Vancouver...

“Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?""That depends a good deal on where you want to get to." "I don't much care where –" "Then it doesn't matter which way you go.” ― Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland

Another long gap between posts. Life has been a whirlwind, and I feel as if I've been caught up on the gales and set on a course without having fully decided that I wanted to go. Cryptic, I know. Here's the (long and) short of it: the day after my last entry, I received a phone call from a hospital in Vancouver, WA. It's part of a system I applied to but at a different location from the other positions in which I showed interest. In literally a week's time, I went from an out-of-the-blue phone call asking if I was still interested to receiving an offer for a 4/5ths time staff chaplain position.

Since then, I've been negotiating the logistics of moving across country, finding an apartment blindly, cutting off current utilities and turning on new ones, and everything else in between. I ended my time at the Clinic, said goodbye to my church family, watched as these strangers called movers loaded my belongings onto a truck and drove off, and embraced my brief life as a pseudo-monastic with my air mattress and air conditioning — all while my cat stares at me with this look of *meow* WTF is happening?!?! *meow*

“Yesterday is not ours to recover, but tomorrow is ours to win or lose.” ― Lyndon B. Johnson

Yesterday, while spending the afternoon with someone who has grown to be one of my best friends and, in a sense, a little brother, I was served my divorce papers. I knew they were coming. But in the middle of what has been a string of days of goodbyes or, at least, see-you-laters, I didn't see it coming, didn't anticipate the knot that would build in my throat, the boulder that would sink in my stomach. Maybe I haven't been writing as much because the grief and sadness of divorce simply haven't had words — at least not many I've felt willing to share with the blogosphere. I don't even how willing I am now, but still my fingers pound away at the keys as my back leans against the pillow, against the wall.

That's how I've felt about my move, truth be told. It's as if, in the middle of my own exhaustion and inability to discern what's best for me, Mother God as set things in motion and gently taken hold of my hand, pulling me onto the path while I watch my surroundings pass by. I haven't even stepped foot in the city, correction, state, in which I will find myself in less than four days. I've only met my future boss via FaceTime, seen my apartment in Gmail attachments, and familiarized myself with the roads thanks to Google Earth/Maps. Right now, Vancouver is as concrete to me as my head full of hair and my slim and trim body, existing only in my mind.

Life is a series of natural and spontaneous changes. Don't resist them; that only creates sorrow. Let reality be reality. Let things flow naturally forward in whatever way they like. ― Lao Tzu

I met a stranger in a coffee shop yesterday. We exchanged stories and found ourselves in similar situations, moving onto to different things. When I shared just how "blind" this transition was for me, and then on just how okay I am with it, he offered the word "Serenity." And it seems to fit. Many friends and family have responded to the bigness of my move with questions, uncertainties, anxieties, most of which I've shared. Yet still, I feel what I can only describe as a sense of providence — the feeling that I am being watched over, guided, and cared for. I'm aware of the cost of this change, and the risks, and I still feel that I am making the right decision.

Residency is finished. The moving truck is somewhere between here and the Pacific Northwest. My address is changed in most computer systems. My evenings (and some daytimes) are filled with farewells to people I love. Vancouver is waiting, and Lord willing, I'm as ready as I can be.

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photo credit: Christopher (via Flickr)