Archive from October, 2013
Oct 8, 2013 - Uncategorized    No Comments

Paula D’Arcy

Dear Pope Francis,

I had the privilege of meeting author, speaker and retreat leader Paula D’Arcy at this year’s Sophia Summer Institute.

I first encountered Paula through a CD recording she did with Richard Rohr titled “A Spirituality for the Two Halves of Life.” I picked it up from Rohr’s merch table when he visited Sophia during one of my weekends there. From my first listen, I was immediately struck by Paula, her story, and her humor. She has an amazing ability to reveal bigger truths through he words.

Paula is someone I deeply admire, and, so, I was looking forward to hearing her speak at the Summer Institute. From the start of the Institute I’d been trying to come up with a way to approach her at some point. Maybe I’d come up after she spoke? Maybe I’d catch her in line for food? I just knew I wanted to meet her and say hello. But, I just didn’t know how it would happen.

On the second morning of the Institute I made my way to the cafeteria. I got my breakfast, grabbed coffee, and then scanned the room for somewhere to sit. People were still getting to know each other, so it was a bit of a dance as to see where open spaces were, who might be receptive to company, etc… I chose a table with an open chair and made a beeline, not even looking at who was sitting there. After I put my plate down and looked up, people started to introduce themselves. One woman with mid-length black hair said her name was Paula.

“Paula D’Arcy?” I blurted out.

“Yes,” she said.

And there I was, meeting Paula D’Arcy, just out of the blue and without requiring any of my plans. The Divine works in mysterious ways, indeed.

During my vacation, I brought one of Paula’s books with me to read. To be honest, my brain wasn’t really up for “serious” stuff. I must have finished about 7 novels during the trip. But, one day, I picked up Paula’s book, took it out on the deck, and began to read. Her words, as always, comforted and inspired me.

You might want to check out some of Paula D’Arcy’s books.

Your friend,

Kevin

(BTW, any books you buy through the links on this page will give me a little commission from Amazon.)

Oct 6, 2013 - Kind of Random    1 Comment

The best laid plans…

Lighthouse at Peggy's Cove, Nova Scotia

Photo credit: Kevin Aschenbrenner

Dear Pope Francis,

So, I didn’t mean to disappear on you. Not really. You see, I’ve just returned from a 10-day vacation, touring the Canadian Maritimes and also New England. It was amazing. The photo at the top of this post is the lighthouse at Peggy’s Cove, Nova Scotia. Truly a remarkable place. I’ve never been to the Maritimes before, and it was a great experience. It really brought home how big Canada is, and how different the various regions are.

When I was planning for my trip, I had everything set in my mind for how I’d handle being away from a computer and a reliable Internet connection for 10 days. I wanted to keep up the daily posts, and so I thought I’d just write extra posts ahead of the trip and set them to go up automatically while I was away.

That, however, didn’t quite work out. I got sick before I left, and things got very, very busy. I also came to realize that I desperately needed a break and some real re-charging time. So, I decided not to push my limits before my vacation and to just let some things slide for a bit.

I had also planned to write while I was away, taking time out each morning to journal and maybe jot down some poetry. That didn’t happen either. I just did not feel the urge to write. And, by the second day of the trip, I’d made peace with that too. I’ve been writing constantly for more than three years, working on this blog, another blog, my Masters program assignments, and other writing. My day job also involves a lot of writing. And, so, it was kind of a relief to not have to put fingers to a keyboard for awhile.

I think that was a good thing. At the beginning of my trip I felt rather empty. I didn’t have much to write about. The well was dry. And then, a couple of days before the end of my vacation, ideas started to bubble again. I was almost giddy as blog post topics and poem themes rose up from wherever they come from. I jotted them down and you’ll see some of them in the weeks ahead.

So, Pope Francis, I’m back, and ready to resume my daily posts. How I got here isn’t how I planned, but it was a perfect journey.

Your friend,

Kevin

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