Wednesday, October 3, 2012

To rest, go to the woods...

You know, I would love to write a blog post today.  I would love to sit out on my porch, soaking up the sun, with a cup of coffee beside me.  But today, I don't think that's possible.  Today, I can't finish a complete sentence, a complete thought, a complete anything.  I just sent an email that was two days overdue.  I don't really know what I said.  I don't know that it was coherent.  I don't know that the flippin' thing was even in English. 

But it is a new month, a new discipline, so I need to reflect on last month and tell you what I am doing this month.  Thankfully, on Sunday evening, I managed to escape onto my porch and actually wrote something that was in complete sentences.  That's what you get from me today.  Here you go:

Here I find myself at the end of another month.  I think I need to repeat the Sabbath.  Or at least try to continue it.  It's been hard to feel close to God on the Sabbath, because it's been hard to feel close to God.  Period.  But that's my fault.  I have failed at fixed-hour prayer and sometimes at solitude and mostly at Sabbath.

I'm burning incense right now.  That's something.

Today I have been mostly cranky.  But I did play under the blankets this morning with the kids and Leia.  And I connected with God during Eric's sermon.  And I exchanged out my summer and winter clothes.  And I spent nearly two hours, alone, working on my talk for MOPS on Thursday, and that is mostly crappy but I think it's a tiny bit OK.  And now I am journaling.  Tonight I can believe, at least partly, that God loves me.

Tomorrow is October 1, and I think I will focus on nature.  I think I will read Wendell Berry and spend thirty minutes outside a day.  Um, yeah.  Let's see how this works.  I claim to love nature, but I hole myself up inside.  How am I going to pull this off?  I guess I will take afternoon walks with the kids.  And maybe take them to the park.  And maybe try to hit up Kansas City's nature centers and trails.  Does the zoo count?  I just remembered that I spend 40 minutes outside every weekday morning walking to and from kindergarten.  Does that count?  Probably not.  I don't know.  I'd rather not think about it. 

So October's focus is on nature, because I sure do not want to spend the winter focusing on nature, what with my crazy aversion to cold and gray days and all.

One of my favorite poems is taped to my great grandma's buffet in my dining room.  My graduate-school-therapist-turned-friend sent me this poem several years ago for my birthday.  I love it still.

To rest, go to the woods
Where what is made is made
Without your thought or work.
sit down; begin the wait
For small trees to grow big,
Feeding on earth and light.
Their good result is song
The winds must bring, the trees
Must wait to sing, and sing
Longer than you can wait.
Soon you must go.  The trees,
Your seniors, standing thus
Acknowledged in your eyes,
Stand as your praise and prayer.
Your rest is in this praise
Of what you cannot be
And what you cannot do.
  ~Wendell Berry, "The Farm," IX, A Timbered Choir: The Sabbath Poems: 1979-1997


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