March 21, 2004
Morning — It is still dark out. The blue in the east becomes a lighter shade, speaking of coming dawn, still a ways away. A single bird, the kind you hear throughout the night, chirps, its call echoing in the silence of the peaceful morn. Birds and bees which have been newly delighting in Spring are not yet awake. Not even a whisper blows. Every branch is still, every leaf without motion. A bare oak rises like smoke, its intricacy hidden in the shadows, contrasting with the blue beyond.
I awoke with a sense of elation. Odd, I know. In prayer, for others, for myself. Regaining increasingly that peace which came even as I wrote last night’s words.
There is a certain calming effect when one hears that the frustration and anxiety is not a lonesome feeling, finding out that at the same time, for the same duration, with equal intensity, others were sharing the same. In conversation last night, I heard that I felt what others were feeling. I’ve no insight beyond that, no added understanding of the ‘why?’ of the matter, only that shared feelings of this sort speak of deeper insight, whose vocabulary and grammar I am only beginning to learn.
The morning of the great Southern California fires I felt much the same, alone at the time, feeling unfocused, unfocusable, saying even to my dog, “I am wallowing in discontent.” A few hours later I learned the mountain was on fire, a siege which would not end for three weeks.
In all of this the question becomes our response, though. With my anxiety and frustration, even from an outside cause, I am still responsible for maintaining virtue and fleeing from vice. In those times, my call should be to pray, to pray intensely, knees on the ground. The monks would say genuflecting. In part I did, in part I did not. A measure of my progress, and my weakness.
But today, this morning, I awake with thoughts which try as I might would not come last night. Thoughts of stories, of fiction, of additions to this present site. I sat and stared, unable to find focus, and now awake with renewed zeal, so much so that I get up before I expected, and sit here writing when I thought I would take a pass today. I can’t write all morning, I’ve places to go. I’m just curious and excited to feel a renewed soul, after last night’s shared irritations. This is neither my doing nor my just desserts. Despite myself God is working, overcoming even me in his quest for my fullness.
In all of this I realize there may be perceived levels of psychological highs and lows, in which the more zealous would apply official labels. However, to be honest to myself, this is purely a spiritual journal. Speaking to me at a high or low would likely show little change in my outward demeanor, for I’ve been a mostly pleasant guy these last months, steady and even keeled. But, when I delve into the deeper realms, I see and hear, exposing the roots of which I write.
My prayer last night was for renewed awareness of the goal, and like I said yesterday morn, these prayers are generally answered, if distantly voiced. My elation is one of faith, for even I know I should not be feeling such emotions with so many questions looming large. It is again a taste of that which I felt in years past, in watching the Passion, in staring at bird and tree. It is that confidence which, even for a limited time, tells me that all is well, even if there is nothing more than Christ and me. It is an acceptance of this bare frame of existence, finding a taste of the fullness of Christ, with anything else being icing on the cake.
The sun rises in the east, blue becomes white, branches stir in a light warming breeze. I go to prepare for my day away.
Evening – The sun was bright in the mountains. In the valleys a marine layer held sway, a blanket over the land, burning off in the afternoon.
A day away, in conversation, in help. Fruitful and fun, a welcomed change of pace, a welcome time with friends from different worlds. I left very early, and came home after the day was over in most places, though I think in Hawaiian time it may still have been the 21st.
I arrived home and looked up. Stars, brilliant, manifold, and beautiful covering the sky, the Ursa Major brightest, it seemed, directly overhead. It was late so I did not stop to sit and stare, though I think I might plan to do so soon. Dogs all around the neighborhood barked.