I hear music playing…

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.

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morning

Early in the morning light a chipmunk decided to walk down the stares, pausing every few steps, watching, listening. A jay visited, for only a brief moment. I was up early again, the first time in a long while, before the sun even hinted at a rise, the calm of the predawn hours a balm to my active soul.

I woke up wanting to read, wanting to read ancient texts. So I did, for a while, slowly sloughing off the dross of the last couple of weeks, my mind feeling like returning to more fruitful fields.

There is a peculiar sense in my soul I have passed yet another marker, a stage in which some of the old is left behind. I stumble around still, but find myself more ready to plunge forward, less interested in that which distracts and more in what fills. This is peculiar because the outward aspects of my life don’t necessarily reveal this inner sense. Many, manifold, are those who more readily show a life pointed towards the eternal. Yet within… that is the measure God takes of us, his concern is not for our actions, desiring we rather spend all our lives within a single room, unproductive, then go out and do wonderful works at the cost of our soul.

We mark this life by what we do, who we know, how much influence we can assert over others, over ourselves. God only cares about our heart and how it increasingly reflects his presence. That is a key aspect of shifting our perception to the eternal. What we do becomes a distant second to who we are, knowing that only if we are of God will what we do be of God. Wesley paraphrased, “First God works, then we can work. First God works, then we must work.” God works within, transforming us entirely, to the point where we don’t have to convince ourselves of doing what is right, we don’t have to wrestle with the ethical questions or try and arouse a passion within, instead as Paul said, we can’t not do what is of the Spirit. The goal isn’t the activity, it is the becoming of people who instinctively act in accord with the fluid Spirit, letting our lives and prayers join in a dance together, our worship arising from our being in resonance with the Three-In-One.

For now, though, the dance is awkward, the steps are confusing, the rhythm difficult to master.

This morning it seems, however, like I’ve stepped to a new stage, one I can’t define any better than I could define the previous. I only hope it’s not a remedial class. I’m eager to learn new lessons, though I’m not confident I have yet mastered the old.

Either all of this, or some measure of regained focus feels like I have waded through a rushing stream and am dripping clean.

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hot

It’s now 85 degrees in the house. I realized a few years back that it’s at 85 degrees that my brain stops working. It’s not that I’m bothered, or frustrated, or otherwise put off by the heat. It’s just that as I try to do something I realize the brain isn’t working, and consistently that happens at 85 degress.

Of course then I get bothered, frustrated and otherwise put off by the heat.

So, there it is.

Spirituality and weather do in fact go together.

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hope

hope

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morning

mourning

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evening

show

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morning

thoughts

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evening

restless

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evening

conscience

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morning

Prophet

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