Tuesday, November 29, 2022
I don't know how old I was when I came to understand that not everybody grew up with "goesinta"'s. I was probably somewhere in mid-elementary school when I began to figure out that not everybody grasped the gift of this word. My sisters and I understood it perfectly. We thought it was, you know – English - a universally known expression. I don't know if I used it in school one day or casually mentioned it to a friend, but whatever/whenever it was, I do remember a long pause following my goesinta’s use in a sentence, followed by a scrunched face, followed by "What?"
My best translation of Dad’s goesinta is the notion of something that needs to be gathered up or collected, what something is made of or what something holds. Dad would say when helping us with homework, "5 goesinta 20 about 4 times." You know, goesinta. Or packing the car in the driveway with Betsey, his assistant, “These bags go on top and this stuff goesinta this corner over here.” Or when we were getting ready on Sunday mornings for church, he’d tell Claudia (who accompanied the high school choir), “Your bible and Sunday School book goesinta this bag and your music and pencils goesinta this other bag.” You know, goesinta.
Stepping out onto this Advent path I want to be intentional -- especially in these starting out days. I want to be open to graces and gifts along the way. And, whenever possible, I don't want to find myself back on autopilot and soon asleep at the wheel. It feels important to be purposeful. I hope that on this journey I bring with me more heart goesintas than head goesintas.
Our heads might say “it’s the destination” of this trip that matters most. “If we are going on this trip to Bethlehem, then we need to pay attention to mile markers, exit signs and rest stops. That’s how we’ll arrive on time.” Heads can be about lists, about schedules, about expectations and deadlines. Heads can be about getting tasks accomplished, checking things off. Hearts can be about waiting, listening, resting, trusting. Our hearts might counter with, “Ah, but we cannot miss the journey.” For our hearts, it’s the conversations and songs along the way, it’s the warm bread and cup of cold water shared. Hearts are more about shifting through experiences and nudging feelings toward holding on and letting go. Heads carry dates of births and deaths, of weddings and separations, of appointments and diagnoses. Hearts hold moments and memories, stories and melodies, dawns and dusks. We, you, and me, we hold all of them.
Truthfully our head is part of our heart and our heart, our head. Together they equip us for the living of our days from November into December. I understand that food needs to be on the table, dishes washed, bills paid. And for me, for this Advent season I pray to be as much heartful as mindful with my goesintas. Dad was a banker and lawyer, he loved pencils to be sharpened and columns to line-up. He also cherished piano melodies played late into the night, good conversations that held much laughter; Dad loved doing the next best thing and he loved us. May his memory be part of my Advent’s journey this year. May faith and hope and love companion me, as his memory does every day.
(thanks for Claud for this picture of Dad hitting an 8 iron, hoping the ball goesinta the hole)
Holy One of our heads and our hearts, we are grateful for your presence in our lives. In our beginning steps on this journey to Bethlehem, may we be reminded at all the best times that you created and are creating still. May we remember that you hold all that was, is and will be. May we draw comfort and strength knowing that from generation to generation you abide with us and we abide in you. Amen.