Learning to Dance

Explorations in the Spiritual Life

Month: November 2004 (page 2 of 2)


I think I’ve figured it out. Well, part of it. The first bit at least. Clearly not the whole thing. But, a start is a start. You know when a car is out of alignment. It drifts. It’s not like you are turning the wheel or intentionally swerving. The car just drifts. It’s not a like a wrong turn was made, nothing that drastic. The car won’t stay on a straight line, forcing one to continually counter steer in order to stay on line. If one lets go of the wheel, well the car can get into a different lane… which is really bad on a two lane road.

I’m out of alignment. Since my birthday. The week before I was flying, reading long passages of theological texts under candlelight during the evenings. Tonight I watched two hours of Law and Order.

Yes, I’ve been drinking water, and I went kayaking on Friday… though I’m not sure if spending most of the weekend away was good for my alignment even if it was good for my soul. Can something be good for the soul but keep one off track. Maybe… though it doesn’t make it bad. Swerving to miss the squirrel in the road and hitting the curb will knock the alignment right out but it is the better thing to do.

The question is more how to adjust myself back. I don’t know how to align my car, and don’t have the equipment to do it even if I had the skills. I think I know more about spirituality and have the right tools. Now, it’s more a matter of finding the root cause as well as putting things right.

It’s not bad, nothing is wrong, indeed much is fine and well, only I’m out of alignment and I don’t like that state. Maybe it’s me, an internal disorder. Maybe it’s outside me, a swirling of indistinct discernment. I don’t know. It is why I haven’t been writing, and it’s why I feel off even if I don’t feel bad.

There’s something missing, some piece, some bit of knowledge, some unfulfilled something which my soul is asking for only I can’t interpret it rightly. Maybe it’s out of my control. Either way there are always things I can do to focus, and those I shall pursue a bit more on the morrow. A little bit of the Jesus prayer, and other prayers, focus on writing and pushing that forward, maybe some time amidst the trees, letting the wind serenade me.

Maybe I need to see the sunrise again. Or maybe hear the gulls call from over a rocky beach.

Take some drastic step? Wait in peace and calm?

Something to pray about, all something to pray about.


Yesterday was blue skies and perfect weather, and I was busy inside staring at a computer and moving shapes and words together to fit nicely on various pages. “Tomorrow,” I said, “I’m going to enjoy those blue skies and perfect weather.”

This morning the clouds moved in and decided to stay a while, and while they were at it let some rain out. I did go outside in fact, and enjoyed the fog rolling in over me, the cold invigorating air, and the ravens who I could hear but not see.

I’ve mentioned at points that I seem to have a good deal of spiritual discernment. Not always a good thing really. I say this because it makes me know things I don’t know, see things I can’t see, and be sure of that which is not certain. Only, over the years I’ve gotten sharper at it, and find that secluding myself in the hills has helped even more. The quiet and peace seem to sharpen whatever it is. I’ve spent a while thinking about such a trait and realize how it comes off to me. I see in people or in places or events that which will be, or could become… seing the potential inherent without necessarily yet seeing that potential worked out. This makes relationships awkwards at times as I react to that which isn’t fully revealed, maybe not even to the person. I tend to see what people can be, or will be, or should be. Not in a judgmental way, more in a way that I’m not even aware of, in a way which seems natural until I realize other’s don’t share the same perception.

Over the years I’ve come to trust this as I’ve seen it worked out in reality with the passage of time. Impressions become real, expectations arrive, and people reveal themselves. Or they don’t. People can retain potential for decades without developing it. But, it’s that potential which makes them spiritual beings.

I share this tonight because it is nice when I see that potential in people, and see it being revealed, even if slowly. Or if I see that potential and they learn to see it as well in themselves. I think that is a calling of mine, the calling to become, and I can think of no better ministry or calling for me towards others than to help them see that which I see and help them in whatever way I can to reveal this reality in themselves. Such moments cancel out those times in which the spiritual reality is filled with chaos and depression… the bad side of discernment.

It is also nice when I can say something in this line, and not be looked at with questioning eyes or dismissed. Even nicer when something I say resonates and a bond that transcends rational thought is moved forward. It makes the occasional struggles worthwhile.

So, for that I am thankful tonight.


