truth and tomatoes. mud and jesus.

time is an odd thing.

we talk about saving and using, spending and stealing time.
we can say that we move through time, or that time moves through us.
we manage and mismanage time. we waste time and attempt to suspend it.

my default-time mode is not terribly linear–not is it “american-standard”.
i’ll spare you the philosophy on this–and the defense of a non-linear way of being. (for now)

on vacation last week my dear friend told me about this method of time-management called the “pomodoro method” i assumed this was the name of the person who created the method and held that assumption for almost a solid week until i googled it. i had to laugh at myself when i learned the pomodoro is italian for tomato. and the method is named after a tomato because Francesco Cirillo (the developer) used a kitchen timer shaped like a–you guessed it–tomato to manage his study and work time.

while on said vacation we used this method to do some shared space working and i was amazed with my improved focus the first time we tried it. i’ve used a similar method before in an app called 30/30, and that was helpful, but this seems to be The Thing for me.

and the timing couldn’t be better.

first, it is appointment season in the methodist church–that anxiety laced time of year where all appointed elders are up for re-appointment (moving). i am, indeed, up for reappointment this year–and have yet to learn where i am landing next. this is a scary place to be if one believes in the potential and goodness of the this system, especially when the conference where one belongs is larger than some states.

secondly, in this appointment season i have been learning what others think and say about my perceived work-ethic and work-style. a lot of this learning has been through second-hand tellings which made it twice as hard to hear. and a lack of perceived time-management is one of those things.


i learned of the brilliant tomato-method, and am incorporating it (as we speak!) into my life in a slightly-militant way. overcoming the perception of my work-style is by far secondary in reason as to why i am clinging to this tomato and far more about holding anxiety, the unknown and frustration lightly.

as i mentioned in suffering and happiness i am reading through thich nhat han’s _no mud no lotus_ with aforementioned dear friend. the past two days have been full of contemplating what it is to “suffer well” and to feed love rather than feeding suffering (anxiety, worrying, ignoring the body). what does it mean to not “cover up” suffering but to “say hello”, and embrace it? what does it mean to not cover it up with food, facebook, email or other distractions?

yesterday in a conversation with our bishop my anxiety and frustration and hurt feelings (mud/suffering) manifested in tears. she answered my questions and offered advice–all of which was good–and then said something that, for me, is the best way to “say hello” to my suffering and to “take care of the suffering inside [of me], [to have] more clarity, energy, and strength to help address the suffering violence, poverty, and inequity of our loved ones as well as the suffering in our community and the world.”

she said: “remember, easter is coming. it’s real. resurrection is coming.”

thanks be.


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