peace in the park

peace in the park


“oh marie, never a dull moment at 4:15pm every tuesday”
“crystal, i don’t think you will ever have a dull moment!”

and with that, i was sent off for the week. to discover more about how in this fourth week bunch of my spiritual exercises (last chunk! ah!!), i would respond to Jesus’ resurrection. i was moved by light, and pastels, and yellows, and marigolds, and then sadness with one of the disciples that i had grown to love and adore. and then awe at jesus showing himself first to mary magdalene. the goodness and the reasons to celebrate, it was difficult in that i wanted to break open through the doors of the house to john, mark and peter, with mary at my side, with light following us through, and then boom. darkness, morose, sadness, despair. and then marie asked me, well, how would you feel when you realize you denied Jesus? how long would that sadness last? without hesitation, i said, a long time. it was then, that i understood.

i fell in love with my prayer this past week, and i fell in love with the new tone of celebration and joy and happiness that i was able to indulge in. still, marie put it in the best way…it was like, life interfering with life – yes, exactly. as much as i wanted to celebrate, there was still a sadness there….but Jesus sits me down, and he tells me, to not be afraid, to trust, and to have faith. life interfering with life. embracing humanity and embracing the feelings, my feelings.

the past weekend i got to hang out in the park in park slope, and enjoy the weather, the people, and all the fun that came with it. it was such a great feeling, to just enjoy being there in brooklyn – to look around, and see trees, all around. no buildings, no trace of a city. for someone who is not a big fan of nature, being around trees, and green, was absolutely perfect. i got to breathe, and yes, think about the fact that this is my last full month living in new york. whoa. well, for now. ah! who knows…

e taught me a little capoeira, and it reminded me of me and gina’s first class that we took in LA – the class in which we were sore for the next week, walking around the office in our heels. we were not successful, but we tried our best. gave it a shot again in the park, and it was such a good workout. serious! i think it was something that i needed in that, it put me in a jump start into working out in a more disciplined manner…dance party, yoga, whatever it is…i think i could get used to this. 🙂

as much as i’m so sad about my 19th annotation retreat ending in early june, i’m actually very excited too. such a great moment in my life! marie and i planned our closing meeting to be with us walking a labyrinth together at a jesuit retreat center, and meeting with one of her friends who is a filipino sister, and who is ironically visiting for the month of june. woohoo! i’m clearly such a big fan of my spiritual director, as she has played such a big role in my time here in new york. she even hooked me up with one of her friends who is a maryknoll lay missioner in cambodia, and i hope to meet up with her too as she will be visiting this month. we’ll see!

on saturday afternoon, mary and i got to speak about our 19th annotation retreat experience, to a group of adults interested in ignatian spirituality and spiritual direction at xavier church. it was awesome, in that i don’t think i have ever felt so comfortable speaking about anything before (without notes, especially), but because i feel like i eat, breathe, and live this retreat (as best as i could!), it really just naturally came out. that’s what i was going for, but i was surprised that it actually came out ok, and they were able to follow my thoughts…i think? 🙂 woohoo! marie told me i was very well-spoken and articulate about it, and all i could do though, was thank her for the opportunity. there is such grace in being given the opportunity to share my experiences, especially a spiritual experience, with others who are actually willing, open, and wanting to listen.

so with that, thanks for listening, and thanks for being present.
may God bless you today, and always, and may God educate our desires today.
remember, the sun will rise again tomorrow, and after desolation, consolation always follows.
no day, but today.

happy colors, happy people, joyous celebrations, and dance parties. necessary.


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