On the precipice of Peru…

Hello friends!

Well, tomorrow is the day…and all I have to say is, “This is bonkers.” Grateful anticipation coupled with anxious excitement have colored my thoughts and, quite frankly, my stomach in the last few weeks gearing up for tomorrow. I’ll be heading out early Tuesday morning and arriving in my town Wednesday evening…this will include a few pit stops– of note an evening with the Jesuits in Lima (Dreams do come true). If all goes well, then I’ll be hanging out in Anda with weather in the mid-60s and a slight chance of rain. If it doesn’t, well…who doesn’t enjoy a good story about things going wrong? 

Mostly, I write this post to express gratitude for what has been, and what is to come. Dag Hammarskjold’s (former UN Secretary General) writes, “For all that has been, thanks. For all that will be, yes.” This races through my head when I think about all that has happened really since graduation. I’m especially thankful for the folks that made the trek out to the East side of the mountains for me. I’m fortunate that the last 4 weeks have been full of silly company, good beer and satisfying wine, snuggling with my dog, and lots of laughter. I even took the GRE twice, of which I only had to use the fire escape once to get out since I was locked in the bathroom. I anticipate to lean back on these feelings, the silly and the comfortable, when I’m tired at night from being beaten up by Spanish or have probably been a ‘wrecking ball’ towards cultural norms as our friend Miley puts it. 

A final abridged quote to leave this familiar US laptop with before I attempt writing on a Peruvian keyboard and all apostrophes go out the window….

“Go placidly amid the noise and haste, and remember what peace there may be in silence… Speak your truth quietly and clearly; and listen to others, even the dull and the ignorant; they too have their story… If you compare yourself with others, you may become vain and bitter; for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself. Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans…and everywhere life is full of heroism. Be yourself. Especially, do not feign affection. Neither be cynical about love; for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment it is as perennial as the grass. Take kindly the counsel of the years, gracefully surrendering the things of youth. Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune. But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings. Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness. Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself. You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here. And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should. Therefore be at peace with God, whatever you conceive Him to be, and whatever your labors and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul. With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world. Be cheerful. Strive to be happy.”

Max Ehrmann, “Desiderata” (fun fact…that’s Latin for ‘desired things’)

So, cheers to listening to the birds, keeping our feet planted on the ground, finding the fire escape when feeling locked in, questioning surroundings, and honest conversations that invite us to deeper authenticity. Keep making good choices folks…God knows I’m going to try. 

Un abrazo fuerte…

Jacqueline

 

Pack nothing. Bring only your determination to serve and your willingness to be free. Don’t wait for the bread to rise. Take nourishment for the journey, but eat standing, be ready to move at a moment’s notice.

Do not hesitate to leave your old ways behind – fear, silence, submission. Only surrender to the need of the time – to love justice and walk humbly with your God.

Begin quickly, before you have time to sink back into old slavery. Set out in the dark. I will send fire to warm and encourage you. I will be with you in the fire and I will be with you in the cloud.

I will give you dreams in the desert to guide you safely home to that place you have not yet seen…I am sending you into the wilderness to make a new way and to learn my ways more deeply.

Some of you will be so changed by weathers and wanderings that even your closest friends will have to learn your features as though for the first time. Some of you will not change at all.

Some will be abandoned by your dearest loves and misunderstood by those who have known you since birth and feel abandoned by you. Some will find new friendship in unlikely faces, and old friends as faithful, and true as the pillar of God’s flame. Sing songs as you go, and hold close together. You may at times grow confused and lose your way…touch each other and keep telling stories…make maps as you go, remembering the way back from before you were born…

So you will be only the first of many waves of deliverance on these desert seas.

It is the first of many beginnings – your Paschaltide.

Remain true to this mystery.

Pass on the whole story…do not go back. I am with you now and I am waiting for you.

– Alla Renee Bozarth