Learning to Dance

Explorations in the Spiritual Life

Date: July 14, 2004


It took the entire day. By nightfall the clouds had covered everything, no stars can be seen, only a slight breeze can be felt. There were gusts earlier, only for sporadic moments.

To the south there is one pine left, a bare pole to a hundred feet. The ravens are nearing the end of their rental agreement. I have not seen as much stirring recently, making me wonder if at least one of the babies has flown away. I shall miss that sight.

The wonderful thing about the Christian life is that there is always tomorrow, always that next day. It is the fullest of hopes, because no matter the circumstances, of our doing or of external forces arrayed against us, always to the end we look to tomorrow with hope. Even death itself has lost its sting, unable to vanquish this mighty hope within. If we really believe.

That’s the Christian life full of hope in the midst of uncertainty, along with the other essential paradoxs of this lived life.

I’m comforted by this as I struggle to restore my rhythm, again finding points of great inspiration, and moments of prosaic wallowing.

The enforced rhythm of a regular community would be welcomed. Only I know that to forge this path on my own will build spiritual strength like nothing else. So, either I lift up or I am crushed. Time will tell I suppose.

My heavy eyes are reminding me it is time for bed, and I remind them that my level of activity today barely merits a nap.

The impasse remains in part, my own lack of motivation on this day the major barrier.

Except for a brief moment this morning, when the heavens opened up and my mind was filled. My mind is a racing engine, needing fine tuning, racing away when right, stuttering and faltering when off. It turns over, but is not quite ready. Closer though.

At the end of the day, I know that this is my state. It was a great day in part, a wasted day in others, but I am closer. Now, there is only to make my pace more steady, and my heart more firm on the prize. That will be a day.


I’ll write later I always say. Then I never do, or at least not much, at least not until much later when this morning title is leeched of most of its meaning.

Not today. Why? Because I woke up wanting to write, wanting to get my fingers moving across the keyboard, swirling thoughts coalescing, attempting to find some path. I stand around and look, at the trailhead, bags are packed, mostly, the backpack is secure. There only remains to take the steps outward.

As for this day, of the external world, it is, I believe, called monsoonal moisture. A tropical storm swirls counterclockwise over Mexico, a warm storm. We don’t get that, at least not the brunt of a nameworthy storm. No, we lie along the edges of the spin, about the same location on a storm as this planet is in the galaxy, off on one of the more obscure arms. Blas prefers his southern neighbors, and gives to us only scattered clouds and the possibility of thunderstorms later.

Red tint in the eastern sky, the ancient augury, made more accurate by satellites and newsmen. Still, nature confirms. Something is comforting in this.

The fluid life is one which requires time. Letting loose the soul to be stirred with the rising wind insists that the wind is not rushed, nor artificially created. During a lull, one waits, watching, feeling for the stirs which mean renewed movement.


Most of society now care little about the wind, at least cares for it little beyond its effect on well coifed hair. We’ve managed ourselves past the need for natural dependence.

So we think.

The wind still blows and we are called to drift with it, catching its power as our own, lifting us up and beyond our natural bent.

Most folks now prefer to row.

They advance for a time, while those with sails sit. Until the wind picks up. Then the sails fill, those who trusted fly past, those unprepared are buffeted by the change, bothered by the motion, unable to harness the power, and indeed stifled in the movement.

A wind from the east seems to be stirring.

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