No Indifferent Place by Cicia Lee ('15)

Of course my time with Life Together has changed me, but how? I’d posit that I would likely still have found my place in the world without LT, and I would have eventually landed on this specific intersection of faith and committed justice work where I find myself now. The same thread of conviction that drew me to Life Together I’m sure would have drawn me to similar circles of people I feel aligned with, and work I believe in (though I am overwhelmingly grateful for my housemates this year with whom I shared the past year in Life Together).

But as always, I find the hand of God in the careful details. Rainer Maria Rilke wrote, 

If your daily life seems poor, do not blame it; blame yourself, tell yourself that you are not poet enough to call forth its riches; for to the creator there is no poverty and no poor indifferent place.

It’s tempting, for the sake of my own ego, to believe myself on a grand mission in the name of God and justice. If I were, I would certainly credit LT for its many resources, its brave community, and its nourishment of my inner root of fruitfulness. But this, I think, is not the point. The sense of direction, the grand mission – these are holy things, but I think I’ve found that the substance and richness of my own life is in the intentional ordinary.

I find that what most shapes my life today is neither the scope of my work, nor the arc of my journey. I find that the fragments I hold most dear from LT appear in some of the small, regular decisions. A few minutes of potent silence here or there, an instinct towards openness, a deep appreciation for how thoughtful process can bring to life the creativity of all in the room, shared groceries.

I grew up in an unreligious family, and a church community that did not stress the rhythm of the liturgical year. Last year I participated in my first lenten and advent practices. This year for advent, inspired by Hafiz’ story of writing poetry every day for forty years for his teacher, I committed to writing poetry each night. It was powerful. I’m not sure how or even if this practice will influence the course of my life. But this, again, does not seem like the point. To the creator, there is no poor indifferent place, there is no small practice wasted – there is only abundance in each moment, a slow weaving of the fabric of ordinary grandness.

Cicia Lee served as a Micah Fellow 2014-2015 at the Massachusetts Community Action Network, where she continues to work as a Data and Communications manager. She is grateful for her LT alumni housemates Dylan, Hannah, and Lydia, with whom she lives in intentional community