My, it certainly has been a while, hasn’t it? What sort of excuse can I offer for such a long time without posting? Well, here goes …
This kind of writing takes time. Lots of it. It isn’t the writing so much, it’s the preparation, the lifestyle that it requires. I need time to look around, time to meditate, time to feel. Then I need time to write. (I seem to be suggesting that thinking isn’t really required — maybe.) The past month or two haven’t really been conducive. Every part of my life that isn’t writing has been making extraordinary demands on me at once. My mother came out of rehab, still recovering from her broken hip, and has had to be driven to oodles of doctor appointments. My Quaker meeting is coping with a very unexpected crisis. The ambulance corps is in turmoil and threatening to self-destruct. It hasn’t been a contemplative life for me; I’ve surrendered my inner quiet and peace to the prevailing conditions.
But that’s changing now. It’s not just that I’m getting a break from my commitments, but I’ve made a decision to make things right, and start each day with internal quiet, and most days with actual meditation and prayer.
Prayer, inner quiet, and time for God are the basis of the Jewish sabbath. It’s a day of spiritual renewal, a day to prepare for yet another week of immersion in worldly affairs. It is a day of inner peace — Sabbath peace, Shabbat shalom.
Prayer, inner quiet, and time for God are also the basis of Quaker simplicity. It is a continual practice of limiting one’s business to what is truly needful that makes every day an occasion for spiritual renewal. It’s a shame that we have lost the habit, dropped this testimony in all but name. I intend to reclaim it; every day a sabbath, Shabbat shalom every day
You will know how well I am doing by how much I write.
(Expect a brief story in a few days, and something more during next week, probably a consideration of animals and the bizarre practice of eating them, a subject much on my mind since I recently gave up years of vegetarianism.)