The Lighthouse

the lighthouse

29 May 2012

Of new things in Ordinary Time

Welcome back to the wearing of the green!  Easter is over and we are returned to Ordinary Time.

It doesn't feel particularly ordinary, what with the new city, new job, new home. I moved this past weekend, rather more quickly than I thought it would happen, but golly, when God says move, you'd better move!  Come to think of it, I should have been prepared for it to happen just as it did, because I'd been asking and praying for these very things for months and months.  Echos of my pleading are still ringing in my ears: Dear Lord, help me find a job (done, He says); Dear Lord, help me find a charming little apartment (I've got just the place in mind, He says).  Dear Lord, have you forgotten about me?  I've been asking for ever so long and I'm still waiting! (ok then, I've been waiting for the right time, but since you insist, go NOW) The fact that I am here in one piece and still of sound mind looks ordinary on the outside but is full of extraordinary grace.

Don't you love the stories of the early Church? How Peter's shadow would heal people, and thousands would convert at one time.  There's nothing ordinary about that, with God's providence, we also live lives less ordinary.

I am grateful for the miracles in my life.  I can see the many ways God is at work in me, and through me.  It is in the ordinary people, ordinary actions, ordinary events that the Holy Spirit moves in the world today.

19 May 2012

Of leaks and sockets

Don't fall off your chair!

Yes, it's me, Tess, former prolific rambler of Lighthouse nonsense.

Life is in flux. Can I say flux online?  With one week of new job under my belt, I do believe my brain has been so stuffed with new information that it has undertaken a slow leak out of my ears. I comforted myself one night on the drive home, that what I'm learning is in general what I already know - it's only the specifics that are new, so all I have to learn are the specifics. Then I remembered the specifics number in the gigabytes and the leaking continued.

It is interesting how much you can tell about a person based on how they talk about their job, and how they approach teaching or training.  I've spent most of week being passed from department to department to learn what they do best, and every single person had a different approach. Quite an interesting personality study, that was.

I have to tell you, it is quite a delight to be working with other library people again after many years of mingling with (pardon the expression) civilians. We understand each other, geek out over the same things, speak the same language, and have key personality traits in common. I feel like I am with my people, my tribe once more, and that's pretty nice.

A new home has been found as well, did I mention that earlier?  I should be able to move in, in the next few weeks.  Somehow between first seeing the place and going back to sign the lease, it had grown to quite palatial dimensions and I was envisioning rather airy spaces with strategically placed electrical outlets, adequate closet space, and a bathroom door that opened in the right direction.  That bubble burst with the second viewing, but the heart-happiness remained because of the soaring ceilings, the cute old fashioned kitchen with the wrought iron fire escape, and the bathroom all to myself.  I'll figure out the storage and furniture placement issues later.  When I get furniture.  Two fantastic details are that I will be in walking distance of both work locations, and within walking distance of two Catholic churches.  How good is that?

Soon, I will be back on some semblance of a schedule and will be inundating you with more rambling nonsense.  In the meantime, I thank you for all your prayers and well wishes.  I hope to make it to all your blogs soon to find out what has been going on with you.


09 May 2012

Prince Charming in disguise

It is a tricky thing, to be a human in the West, during these millennial times (is that what we’re calling them?)

I’m thinking particularly – as I so often do – of the tricky distance between men and women. 

Even more particularly, I’m thinking about attractive men.  Not pretty men.  Not ‘I-know-my-way-around-the-hair-product-aisle’ men, or ‘my perfect abs come from the gym’ men.  I’m contemplating men who know where the toolbox is, and the fine distinctions between the flat screwdriver and the one that looks like a star; men who hold open the door for whoever is behind them, defend the smaller and weaker; men who enjoy a beer with the sporting event of their choice, but moderate their language when in the company of ladies.

I’ve read somewhere along the way, about studies into the effect of artificial sterility – ie. chemical birth control – on the attraction between men and women. Turns out a woman looks for different things in a man when her fertility is suppressed. A woman on contraception is more drawn to the delicate, sensitive emasculated lads, while a woman potentially capable of bearing new life is keen on manly men.
Dark hair and blue eyes aside, Zac Ephron in The Lucky One (the latest offering of Nicholas Sparks in cinemas near you) portrayed manliness so well I was in very grave danger. Not of committing serious sin, I hasten to add, but of being drawn into the fairy tale of Prince Charming on his white charger.

Seemingly innocent, happily ever after is a gossamer web, an enticing, glistening snare. Lured by the delicate image of lovers silhouetted against the setting sun, a yearning heart will overlook more realistic possibilities of real love – the companionable, oh-so-wonderful in its very ordinariness kind of love with a companionable, oh-so-wonderful in his very ordinariness kind of man.  As a single woman of a certain age, I am trying to live my life in a way that is pleasing to God, according to my circumstances. While I am not morose or bitter about my lot in life, I am aware that something is lacking. I know that I am meant to belong to someone – whether a husband and family, or a religious community. It is my great sadness that neither has been fulfilled.

