Sunday, May 13, 2012

a babbling brook or a Eucharistic meal





I had two dreams when applying to Notre Dame: one was to visit Mother Teresa's House in Calcutta. (Next summer? Already started my prayer bombardment now :) ) The other one was to take Fagerberg's C.S. Lewis class. Check.

And it couldn't have been anymore amazing or life-changing, inspiring, beautiful, incredible, transformative, and transfigurative than I could have dreamed. 
And in a way, the class is an archetype of the whole year. I look back on the beginning of the year, and I feel so different from the rootless young woman who set out on her sophomore year with nothing more than a wish (for a best friend) and a prayer (What should I do with my life?) and a show to direct (which she was terrified of). So she just leaped out into the darkness, putting her hand into the hand of God--which worked out much better than a light, and proved to be safer than the known way. 



And God reached out and took her by the hand. And led her places she never expected to go, took her on adventures she never asked to have, gave her friends she couldn't even begin to love enough, and brought her joy she never even imagined possible. 

I finally rewrote my sonnet. The one I was working on for the entire fall semester--I rewrote it so often, my professor asked: "Renée, why?"  And I couldn't make work until Easter. But then I found it. This year, I found my voice in my writing.

The whirling circle of the sacred year,
Returns me to the place where we began;
Our dim and faded laughs ring in my ear,
Road markers on a path I did not plan.
Sweet shades and shadows linger in each nook,
And corner crannies house once luminous laughs
That pierced through gloom, that forged with just one look
Indelible joy. A record of us:
Two day-journers, for but a moment met,
Whose lights entwined, and brightened dim twilight—
But split and faded with sunset’s onset,
Their separate paths snaked silver into night.
      Our lights within expunged, effaced—but then
     In darkness we have found our home again.

That's the beauty of the whirling circle of the sacred year: it constantly brings you back to the place where you began, but you are such a different person each time you arrive there. You have new memories to your name, you have new stories in your soul.  You own new beauties, happinesses and heartbreaks. The adventures, the laughs, the dancing, the crying, the shouting, running, splashing, and smiling. So much smiling. So much laughter. I don't remember ever dying of laughter as often in my life. Not only did I find my voice, I also found my laugh. Not a shabby accomplishment for sophomore year. What gets me is not only how beautiful this year was, it's the promise that next year will be even better, and the year after that, and the year after that. As God draws us further up and further in (called erotic theology, peeps. Learned that in C.S. Lewis class), He promises that each day we grow in Him, we grow in happiness. That each moment is the new "happiest we have ever been," that, as Lewis writes at the end of The Last Battle:

"now at last they were beginning Chapter One of the Great Story, which no one on earth has read: in which every chapter is better than the one  before."


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