Learning to Dance

Explorations in the Spiritual Life

Date: March 7, 2004

evening

There is no sound. It is still. Not wind, not bird, not beast. All is quiet. The dead pine stands half illuminated in the pale blue light of the rising moon. Stars glisten between the high branches. I hear my own breath, feel my pulse without intent.

Writing thrives on sorrowful tales. When all is well and going fine these are derided as feel good tales, with cheesy endings and contrived plots. It is expected that life will take a turn downwards, and many who live in otherwise easy lives feel nothing outside of negative impressions. We do not know how to take hold of joy as well as sorrow. It does not have our trust, our respect. It feels not genuine. This is, though a lie. Joy is more real than sorrow, happiness is our expected lot in life eternal, only we are so used to being deceived through the subtlety of sin we have little clue how to understand the nuances of joyful occasion. Like snow to Eskimos we know sorrow by many names, but joy is like green plants, little known and of single kinds.

I distrust pain, which hampers my literary and movie interaction to be sure. All this to say that all is well with me this evening. Nothing happened today, it was indeed a day of rest, though positive interactions were throughout. I feel fine, and feel like I should not. Even when I feel faith, I do not trust it. That is evil still in my midst. So, begone, forces of ill and wrong. Don’t depress me with feelings of distrusting the good. It is evil which is the shadow, joy which is the real. We confuse those, seeing night as day, lying to ourselves, pleasing the wrong masters.

Not tonight. I feel fine feeling fine, though that is not an introspective thing to say. I eagerly embrace joy without restraint or guilt, knowing that is truly the call and gift to all, if not now then in eternity. This, of course, is where I wish to make my home, so I might as well get used to its rhythms and flows. In the stillness of a quiet mountain Sunday eve, one can just make out the melody. Almost. It’s there, I think I can hear it barely, in the distance. It awaits.

morning

California comes back to its own. The sun is out full and bright, a cool morning breeze brings the subtle scents of the forest, easing the soul. Small birds chirp happily amidst the branches. Human activity is subdued. It is, it seems, a day of rest. A lovely day for outdoor pursuits or a quiet read on the balcony. Just four days ago the land was white with snow. Now it is full of bright splendor, alive, harbingering Spring. Insects flit across open spaces. A single dog barks in the distance.

My soul is at rest this morning, neither elevated nor depressed. I ended up coming home late last night, and had a most enjoyable drive, taking the back route through empty hills, up curving roads, where no other cars hinder or push. My spiritual concern this morning is limited to the fact I didn’t drink enough water yesterday, and feel the weariness which results, fully accepting physical causes of spiritual drowsiness. All in all I feel this to be a sabbath, a day in which I am content to rest, and not focus on varying levels of activity, spiritual or otherwise. Rarely, a day like this do I have. So, I think I shall find a book of easy fiction, put out my chair on the balcony, and let the light wind blow through my hair.

I may also clean. We’ll see. I shall certainly pray, and listen for the wisdom God wishes to convey. It is awareness of the little pushes in certain areas, the willingness to be cognizant of subtle breezes of the Spirit, acting in small ways which may have eventual important consequences which determine the depth of our Spiritual life. The Spirit is active, always active, and we are called not to do work for our own gains, but simply to do whatever little leads the Spirit asks of us moment by moment. And yes, the Spirit often asks us to stop and rest, to recover, to lighten the load. It’s all throughout the Bible, among those parts that modern day believers forget to read.

I am at peace, and waiting for the next task. All is well.

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