In order to maintain a level of peace and joy, I have to be cautious of what I am feeding my imagination, which in turn fuels my hopes and goals. My longing for a good man to call my own was dormant until I watched The Lucky One, which awakened thoughts of the man of my dreams.  It was a dangerous thing to have done not because wanting to meet a good man is wrong, but because the movie hero is not reflective of reality… or only true to life in very broad strokes. 

There are good men out there – I know many of you and am fortunate to count you as my friends. You are trying hard to live Godly lives, just as we women are.  I don’t know many of you, though, who are good with children, kind to animals, able to renovate abandoned buildings, serve three tours of active duty as a Marine, capable of disarming a bad guy and tear down his weapon, play the piano and chess, rebuild an old tractor, read philosophy, and walk clear across the country with your perfect dog in search of  the girl whose picture you found in the rubble of a bomb attack.  All while looking like that. It would be the equivalent of Martha Stewart (uber housewife), and St.Therese (kind and gentle), wrapped up in the packaging of … I don’t know, Ingrid Bergman or Audrey Hepburn.  The stars in my eyes can potentially blind me to the more subdued beauty of Joe Smith sitting beside me at Mass.

For the married ladies among us, the storybook hero can cause you to become discontented with your own man. Your real life Prince Charming doesn’t stand outside your window holding the world’s heaviest portable stereo, declaring his love for you to the neighbours by blaring ‘In your eyes’ by Peter Gabriel. Your guy needs to be asked three times to bring the garbage out, or won’t change poopy diapers, or chews with his mouth open, or cannot be persuaded to take you to museums or the ballet.  Can you see the goodness he does possess?  All the ways he proves his love to you and his family every day by getting up at dawn to go to work, the way he always takes time at night to read a bedtime story to the kids, or knows just how to massage your feet at the end of the day? 

True fairy tales seldom have a stirring soundtrack, and hardly ever take place in Paris in the Spring, or New York in the Fall. The Prince will almost never look or sing like Chris Cornell. He may be in disguise, but if we have healthy expectations and the right perspective, we’ll recognize him for the hero he is.

06 May 2012

Ever so briefly

Offer accepted.

Home being hunted.

Move will be undertaken.  

Packing in my future.

Have I done the right thing? Am looking in corners for my reason and right thinking.

In other news, I recently watched a documentary called "This might get loud" about guitar heroes Jimmy Page, The Edge, and Jack White.  Very very interesting, and there is actually a lot I'd love to say about it - particularly how I miss 'real' music... meaning music with melody and guitars and passion.

For your listening pleasure, here is a sampling of each of the talented men from above:
(I chose tamer selections from each, for the more refined among you.  Don't want to shock anybody with the reality of my musical preferences!)

ok, so this one isn't exactly tame, but it epitomizes the U2 I thought was great: raw and convicted, just steps away from their punk roots.

There are so many words waiting to be written.  I hope to give them flight soon.

01 May 2012


The Call came through tonight. The appointment of last week which was really a job interview has resulted in a job offer.

This is very exciting for several reasons:
- someone wants me
- the job itself intrigues me. It is similar enough to what I have done in the past that I'm confident I can do it, but new enough, and challenging enough to be exciting, and maybe lead to something I never would have considered.
- money!  After 3 years of no steady employment (sometimes by choice, often by circumstance) it would be nice to have reliable income, even if only for a while.
- it's part time, meaning I could still get some writing done.

The drawbacks are these:
- it's over an hour away from Sohoe and the Peanuts.  I would miss them dearly.
- it's a temporary, part time position.  In 10 months I'll be in the same situation all over again.  Potentially.
- the location isn't very attractive. There is very little natural light and the walls are grey.  I'm sensitive to my environment, and frankly, this is the biggest negative on the list.  Except for the Peanuts.

It's as part of the children's services team at a public library. It would essentially be what I do in the schools, but in a different setting, and as part of a team.

Today is the Feast of St. Joseph the Worker.  I know I have him to thank for this because I have been pleading for his help for months.  It must mean something that this happened today, doesn't it?

Decisions, decisions.

St. Joseph the worker

For work which provides us dignity and meets our materials needs, we give thanks to the Lord through His good and faithful servant, Joseph, foster father of the Son of God, most chaste spouse of Mary.

Blessed St. Joseph, spouse of Mary, be mindful of us, pray for us, watch over us.  O guardian of the Child Jesus, take our affairs spiritual and temporal into your hands, and obtain for us the grace to know with certainty and perfectly the holy will of God.