For the first time, I missed two days in a row. It made me concerned. A loss of discipline, a falling away from writing, the all consuming passion dissipated?
July was an awkward month, from beginning to end, no rhythm, no melody. I stumbled my way through, finding moments of light, vast swaths of mundanity.
On Friday I went to a wedding. Off the beaten path, two and a half hours into the California past, where old Southern California dominates, leaving off the last two decades at the offramp of the 15.
A little chapel near a onetime ranch now rustic resort. I got there early. Too early to change into my suit, so taking advantage of my semi-casual wear I went for a walk (semi-casual being my combination of suit pants, tevas, and t-shirt). There was a graveyard, most of the crosses were unmarked. Unused or unremembered I did not know. Some had large granite monuments, none all that recent, the last being 1999. They were loved family members, as the momentos still placed attest.
A large grand coast live oak stood not too far away. I wandered over, listening to its call, felt its bark, made a slow circle around, and stood staring, feeling the peace of the place, the holiness of the ground.
Then back, a wait in welcoming air conditioning. Took the ‘semi-‘ off the ‘casual’ by completing the suit, and changing the shoes. A lovely wedding in a small, whitewashed mission chapel, imperfections caused by the rustic imperfections of earlier ages, making me feel as we walked out like I was in an old west movie, the wedding scene completed by horses and carriages, and expected marauding bandits. There was not that, only cars driving up the road where under a large tent was to be found the 21st century, and its contributions to wedding tradition.
All evening while the DJ played songs of the seventies and eighties and more recent, I was drawn by that oak, called by the rising almost full moon to the south. I danced for a song, then drifted away, tried to talk, found myself pulled out into the wilderness. Torn by two forces, one which called my responsibility (and pleasure) to honor a most honor worthy friend, and the other, the one which I prized, which called my soul back to purity, to the holiness of a quiet moonlit place, distant from the rumble and roar of souls colliding, only a small few feeling total release into celebration. The eyes of the wedding couple at the start of their first dance told me the souls who counted were souls at peace and rest. The others present… not as much.
Some tried to prompt me to dance, seeking to assuage their own loud calls by noise of various sorts. The oak called me, all evening I could hear it whisper.
I drove away, before the end of the evening, though the evening was late. I’m not sure if I said good bye to anyone.
Two hours back, celebrating a perfect day for two wonderful people, a wedding which was not extravagant but which precisely honored their precious, and God granted union. A drive back in which I felt the tugs of the conflict within realizing the call of my soul, and my own seductions to drown that call, whose voice I cherish so.
Happy for them, delighted. Feeling of myself it would take a couple days to restore the peace of my own heart, and recover the inner tranquility which that oak spoke of so gently.
Yesterday drifted. A day of rest, a day of recover, wandering, stumbling back to find the settled place. This is why the monks say to stay in one spot. It takes a long time to get the mind back, or the soul in useful order. Always moving never allows for this kind of settling. So, a day was allowed to restore the soul.
At three in the morning I woke up, wide awake. Shadows of wind waved branches stirred outside. I turned on my light, read for a moment about early Jewish interpretation of the Law, then turned the light out again. A bit of discontent, leftovers from the previous day, assailed my heart, stirring me both to pray and to not.
Water was appealing. So I walked out, where the now full moon greeted me with splendor and joy, full in the center of the large living room window. I filled up a water bottle, and looked again. The moon asked if I would sit for a while and keep it company.
Didn’t make it back to my room, instead sitting with the moon as it passed along the window, scattered clouds thick enough for texture, too thin to obscure, moved past in a high altitude wind.
I sat for an hour and a half in the light and shadows of the blue moon. And it was good for my soul, very very good.
I write this now with a sudden peace bestowed in that early hour, a change which time and heavenly bodies facilitated, staring off, letting the thoughts wander through and away in the mystical glow.
Taking a couple of days off brought a realization. My mind has been in a mild disarray, nary a vacation or pause for a year. I thought to bull my way through this lull, and now think to take a different approach. I’m going to take a week away from this daily rumination. At the end I’ll come back, hopefully with a fuller, overflowing soul. If not, then discipline will be stronger, lacking the excuse or other options.
Other parts of this site will likely be updated, but the sign now is turned to “Closed” on this page. Come back in a week. I’ll be back then