How, Where, and When?

“When the time is right,” more than one Wise Friend has told me about more than one Important Thing, “you just know.”   All of a sudden, the indicators are pointing to very soon, but not just now.  I’ve been waiting for official word on an exciting partnership; for a sense of ease about where and when to relocate; and for a bit more clarity about how to handle some short-term logistical and financial decisions.  But the questions of why and what?  Their answers, as I’ve really discovered in writing my blog posts for Monday and Tuesday, are clearer all the time.  Of course, I realize they’ll get clearer as we build answers to how and where and when … and those answers, in turn, will get clearer as we further clarify the why and the what.

No need to be perfect, in other words!  I’ve known that for a long time.

To borrow some important terminology, the strategy has become clear enough that I’m able to think about specific tactics in ways that were impossible before.  And yet the tactical thinking I did in the past was important and necessary.  That early and (at the time) seemingly fruitless wrestling with questions of how, where, and when seems to have prepared the mental and spiritual ground for what “just happens” to be growing now.

Depending on your faith tradition, you might be celebrating the Feast of the Transfiguration today, a day when three of Jesus’ disciples experienced completely unexpected clarity that they evidently struggled to understand.  At the Wednesday noon service, the unusually large crowd “just happened” to start talking about ways and times when things were suddenly revealed … or suddenly became confusing … and about what that looks like and feels like from the inside.  “I don’t have to look very far for an example,” I said.  I’m grateful for the moments of clarity I’ve been experiencing recently, but I wonder if I’d appreciate them (or even notice them) without those frustrating times of struggle and confusion.

Without clarifying why and what, in other words, would I be able to get clarity about how, where, and when?  And if I waited for perfect clarity, would I ever have begun anything?

I got some good news about that exciting potential partnership, too; in fact, the email “just happened” to arrive while my friends and I were talking about those moments of clarity.  I don’t want to say too much until everything is signed and official, but I think I can say it will bring the experience of collaborative co-creation and joyful learning community through the Tres Columnae Project materials to a very different, and exciting, group of young learners.  “We’ll hope to have everything finalized by a Particular Date,” one collaborator had said; when that date passed, I was briefly concerned that things had somehow fallen apart.  The email brought good news about that and about a possible expansion of the partnership … again, I don’t want to give too many details until everything is official.  But it’s really starting to look as though team, place, and time are coming together in exciting ways.

That’s funny, because just this morning, when I wrote the first paragraph or two of this post, I wasn’t sure they’d come together at all!  I was feeling stuck and frustrated … but not the way I felt a year or so ago, when I was struggling with a stomach virus and with the sudden, unwelcome realization that the place and time weren’t right yet, and wouldn’t be for a while.  Back then, I was pretty close to helpless and hopeless; today I could see next right steps I could take even if all the potential partnerships somehow disappeared.

If it hadn’t been for the joys and sorrows, the odd mixture of frustrations and satisfactions over the past year or so, I wonder if I could have seen those next right steps … or had the courage and strength to keep looking and keep moving even when things seemed bleak.  Of course, the good news is that I didn’t have to seek or take those steps alone; there was always a joyful community there to help, support, encourage, and challenge me, to build and test and refine the answers to those questions of why and what.  And now, as that joyful community is poised to expand, we’ll keep working together to support, encourage, and challenge each other, to build, test, and refine the answers to the predictable questions of how, when, and where and all the unpredictable questions and challenges that will surely arise.

Thank you, joyful learning community, for the meaningful things we’ve built together already.  I wonder what other amazing things we’ll build on the next phases of our journey!

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Published in: on August 6, 2014 at 8:57 pm  Comments (1)  

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  1. […] readers may have noticed that I haven’t said much about the exciting potential partnership I’ve referred to over the past two weeks.  Things still aren’t finalized, so I still […]


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