It’s cold. The days when shorts were regular wear have long ended, an almost magical event when one lives in Southern California, where shorts should be handy all year long. The air is crisp, one might say perfect weather.

I lost the day in a welcomed way, doing more artistic, helpful work which somehow passed the time significantly faster than writing. Writing is for my soul, doing this kind of stuff is in my heart. I love losing track of time, forgetting I didn’t eat lunch and realize twelve hours of working have passed without me significantly wearying. I’m sure the says something about me.

All part of the process of becoming I realize. Finally, I am able to listen to those whispers which have accompanied me all my life, whispers which result in mid-life crises if too long ignored. Some pick up these things quickly.

I’ve always been partial to the tortoise myself.


Ah, yes the doldrums of writing, the point at which journals get abandoned for months at a time, the inner charge to relieve one’s inner self seemingly exhausted .

So I write this with nothing in mind, no words to add, no soulful suggestions. The Sunday late afternoon feeling pushed into my writing. Block? I don’t know. Other tasks seem to come along fine. Maybe it’s a block of introspection.

I mark this lack with these simple words, marking through my few phrases this present moment.

Ah well. Time for bed.

lulls and peaks

Scattered writing, scattered thoughts, scattered reality, and scattered clouds. The week of blue skies ended this morning as now a thin white sheet, torn in places, passes by overhead. A jay visits, only there is no seed yet out so it looks around for a bit then flies away.

It isn’t like I have not been thinking. Indeed a lot is swirling around, a lot.

But not all I think is meant for here, nor do I wish to wallow in thoughts which don’t push me forward, and which I fight to overcome. So, I pause, letting my mind ponder in different places, for my own benefit.

There are lulls, and peaks, and valleys, and progress. All in their time, with the hope being that the latter is reigning. All are important, however, because it is not in those times we are flying that we really can see ourselves. All are vital because they reveal who we are in different lights, which then all comes together as we seek to overcome and advance.

It is only a loss if we let it be so.

I do again realize my call, and my heart’s passions, and my yearning which has kept me away from the typical walk in this world. It is always wonderful to see this from the experience of fruit and joy. But it is also valuable, maybe more so in the long run, to see from eyes of emptiness, for then we step on the other side of the fence and realize there is no greener grass to be found.

There’s a secret of contentment in there someone, so in both good and bad emotions I narrow my purview and settle into who the Spirit is making me.


The wind has moods, primal moods, deeper than the ones we feel. They are connected with the very essence of the world, influenced and formed by forces we cannot comprehend even if we understand. Sometimes there is the serene, calm breeze that eases the soul. Tonight it’s a wild wind, a strong passionate wind that comes with urgent force and powers its way over the hills and throught the trees. Everything shakes, the trees sing in response, their branches a rhythm their leaves and needles their song. It is a strong, constant wind which fills the soul, lifts it up, stretches it much as it does a taut sail. It is a wind one does not simply feel, one bathes in it, one comes alive in it, in the sound and pushing, in the icy coolness of its touch, in the music it creates. The soul cannot help but dance, the mind cannot help but to exult in these emotions compared with ours are only echoes. It is the song of the world, it is the voice of physics and chemistry and biology and astronomy all mingling in a lyrical symphony of being.

Not a bad place to spend an evening. The heavy branch of a patriarch oak rubs against the ceiling with each gust. Things clatter and fall, and bounce and roll in the wind. It’s comforting, it’s enlivening. I welcome it.

The election is over, and now we can all move on. I’m happy to do so. It will be interesting now to see how the world turns out. I suspect it will neither be the disaster of evil predicted by the opponents nor the Kingdom of God on earth as proclaimed by the victors, but something humanly in between, though tending towards good and worthwhile. It is a matter of continued prayer now, the real role of a Christian in society.

I turn my eyes and time to more visual creative tasks this week, and welcome the turn and diversion even as I realize the purity of my soul is found in and through writing. I can pause, but it calls too loudly now to ignore for a long while. Through writing I know myself. When I leave it I lose myself, lose a connection with myself, lose those parts of myself I most enjoy.

So, some web stuff, some newsletter stuff, and I’m back in the game. For there is nothing else… and I’m fine with that. For who would choose something else when heaven itself is revealed.

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