Written April 4 2018
#600words: I left my glasses in the car
4 April 2018
Once a term we have a meal and discussion with the Loreto sisters at the school. We start the afternoon with a catch up conversation, which is followed by reflecting and discussion a contemporary reading with a social justice focus. We wrap up the session with an Ignation Examin
I have been going to these sessions for nine years and really quite look forward to the time of peace and quiet, reading, deep thinking and discussion of issues I tend not to be too informed about.
I had a meeting till 4:30 which normally leaves me time to grab my bag put it in the car. As I walked to the car out of habit I put my computer room glasses in their case and then in my bag for the car. Before long I was walking to the house on the other side of the campus about 10 minutes late. The group had waited for me.
As we started a sheet was handed around and I went for my glasses and they were not in my pocket. In my distraction about my lateness I forgot to get my glasses from the car.
There was a brief discussion about Pope Francis and his view of the world from the margins. Then we started the session with about 10 minutes of quite reading and reflection. I just sat there thinking, listening and observing.
The room had ten people with chairs and lounge chairs scattered in a welcoming open circle in it and yet I felt on the margins. I could not read what I was meant to do nor take notes. I accepted my lot and just waited for the reading and reflections to finish, looking forward to listening to the discussion about the reading I could not read.
While waiting I was observing my reaction and had a glimpse of what it might be like to be marginalised. I was in a room with learned people had the potential to participate but because I could not see I could be involved. I immediately thought of students who might not be connecting in the classroom because they cannot see, don’t understand my language and perhaps cannot even hear me or are completely distracted by other pressing issues of life.
Slowly as people were discussing their thoughts I was getting a sense of what the readings were about.
I was relaxed about not having my glasses, accepted my lot for this moment of my life and was interested in seeing how the session unfolded given the limitations of my involvement.
There were three questions which we were to consider in a second session of reflection.
One discussed her tension over question one and two and how in her mind they were the same when it came to how she thought about social justice and her calling to serve people and yet works in a privileged environment. Another spoke about the tension of working looking after grand children and elderly parents and trying to do justice to all. Another spoke about the tension she feels about leaving her home country because she could not live with the oppression that her friends and people were inflicting on her home country and not staying to help.
As for me I explained my tension about not having my glasses and how I felt the tension of being marginalise just simply because I left my glasses in my car. Now I am about to read the two sided sheet of paper I did not get to read.