Learning to Dance

Explorations in the Spiritual Life

Date: June 7, 2004


A dark night, fairly so. Lights off, for the most part, the stars are out. The lights in my own room reflect against the window. Bugs fly around, going outside is an invitation for them to introduce themselves in their peculiarly bug way. It is quiet, and calm. A wonderful evening.

The day was not as wonderful. The frustrations being fought continued, and I’m not sure I was quite as diligent in overcoming. I was a mild bit lazy today, though I kept returning to the appointed tasks, and finding my focus leaving. Later in the day I turned to some creative work, and found my heart being raised again.

The struggle of the spiritual life is that we do not know really what we are facing. We could cripple ourselves and weaken our fight by giving into continual doubt, doubts which have no other answer than faith, or we can choose to wade through this world we don’t really know, pummeled and encouraged in turn by that which is around and unseen. Like soldiers we only can do what we are told, for we cannot even begin to know the strategy of the battle. But, sometimes it would be nice to know, and in not knowing it is easy to lose heart and make mistakes.

So this day.

I did appreciate once more the value of honesty. There is something about honesty, openness which is both terribly difficult and wonderfully liberating. Some may not be able to handle it, but in being open it is clear that I have done my part, I’m straightforward because there just isn’t time to waste on pretension. What is amazing to me is the bond that comes from honesty, the clarity, the clearing of confusion. As a community of those saved there isn’t a place for hiding or deceiving. Being able to tell the truth and handle the truth being told is a mark of maturity, great maturity. Of course this aspect of maturity assumes the other aspects, the compassion, the love, the generosity. Only when bathed in the virtues does honesty come into its own as a redemptive force.

People, however, can go decades lost in confusion, mired in lies, deceived by maligning words, so that community is shattered by false power. A simple bit of openness, and strong truthfulness can overcome these ills. I think of this because my extended family has been trapped in confusion for my whole life, with varying degrees of related other issues. Everyone is a Christian, and yet, something happened, something which caused disharmony, something which no one can be condemned for inciting (though some are more tools of the confusion than they are of clarity).

In being honest, it may not solve issues which have taken decades to build, but it will satisfy one’s own part. That’s all we can do, our own little bit, and trust that God is leading others to do theirs.

This is his game. I’m just a servant, not always a very good one. But, I’m moving forward, steadily if not quickly.


I suspect there will be little change in the weather over the next many months. We had our seasonal texture, and now settle in for blue skies and light winds. It will remain about fifteen to twenty degrees cooler here than at the bottom of the mountain, making for a much more temperate summer than I’ve experienced in a long while… if, of course, my stay continues. All is up in the air, so I am patient in waiting and eager to move on all at once.

There is an air of something around, some kind of discontent, or more insidious force. I feel its effects more than I feel it directed at me, a bit like a noxious cloud descending on the land. Too much time has been spent doing too little tasks. Stumbling and slogging my way today. I value the lessons of the weekend, but sure would like a wee bit of real progress sometime soon.

I weigh the day, and pray I will be able to make my way forward despite the pressure of unknown causes.

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