This last week’s Frazz had a lot to do with winter clothing, particularly the concept of layers. Here’s an example:
The one after that brought in the layered nature of the onion:
A couple of good images, I think: layers and onions. We are all of us like onions: multiple layers to peel through. And then we all of us, thanks to the many roles we play in life, are like layered cold-weather clothing. Sometimes the layers match, and sometimes they don’t.
As 2021 comes to a close, the time away can allow for some quality reflection, particularly on the roles that we play. In the past, off and on for almost five years now, I’ve mentioned my “temporary vocational stretch.” A few months ago, I made the point of drawing a line at five years of it. So regardless of the “search/hire” status for the position, I’m stepping away from it. Even though I’m doing “less” than I was a couple of years ago “role-wise,” I’m still pulled into a number of different directions beyond the classroom. This semester has been a real challenge for me, as it’s left me wondering how well all of the layers “match” (or don’t). The October-November window of time was particularly difficult for me (and a real warning sign of too much in the more frustrating layers for me). So I really do want and need to do some reflection before heading back into the classroom in January.
Turns out that finding a sounding board can be difficult. Lots of people have a lot of investments, in systems and routines and practices, and that makes objectivity difficult. Adding in a “spiritual” sense to things makes things that much more difficult, both because there’s an extra level of discernment needed and because you hope to be loved by others the same way God loves us all. So there’s this weird need for a critical distance that is not necessarily critical nor is it distant. In Covidtide, I would argue that distance is one of the last things that we need.
All of this to say that the next couple of weeks of posts might seem a bit random. I’ve definitely gotten out of practice posting here these last few months for reasons various and sundry. But it’s something I’d like to recapture, one layer at a time.
(image from gocomics.com)