Learning to Dance

Explorations in the Spiritual Life

Date: June 28, 2004

Funny thing. I woke up this morning with a renewed passion to write. I didn’t write. But for the few words above. I was quite productive, and now I end the day feeling the creeping onset of acedia. Why? I convince myself of reality, and still that vague gnawing continues, that chasm which opens in the soul, that shadow which grows despite the attempts to throw light in all the dark.

Missteps over the weekend, not sins as much as awareness of imperfection, knowing wrong was done and feeling the consequences, knowing that my own attitudes and actions were not in keeping with the fluid way of the Spirit. Then, moving on the next day, as though there was nothing wrong. Except for that vague gnawing, that deep awareness that shalom was disturbed, and I was the cause.

Petty, even with well reasoned argument.

The worst part, for me, is not my attitude then, it is now. I have trouble caring, I convince myself I should respond properly, but I’m not quite doing a good job of it.

My own frustrations, my own stumblings about, my own misguided assertions of self, when the only problem is really the one I bring.

I pray for wisdom and direction, and frustrate small progress in trivialities.

Give up a fortune and dispute over a single pen. That was how the Abbas described it.

Now, there is only next time. May I be more adept in the Way by then.


The sun crests the hill, three chipmunks dance together through the saplings, as though they appreciate my noticing them these last weeks, and have a daily performance.

While a delight to be out and about this last weekend, it is also a delight to be back, to delve again, to be where I am supposed to be (even if I don’t know why). I see people who I haven’t seen for a while, and love seeing them, while at the same time feeling strongly there is yet more growth, more progress, more learning ahead before I rejoin the ranks of the regularly social.

What is fun is that this is not burdensome. I wake up this morning excited again, ready to get at it, renewed in heart and soul by the break, and wanting to start work once more.

I miss the palpable response of everything I do, but feel like diligence is the only door to walk through right now, faith in the unseen, built upon steady advancement, my part I can play in the wider field.

So, now I begin, my thoughts not settled yet enough to ponder spiritual depths. Back to my cell, where, the monks said, everything can be learned.

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