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1.01.2022

All Hearts Clear

 

New Year’s Eve 2021

Salem, Oregon

          Some years I write Christmas cards, some years I write a birthday letter, this year I am going to write a letter and mail it to everyone who sent me a card.  I hope you are glad to hear from me.

          It is my birthday and I am 64. Apparently, they still need me, and are still willing to feed me. I spent the entire day with, or speaking to people I love. Such good luck!

          I am well, better than I have any right to be. My children have grown into people that I admire and respect. I am in love with my best friend, and she is here with me. I have a grand-daughter is the distillation of generations of strong women – can’t wait to see what she becomes.

I have been blessed beyond measure with work that is meaningful to me, continuing with the school for teenage school rejects. But my favorite work this year has been a writing project with a group of men you will never meet, writing a small book you will never read. They live in the Oregon State Penitentiary and we have been contextualizing the trauma healing work of Dr J. Eric Gentry for the incarcerated population. They have been in lockdown for 22 months so we work for about an hour, most weeks, whenever a chaplain has the time to get us a phone connection. That work is almost ready. But I don’t think I will get back inside.

I was born on a cusp, a transition, the liminal point between years. I feel it tonight. I do. We are on the edge of some big transitions. Early this Spring I am going to lay down my work with the high school. We will sell this house – my home of 32 years – and move to New Mexico. I am not ready to stop working, but I am ready to do different work. We will live with Emily, Chris and Nia, and have shared responsibility for the house. Nia is 13 - I look forward to being her creative co-conspirator.

Alivia and I have retired from church work. We have spent the pandemic trying to downsize. So much stuff! An attic, a basement, a garage, five bedrooms, a studio. Early on in the planning I figured we needed to divest of 80% of the stuff we own, and learn to live on about 40% of the income we have had these last few years. The first part of that has turned out to be a lot harder than the second part. I am attempting to wrestle a blessing out of the process. I am pretty sure this is a spiritual process, maybe a spiritual discipline. I will let you know how it goes.

Alivia will be in Albuquerque by Feb 20. I will be there mid-April.

We can already receive mail at:

9920 Greene Ave NW, Albuquerque, New Mexico, 87114

Please update your Christmas card list – Thanks - Peggy

 


Comments:
Great letter. All hearts clear. (How do you retire from church work?) As you're led, that's how. The NW will miss you, and Salem, Oregon will just float away untethered into the blue without the two of you to ground it... I will do my poor best. But it won't be the same state
 
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