Learning to Dance

Explorations in the Spiritual Life

Date: April 29, 2004

evening

I was cold most of the day. Given the heat in the rest of the area, down in the lowlands, I am very happy with the fact. The strong breeze has died down now, the branches are still, the only noise is a dog barking in the distance. I didn’t get outside very much today, only for a few moments, and I regret the fact. Spring is such a lovely time of year, not just for the eyes, for all the senses. The smells are extraordinary, all the scents of the forest raising up. I do see the forest from my window, and sometimes that is all I need, to turn and watch the green, the jays flying acrobatically through small openings between branches, squirrels finding their hidden stashes beneath cedar trees, and then spending a long moment eating. It gets into my soul, and my soul needs it.

This day was just a day. Neither a high or low. I should have spent more time outside I think, that would have been better for me. Though not bad, to be sure. Now, I end the day with little on my mind, other than a tendency to find myself staring. I’m not sleepy really, but my mind seems off, my heart content in silence, my soul not offering any suggestions.

This is not a forum for me to write just to write, it is an exploration of what is pressing. So, when nothing presses, I’m not sure what to say. Ah, well, this says as much about my state as any longer writing does about other aspects. An emptiness, though not a bad one is what I have ending the day. I think I’ll get out on the lake again tomorrow.

I’m also finally making some real progress with my next set of stations… when that is done, in a week or so (maybe earlier), I can finally get back to my fiction. That will be good for my soul.

Interestingly, I’m also seriously considering visiting another church this sunday. I’m not sure if it’s a spiritual quest, or just a fancy to find a place to play my saxophone again. The wind makes for good accompaniment, to be sure, but I think some human camaderie would be a plus. We’ll see. And maybe, just maybe, there’s some kind of spiritual draw as well. Gifts, the Body, and all that.

morning

Around four in the morning I woke up, and I was cold. My summer blanket was not enough in the winter chill which descended on the mountain. I pulled up my warmer comforter, and fell back asleep, waking again at dawn. The chill air gave me a reason to lay a while and stare outside. Jays flew around, some mountain quail wandered along the hillside, occasionally pecking at the ground. Trees were filled with a flock of band tailed pigeons, not a bird which usually gathers in flocks. And squirrels were about, going from here to there and back again.

There is joy in writing for me. This morning I returned to it, and feel relief. It is not an easy task, getting to it and through it requires more than one ever expects. It fills, and it drains, but it is the kind of draining that exercise brings, wholesome and refreshing. I lose sight of the writing, I drift to other task, though important, and I lose that which grounds my soul, I lose the peace, the light becomes dull.

When I write I smile, I feel that this moment is just fine, my heart feels free and willing to take on the world, confident in who God has made me, eager to press on and see what comes.

I don’t write this to convince myself, or to defend my choices, I am only relating my feeling of the moment. What will come of anything I write, I have no idea. All I know is that doing it fills me like little else does, a feeling of “everything is alright”.

Writing, especially creative writing, is the way I focus on the present. It is the task which both grounds and enlightens my soul. Is it my calling? In this era this question is answered by the determination of money. Am I getting paid for it? No. That is not the question for me, however, but for others. It will not be my calling as others see it until a paycheck comes my way for the work I do.

That’s not what concerns my soul. I only seek to do what Christ has called me to do, and I know that had other paths opened up, I would not endure the frustrations and joys writing entails. It would have always been a secondary task for me, a means to an end, rather than something more purposeful.

For no at least. What tomorrow holds, I don’t know. It is important to be faithful in the moment, and do that which is before me. For in doing that I find peace, peace which is found nowhere else.

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