Ensconced for now…

And now I am firmly ensconced in Bossey, Switzerland at the Ecumenical Institute. At least, as ensconced as one can be for four days. I am here with a working group of the Lutheran World Federation. We have gathered from near and far to deliberate over the nature of the church, and what it means for the LWF to call itself “A Communion of Churches,” and what it means to be in communion in light of those human frailties that fracture unity, community and the self.

I give a paper tomorrow, but today I am mostly trying to stay awake. I flew through the night, which gives me that curious sense that somehow, someone has robbed me of a day. I am doing all I can to stay awake, not wanting to sit up in bed four hours hence, wide awake even while I know that this is exactly what will happen no matter what. Jetlag exacts payment. You don’t get to defy space without time exacting its revenge.

I went for a walk in the late afternoon, and after about 10 minutes ran into a wall. I literally felt as though I was pushing through a pool of jello (without that curious mixture of uncommon texture and too common flavour). Each step required an act of the will, a volitional defiance of everything in me that said: lay down and have a nap. I refused that then and I refuse that now, and so I write. But not for long.

Soon, the words will blur, my sentences will slur as if I were sheets to the wind. My body winds down. Soon it will be time to succumb to the memories of a day’s travel: airports thick with a lifetime or more of agony and ecstasy; babies crying and parents stoically refusing to join in; the unlikely discovery of a Swiss Chalet (yes that Swiss Chalet) in Switzerland; the meeting of new colleagues and the re-meeting of old; and that curious sense of disorientation that comes when a threshold has been broached and a new challenge announced.

Soon it is time to let the day’s memories of spring flowers, song birds, and greening grass pass over me like a wave of tomorrow. Soon


11 thoughts on “Ensconced for now…

  1. I love what you write about not defying space without paying time. I am feeling the anabasis to your katabasis (or the reverse, as you wish): suffering today the jetlag of returning home to Montreal last night from 12 days in Germany. Safe travels!

  2. dianerivers says:

    Oh, I recognize this feeling. Jet lag can be debilitating. I went to Korea for two weeks in December and had to navigate that jello pool on both ends. I don’t know how people routinely travel internationally and remain functional! Hope it all turns out well for you ~

  3. diannegray says:

    I love your line “You don’t get to defy space without time exacting its revenge”. Have a wonderful time in Switzerland and I hope that jello dissolves very soon 😉

  4. shoreacres says:

    I hope you’re well adjusted now, and enjoying your participation in the Conference. It’s been a while since I checked in on the LWF, and I found it an interesting excursion.

    For example, I had no idea Mekane Yesu had broken ties with the ELCA. For that matter, I had no idea the ELCA was the only US body participating in the LWF. Beyond that, I’d missed the establishment of the LCMC. I did a check, and there’s a swath of congregations through central and south Texas that used to be ELCA that now are LCMC. I could have been right in the middle of that maelstrom. I think I’m glad I’m a varnisher.

    Enjoy your time – and safe travels!

    • agjorgenson says:

      Well that was a learning experience for you! Yes, the communion has been going through some interesting times as of late. Probably more of us should spend more time varnishing!

  5. jannatwrites says:

    “You don’t get to defy space without time exacting its revenge.” – that’s the truth! I’ve never flown halfway across the world – just the country, so I’ve experienced only a fraction of what you are going through, but it still isn’t fun. Hope you enjoy your time there and get back to normal quickly!

    • agjorgenson says:

      Thanks, yes I rather liked that line… although I don’t think it applies in the same way to flying north south. At any rate I am home now, and working at staying awake as long as possible!

  6. I’m sure you will return with treasure for us. -)


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