What did I do this week?
In the States we celebrated Thanksgiving the traditional beginning of the season of conspicuous overconsumption, for no other reason than we can, though it is cloaked in turkeys and santa suits.
I met with a Chaplain peer group here at the main hospital, the only hospital other than the Veterans Administration Hospital serving service veterans. This was my first meeting with chaplains from all around the rural area hospitals. Due to settling in and travels I've missed the previous meetings. I am still discerning whether or not I will resume hospital chaplain work.
It takes a lot of energy not just to do the visits, but even more energy to find your place in the large institution. Though the mission of healing is shared the boundaries of responsibility and protecting turf can be formidable to overcome. Without the mutual respect of all the medical team the chaplains work is made ever more difficult. When the staff is reluctant to share important information with the chaplain it is possible to find oneself either being the middle person between patient and doctors/nurses, or one enters into the patient room with incomplete information and the wrong sorts of care are offered. I do miss the intimate relationships I had fostered at my previous hospitals. Since I would only be an on-call as needed chaplain I would have little time to get to know the medical teams. So, I am weighing wether i feel that is where I would like to expend my energy. Also I am feeling a calling/urge to see what I can do in the prison system here in Syracuse or even with law enforcement.
So there was Thanksgiving and the chaplain meeting. Other than that I finalized and published a book on Monday before Thanksgiving. I continue writing a fourth book for the year which should be published mid December.
Today, I installed a key pad for the electronic front door lock. This will give a neighbor access to care for my dog when I travel, but more importantly he will have access to check on me if he doesn't see or hear from me for a few days, I might be dead you know.
I'm down to 4 boxes in the main room which have to be put some place. This old house built in 1880 has not one single closet to store stuff, no shelves, nothing. It has been a challenge first creating the thing that will hold the items needing holding and then being able to unpack them. 4 boxes in the main room makes me smile. I can see the floor, I can see the gas hearth, I can sit on the sofa and pet my dog as I read. Yup, it makes me smile.
All in all a rather ordinary week.
We've not had as much snow as I was hoping for but it has been cold and I do love the cold weather.
I wish you all a wonderful Bodhi Day and happy holidays through the Lunar New Year.
Peace, let us create peace.
The photo is a little hand made Kishimojin amulet done from a block I carved on hand made mulberry paper with gold watercolor and india ink.
Thanks for putting up your news. Nice to read. I hope you settle well in your new home. I can resonate with the comments about chaplaincy having done a little of that work and a lot more of hospital social work in the past. However, these days institutions seem to have become much more institutionalised than they used to be. It sometimes seems that there is so much effort made intending that nothing ever can go wrong that there is little energy left over for doing anything right or achieving the actual supposed purposes for which the whole set up exists in the first place. Over-regulation is one of the curses of our age, I suppose. Nonetheless, in the heart of it all, the Dharma is indestructible.
I am sitting here reading your response and having a serious giggle/chuckle. Getting certified and the credentials was a monumental effort. The yearly recertification and so forth is a regulators dream and a nightmare for the rest of us.
Adminis-trivia is my word for it. Regulations to regulate the regulations.
so much effort made intending that nothing ever can go wrong that there is little energy left over for doing anything right or achieving the actual supposed purposes for which the whole set up exists in the first place.