A Return to Cleveland!

I received last night the official word from my superior that I will be allowed to play for the 2006 Cleveland Feis. This is a semi-big deal insofar as it was my first feis when I was cutting my teeth on jigs and reels and my family has had a long time affiliation with the event. It's meaningful, too, as it'll be the last pre-vow feis I play and will probably be the last time I play a feis in the mid-American region for quite some time.

I have three days left at the hospital. It's going to be very hard to say good-bye. Just today, for instance, I met several patients who expect to be with us for over a week and it was sort of difficult for me to tell them that I'd be following them up until Friday and then turning them over to another chaplain.

Often people focus on the vow of poverty as having only to deal with fiscal resources. This is an example of how such a narrowly construed understanding of our vows is limiting: right now, I face the dearth of choice (attached also to obedience!) and the reality that, for all the good work I've tried to do, that someone will pick up where I left off on Monday, that new patients will come and go, that the hospital will go on without me. That's terribly ego bruising! But it's a part of life, a part that I suspect I will have to get used to over the next few years.

So Drew is coming to collect me from Chicago on Saturday. I'll begin my 8-day retreat on Monday, so there'll be no posts for nearly a week. What is most difficult is that the Fleadh with come and go while I'm off praying at the Colombiere Center (the Jesuit retirement community/retreat center in Clarkston, MI) and, unless I can convince my novice direct to inform me of their progress, I'll not know how Mike and Brian did until I return on the 16th. So again, do say a prayer that they play their best and, while you're at it, say a prayer for me!
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