And so we come to the end.
I’ve thought and prayed about this for some time. Since I started this blog, my work has picked up dramatically. As I was leaving for the land on Friday, an editor e-mailed with two assignments needing a quick turn around. With these, I have five stories due by May 15. In December, having so many deadlines at once seemed like a fluke. Now, it’s beginning to feel like the new normal. After two lean years, that’s a huge blessing. But it takes a lot of my time.
My Al-Anon commitments have also increased. When I began blogging, I was just beginning to get involved in service. Today, I have five sponsees, prison service and Alateen commitments in addition to my committed meetings. That’s a blessing, too. Nothing has helped me to grow more in this program than being of service to others.
This blog, too, has helped me grow in recovery. When I was blogging every day, I felt like I was attending a large, dynamic, daily Al-Anon meeting. Picking a topic and sharing on it helped to crystalize my thoughts and sometimes revealed thoughts I didn’t realize I had. Visiting all of your blogs brought other topics to the forefront of my consciousness. Your comments and encouragement have fed me. In many ways, blogging kept me more on the beam than anything else I have done.
But more and more, I struggle to post even once a week. It’s harder still to return visits to all of you who have been kind enough to leave comments. What’s more, I find myself wanting to post on a topic only to remember that I’ve blogged about it before. I have this picture in my head of an old woman staying too late at the party, repeating stories that the other guests have heard too many times, chattering away as one then another of the guests make their excuses and leave. There is art, I think, in knowing when to go home.
There are plenty of other bloggers who are able to keep their blogs fresh year after year and sometimes I think I should be able to do so, too. But my program has taught me that comparing myself to others is not helpful. I am simply not them.
I’ve titled this blog post au revoir rather than goodbye. I do so with a nod to an early college professor of mine, Mr. Cousins, who taught English Literature. He was one of my most frustrating teachers, because no matter how hard I tried I could not get an A in his class. No matter how hard I pored over “Ode to A Grecian Urn” or “A Clean, Well-Lighted Place,” dissecting each piece of literature line by line, I always missed the nuances.
For the life of me I can’t think of the name of the story I’m thinking of. But I remember clearly the final irony. It was the story’s last words: au revoir. I had taken French and so I thought I understood what the phrase means. I understood it to be synonymous with goodbye. Not so, Mr. Cousins had said. The phrase, more precisely, means until we meet again. And it was that nuance that leant irony to the ending.
And so I say au revoir. Because life is long and much can happen, and for all I know God may have other plans for me. I have seen other bloggers quit only to return a short time later. I don’t believe in closing doors. At least not anymore.
Not long ago, I learned from a fellow classmate that Mr. Cousins had died. I was sorry to hear it. For all my frustrations with him, and they were many, Mr. Cousins got me to think. He taught me things that I remember to this day. And so I titled this post as I did also in the hope that even if I never return to the blogosphere, some little thing I wrote here may have resonated and become a part of your story, too.
The other half of my title is what I hope for you. That whatever life and God as you understand God has in store for you, that you, dear friends, fare well.
St. Anthony of the Desert
2 hours ago