I cast the belly of M. in plaster. She is 87 years old. The experience was a holy one -- rubbing the Vaseline on her belly, pouring the plaster in her belly-button, and then laying down the plaster strips and burlap, all the while marveling at M.'s trust, and how open she is to new experiences.
M.'s presence has been an enormous gift to me this term. She reminds me of my father's mother, the grandmother I call Nana.
This morning, M made a comment about how hardworking I am, and I was caught surprised -- surprised but pleased, because a comment about hard work from someone who is 87 years old is no small thing.
So I thought, is that true? Do I work hard? Anne Lamott said that we often lose the ability to see our lives clearly, that it is sort of a security measure for when it just isn't safe too see things the way they are -- because we are too vulnerable (as with children) or just don't have the capacity or skills to deal.
So part of me says, yes you are a hard worker, of course you are. And part of me says, really? Do you thinks so? And another part says, we'll, there is one way to find out. You could, you know, observe, track, pay attention.
I want to learn how to live with out this breathless feeling of lack. Those lillies of the field, they neither toil nor spin, yet God loves them. Mary sits at Jesus' feet while Martha runs around getting everyone cups of tea -- Jesus tells Martha to chill out and do what her sister is doing (I always thought that Martha was just doing the best she could)...
So is the question, "Am I a hard worker" not even all that relevant? Is it a different question, "Am I serving God with all my heart, or as much of my heart as I can?"
I mean, who gages hard? Do I want to ever work 60 hour weeks in dysfunctional environments ever, ever again? No! I want to fight against the dizzy tide of fast and faster still. I want to keep God at the center, my center. I can't serve if I'm ragged and distant.
If I'm having fun, does it count as work? If I'm not worn out and exhausted, am I working enough? If I keep my priorities in order -- God, community, creativity, service -- and live of those commitments and I feel healthy and satisfied...if I decided to live without the guilt of never enough...what would happen then?
Well, what would happen?