Wednesday, 5 October 2016

Midweek Musing: looking forward, one year to go

Last week I looked back at the past two years in Scotland. Now, to look forward to one more year of hopes and opportunities.



Places I will go 


I know I have return visits to Bainsford and Upper Clyde Parish churches, two congregations who collectively have become friends these past two years. Once more for each on the calendar for 2016, but 2017 is a bit unknown, as I plan to reduce the number of pulpits I fill and stories I perform for a season of tighter focus for my creative output.

I plan to be in Washington D.C. again in August for the Network of Biblical Storytellers' seminar and gathering, so important has that week been these past two years. I may get to Ireland for the British New Testament Conference, would like to visit friends in Cardiff, and will most certainly be in Tuscany in late September (hopefully having handed in the thesis) for a certain friend's certain special birthday.

Other than that, I have hopes for more castles, lochs and churches around Scotland, and tentative plans with others germinating.

There is a potential 'tour' of Australia, with interest from Victoria, Queensland and South Australia so far for presentations, workshops and performances on Romans, storytelling, and more. That wouldn't be till later in the year, again, potentially between submission and oral defence of the thesis. No other plans for trips home before finishing, however. (sigh)


Ramsay Lane
location of post-grad study wing

Edinburgh 


I am certain there are many parts of Edinburgh I am yet to experience. The botanic gardens, Portobello beach, and some of the art galleries are among those opportunities that beckon.

I will be spending much more time at New College and in the libraries, on that we can depend!

In October I'll finally get around to Mussleburgh, which I suppose was once a neighbouring town, but seems now to be a part of the capital city.


Welcoming visitors

London: my sister's last visit

My sister might be back on this small island next year, which fills me with immense joy and anticipation. With her, I'm hoping to get to the north of Scotland, and maybe over to Glencoe, whose name is shared by the town in South Australia in which our Dad grew up.

The Cardiff trip is a hope for seeing friends who live there, and also friends visiting from Australia. I'll have to get onto the planning if I am to make this happen.

I don't know who else is planning to be in the UK over the next 12 months, but I'm not going anywhere, with this thesis to write, so I'll be around if you do decide to drop by!


Achievements


There is one very big thing I hope to achieve in this final year in Scotland; hope, plan, am determined to achieve. I have a thesis to write, submit and defend. If I achieve nothing else, I'll sill have achieved much, and will be satisfied.

I have a third collection of poetry almost ready for submission to a publisher, so as far as I am in control of that, finalising and submitting would be a good achievement. If a publisher accepts it, I'll be thrilled.

cover image for liturgy collections
Two collections of liturgies, poems and prayers for the church's high seasons of Advent/ Christmas/ Epiphany and Lent / Easter will be released on proost.us in November and, I think, February. They have been a long time in preparation and production, so it will be very satisfying to see them made available for folk to use.

I would like to be able to see two other books currently in submission with publishers produced and released, but that's out of my hands for the moment, as I wait, the least enjoyable bit of being a writer.

At New College, we have a Centre for the Study of Christian Origins, and leading up to Christmas, the Centre hosts a fun event. Last year there was a vote for a fifth gospel; this year, we're judging some contenders for the Lost Letter of Paul. I'll be one of the panel who will compose and present a letter, hoping to convince the audience of its authenticity!

I keep saying I won't enter another literary competition, and then prove myself a lier, so it would be a lovely bonus to win, or even place, in one some time ... she hopes, wistfully.

Of course there are more cross stitch projects, though I'm on the last one in the bag at the moment, and wool waiting to be turned into scarves: so not every achievement will be one that relies on words. Thank goodness!


Gratitude 


studying in the courtyard
of my accommodation
this summer 
I expect in the coming year I will deepen my already fathoms deep gratitude for all the support I receive, financial, prayerful, encouraging.

I anticipate growing gratitude for the friendships here in Edinburgh that will strengthen with another year's sharing of stories and hopes and dreams.

I enter this third year in Scotland determined to look more attentively for the Sacred, though I know the Divine presence with me all the time; gratitude inexpressible.

Most of all, I am grateful for the opportunity of a third year that until recently was seriously in jeopardy; for the chance to continue and complete the work I have begun. I am grateful for the growing interest in this work, the appreciation for it, and the encouragement for me to finish it and share it with the world.



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