22 December 2010

Taking time to contemplate life

I received the following quote in my feed reader today (taken from the Subiaco Abbey blog): 
I found it a good reminder: taking time to contemplate life is something I strive to do.

But at the same time, even as much as I'm thankful for how good it has been to slow down and resting after the wedding event, I struggle with how much the slowing down is actually good contemplation and how much is taking a good and necessary break - and how much can be laziness and/or a lack of desire of putting in the hard work of making new patterns and trying out new things?

Thus I have more to contemplate - in this season of contemplation and remembering that Christ is coming, coming to heal us of our brokenness.

21 December 2010

When it snows, it rains...

There is snow in the Netherlands - lots of it, and it's not going away. Last year was the first year in a long time that the Netherlands got a significant amount of snow, so people are slightly more prepared for things - but the snow still makes everything somewhat more complicated.

Fortunately, public transportation is still running. And I can still bike. But since they don't clear the paths or roads (only salt certain areas), biking now involves going over ice sections, through slush, and/or digging through 10 cms of semi-packed snow. I spent almost 2 hours today biking - to go to and from some place that normally takes 15 minutes with a bike!

And it is great that the trains are running (albeit on reduced schedules and with only minimum delays). It just seems that for some reason in the last week, some of the major stations have had hours during the day when almost no train could get in or out.

Thus, it's now a perfect time to stay home, right? except it's now leaking in our bedroom - cold water is coming through a section of the ceiling....

On the bright side, the snow is beautiful - and the encouragement to not take things for granted and to do things a little snower and travel less isn't a bad reminder. And furthermore, the cat is fascinated by the snow (see pictures), so if we ever get bored staying home, we can just toss him out on the balcony :)

08 December 2010

Verliebte in Wien

A couple of pictures from our honeymoon.


Verliebte in Wien means "In love in Vienna." We found these numbers in a subway station - and I thought it made a great picture....

You'll notice that the number has gone up in the second picture :)

07 December 2010

Starting over again

Moving in....
It dawned on me today, after being somewhat exasperated by my lack of productivity, that I am once again starting over again. At least this time, it's only a change of city and not a change of land.
And the language is mostly the same, although the communication is at a completely different level. That comes with the new territory - the switch from being single to married - and the process of learning to share not only one's space, but also one's life with another.

The cat making himself at home
And starting over again means that I have given up my home and the place where I had mostly figured out where I belonged, and so it is discomforting and confusing at times. I miss knowing my place and knowing the routine and knowing where things go. I miss the routine of community life, most especially the daily prayers and coffee. And I'm not used to my new role within the community - that of being there sometimes, with my presence being more of a delightful surprise than something that can be normally expected. The feeling of welcoming has been great, but I still miss the comfortableness I had in being part of the normal life of the community. It's hard to know how to mourn these aspects well, when they are overshadowed by the fact that what I have received is more than worth what I have given up.

Making a home for my things
- and overruling some of Matthijs's stuff :)
I am in the middle of making a new home, of finding new places to put things (and hiding things on Matthijs and secretly stashing my stuff on the bookshelves - note the picture of Sint Nicolaas being overshadowed by my toy), and the cat is making himself at home. And we enjoy just being together - we still can't get over the reality that every day we can eat dinner together and go home together. And we've played lots and lots of games together (we even have more after the wedding!). And in the midst of starting a life together, we can dream together and wonder about how life can and should be now. That's a bit overwhelming at times, but it's also pretty amazing.

Somewhat dissheveled, but happy to be 'home.'
So as much as my heart longs for working on research, it's not surprising that it's also full of lots of other thoughts and feelings - and starting again is a bit harder than I expected. It's a bit of a disappointment at times, but it's probably also healthy.