Another beautiful day here. The Memorial Day parade stops at the library across the street from us and marches on to cemetery just up the street. I love that my town remembers and gives us a chance to send a little love out there.
Worship the Lord in holy splendor; tremble before him all the earth. Psalm 96:9
When I read this this morning, I thought, OMG, the earth is trembling with the noise of guns killing school children. No holy splendor in sight. People of faith, religious or spiritual, need to tremble with love, not with excuses why they can’t stop the worship of guns.
Slowing down requires a continual commitment, or shall I say recommitment; it is a conscious process; essential if I want to stay in the moment, or as Ekhart Tolle suggests, to stay in the NOW. I try practicing this in my every day life—on my walk, in the supermarket, pouring coffee, right now as I write—stay conscious to whatever I am doing.
When I travel, I have an easier time of it because I am usually in the midst of some awesome visual experience that slows me down in my tracks. For sure, one of the reasons I go to Florence.
When I was there in March I visited the baptistery, part of the cathedral/bell tower complex. Usually my eyes are drawn upward to the mosaics in the apse and around the entire octagonal structure. But on this visit my eyes were guided downward to the marble mosaic floor. The floors, usually roped off and carpeted to avoid wear and tear, were open in all their massive and minute splendor. I took it all in as I found myself catapulted into the NOW.
How is this for a solitude day plan? Don’t plan anything!! The other morning I woke up with free day and decided just to let the hours and my body role along together. I did my usual morning meditation routine, but then what? I read a mystery novel, sat outside and listened to some music on YouTube, took a walk, meditated, read some more of the mystery, and then, as planned, walked with a friend. What I loved about this solitude day was that I did care what I did. If I had read the mystery all day, that would have been fine. Hmm, maybe I’ll do that on my next free day! Or even on a half-free day!
If you’ve every find yourself debating whether to attend visiting hour or not, please, please go. Someone has died; the family has chosen to have public visiting hours—referred to a wake back in the day. Should I go? I don’t know the person who died very well; I don’t know the family at all. Should I go? Yes, go! The grieving family, in offering visiting hours, wants you to come. When we invite people to a party, we want them to say yes. What if no one came? Please, please go.
This morning I went to visiting for our neighbor who died at age 41, leaving a wife and two year old. I didn’t know them well. The sadness was palpable, but so was the gratitude that neighbors showed up. Please, please go.
Here are my current thoughts on solitude. When I first became aware of my longing for solitude, I wanted chunks of time alone. Thus began my five winters renting the cottage by the sea. I loved knowing I had two or three days alone, with no plans, other than to watch the sunrise, walk the beach, read, do a puzzle, and sit in the silence and watch the sunset.
These days my life has a different rhythm, more social, fewer days all alone (except when I travel). I’m fine with this. Solitude is an internal feeling, which I can have even when I am with others.
Two different sunrises from 2013
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