I find chaos stressful. I like to know where things are, and what I’m doing. Although my mood sometimes falls below a threshold where I can be bothered with it, I like tidy. The uncertainty of the past few months has seen me sinking under its pressure. I crave certainty and (an illusion of) control.
Living among boxes is not tidy or organised. Packing whilst working as much as before (and harder, thanks to uncooperative colleagues) and attending TC means life isn’t exactly easy right now.
There is life, and there is Taizé. The paradise in Burgundy, yes, but also the oasis of Taizé at the Birmingham UK meeting this weekend. Unfolding crises for housemate meant I could only attend for a day. But it was a day of peace and blessing and mercy, simplicity and joy.
There was joy in seeing old friends again, in feeling my presence there was wanted by them. Simplicity in the chants, in the prayer, in a workshop on the icons, tracings in red ink. Simplicity in silence.
Challenge, too, from Fr. Alois: to let God look at you, in love. I can’t do that, I can’t, I can’t. In Fr. Alois saying that this love does not mean we can take the easy path and avoid difficulties, but that we can face challenges positively, knowing God will hold us through them. Face the challenges put before me in TC? Trust God’s compassion and mercy? See God’s face in those who propose the challenges? Help.
But TC will end. My job will end. I will change house next weekend. Living, working, therapy, are in flux, and transient. God is not transient. God is bigger than these things.
And She will look at me in love as I move through them. I am tearful at that thought. I am arrogant enough to believe that I am too horrid to be loved. But tears themselves are precious. It’s not easy to cry. Yet:
Retourne, mon âme, à ton repos
car le Seigneur t’a fait du bien.
Il a gardé mon âme de la mort.
Il essuiera pour toujours les larmes de nos yeux.
The words of Psalm 116. The spirit of Taizé in Birmingham returned me to peace, despite the pressure. I want to hold to that through the changes ahead.