The older I get the more I learn to embrace life's inherent juxtapositionary nature. So many moments of joy are tinged with some sadness or grief. Even in the midst of my darkness I have found a reason to smile or be grateful or even to laugh.
sarah tells stories, my public 'face' as storyteller, poet and minister, is growing in so many ways.
The full performance of the letter to the Romans has been received by its first audience, received with affirmation and warm appreciative welcome. (There are friends who want to read more on that, I know, but I am still working out what I can and want to say, given this is for a PhD thesis and there are rules to follow, and despite my usual practice, these ones I don't think I will bend.)
The Only Constants – poetry book number two – is published and ready to be received by old friends and new.
Collaborations on (in)humanity with musicians and hosts will see me dust off my beloved stories, shelved while the letter was the priority, and get to know them again for occasions in April in Australia, and later in the year, Scotland and some of them in the USA.
Another collaboration, or a commission I suppose, is the producing of an illustrated version of my poem story Koala Blue, Where are You? Artist Grace Mitchell has just sent through the first draft illustrations and I'm not sure which of us is brimming with more excitement!!
A recording studio in Adelaide is booked for two audio albums, one, Koala Blue, to go with the book, the other a special project for which you will have to stay tuned!
Proost editors are getting my collection of prayers, poems and stories ready to include in their fabulous array of resources for nurturing Christian spirituality in creative ways.
Palm Sunday approaches, when I will tell the story of Jesus' arrival in Jerusalem, and his journey to the cross.
(in)humanity stories and recording session, I will do some teaching and workshop leading, launch the book and perform the letter to the Romans again.
Pulpits are being opened to me for return visits, my biblical storytelling tribe is calling for our gathering in August, and conference organisers are choosing my papers for their events.
Look at that list of occasions for gratitude and wonder.
And yet. Because you were waiting for it, after that introduction. And yet was inevitable, seems always to be inevitable.
On current projections, I can't pay my rent for probably three of the next four months in which I have rent to pay, before a two month hiatus and the problem surfaces again. The scholarships are running out. They have covered as much as they could, but they were never going to be enough.
Although sarah tells stories grows in the many opportunities I have to tell stories, compose and perform poetry, preside in faith communities, encourage others in their stories and share what I am learning, the income is still not enough.
So I am contemplating what I might have to change. Change the living situation to somewhere less comfortable, less secure perhaps, with less solitude, less supportive of my vocation. Change the working situation to less pulpits and performance and more regular lower paid energy sapping work to pay the bills.
Perhaps the planned monthly prayer and story offerings for worshipping communities (something a little like this), beginning in the northern summer, might collect more patrons in support of my work.
Perhaps I will find a scholarship fund that puts my project at the top of their list.
Or perhaps I will follow one of those rainbows that hang above Arthur's Seat and find ... trust in the Spirit into whom I lean and somehow seem always to be alright?