets in the gallery, and will begin a teaching rotation with them this coming Sunday.  this means i no longer frequent Common Ground, tho i still consider them my extended family.  the new church has been such a blessing.  it is in my neighborhood, we have discussions each week about what we’re learning or experiencing.  we talk about how to better love our neighbors and what it tangibly means to walk with Christ.  in many ways, it feels very training school-esque.

the year of The Big Table
our year as a community was trying, both on a group level and as individuals.  together we navigated issues of communication, personality conflicts, heartbreaks, issues of vocational choices and callings.  we supported several members as they launched new businesses and others as they considered job changes and another as he went to school full time.  in Sept., Kel and i moved just a block and a half away and our dear sister Ray moved in to what we now lovingly call The Big House (ours is The Cottage).

it has truly been a sacred place for me, a place where i could safely practice loving others well, and learn how to accept love.   we lived a good deal of life together…here is just a sweet sampling of memories:

Ang and i missed the jets flying over for the Indy 500, but G was able to run up to the 3rd floor and see them out the attic window.  Ang and i were pretty disappointed and gave G a hard time.  Ang must have indicated that she was more upset because the next thing i saw was G following her through the house with a video of jets flying on his computer.

for some reason i was adamant about getting Kari a pinata for her birthday.  it was a blue dinosaur that we hung in the doorway b/w the dining room and kitchen; we used a broom for the bat.  after several divets in the wall, a broken broom handle, and a busted blue dinosaur, we had some good youtube videos.

every week we had family dinner, and those were filled with so much food and laughter.  i remember one of our first outside on the back deck…Kel was in charge.  she set the table with sweet little napkins and broke out a bottle of wine.  when we sat down, she lit a candle and dedicated the meal to her grandfather who had passed away just a couple days before.  i remember feeling so grateful for our abundance.

every first Tuesday, some local DJ’s host “Let Go,” a giant trendy-hipster dance party at a nearby pub.  Kel, Teddy and i have made a habit of biking over and dancing our hearts out.

and then all the other little moments, smoking cloves and watching the city move, traveling by megabus, plane, train, and car all over the county (and beyond), visiting the Sun King tasting room, biking all over the city as the days grew longer and longer, having tea on the front porch, getting lost with the girls trying to find the camping spot, prepping Ashley to move to Tijuana, dance parties in the kitchen.  life here is indeed rich and full.

2011 was  a good year; now here’s to 2012, which is already promising to be challenging, and beautiful, and so…alive.

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