Friday, February 17, 2006

Pre-Shift Post

Well, I'm now all nicely showered and sweet smelling: Jean Paul Gaultier, to be precise. Why am I wearing my finest "Marvin the Martian" tie and reeking of over-priced toilet water? Because I'm working the overnight shift!

As it seems to be my habit, I'll probably post sometime in the dead of night. While you are slumbering peacefully dreaming of sugarplums (what is a sugarplum, by the way) and happy fairies, I'll be roaming the floors of the hospital, an ever-vigilent sentinel in search of souls in need of soothing. (If I keep up with such descriptions, I'd sound more like one of the X-Men and less like a chaplain).

In other news, there's not much to report. It was a very busy week at the hospital and I was glad to be able to sleep in this morning. On Wednesday I worked at the Stritch School of Medicine's Auction for those students participating in medical immersion trips this summer. It was great fun and the students did a marvelous job with the auction, choosing an Olympic theme this year. The Jesuits with whom I live even chipped in several prizes, including "Dessert and Cigars with Jack O'Callaghan", "Picnic with the Jesuits", and "Dinner with Dr./Fr. Myles Sheehan." There were many wonderful prizes - trips to exotic locations, iPods, lamps, necklaces, art, etc.. I placed the winning bid for a wine basket, the contents of which I have just sampled and enjoy very much (Francis Coppola wine).

There's really not much else to report of a personal nature. I'm playing the Norton-Healy feis next weekend, which ought to be fun. The following weekend I'm heading off to Detroit with another Jesuit who is going to be attending a retirement dinner for a former colleague, so we'll be staying at the novitiate. The week following that (we're now up to March 10th) will find me back in Cleveland where I'll be for nine days. I could have gone to Cancun, to Miami Beach, and yet I choose Cleveland. At least I'll be able to teach music and relax away from the hospital setting.

So, as you can see the next month or so are pretty well filled. I'll mourn having to leave this part of my Jesuit training because I'm enjoying it so much. It's nice to be relatively autonomous and to feel that I have personal agency in regard to my day-to-day decisions, something that is by necessity missing at the novitiate. I also appreciate the wholly non-institutional style of life I enjoy in this community - I don't like large, impersonal buildings where someone cooks for me; I prefer, instead, a true "home" where we cook for each other and eat at one table, with the food placed in its center rather than in a serving line where we have to queue up to serve ourselves from chafing dishes.

Whew! Got that off of my chest. As difficult as this is sometimes, I find that I love this ministry and this part of my formation to be the best and most life-giving that I've experienced.

Okay, I need to think about "First Dinner" which will likely be Chipotle. I say "First Dinner" because around midnight I'll have "Second Dinner" which will be an oh-so-delicious Protein bar.

More to come!
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