Universal United House of Prayer
All the Pieces Parts

In This Amazing Light

Light-mtn

I sit on the steps at the garden door and discuss the state of the universe with the mountains as many times a day as are required to keep my head from popping off and rolling into the cabbage patch. That would be bad. I am not a cabbage. 

I notice the last time I posted was May 25 and this date is relevant. It's harder to write these days because it's harder to pin down just a single thing. When I wrote quietly (more or less) between 2007 and maybe 18 months ago, I knew my audience and to some extent they knew me. They at least knew what to expect of me. I wrote 6,000 word rambling essays and observations in two hour sittings and mostly got everything in. I miss those days.

Now I am not so introspective, at least not in public. Most of those conversations take place on the garden steps and the mountains listen very well. 

I've been thinking about gratitude these days. I'm hesitant to use the word because we've over played it so badly that it no longer carries much weight. If anything, the construct of gratitude has gone flying off into the clouds and I'm not sure it means what we think it means. 

So that. Gratitude. Pick another word if that helps.

*

Sometime in April I reconnected with a recruiter I'd 'bumped into' (that's a thing on the interwebs) last fall. He hooked me up with Washington University Medical and I liked those people so much I was already turning my body clock back three hours to support a West coast team. The position closed in on itself and the team looked for money for another contractor but I didn't see a green light anytime soon.

When I was still waiting for the first decision, I had a chat with the mountains. Gratitude, I said. Gratitude. Thank you for the opportunity and most of all, thank you for the job. This job. This one particular team. And I believed.

The mountains asked, a bit later, if I was really sure about this. 

Yup. Super sure.

Ummmm.... maybe just wait a bit?

OK. I can wait a bit.

A bit later I pulled an email from the recruiter out of my spam box. Oops. Time to move on. That was May 25 and it was me pulling the plug when it came right down to it. Sitting in limbo, stuck in a state of unrequited love does not bring joy.

That same day I heard from three new recruiters. I re-spruced (again) my resume and shipped it out. Crickets. I had a call scheduled with one but she didn't show. Crickets. Fine.

One day later, that would be May 26, a fourth recruiter came out of the woodwork and to be honest, I'm not sure he knew what he was looking for. To avoid a pit of despair, I sent off my resume and we had a brief conversation. He still didn't seem to understand what he wanted but that's OK. Usually there's a client rep next virtual cube over who does understand. 

I talked to him next. Yeah, OK, I said. I'll talk to your client.

On the second business day following the first conversation, I spent 30 minutes on a video call (WHICH INCLUDED THE ACTUAL VIDEO, PEOPLE) with one three people on the hiring/contracting team.

I got off the call and thought: Damn, I'd like to work with this guy. By the end of the week I'd had two additional calls. One with the hiring manager and one with a project stakeholder. Since when do project stakeholders interview technical project managers? Since now, I guess. Who am I to question these actions?

That last call ended at 11am on Friday morning, May 3. I called the recruiter. He was learning fast but the ball was already out of his court. 

Get the paperwork rolling!

What?

I mean it. Right now. He wants me in Cambridge NEXT MONDAY.

What? We haven't heard that.

You're hearing it now and I've already told him I can't because of a prior commitment. I even said: look, I wouldn't do it to you either; this business of dropping the ball for someone else. He seemed sad and I agree. A project manager should be onsite for kickoff week if at all possible. So get the ball rolling already! Where's the background check? Do they need a drug screen (not so much these days but yes for pharma)? What about references and client lists and such?

Sit. Down. Heather.

OK. I'll sit, but I'll be ready.

That night I drove to Connecticut and on Saturday we celebrated Elizabeth's graduation in the city and I did not stay through Monday to take her to the airport. She went off to Europe without a kiss at security from me. We wept. It was OK.

On Monday I drove to New Hampshire to find an Apple store because my phone was an inch from DOA. That didn't go well and I lost nearly all connectivity. Before I left for New Hampshire I filled out sixty-eight pages (OK, maybe just twenty-eight) of disclaimers and whatnot, clicked send and told the recruiter to stand by.

He called my not so happy phone. I answered in the parking lot of the Mall of New Hampshire.

I told you it was coming. Are you ready?

Yes. But are you ready?

Sure. Just as long as they don't require a drug screening before the end of this week.

They need one tomorrow.

OK. But you know it's legal and you know I can get it out of my system but not that fast, Buddy. You willing to risk the placement?

Yes. Get thee to Plattsburgh, NY, Witch. There are no Qwest labs in Vermont. Fine.

Remember the not entirely functional phone? So no navigator.

Deep breath. Point the car north by northwest and look for the ferry. As you board the ferry, just ask if you happen to be crossing into New York or have you hit Canada.

By Wednesday I'd acquired a new computer (because we use our own these days and it needs to be separate from personal use), opened an actual LLC bank account at a local bank so small that personal account numbers are 6 digits long. Including the leading zero. 

I had root canal on Wednesday. I went to best buy stoned out of my mind (not THAT), and not particularly well behaved. I bought two separate keys for an upgrade from Windows home to pro. Because I should have slowed down and taken a breath.

I waited until the very last minute to make reservations in Cambridge because the recruiter was absolutely certain he should not be absolutely certain that I should not book a hotel. What? Fine.

I have a list. That's just the top, the remainder fills eight post-it notes and they are all but one, crossed off.

*

Dizzy yet?

Me too. 

*

I'm just trying to breathe this mountain air and settle myself. All of this can be done on automatic, I've done it so many times. But I don't want to do this on automatic. I want to savor every last minute of the entire week of the first time I'll have been in front of a client (actual 3D) since February 28, 2020. 

I'm going to Moderna on Monday and I've no idea what I've really gotten myself into. Both Florkow and S will note that's never stopped me before.

This could all end badly, it could go down in a ball of flame for reasons, just reasons. Life is totally unpredictable and there's not a damn thing any of us can do about that. Not even death. Or so the mountains say.

So much more but that's enough.

*

Did I mention I made an attempt to purchase a house on Friday? Yeah, that too. The market is bad all over, except for Canada where apparently the bottom finally fell out. To purchase a viable piece of property where I want to live (right here, maybe a few miles in any direction but hopefully close enough to pavement to walk if the roads are closed) requires a masters in satanic rituals. I only have an undergraduate certificate. 

And yet, I insist on carrying on.

Because there's hope, people. HOPE, all caps. And you know what follows on the heels of hope?

Joy. 

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