I haven’t written here in a while. And I haven’t written here regularly for a much longer while.
No real excuses.
I got to the point where documenting my inner state wasn’t opening new insights. I was going in circles as the state of my life remained in the same limbo. I had the freedom of time and a forest of sorts outside.
But never my own real space to let my thoughts wander and explore.
There was always busyness about the house as I lived with my parents during a time of their need and my need intersecting.
There was, all too often, construction of busy neighbors who came to the mountains, it seems, less for the ambience and more for the tinkering, image, or some other hidden trait, forcing their near constant noise outward.
I tried to be a monastic. But a monk, it seems, needs a monastery of either quiet or action. I was in limbo.
Limbo taught a lot. Not a lot about what I thought I needed to learn. Not a lot about theophanies or perichoresis or intimate encounters of prayer. I lost so much of my earnestness, my pursuit of finding prayer spaces, my seeking after seclusion.
But, I learned how to be irritated. Not that this itself needs a lesson. It’s the response to that, responding to other people’s noises and disturbances and inadvertant life that always seems to get in the way of my rhythms.
Everyone is playing a song, and it’s almost always a different song than the one I am playing or trying to listen to. The one I’m trying to listen to is God’s music. That’s the music to dance with. If we can find others who are also listening rather than playing than a real great time can be had.
But that’s rare. And that’s a gift. A great intersection of God’s people in a season of openness.
I’ve not had that for a long, long while. I don’t know how to find that and I’m honestly exhausted trying to find it, force it.
Limbo taught me how to be, however, when things aren’t as I would manage them and how to be when everything that is almost satisfying never quite gets there. A stream of constant frustrations about seeing what I would need and not being able to embrace it, knowing that it would have been an easy fix for God to arrange and manage the circumstances to allow for the communion I sought with him.
He never did. And that led to some bitterness, irritations, loss of caring, loss of the earnest attempts to find the windows in which I could commune with eternity and step out of the limited life that I led, if even for a small moment.
I lost the spiritual drive. I didn’t feel like God cared about reciprocating. I was trying to manage the relationship, through trying to manage what was indeed a strong desire for quiet time, reflection, and all those good things that people say are mandatory for our spiritual developments.
I learned to dance, I suppose. But not too well, and not without too easily giving in to the other tunes that danced in so many directions. I was flappable. Quite flabbable. And that was used against me.
The environment is different now.
I have my own apartment for the first time in 5+ years. I’m married now. I live in Pasadena rather than in the mountains.
I have a heavy school load, not classes but a lot of reading and pressure that comes from trying to do well enough to maintain a yearly renewed scholarship.
The dance hall I used to be in is now different.
But God’s song is the same. And as limbo transitions now into a semblance of a real person’s life, I cannot let go either the drive or the goals that the spiritual call has placed upon me. Now that life has changed I see again the victories and failures of my past season, seeing how I’ve grown and how I’ve remained so strikingly immature in faith and prayer and devotion. I have so much more hope and faith and stability and stillness now. But there remains much more to grow in these as I stretch towards a wholeness that I’ve tasted but am still so far from embracing as my own.
The last few days I’ve been poked by my spiritual life. Now that all the frantic busyness of wedding and moving and new studies have settled down into what seems to be the new reality I’m faced with my self, my God, my God with me and myself with others.
A new reality begins in which I feel drawn to discover the spirituality of this life as it happens, honing my strengths and maybe finding a way past the weaknesses so that I might become a better participant in God’s work and with him in the way that he asks.
Maybe this might even mean a return to regular musings on this page.