Learning to Dance

Explorations in the Spiritual Life

Date: April 5, 2004


I look up and see the stars, not very bright tonight. The dead pine outside my window, one hundred and fifty feet tall, is half illuminated by the near full moon. Empty branches reach out eerie in the pale light. A truck arrived late, large diesel, at a neighbors house, I am not sure what was its purpose, its engine stayed on for its entire 8:30-10:00 visit. Now, the silent again gains sway, but for the gentle swaying of the vinyl windsock against the balcony rail.

I feel an odd bit of whimsy tonight, likely a result of later than usual coffee strongly made. I wrote in the evening, something outside my usual pattern, and now feel that groggy sense of interest to do something, but weary to start. If others were around I would suggest a late night hike, searching for coyotes, or raccoons, or just a good sitting rock. I’m not one for solitary adventures to be honest. The sharing, for me, is a lot of the fun, the joining together in the ‘experience’ creating memories, bonding through tasks, important or not so much.

The day went well, getting done that which I wanted, though not as much as expected. I did think, for the first time in a while, of pursuing a regular income, with specific somethings in mind. That is not my goal, though it may be, is, my need. How long I can last putting off this need, and how long my willingness to last is just a cover for another’s lack of willingness to pay me, are other questions.

I work enough during the day to justify a fine salary, only it is not for another I work, that is the rub. I do that which I feel called to do, and shall persist as long as I can and ought. Outside of stimulus away I am content to stay, for now, though the bug does bite a bit more regularly this past few weeks. Acedia or practicality, I do not know. Maybe just a weariness of a season, an impatience to see the oasis after too long of just wind blown sand.

At this point I concede God’s hand. Even if I were to wish to go elsewhere, if he has me stay I cannot go elsewhere, no one would have me. When he chooses for me to go, I shall be pushed out, and the doors will open. Suddenly, all will be right and good. I must stay alert to make either way as easy as possible. That is my task, my daily minute by minute task, to ready myself for whatever might happen next. Always patient to wait, always ready to move. That’s the task of the Spiritual.

I continue tomorrow my day today, little changing, likely not even the weather. My only hope is that I do not again wake up at three thirty. I think when I get older I will handle it well. For a 29 year old it is not the appropriate time to arise.


Bright shines the sun, robins three bounce on the ground, turning their heads, looking for breakfast. Whoosh, whoosh, whoosh, whoosh, a raven flies over low. It is going to be a warm day, a day for a run or hike. Saplings which were not around last fall now are attacking the air, trying for their chance to join the forest. The cedars and oaks I celebrate, the small pines make me feel sad, a touch short life they will likely live when the bark beetle returns.

I am not very adept at early mornings. Seven o’clock I do great, six o’clock is wonderful, there are few times my mind works as well as it does at five in the morning. Three-thirty, however, is far too early, and I have not become good at waking and doing at such an hour. The time changed yesterday, spring forward, and my body knew it was supposed to do something different. Something happened which prompted a change of habits. The tendency should be to sleep later than I’ve been, as my body adjusted to changing clocks. It made a mistake this morning, waking me up earlier, much earlier.

The bounty of this was the moon, near full and very bright illuminating the living room, making shadows of the trees outside fall onto the furniture. I stood for a moment, got some water, and tried to read a while. That didn’t work, nor did sleep. Instead, I got up at four thirty, wrote a goodly amount, and then fell back into bed. A better sleep I haven’t had for a while. Lovely, encouraging, though now it is far too late for this present task.

There is a middle ground out there, and for some reason in all of life I have a difficult time finding it.

More writing, more meditating, more prayer and trust. That is the day. A change of pace yesterday helps me to focus this morning. I pray it goes along as well as I hope, same for everything.

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