Posted in Musings

When Returning Is Harder Than Leaving

How are you all going out there?

For me it has been and continues to be an incredibly difficult and lonely time, as it would be for many others who are far worse off than I.  For those who have lost their jobs, find it difficult to put food on the table, have lost a loved one to this terrible virus, have lost a loved one due to any other cause but who cannot attend their funeral or feel doubly grieved in these stressful times, those who suffer from anxiety or depression, for all the faithful who cannot attend Mass, those who are single and isolated, the elderly, parents educating children at home, and so on – my heart goes out to you.

We keep hearing about how these are “unprecedented times” and how we must be strong and resilient. Yes, we must. But we also need a shoulder to cry on and a pillow to scream into when we feel broken.  

Being in “the lucky country” down under we have indeed been one of the most fortunate in comparison to many countries overseas. Our curve has flattened and the death toll low. We are now ever so gingerly beginning to emerge from our cocoons and dipping our toes into the water of “normality” again. But how can things truly ever be normal again?

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Posted in Musings

Learning to Breathe Again

The world has been turned upside down.  Of that there is no doubt.

In a few short weeks we have stopped everything we love doing as a community, are unable to be with friends or extended family, have changed the way we work, or have lost jobs.  Children are mostly being educated online at home, and many of us who are lucky to have the Internet are turning to online communication tools and ways to occupy our time.  For Christians, the most painful sacrifice has been the inability to physically attend Mass and receive Jesus in the Holy Eucharist. 

We have had our ‘normal’ way of life disrupted.  We have been forced to adjust to something strange and new.

In many ways – and without any disrespect to those who are suffering with COVID-19 – we have all been holding our breath in fright.  What will happen next?  Will we beat this pandemic?  How long will these restrictions be in place?  When will we return to Mass, public gatherings, and so on?

Can we acknowledge and feel in our hearts that we must go to God? 

We are finding ways to function, and if most of us would admit it, we may also be struggling to cope.  So how do we learn to breathe again?  We are stronger than we think.

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Posted in Musings

How not to waste your COVIDays… COVIDaze?

I find myself writing more often for this blog now (hmmm, one wonders why, more time perhaps?).

This is not only for creative purposes, mental health and stability, and to escape the dire news pouring out of my radio, television, and Internet screens, but to document what is an extraordinary time in life and history.

So it got me thinking.

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Posted in Musings

Thank you, COVID-19

In my last post I wrote about being calm in a time of chaos.

But sometimes we will have days – perhaps more than often as this virus drags on – when the calm evaporates and the seas will get choppy.  There will be days when the waves will roar above our heads, and I would encourage it between the days of calm and quiet reflection.

Today is one of those days for me. 

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Posted in Musings

Being Calm in a Time of Chaos

What have you been noticing about life?

I mean, really noticing now?

Behind closed doors, working at home if we are fortunate to have a job, and not interacting with real in-the-flesh people, we have all (or will) become masters in musing.  For introverts, the transition at this time may feel natural and not as tricky as it may be for extroverts.  Regardless of who we are, and what personalities we have, these are the circumstances which have befallen all of us, and we must make the best of them.  We are still alive, when many are not.

Quite a few things have been emerging for me over the last few weeks – and it is mind-boggling that it really only has been a few weeks since everything was turned upside down.  Despite the horror of this pandemic worldwide, there have been some silver linings in this madness.  And these have been the very things which have needed to be known for a very long time.

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Posted in Musings

Isolated, But Not Alone

Dear MuSingers,

I didn’t want to write a post like this.  I never believed that I would.  Not in a million years.

I wanted to be telling you about how good my study life had started to feel, how my mind had been expanding and my brain cells jumping as I learnt new things about the worlds of communication, religion, and philosophy. 

I wanted to tell you how I had started to connect with others, and was ever so gently beginning new friendships on campus.  How, in the first week I felt like a giant sore red thumb amongst people at least half my age, but how I had now felt accepted and normal.

But, instead my heart has been swept up in this coronavirus pandemic and am observing my fellow human beings scrambling for the everyday things we take for granted – toilet paper, tissues, bread, and milk.  It is not for lack of having these things – they are coming – but some of my fellow human beings have taken more than they need, leaving the elderly and other vulnerable people to go without as they stare at empty shelves.

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Posted in Musings

The Different Versions of You

I’ve had a lot of space and time to think in recent months, and so eventually in this hiatus you get to feel and see some sort of pattern emerging from the quiet.  For me it has been this recurring theme in books, articles, websites, podcasts and other sources about our lives as being in layers, and that we must be open to renewal.  But how in the world do we do it?  What are we supposed to be doing, exactly?  Or do we just surrender and leave it all to God’s grace.  It can feel as confusing as… well, loving to eat a raw onion.

Two things keep coming up for me: the phrase “versions of yourself” and the word “transformation”.  While we do not have physical layers which we peel off ourselves each time we change our job, or career direction, or after each significant experience we go through, is there some truth to this hiding underneath somewhere?

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Posted in Musings

A Time to Surrender

Happy New Year MuSinGers,

The past few months have been a whirlwind of activity and a rollercoaster of emotions for me, as much as for many other people at this time of year.

Who are we?

What are we doing or not doing? 

Are we taking time to just be?

Where are we going?

Bushfires burning here, floods there, sometimes it feels like the earth is groaning with the weight of the God who is crying out for our attention – metaphors for the inner world and the Holy Spirit who is ever-prompting us to be attentive to His call.  So many people are hurt, and yet I know of many people who are using the opportunity of this new decade to make some major changes.

Myself included.

I have had plenty of time think about life over the last twelve months, and the more I discover, journal, pray, and write, the more I see that the only answer is to pull back more, reassess, think, surrender to God, and just be still. 

Contrary to the desire for constant action and motion, sometimes we just have to give up to find ourselves.  It is very slow, but I have to let God get through to me and find the light in what has been a thick fog of darkness.  This takes time and space.

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Posted in Musings

Saying Goodbye… and Dancing

Goodbye.

It is such a loaded word – such an emotional word.

I have had to say goodbye to many people and places over my life, and it is never easy.  Sometimes the goodbyes have been self-imposed, such as when I chose to leave a soul-draining workplace.  Most people would advise that one should never leave a job without gaining a new one first, but circumstances can dictate otherwise.  Sometimes rest and emptiness is needed if one needs to think carefully before another step is taken.  The sensation of release is palpable and always filled with a sense of great relief mixed with trepidation.

New beginnings.  New people.  New places and faces.  These will come.  But one must be strong enough to leave behind the former ways first.  One must constantly learn to die to oneself again and again.  It is a recurring pattern, and we are always left with the evolving person who looks back at us in the mirror. We must always ask that person – who do you want to become?

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Posted in Musings

Happy First Birthday, MuSinGer!

“Happy birthday to me, happy birthday to me, happy birthday to me-eeeee,
happy birthday to me!”

On 6 December 2018 I launched this blog, The MuSinger, and while I know that I have not hit the jackpot as far as subscriber numbers go, or followed all of the rules of ‘successful blogging’, whatever that means, I have enjoyed producing articles for you over the past year!

Every time I write and publish a post, there is that little voice within me that wonders what people will think, if I will get any ‘likes’, or whether my words make a difference at all, but that is not the point.  As much as I respect the views of my readers, none of these things matter one jot.

Every blogger will tell you that they started their blog because they wanted to make some sort of difference to improve the world, to express themselves via their writing, or talk about whatever their passion is.  They wanted to do something creative, to forget their boring job, or to just be able to touch people’s lives in some meaningful way.  I was, and still am, no different in pursuing such goals, one year on.

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