My desk in the office is a big mess. But it is not a random mess, it's the mess of my job.

If you were to come by, you would find these items on my desk:
- a Bible
- two Bible commentaries
- plane tickets to Valencia
- a pile of essays I need to grade
- my TED Talk (or, as they call them, Journey Talk) for Valencia
- my Bible study workshop text for Valencia
- Greek text book
- Greek 'let's get ready for the exam' excercises
- a book titled Women and Ordination. Biblical and Historical Studies (not quite sure why this is here)
- time table of Valencia programme
- a birthday card from my cousin
- a bag with gym clothes under the desk

There is clearly too much going on, and at moments it's suffocating. On other moments it's exhilirating because that pile tells me I'm getting closer and closer to my dreams. (Or maybe I'm living them already?)

The youth congress in Valencia - which starts in a week's time - is obviously the big looming event which takes up most of my mental and desk space these days. I don't remember any event in recent past which I both dreaded and looked forward to with such intensity. I am well aware of the fact that this is a once in a lifetime opportunity for me. The list of plenary speakers is short, the speakers come both from Europe and the US, and in some mysterious way I'm on it too. This must be the doing of the Almighty, no doubt. At the same time I don't know if my prep is enough. For about two weeks now I have practiced my talk daily, I know it by heart by now. But my insecurities, those ugly little monsters, are in the back of my head and they too are working hard these days. But it's also good for me - to be thrown out of my comfort zone like that. There's an immense potential of growth for me here. The air is thick with opportunity. There's a chance the courage and hard work will pay off and will create something that's bigger than I am.

Last week my desk was clean though. I spent 4 days in a bush with our conference's youth, camping. It happened so that one of the two ladies who were asked to cook for the camp couldn't come, and I volunteered to cover for her. So for the better part of the last week I chopped carrots and cucumbers and washed dishes, from early morning til late in the evening. It was a good break from the usual desk mess (although I did walk around my tiny room during kitchen duty breaks, practicing my Talk every day).

I think there must be a balance between being a Mary and being a Martha. Sometimes kitchen duty does good to you, it keeps your feet firmly on the ground. Keeps you real. But I did get a little bit anxious by the end of these four days because the Mary stuff was waiting again. And honestly, I really can't cook. :P


Ah, here's one picture of me preaching at the Pathfinders camp two weeks ago. I think it's a lovely picture. You can tell from that photo I love preaching.


I'm thinking about a song - Lana Del Rey's Summertime Sadness. In a way it pretty much describes the summer feeling of these past weeks, on the other hand there's really nothing to be sad about so I'm not quite sure why this song came to my mind. But even if there is no sadness, there sure is a lot of summertime melancholy. Days go by slowly and without much fuss, I'm stuck in my patterns and circles, which, again, isn't necessarily a bad thing. It feels like this summer has lasted forever and will continue to last forever. It's a still life, that's what it is.

There has been some family business. I've visited my dad, I've visited my auntie, just this past Sunday morning I visited my uncle whom I don't see that often (we had pancakes and a long conversation which really was more of a monologue from his part and I left with quiet sadness, knowing that we see life from very different viewpoints). I've visited my mum's grave for the first time since Christmas Eve and I've taken some long walks in the tiny town of Türi where my mum grew up and where she is now resting. And all these pictures and memories from my early childhood flooded back, and I thought a great deal about my mum and my granny, and how my identity and self are firmly grounded in their love. Oh, and we celebrated my little brother's 30th birthday in the beginning of July, and that added more melancholy still - to see your brother you've always thought as small all grown up and manned up is awesome and yet equally perplexing.

It's quiet at work. Everyone else is either on their annual leave or camping in the bush with our pathfinders or they're just not coming to the office these days. So I'm here all by myself and I don't get that much work done. The conference's library is still waiting to be sorted out, there's always a sermon that needs to be written, preparations for Valencia need to get done soon. This morning I'm translating Greek sentences and going through the text book word by word as I am teaching in Riga again on Thursday. It is strange how even the Riga lecturing trips have quietly become the part of my usual summer routine. I go once every three weeks and although they are long and tough days, I enjoy them very much. Later today, when I'm done with translations, I reward myself with Anne Lamott's TED Talk. Little treats like this do good to one's soul. There were some things I had become very excited about over my traveling weeks - new contacts, possibilities of new opportunities. But nothing has come of them, the emails I was so impatiently waiting for after returning home never arrived, new initiatives never took off. I guess it's one of those seasons.

I'm reading Kathleen Norris' book The Cloister Walk and even that book fits in the general mood perfectly. It's slow and deep and beautiful, that book. And when I'm not reading that, I'm reading the book of Revelation in the evenings, and although Revelation is anything but quiet and calm, even this book can tear me up these days with its beautiful opening and closing chapters.

Some evenings I'm meeting up with friends, and when I'm not doing it I either go to the seaside or to a new nearby market to get fresh local strawberries and tomatoes.

It's a still life alright.

At K.'s birthday bash.
Visiting the pathfinders camp last weekend. I preached there on Sabbath.
Tea at A.'s.