After a very busy period of parish life, I have been traveling and visiting over the past few days - it has been good to visit other places and hear something of other peoples' experiences and frustrations.
What increasingly intrigues me is the overlap between priestly ministry within the Church (the joys and difficulties of a time of considerable change) and the experience of professional musicians (whose world is being changed around them by new technology and the impact of the internet).
I guess the biggest difference is that the musicians seem very alert to the change (their income depends on it) and are making quite marked changes in working practices, while for clergy the biggest frustration is a Church which seems to be planning for decline, or making piecemeal decisions with no clear view to the future.
Working my way through a backlog at bloglines I was interested to read here how The Merlin Show is covering how creative people deal with these issues with a particular focus on structured creativity.
The key point made is that we must allow ourselves times of mediocrity as well as creating structured space for creativity.
The oddest thing of the past week has been how scary the idea of taking a musical sabbatical seems to musicians - "what happens if nothing inspires you" etc is the general tenor of the comments.
As it is with my sabbatical just three months away I am increasingly looking forward to it - and I have so far resisted the temptation to fill every week with planned activity.