Thursday, August 18, 2005

Ah, a lovely evening

So today I got the stamps on the stuffed and labeled envelopes (last night's chore) and mailed the wolfhound club's newsletter, hooray!! and read a couple assignments ahead for CPE and went back to the vets to get the wolfhound's rabies certificate re-printed to indicate (correctly) that he is a NEUTERED male (we are ALL neutered here at Our House). And this evening, with the dogs' supervision, I assembled the fertilizer spreader and spread a nice coat of Weed/Feed on the front section of bindweed, the one where the dogs do not go. In honor of this effort a few drops of rain fell. Alas, as the Weed/Feed is not supposed to encounter water for some number of hours (which will be about 36 because my next watering day is Saturday). In consequence of all of this the dogs are exhausted and are sleeping. Oh, I forgot, I took the wolfhound to PetsMart to schmooze, because, poor darling, he lives to meet people, and has not had enough fun of late.

I anticipate that I will awake tomorrow to a strange darkness, rather greenish-tinted, as I discover that the bindweed has been channeling a plot of kudzu and, aided by the fertilizer and the thunderstorm that appears to be brewing, has grown over the entire house. I wish I had thought to move the weed whacker indoors rather than leave it in the shed; I may need it to get out in the morning. (Not actually trying to write sentences of Faulknerian length, just rather stream-of-consciousness at present...)

Next week I will have my first individual supervision for CPE. My regional elder told me that she expected CPE may not, because I have more life experience, be the completely overturning experience it can be for some younger students. I hope she is right, but I know I tend to freeze if I feel myself being negatively judged and that is a process I have got to learn how to cope better with. It's odd, in the summer months seeing patients as a volunteer, I found myself a bit more likely to try out different interventions and approaches than I did last spring in field education. It might have been just having had more time and feeling more comfortable, but I think not being under focused supervision had something to do with it, too. Even though my supervisor is not only very insightful but very tactful in giving feedback...he tends to preface his comments with "I couldn't help but notice... " rather than "What on EARTH were you thinking??" which is very nice.

I met a particularly delightful man doing care center visits in this last year. His health was failing rapidly at the time I met him and so I only got to see him a couple of times, but he was so engaging I hope to remember him always. Along with a lot of other delightful characteristics, he had perhaps the most beautiful masculine hands I have ever seen, very wide and long and strong. His fingers were long and elegant but in perfect proportion to wide palms. To me, his hands suggested both power and gentleness, and I will be always grateful to have met him, because now, when I think of the loving hands of Jesus, I will always imagine this man's hands.

It has begun to rain, and I can almost hear the bindweed, stretching out with the rain and some good food. The weed and feed product I have used is *supposed* to be effective against bindweed, but my bindweed has survived three years of severe drought, and so in my imagination no mere commercial product will be able to touch it. Sort of like my dogs, all of whom have found Bitter Apple products to be merely a gourmet seasoning for furniture.


Blogger Emily said...

Hi! Welcome to the ring!

I think you'll find a lot of support here as you go through CPE, as so many of us have been through it or are going through it.

7:28 AM  
Blogger Jen said...


Please forgive my ignorance, blog friends, but what does CPE stand for?

10:21 AM  
Blogger terri c said...

Hi Jen! CPE is Clinical Pastoral Education. A student works in some sort of a ministerial setting and also participates in a supervision group experience. We learn about ourselves--the strengths and weaknesses, resources and roadblocks we each bring, and how we communicate--as well as about ministry skills. Programs are accredited by The Association for Clinical Pastoral Education.

10:36 AM  
Blogger Jen said...

Thank you! :) I think my school calls it "Field Education." But I won't be starting that until second year.

12:28 PM  
Blogger Jen said...

Hey, Jen, another Jen here thanking you for asking. Now I know and I didn't even have to ask! :)

9:04 AM  
Blogger Kathryn said...

I really do envy those of you in USA/Canada who get this sort of training opportunity...I know I took the economy version of seminary by training part time on a regional course, but I don't think even those who studied for 2 years full time got this sort of opportunity. We did get a 2 to 3 month placement in another parish...and I voluntarily did a short "introduction to hospital chaplaincy" course...but this seems way deeper and thus more satisfying. Do keep us posted.

7:46 AM  

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