Learning to Dance

Explorations in the Spiritual Life

Date: March 11, 2004

evening

Not even a whisper this evening. No movement, not a breath of air. Light branches lay still. The great bear shines through the trees, Jupiter peaks out over the roof from the east, rising with Virgo. The little bear dodges the snake, circling about, while Cassiopeia slowly peaks out over the horizon. The lion dances with the bear, Jupiter like a bur in its leg. Orion, in the west, chases the bull to the earth, the twins in hot pursuit, Saturn pointing the way. Of these, only two can I clearly see… Jupiter and the great bear. All the others, hidden behind tree and artificial light are there, of that I am certain, only my eyes fail the hunt. There, but not seen, known because of lore and experience, charts and writings of many. All around, and much, much more, though my comfort afflicted being can see only little. The air is warm, the sounds only those of distant cars and my fingers typing. I hear the blood moving through my head. I take a deep breath, then another.

There are signs out there if we know how to read them. Some are complex and take a life time, some we learn when young, then forget, and must constantly learn again. Today I relearned what I already knew. On and off I wonder why I did not pursue a technology career, or even settle for less creative work of a paying sort. This day I spent wrestling with computer ills and gains, moving forward, certainly, overcoming obstacles, definitely, feeling empty, absolutely. A moment in a glade makes my heart rejoice, fills me with a heavenly delight which knows only the bounds of my own soul, and strains at it to broaden and deepen. Even briefly under the sun turns my being upward. Before a computer I deplete and descend, becoming headachey, becoming sallow in mind, losing that drive which points me upwards. I’ve always known this. I exult in being part of nature, of dancing with sun and rain. The activity of code and commands sap my essence, leaving me dry.

Today I wrestled with needed tasks, settling into this new web home, so that future thought may be concerned only with moving forward in creativity and content here. But still, I know that to live in such a world is to die for me. There must be balance. While this is an important, I don’t know why, task, one which I feel is right to do, I still feel it is not my heart, that is something else, something which breathes the breath of the Spirit within.

I finish feeling the same unfocus, though admitting my day was not wasted. I am reminded why many practical choices evaded my grasp. I do not want to be lost, and in these things I may exist but I no longer am. My lesson in all this, I don’t know. Only that I know that God gives passion and energy in directions we are meant to pursue, and allows our draining when we spend our energy in imperfect ways. To spend a day like today is fine, to lose sight of my call to write and focus on God’s creation is more than unfortunate, it is death. Slow though it may come, my soul even now feels less, and thirsty for pure water. All is well, if I return to the path, and walk as I am called. Everything else is in the shadows.

morning

A little hazier today, though no clouds. Early birds came for seed, singing and screeching. Dogs barked before the sun rose. Trillings songs, chirps, whistles, and the occasional raven croak filled the morning air, until the concrete truck with its large revolving drum, so mystifying to young eyes, came to lay down a new driveway for a neighbor. Now, all the forest noises are drowned by urban sounds. The lovely thing about the mountains, though, is that by four all will be quiet again. The branches seems sparser in the bright sun I notice, the tree seeming so full in blocking the stars, barely hides anything now. All activity of bird or beast has stilled, no movement, but for a single fly can be seen.

I feel unfocused. Though I do not know if this is only because I am differently focused. My new home on the web takes some time and effort. Thoughts of expansion, of possibilities, fill my head, changing the course of my creativity away from those things which I know are my primary calls. And yet, this is important. So, maybe I am focused as I should, for now, able to spend a day doing what I continue to feel is an outlet the Spirit is leading me down. It is easy to let go of the other now, too easy. My creative writing of the focused sort has retreated recently, lost in a cold, frustrated by a block. What is needed is perseverance, breaking through the barriers with dogged determination. So easy not to do when distractions, some important and good, arise.

I take stock today of my goals and end, determining what is of primary value for my time. With this I pray, knowing that grace comes strong on those tasks we are meant to pursue, and it is lost in those things which only serve to divert. We can struggle and slog for a long time, unaware that God wishes us not to, wishes us to go where grace leads, where our hearts and minds can be buoyant even under strain. To walk the trails of a grace filled life, stepping only those places which allow us to stay in sight of heaven, that is the goal. Only the sharpest eyes can see these steps, though, so I know I too often misstep and sink. Well, we’ll see how all this goes today, where it all goes. I feel peace in the moment, a prayer forming on my tongue. Maybe I just need to rest in God, and not worry about the movement of time.

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