Learning to Dance

Explorations in the Spiritual Life

Date: April 24, 2004

It is warm out this evening, at least warmer than it has been. Spring is here, baby birds are discovering their wings, looking lost as they flutter about, parents not as willing to fee them anymore.

Only the barest of breezes blows, not enough to stir a branch. Even on weekends it is quiet here.

It was a return today, a getting back into the rhythm I had lost for a couple of weeks now. Not that there were not good reasons, all the reasons stacked up.

It felt nice. There was a freedom in my soul, a taste of peace and rest. The concerns of the present are still around, only the weight of them is not as heavy.

I wonder about my previous statements, about cutting ties. I realize now that I am not the one cutting. Rather, I am who I am, and have sought to maintain old connections, or even forge new ones. Those who respond I stay along side. Those who don’t… well, I see purpose even in that. The question for me is whether I feel right in my soul. I do. I have no regrets over these last monthes, the only regrets being I did not seek to embrace the depths without having to be pushed.

My realization is that the issue is not about the relationships, it’s about holding on to things which are elusive, always looking to that which is not before me, rather than taking hold of that which is. The words of the hermit are true, it is a peculiar place to be in life right now, so while I want understanding, to demand it is not right. I’m at peace… I just worry a bit how I have come off to people over the last months. When one is wrestling through the void, in confusion, in a fair measure of blindness, it is difficult to relate, difficult to be what others wish. I can only be who I am. It is wrong for me to say, “No more” to anyone, even if those people have effectively said that to me.

I hold onto the goal, praying for freedom and light, praying that the day will come when I can invest anew, in a way which makes sense to others. I am willing now, to be sure, only the path I am on is a distant one, and has seemingly led me away from much I value. It is leading to what is more important, however, so I will keep on the way.

This is a time of humility for me, a time when my decisions are limited. Those who have gone sailing with me know I jump at command, I am forceful in my opinions, I take control if I see things in disorder. God has me now learning how to live with him in control, where I cannot jump in the way I wish, and feel the joy building in letting him work. It is the learning which comes in staying still, in not leaving and seeing things broadly. It is the learning which forces a halt, demands attention in the stillness. I am learning its voice. In it is the voice of God.

For years I have said God does not speak to me, not in the way others seem to indicate. My prayer life suffers from this perceived one sided conversation. I know he hears, is powerful, only there is no response. Or maybe there has been, maybe I have not tuned in right, been able to hear correctly over the cacophany I have created. To be honest, I have been seeking, have been yearning. This voice, this still voice, is that hard to grasp, I suppose.

Now, I’m at the point where I recognize the whisper. I cannot hear the distinct words, but I know there is someone speaking. So, I’ve stopped, I get frustrated when others raise noise, for I have tasted what I have sought for so long, and now do not want anything to distract.

One never knows what is a distraction, and what is a part of the process. That’s the trouble. The diversions we take are sometimes the paths themselves, getting us to where we need to go. So, humility and discretion are increasingly important to hear and taste what is right and what is wrong. There is an end to this, I know it with all my depths.

So I wait, and pray, and seek, asking for freedom, abiding with patience. I miss the old life, the ‘could have beens’, the people who make me laugh and think. This is where God has me, though. In his hands is my life, a life which is closer to understanding Paul than before. I am progressing. I would sure like to know to what.


I was woken up at what I thought was the middle of the night. I turned on my light, picked up my copy of Gibbon (which has become my surprising nighttime book) and thought to read until I fell asleep again. A loud screech out my window surprised me. What was a jay doing up in the middle of the night? I stared out my window, noticing for the first time the dark blue of the sky replacing the black. I continued to read for a little bit longer, noticing how quickly the sky lit up. For some reason this all intrigued me, as did the sounds of birds whose songs were loud even over the sound of my fan.

I got up, went outside and sat for a long while, listening to the varied song birds lifting their voices. It was a very peaceful time. There was nothing new about it, only my perceptions seemed heightened.

After enjoying this, letting my soul rest in the sounds and growing light, I came in and got to work, finding my focus returning.

Kayaking, bird songs, wind, and clarification of discernment all contribute to the restoration.

So, today is spent less in wandering and more in returning to some level of focus — writing, cleaning, continuing my quest into new fields of learning.

I’m feeling rather shallow right now, to be honest, thankful for a renewal of peace, still entranced by a chickadee singing in the trees. A love day all around awaits.

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