Sunday, 26 June 2011

Novice Road Trip!!

There was definitely a need for discernment with this blog: I could continue writing it, because I enjoy doing so, and it connects me to many people that I love...but the tone in it is about to change dramatically. This is no longer about Wiki and the drama and joys that this communitiny brings/brought me ( until recently, I was still deeply affected by, and had regular dreams about this little town. It's quieter now, for better or worse, though the most recent one had me finding two sisters dead after they had taken a suicide pack...rather disturbing). But the key thing is that my Jesuit journey continues, with or without Wiki. Personally, I'd rather be there, but in the end, I go where I'm needed..I go where I'm missioned.

 And it seems that  where I'll be m missioned to in the Fall, is Regis College in Toronto for studies. I'm still a little fuzzy about what I'll be studying in great detail. I'd like to be able to study some English lit and writing courses, but the focus will of course be on Theology (with a bit of philosophy on the side). You may be able to discern from the tone of this blog that I'm not deeply excited about going back to studies. I dunno..I guess I kind of am. I think indifference better describes how I'm feeling about this.  I know I need to better understand my faith and the wonderful ideas that shape it before I go out and try to teach it again, and I look forward to deepening my understanding of this wonderful faith of ours even more in Toronto. Yes, I'd rather be out there in the world, bringing God's love to people with my own loving presence to them, but I think that living presence needs to be a bit more deeply rooted in intellectual stuff than it currently is. 

 In the meantime, a whole summer of activities has been upon us at the novitiate community. Right now, we're in the Denver phase of our journey. 5 of us plus our Socius drove down to Denver from Montreal. We saw a lot of America the Beautiful, but with very few stops. Kuddos to our 4 drivers for being such machines!! We made it to Indiana by the end of the first day, and we decided to stop by Michael Jackson's house in Gary. Some of the guys were a little nervous about going to this ghost town where we'd probably be the only white folks around...but in the end, not only was the house amazing to see, but some of the people who lived there came down to chat with us, and were super friendly. There's apparently a Jesuit community in Gary, but we didn't know about it, so we spent the night at a hotel.
  The next day of driving too us all the way to Nebraska, more specifically, Omaha,where we stayed at the Campus of Creighton University.I liked Omaha. Unlike Denver where we currently are...there's nice beautiful clouds once in a while! Dazzling lightning across the Nebraska sky...very nice. The downtown is very quiet..but it's quaint. And we went to watch some ceremonies for the World series of College baseball which were starting the following day at a big new stadium. Lots of people, gorgeous event...it was nice to share this moment with the local people. And there was something kinda spiritual about the whole thing that I still can't describe. Maybe I felt like we were getting a glimpse of local life and culture, that we were connecting with these beautiful people, if only for one brief moment. dunno...but I enjoyed it and would love to return there for a visit later on in my Jesuit career!!

 The next and last day, we drove from Nebraska to Colorado (which may get it's name from the Spanish for Red Colour, which is what many settlers would have seen in arriving here, with all the Red stones). With us, about 55 other novices form across the US. It's been a daunting task to remember all their names, and I assure you that I still don't. We've had some nice dialog with many of them, but of course the focus of our presence here is the History course...actually, I wonder about that. The Jesuit history course is an important reason for our presence, but I also feel that I've share many special moments with these guys that have in some ways strenghened my vocation, my connection to the Society. So I wonder sometime if the course really is my main priority here..if creating a communion with these other men may not be an even bigger priority!!
  Finally, I can proudly say that I have climbed the Rockies!! Unfortunately, as I gloat about having climbed the rockies,I need to be honest and say that I didn't quite get to the top. We did an expedition on Saturday -waking up at 5:30 am to get to our starting point at a reasonable hour-. There were about 16 of us -including Erik and Marc from Montreal, the two only priests/formators on the hike-  that were going to try to climb a 14000 feet peek. Well..I made it to about 13000 feet. I could see the peak, and have lovely pictures of it and of the whole mountain range, but my body was telling me loud and clear that I was out of juice for this (and to get to the peak, I would have had to deal with a very long climb that was exhausting the heck out of me already!). So one of my novice brothers and I quit near the end, and headed back down. There was one more American novice who couldn't make it to the top...everyone else did, some paying a rather steep price for it with major migraines and sickness waiting for them on the way down and even after the hike. I really am looking forward to putting up some of my pics from the mountains...they look a little like the ones I took in Vancouver the summer before I entered, except, this time, I actually got there on my own, without some kind of transportation as I did in Vancouver (Whistler).
  I believe that's all I got for now. I will confess that I've lost some of my passion for writing these days..could be because I'm so focused on the work that lies ahead. I'll try to reconnect with that in the days ahead!! I owe it to myself, and to those who do enjoy these!!

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