Friday, 22 July 2011

Too Full To Think

It's a funny time, is this. No; that's not right. It is a very arduous time that I find myself in, and which my beloved family find themselves in. The reason for this is we are, in many ways, in another 'airport departure lounge' - but this one is the long wait for the flight out of Aylesbury. 

Leaving is a strange thing I am fast discovering. The kids know that things are on the brink of complete change but do not fully understand or grasp that this home of theirs will soon become part of their past. To be honest, they have turned into little monsters of late, and I blame the impending move and its effects on Jo and I. 

The thing about airport lounges, is that you are in no hurry to conclude your holiday, but you are in a hurry to get home. It's a funny paradoxical place that forces you to confront the need to leave one place and arrive at another. No-one enjoys that 'airport' experience very much, either. 

This last week and the weeks to come have been and are characterised by 'goodbye'. We were treated to a party last week, I made my last assembly to the kids at school, today sees their Leaver's Service and Sunday the last time I shall visit one of the churches in the Team. So much 'goodbye', and to tell you the truth, I hate it. I am not good at 'byes'. People will see me weepy and messy for the first time. 

Of course, this isn't to say that I am not deeply excited about the new place, because I am. The problem I have is that my head is just too full to think any more. I lay on the settee in the evening and stare vacantly at the TV, or fiddle with my new gadget. I have no space in my head to think about the new place, hard as I try. 

How do I begin to say goodbye to all these wonderful people, into whose lives I have gently insinuated myself? How do I say goodbye to hundreds of children? I just don't know. I have to trust that the words will come and I will not make too much of a fool myself. What I do know is that all this notwithstanding, I want to climb on the 'plane' with my family and fly away. It's time to go and I want it over with. 


  1. Stop getting in my head and saying my thoughts David!

  2. Hard thing to do, to let go of a community you've been part of for 3 or 4 years. You get used to being there, make friends, settle down and put down roots. Than, you have to up and leave. Hard, Hard, Hard.

    There is no recipe of success for moving, it's the same each time, the pain of giving up loved things, separation from friends (and family occasionally), but it seems that the church is set on Priests, changing jobs every five years (Common Tenure). That's a hard one to call. I just wonder if their reasoning is flawed? How does a family settle when they know of the in-permanence of their job>

    My experience of Army life was much like that, nomadic and mobile. But even a year or so in one place is enough to make it hurt when the time comes to move on. In 23 years I had 12 different addresses. A lot of that time I was away on detached duty, leaving the family to cope alone. I had it easy, they had the hard part. I was going to a new job, perhaps with a promotion, they were having to uproot their lives because of me. In the end it just broke down, as many such relationships do.

    Now, despite having spent a further 20 years in the services, I have stayed in one house and just traveled daily to the new jobs, the last one, over 120 miles return daily. It has given the stability I yearned for in all of that time.
    Now, we've got itchy feet and yearn for a move. And will be moving finally, in 2 years to be nearer our parish. Hopefully, we will have finally arrive to live in a lasting community.

  3. UK, as ever thank you for your considered and wholly helpful comments. I apologise for not responding to more of them! Much as it is not good knowing that others have endured this particular facet of life, I am also glad it is not just me feeling this way about it (thanks, therefore, Rachel). I note that this community we call blogging will become the main constant in the weeks of transition ahead. There's probably a post in there somewhere!

    Thank you both!

  4. So you think that you "gently insinuated" yourself into these people's lives, do you? You couldn't "gently insinuate" yourself anywhere without a general anaesthetic! (Meant in the kindest possible way, of course.)

    As I see it, you have two choices, either be like March and 'come in like a lion and out like a lamb' - but then we are into gentle insinuation again and that's just soooo not you - or go out in the same way you arrived, with a bit of a bang.

    The brain paralysis is nature's way of separating you from 'here'. As soon as you are 'there' it will pass and the sparks will fly again.

  5. David, you've summed up very well what most (if not all) clergy go through when it's time to let go of one ministry and take up another, or indeed to say goodbye permanently o retirement. There's no easy way to say goodbye and I always found leaving very hard. Chin up - the words will come when you need them.

  6. David,great post
    I have only moved once in my ministry and left my previous church after 21 very happy years (for me anyway!)What surprised me is that when you move you don't stop caring for one group of people and start caring for another, you continue to care for them all though in the case of the former more from a distance!all the best

  7. What a refreshing peak at a "father's" heart - - in more ways than one! Your children - those that go with you and those you leave behind - have this experience to see them along life's way. Someday, with 20/20 hindsight, it will be a chapter they (and you) will have loved best. That is, until the next one :)

    Blessings as you transplant,



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