It's the middle of November. Nothing significant has changed, really. School is going swimmingly--photography (though I'm going through a inspiration block currently) is surprising me more and more as the weeks go on. I can't believe I love it so much. Seth and I are great and living and thriving.
The holidays are coming up though and I find myself wondering how to celebrate them. It's this balance or something that I want to retain the things I've grown up knowing and doing while interjecting with some "new traditions." But can new traditions be called "traditions" like which I'm trying to do? I don't think they can be. Life needs to pass and patterns will surface--i suppose.
One of the newest things for us--something that's going to be radically different for me, is going to a new church for Christmas. I'm really blessed to be a part of a community who celebrate the Advent season, and I am excited to see how this period of waiting and expectancy will put us in a state of reverence and understanding. This way we are able to celebrate Christmas in a way that is not tinted by nationalistic ritual (buying!). Celebration during this time will rather be seen through the reflection and anticipation that Christ will come again.
On Saturday, I went with some friends up to the Abbey of St. Walburga since, as a church, we had been learning about various ways to worship (through our work/bodies/health/family/money/church). Seth has developed a relationship with the nuns over a couple years and so we got to have a nice introduction to the Benedictine abbey. "Prayer is our work, AND our work is our prayer." This way of living seems to embody what it is to Worship in our daily lives. Sister Walburga pointed out that they try to live moderately--that is, virtue starts with moderation, which is so beautifully stated since we as outsiders, might see an abbey or monestary as extreme versions of life--but their work is to be representatives of non Christians and Christians alike--their prayer is their work, and their work is their prayer. They live simply--they spend all day working (they run and maintain a grass-fed beef farm) only to be interrupted by the sound of bells to be called to the various times of prayer throughout the day. It is a true inspiration as to how to live our lives--simply, treating our work as our prayer, to pray, to welcome the stranger, to commit our lives to a group of people, and to live in Peace.
Now, it's time to go back to school.: to watch the film Tough Guise, to finish up my first abstract painting of the semester (yes! pictured: end of day 2), to take a test, and to work on my Self Portrait final photo project.