I make lists. Some days just the act of sitting down and writing out the list feels like an accomplishment. I used to try to keep track of these things on my phone, in fact, I have at least three apps plus the notepad and the calendar to keep my stuff together so to speak. It works, for a little while at least. But there’s nothing like the piece of actual paper and the hard plastic of the blue ballpoint pen in my hand. I just feel better writing that list. And I feel better c
I woke up feeling anxious. It happens like this sometimes. I go to bed feeling fine. I sleep well. I might even stumble around after waking for a few minutes, getting my bearings, drinking my coffee, noticing something but unsure what it is exactly I’m noticing. Then it strikes me. I am feeling anxious. I examine my calendar, my commitments, my conversations from the day or even the week before. Nothing jumps out as the cause. Sure, I have a lot to do. Don’t we all? But it’s
I am getting familiar with the words so I am sitting down. In fact, I am sitting on my bed in the middle of a sunny Sunday afternoon, avoiding doing anything I had on my long list of things to do after Liturgy. I tell myself it’s a “day of rest” and all that. It feels legit. I pick up a prayer book given to me by a friend and begin to read. This book contains an Akathist to the Theotokos I’m working through. I am just getting familiar with the words and the rhythm of it, the
The task of wisdom is to prompt the intelligence to strict watchfulness, constancy, and spiritual contemplation.
-St. Hesychios My back hurts thinking of standing at the door and watching. The pain resides in my lower back and climbs up my spine to the upper back. My shoulders round forward, protective. I want to roll forward, stretch that spine, fall to the floor, take a nap. When we stand, though, and train ourselves to watch, to patrol, to be vigilant, do we grow stronger?
There’s an awful lot happening in the world, and that makes my thought traffic terrible. I had to lay down last night and just watch an episode or two of “Chopped” to clear things out. That’s my story, and I’m sticking to it. I think I mentioned not long ago that I’ve been working my way through this first volume of The Philokalia– slow but sure. And while reading, I’ve been putting down some brief reflections trying to bring ancient desert thoughts to my modern urban life. T
“And then I was standing at the edge. It would surprise you
how near to home. And the abyss? Every shade of blue,
all of them readily confused, and, oddly, none of this
as terrifying as I had expected, just endless.”
–Scott Cairns “Short Trip to the Edge” Well, first off, I don’t generally “review” books. Let’s just be clear about that. Reviews can be so subjective, and what one person digs, someone else might hate. That’s just the long and short of it. But, you know, the wor
It’s not really blank, you know. There are variations in the paint, chips here and there, maybe a faded handprint, if I look real close. I might spend too much time looking at it real close, finding the variations, finding the handprint. I forget, in those times of looking close, that the wall isn’t the thing. I stare at that blank wall for a long time, thinking about how to fill it, thinking about what to hang, how to paint, putting in a window or a fireplace. How hard would
This whole month so far is a blur. So, what else is new, right? I keep telling myself that at some point in my life I’m going to get my crap together and sit in some silence during this Nativity Fast. I keep thinking that tomorrow I’m going to get it all done and find that silent time and just breathe a little deeper. Tomorrow came and went. Now it’s already just a couple of weeks til the feast. Yikes. Time flies. So today I slowed down a little. I read some poetry. I drank a
Now the Lord God had planted a garden in the east, in Eden; and there he put the man he had formed. The Lord God made all kinds of trees grow out of the ground—trees that were pleasing to the eye and good for food. In the middle of the garden were the tree of life and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.Gen 2:8-9 The ink is not quite dry yet on my new book, Garden in the East but it’s getting there, I promise. I’m excited to see this one come to life. It’s been a very
When I’ve been signed out of the WordPress site for too long, it sometimes asks me to fill in all the blanks again and then it wants me to “prove” my humanity by doing math. Personally, I don’t think math is a good test for proving my humanity. I’ve seen trick horses on television add two and two, you know. Not only that, I do all my math by computer and calculator now. It’s been so long since I’ve done any real math without the help of a machine. It’s funny, though, that it’