I have much to reflect on as I think about 2012. So many things have happened. This blog adventure of mine is proving to be a helpful journal for me: similar in many ways to the hand written journals I used to keep. I can look through the archives and be reminded of what I was thinking about, or experiencing, or grieving, or longing for, or celebrating. Except now I’m making the entries public. My heart beats a little faster every single time I hit “Publish”- I never know how what I write will be received and recognize that it is kind of out of my hands once it hits the internet. Quite a lesson in relinquishing control. I’m learning a lot about that these days.
One of my first blogs begins with this: “I have a confession: I’m seeing a therapist.” To this day, Therapy is one of the most read pieces. I felt vulnerable writing it. I read everything out loud to myself before I put it up and in this case, I wept. Therapy has been hard, at times uncomfortable, full of emotion and incredibly freeing. I continue to learn a lot about myself.
In A New Adventure I wrote: “…I have agreed to lead PNC into a new phase in its life and mine. We are about to undergo a “reboot”. This means that we are taking some time to revision, rebuild and re-launch. In the meantime we will stay close to our people by continuing our drop-in and doing significant outreach on the street.” 9 months later PNC is still standing. I admit that while I have always been fiercely determined to see it continue, in my darker moments I haven’t always known if it would. We have truly spilled out into the neighbourhood. In fact, when I got asked a little while ago “so where exactly do you find PNC?”, a community member responded before I could: “you find it by being outside in the hood, natch”. Yes.
I smile when I read Pink Walls, laugh out loud at Choir Carpool and maybe wince just a little in Wonder Woman, Not. I appreciate being able to reminisce about being with my family at camp in the summer, the early days of becoming connected to the streets and more recently, even the trudge that was packing up PNC’s home. I am grateful too for a space in which to work out some of my own thinking on things like Christianity, consumerism and charity.
I find writing very therapeutic and am aware that I am processing much of my grief through it. When my Mom found herself in the ICU yet again, I had to write My Mom. I eagerly shared it, wanting to tell everyone what a woman Elaine Grant is. The most precious moment came when I was able to read it aloud to my mom. What a gift.
I re-live moments too:
The challenge of delivering a Eulogy for my Dad in In Honour of My Dad.
The bittersweet experience of saying goodbye to my Auntie Laurie in Our Town.
Saying a horrible farewell to my friend, Kimberly Rivera in War Resister.
Learning that God yet again provided PNC’s daily bread in Enough.
Hearing Stevie shout out my name in Little Stevie.
I am struck by the common thread of grace in all my stories. Grace permeates everything: the darkness and the light. The story of PNC overflows in it. Grace has arrived in unexpected and surprising ways. It has come quietly. And in some areas, I’m still waiting for it. I’m certain that if we all looked back on the tales of our lives, we would discover the same.
Here’s to 2013. May it be a year saturated with redemptive grace. For all of us.