Learning to Dance

Explorations in the Spiritual Life

Date: May 13, 2004


A warm day spent inside, realizing in the few moments out how warm the sun felt, and then realizing it was my red skin which felt sensitive. Usually I wear a hat when I am out, now I remember why. Ah, the uncomfortable beginning of summer season, when my Irish/Scottish skin must reacquaint itself with the UV. The wind is soft, crickets and I believe frogs are making their noises in the distance. A lovely mountain evening, in which I spent a fair moment just standing and staring outside, not at anything in particular.

Tonight I feel the fraud, the sham, the strong sense that at any moment someone is going to pull the curtain and see me for who I am, or maybe more so that they already have, and I’m doing my little dance while others snicker.

All that I write, all that I yearn for I realize is perfectly true, only I’m not suited for it, I’m not disciplined enough, or wise enough, or plain holy enough to grasp what it is which is right before me. I only have to reach out, and I sit back, wasting time, acting a part I’m not really playing.

Curiously, this isn’t mixed with any sort of depression, more of a distant look back at myself, who I am, the opportunites missed, if only… I was what I should be. At what point, I wonder, do we fatally wound ourselves from achieving our real purpose. and are let loose to drift on the turbid waters.

For all my words of Wesley, of the monks, of the others who expressed the reality of reaching back to the God who reaches out, I feel my only hope lies in a God who reaches all the way and reels me in.

I take stock of my heart, and am not pleased by what I see. If I had faith I would be so much more, even in this situation.

There is nothing else but to continue onwards, however. So, I’ll go to sleep and aim a little sharper tomorrow.


The sun is warm and it feels nice that way. I realized I am getting more ready for warmer weather… not hot weather mind you, just warm. The birds are active outside, chasing each other. Ravens are showing their more mischievious and dastardly sides, stealing eggs from nests as the parents screech from nearby branches.

A squirrel jumped on my balcony, frantically looked around, wandered up and down the posts, then leaped to the ground. Bugs fly around the small white flowers on trees. Light green shoots are on the tips of the fir trees, new growth, a fringe of Spring activity. It is not particularly quiet in these parts, but it is quite lovely.

Spiritual growth is a lot like escaping from prison. We have a spoon in hand, and we are tunneling our way through cement and hard dirt. It takes a great deal of time to make even the slightest progress. So slow some even say it is impossible to break free, to find light. It isn’t, not at all, it just takes plodding along daily, continually. And just because someone has been around for a while, doesn’t mean they’ve been properly active in progression.

I feel this today, wondering where the months and years have gone, realizing I’ve made progress. At first, when one discovers the possibilities, discovers the hope, hears of others who have made their way, it is exciting. The idea of it all motivates, changes, transforms. Then, it all settles down in the steady rhythm of real progress.

I realize the growth, see the maturity, the change in just the last week, month, or year and I am content. Though it is slow going, very slow. Few things in this world are the province of old men and women any more. True spirituality is very much, but only if they have grown old by steadily moving along since they were young. I am young, and see the path, know the length.

Steady onward.

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