It seems this blog has been somewhat neglected recently, with three blissful, internet-less weeks in Taize only providing a partial excuse. It certainly isn't because life has not provided plenty of potential material either, so it is high time I put pen to paper (metaphorically speaking, but cursor to screen doesn't have quite the same ring) and return to the blogosphere.
Although it is already nearly a month since we returned, and ignoring the potential danger of sounding like a stuck record, I can't help but write once more about Taize. But I'll try and keep it brief(ish). I do not want to write about what we did or who we met, about the conversations or the themes of the bible introductions, about the hail stones the size of ice cubes (yes, really) nor even about the joy of being carried by a routine of prayer for which someone else was responsible.
I want to try and express something of the life-giving dynamic of being in a place where somehow more seems possible. A place which dares to believe that more is possible and which, in that faith, is able to make it happen. A place where the first answer is yes, and the how can be figured out later. I realised, perhaps more than ever this year, that one of the (many) things I love about Taize is that it is a place of possibility and hope.
It is a refreshing change from the all too common response to, well, almost anything really: that of a sharp intake of breath followed by a "well it would be nice but ...". Ideas which never get off the ground, projects which never make it past committee stage, plans which remain on the drawing board, all because we prefer to imagine so many things are just not possible, always assuming we even get to the imagining stage at all. All too often, it seems we are tempted to expect problems before they arise rather than dream possibilities before they exist. Taize served as a timely reminder that things can work the other way round. Can, and more often than not, when we dare to step out of what we know into the unknown possibilities beyond, do. And life is richer, fuller and more beautiful as a result. It is a lesson I hope I did not leave behind in the Burgundy countryside.
Coming back out of the bubble I hit the earth with quite a bump, and the first day was, to be honest, tough. It seemed I was instantly surrounded by too many barriers, too many limitations, too many "well it would be nice but ..."s: from both without, and probably, from within.
Fortunately life is rich enough, and exciting enough that I didn't need to stay in the rut: I picked myself up, dusted myself down and remembered that here too can be a place of possibility. Here too a place of exciting adventures and new journeys into the unknown. Here too a place of saying yes and diving in feet first to all that is to come.