Learning to Dance

Explorations in the Spiritual Life

Date: April 14, 2004

April 14

There is a sky I haven’t seen before, at least without a measure of distortion and interference. The Great Bear is now perfectly clear, with the lines of the little bear also seen for the first time. A hazy sky makes the stars less than perfect, as does the bright lights of a nearby neighbor, who is also talking loudly on his porch. A very rare occurrence, unheard of at this hour. Ah, not all are sensitive to the ways of others.

My brother is here, and we spend some time at dinner and watching Wuthering Heights. I never read the book. It is an intriguing and disturbing story. Heathcliffe was not a nice man at his core, even with the draw of love. Though the abuse of his youth did much. I have little sympathy, and finished without emotion, for I didn’t like the characters as people. The movie itself, or the story rather, I did like, for it is not a tale which could be written now – or at least published. So much of old literature is like this. Very few of the “Greats” would get through the door, I think, for there are different standards now. Though, to be honest, I really do wonder what authors will be chosen for inclusion in a collection of early 3rd millennium English language literature. It seems to me that the real greats have not existed since the middle of last century. Our medium is film, and a few of our filmmakers will indeed last past their deaths.

Spiritually (since this is the point of my writing, a quest deep within)? I don’t know. The trees were chopped down today, making this a day in which I could not go anywhere (my truck was fairly trapped) and could not otherwise focus, both sight and sound distractions. I ended up watching TV, noting again in my yearly morning foray that little is worth watching during the day. The September 11 commission hearings were on, as was another press conference with George Bush, along with Ariel Sharon. Very interesting. Politics is rife among it all, the commission’s real work behind the scenes. Those aren’t spiritual issues, however.

I feel sloppy and distanced, not in a depressed or negative way, indeed I feel happy. My sloppiness is one of knowing what must be done and not doing it, like when a person skips exercising for too long. There is somethng pleasing about not doing, only one feels it at the core that it is missing.

Tomorrow is another day without my usual rhythm, though likely a day without the same chaos as today. To be honest, at my core, I also doubt all of this, and am looking outside for some answers again. I’m just not sure whether this is God leading or my own frustrations, couched in words of ambition. Stay the course, that’s the key. Only I’m not sure of the course. Do what is before me, that is all. God is working, and he will lead if I continue to hurl myself into the void and ride the updrafts heavenwards.

The lights are off, the forest is again silent. I think I’ll step out and pray a while, beneath the heavens only recently seen. The dead are gone, and now the living can thrive.


When you get a nudge to begin writing early, and get to certain tasks even before their time, go ahead and follow the nudge. A beautiful Spring day, warm sun, cool breeze is punctured by swarms of loggers, chopping and cleaning. Six very tall pines, each over a hundred feet came down around this house today, all in a matter of a couple of hours. I’m not sure how old they are, I am curious. The men are at a lunch break now, and sawdust rains down from the rooftop. I’m not bothered, surprisingly, only I know not to even try to concentrate.

I like rhythm. When I get thrown out of a rhythm it takes me a while to get back. This week has knocked me completely out of focus, thrown off my pattern. I’m fine with this, for all the distractions seem bundled together. Once these trees are completely cleaned up, there is little ahead to provide more distraction. So, I put up with this now because it’s better than starting and stopping at random points. I have a new sky I can see, which will certainly be filled with all sorts of stars I haven’t spied before from my balcony. Some of the saplings might need a little care, they’ve had a traumatic day, but they seem eager to grow, and I’ll do what I can.

More thoughts later, I thought I’d slip in and try to write while there are not men in bright orange vests traipsing about all around. I appreciate their work, this crew was extremely careful and skilled, it just makes it hard for me to focus. I’m eager to get back into the flow myself. Though… my brother is coming up for a couple of days, so I think Friday will definitely be a great working day for me. Hey, a lot of other people get Spring Break.

My Stations of the Resurrection has been delayed. Like the architects of cathedrals, I guess intentional flaws just show how we don’t measure up to God. I don’t like leaving the Stations of the Cross without further resolution, only it seems that is the way of things now. It’ll get done, just as soon as I can get back into rhythm.

Any day now… any day now…

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