Learning to Dance

Explorations in the Spiritual Life

Date: June 21, 2004

evening

We have different seasons up here in the mountains. Sure, there are the usual four (which are in fact unusual to find in Southern California). There are also the unique ones, which are not based solely on the movement of earth through the cosmos. Right now, we have begun summer, but are in the second week of moth season as well. Cream colored moths, about the size of an unused eraser on the end of a #2 pencil. Brown splotches, small heads, little substance, not that smart. Everywhere. My sliding glass door has twelve of these moths, and one large one, a prettier one, with split wings and thicker body. I have a high ceiling, and so I look up and see more moths near the roof, where I can’t get to them. Indeed, there is one buzzing around this computer screen right now and one on the wall a foot away.

There’s nothing in here you can possibly want, I tell them. They don’t listen. I’m not sure where they go during the day, I never see any moths inside or out. It is an invasion, though an innocuous invasion, so I don’t mind. Yellowjacket season later in the summer is much more distressing, and mosquito season in September is worse than that. A person isn’t quite sure of the intentions of a yellowjacket. Mosquitoes we are sure about, and we know their nefarious plans for what they are.

I spent the day taking too long to do simple tasks, and enjoying the process. Waking up before dawn on the longest day of the year and going to bed late, all for reasons of helpful tasks is a worthwhile event.

Spiritually, there are questions. Not the usual merry-go-round ones (up and down, in circles), only questions of my own lack of intentional spiritual focus coupled with a strong sense of confidence that I am within God’s directives by doing what I am doing.

So much is made of the spiritual disciplines one forgets the disciplines of obedience which may not always have religious accidents. Maybe this is one of the harder lessons, the spirituality of the non-spiritual, the profundity of the mundane. Where washing dishes itself is a task for God more than the pondering of his presence.

Do what is before you, each day is its own, each step the only thought. That’s the goal. And I’m closer today despite my lessened prayer time. For God seeks us for his own, not to work for his approval. When a person can finally get past trying to earn God’s notice or blessing, it frees one up to really be mature and grow in relationship with the Living Three-in-One. It’s difficult, very difficult. Especially difficult to do without losing one’s own faith in response.

Being a mature Christian I’m finding is as complex and as unexpected as studying Trinitarian theology. Maybe, in order to be in union with him, we have to experience the reality of paradox within our own being. It is a dance this union with God, a complex, difficult, beautiful dance, and all it takes is the perseverance to keep at it.

morning

I woke up very early, earlier than I have for a while. All was silent, still, only the sound of my fan could be heard. Then, a bird began singing, a wonderful little tune. The first bird song of the morning. I made a wish. About an hour later the sun rose, and kept on rising, squirrels visited, birds sang throughout the day. Since yesterday I’ve been trying to determine if it is the sound of a baby raven that I hear. Could be. Now, a squirrel is driven off the balcony by another squirrel, one going west as the other comes from the east. The sun, directly above, is like a spotlight on the feeding rodent.

This is the first full day of summer. I continue my tasks of yesterday, a definite tangent from my usual pursuits, and yet, though not desired or expected, it too feels right, and indeed is fun. I have very much the artistic persona, only I never pursued that direction. It’s only newsletter design, but I can’t help but make it just a little bit fun.

There is a theology of illumination which I think needs to be revived. The web is ideal, maybe even more ideal than vellum and paints for such a pursuit.

Curiously, three days ago I picked up a book by Kandisky again. I find his writing to be quite inspirational and thought provoking. Not at all Christian necessarily, but quite spiritual. In a Church which has lost it’s own perspective on art for the most part, it helps to go to those who remember what it was the Church once taught, and who have continued the quest.

So, a change of pace continues, and I will most certainly be the better for it. Plus, it’s always nice to help out when someone finds themselves in a very frustrating position. Good for the soul and whatnot.

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