Learning to Dance

Explorations in the Spiritual Life

Month: February 2005


The sleet continues. There is a light dusting of white on the ground, with the temperature last night dropping enough for a little snow. Now there is only an icy rain, a rain which seems to be never ending. Some complain. I think it grand. I’m always one for dramatic weather.

It’s been eleven days since writing. Mainly because what I would write is the very goal of this section. I want to express the inner workings of my soul as it passes through the various rhythms of life. Yet, over the last few weeks I’ve felt clogged. My soul feels backed up, my ability to express seems stifled. 

And I don’t know why. Like in Finding Neverland at the beginning, I feel I can work but without real insight. I’ve lost inspiration and unlike other points I’m rather certain the renewal of this inspiration is not within me. So, there is only to press on, keep at what I can do, and wait for the Spirit to bring in that which renews my enthusiasm. 

I’m doing well, only my soul is clogged, and it is here where I intend to relate my soul. Thus little writing for the time being.

All great travels endure the privation of a wilderness and often a desert. I keep walking, for the oasis will soon be reached. Though, it is good to remind myself not to be too confident in anything I see, for that may merely be a mirage. The real oasis is more than dust and tricks of the light.


Yesterday the sun was out. There was blue from horizon to horizon, and little breeze. It was a cool day, not too cold. Cold enough for a light jacket, warm enough for a long time outside enjoying the beauty of the forest.

It was Ash Wednesday, one of the days in the calendar which encourages auspicious beginnings, or endings. So, I wandered out and spent several hours staring at trees. It was good for my soul.

Not good enough. 

Usually it doesn’t happen right away nor from a single cause. Generally, there is a build up of small things, bits and pieces which aren’t processed the way they should and which begin to gather together rather than continuing down the proper path. At first, there is a small buildup which goes away with out hardly a notice. Things keep building up however.

The next thing you know the sink is utterly clogged and the water starts filling up. That’s how my soul feels. I feel clogged like a sink is clogged, where there is a lot of buildup, a lot of inner thoughts and desire for expression all collecting at the edge, backing up and putting more pressure on the soul which doesn’t seem quite able to let it all loose as it should. Forget the Chicken soup, I need some Liquid Drano for the Soul. 

Running usually helps. Not this time. Prayer helps and makes it worse. Other tricks to clean out the clog haven’t worked either, leaving me now a month in which I feel a drive forward and a soul which doesn’t quite want to be freed.

So, now I’m straining at the chains, pulling and not helping, wondering why I am both excited about writing and seemingly unable to put a coherent sentence on the page. It doesn’t help that the burst of creative freedom I did find was subsequently lost in a sad file loss incident. 

I am thankful, I am hopeful, I am excited about what God is doing and seeing his hand moving, even if now in small ways. This bothers me then that I can’t take hold of the inspiration, feeling the clogged soul of mine sinking under the weight. 

It’s a curious thing really and it makes me wonder whether I am waiting for something, something outside of me to move in a direction, and the Spirit is holding onto me until that movement is made. 

I feel like a runner at the beginning of a race, waiting for the starting gun to go off, and for some reason waiting, ready, for hours. 

I feel positive and I feel stuck. So, I turn to more computery tasks, making good use of my time even without the best use of my soul. For I am waiting, and I continue to wait. 

For what? I have no idea. All I know is that when I pray I am still told to wait. 

How I wait is a measure of my soul. So I pray I can wait well. I also pray the time of waiting might end. The runner is meant for movement, not sitting in the starting blocks. 

But, there is only obedience. For starting too soon disqualifies. 

So I wait. With a yearning to be faithful, even though I can’t see what is ahead, and thankful, even when I realize my own lack. 

There is joy in the Christian life if one is willing to embrace it. May I do so and do so continually. For the fact is that this, above all things, is what God wants for me.


I woke up before dawn and watched the fog roll in and by. There is something mystical about early morning wind which brings a thick mist. Sometimes this means rain, sometimes it doesn’t.

What is does reflect is my soul. Not in a sad or depressed way, it is something different. There is a fog, a veil, a mist which clouds my understanding and saps my impetus forward. I do not think it pernicious but it is heavy. 

Foggy Day in the Mountains

Indeed, this morning, after taking a week away from this page without intent, I was going to close this section, put up the sign that said closed for remodeling, open for business in Spring 2005. 

For all I want to do is pray. I feel, again, that the present path has taken me somewhere, only it has come to an end and now I am in the wilderness searching for a new trailhead. I peek around trees, and wander up a hill, but cannot find that new path. All I want to do today is pray and sit, and listen for the call of the one who knows all trails.

I hold on to it all so tightly, trying still to forge something of my own, all the while knowing that peace and wisdom comes not in holding on but in letting go, come what may at the bottom of the chasm below. Still I cannot release my grip.

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