Drive it up the court

On Friday night as we walked back from Boston College, where we’d gone to see a women’s basketball game, J asked me if I’d ever dreamed, back when I was a graduate student at BC, that a few decades later I’d be living part-time just a few miles from campus, walking to sporting events there. The answer is no.

DE-FENSE!

When I was a graduate student at Boston College in the early ’90s, I was married and hungry, starved for both food and affection. Those years were a crisis of faith for me: marriage was nothing like what I’d envisioned it to be, having believed the priests (celibates all!) who said both marriage and sex were sacred, sacramental things. Finding myself married, no longer virginal, and living some 700 miles from my family, I also found myself no closer to God–only poorer and more lonely–than I’d been in Ohio. I had no idea making a living could be so difficult and the slippery slope into hungry poverty so easy. The thought that I’d one day, only a few decades later, be well-fed, single and re-coupled, and living part-time in the very neighborhood I could have no way afforded at the time would have been literally unimaginable.

Jump ball!

I had no idea then–I literally could not have conceived the possibility–that I would someday find the courage (the willful audacity!) to divorce. The possibility would have horrified me then. I considered my marriage vows to be a sacred promise, unbreakable in any circumstance. And if I couldn’t manage to feed myself with the help of an employed spouse, how did I think I could feed myself on my own? Hunger is crippling not only to the body but also to the imagination. Given my crimped, impoverished belly, how could I have found the psychological strength to envision the possibility of abundance?

Rafters of glory

C.S. Lewis, like William Wordsworth before him, was surprised by joy, and in my life, I have been surprised by abundance. Yes, the Universe is ample and capable enough to bless you with not one but two lives, the second granted as a kind of amnesty: a chance to do better, this time, the things you did badly before. The Universe is ample and capable enough to find another way–one you’d never have envisioned–to give you things you never knew you needed in a place you never thought you’d be able to re-inhabit. Unimaginably, the Universe is rich in prizes and second chances, doling both out even to those of us who didn’t previously have the wherewithal to believe.

This is another lightly edited journal entry: more proof that a handwritten journal can be a boon to blogging. Click here for the complete photo-set of images from Friday’s night’s women’s basketball game at Boston College, the alma mater I never imagined I’d re-visit.