I received a letter on the weekend of my birthday in November. This is the text of the letter:
Praised be Jesus Christ!
May Our dear Lord reward you for your recent letter. We hope and pray that this note finds you well!
After much prayer, we wanted to let you know that we do not think it is Our dear Lord’s will that you have a vocation to our Carmel. We will always be keeping you + your dear family in our prayers. If we may suggest that to discover your vocation, to pray for + find a wise, holy Priest to direct you. And may Jesus, who described Himself as meek + humble of heart be your best model in all you do. You will be a great blessing to your family, trying to …
It goes on. I cried. I received the letter the day before my birthday, and thinking the letter was something nice, I saved it to read after morning Mass. Happy Birthday to me, I got another rejection! They hadn’t even spoken to me by phone or seen my face.
But I do have a spiritual director, and I’m okay with it. If they decided to not get to know me fully, then that’s their issue. My SD made an excellent point, that I may have answered all their questions, but they missed most of me; they may have cut off contact for various reasons that have nothing to do with me at all.
You’ve probably heard of the fascinating experience and phenomenon of Synesthesia. I’m been thinking about what it would be like to see colors with particular words, or have sounds that have precise matching tastes. Why? Well, I have on-going back pain that is in my upper back. Following the car accident last March, I’ve had additional pain which led to a pinched nerve. Since the nerve pain became unbearable in August, I’ve had a few sessions of physical therapy, which I abandoned since each session was followed by several days of migraine and excruciating pain. Today, for the first time in several months, I had a a back massage.
I was having a pretty good time for the first several minutes, gazing at the wall painted a pretty blue. Then, my vision had morphing asymmetrical bloobs of:
Not at all disconcerting! I see yellow everywhere, every day. Sheesh. We/I/She found a ball of muscle that was wrapped around the effected nerve that’s pinched. Working on it resulted in an all-day headache, soreness, and a strong desire to pass out: I had shooting pain & numbness I could feel all the way into my finger tips and the nail bed of my thumb. To my dismay, I scheduled a follow-up for next week. I guess seeing yellow is better than not sleeping at night or being unable to carry things.
I asked for new boots for my birthday. I got towels and soap. Maybe I can whittle the soap for new heels. What do you think?
Twenty-nine years ago today, I was born. From what I hear, that was quite an event, lots of to-do about a wee little me. I was 2.2 lbs. I’m about 118lbs heavier now.
When I started working, and especially since moving out, I give myself the gift of not working on or near the date of my birthday. Two years ago I went hiking at Switzer’s Falls in the Angeles Forest when it was (surprise!) raining and some snow flurries that melted within a hour. Last year I went on a silent retreat for a day, and this year I went to Switzer’s Falls again. The restrooms were closed and the information kiosk wasn’t selling adventure passes, so a really nice couple gave me their annual pass! The fall colors were still putting on a show, and there were people around, but not so many that there weren’t extended periods of alone time. I returned in time for therapy & dinner at home; then went out to the Yardhouse in Long Beach with some grad school friends & coworkers. Some of them re-gifted items to me (i.e. no original packaging, things are not correctly itemized in the packaging).
Today I went to Mass, came home and excitedly read a letter that had arrived yesterday from the monastery. I was told that after “much prayer” that God “isn’t calling you to our Carmel”. Lovely news to read on my birthday. But I went on with my day, buying a gift for mom’s birthday, some errands and a late lunch with friends at Versailles, a Cuban restuarant. Now, i’m doing laundry. Might do some sewing later. Mom’s birthday was on Thursday, and she controls the birthday weekend: her cake, her time, her location, etc. I had to ask Dad if he/they wanted my birthday gift suggestions, and he was “Uh, what?” Like, hello, it’s my birthday, too. Anyway, my family is crazy.