Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Listening and Learning

I look at the clock- it's 5:55am. I feel so cozy under the covers I stay in bed until bright rays of sunlight pour into my room, bouncing off the light colored walls, telling me get up- get ready- for the 7am service.

The chapel is austere, white, and the eleven monks leading the service wear simple white robes. Bells ring. I enter in, finding a seat at the back but also in the middle. I listen. The sound of their deep voices in unison, reading the Psalms, calms my rapid heartbeat and the quaking within.

A reading from 1 Corinthians 5 sounds harsh, it is the only verse I hear that stays with me. Back in my room I write the entire series of verses in my notebook. I ponder them, feeling angry, also sad. I see myself in Paul, who is still carrying some of the old religious zealot within, using words like judgement and expel. I see myself in the sexually immoral, the greedy, the swindler, the idolater. I cringe, thinking, certainly God should expel me, banish me- even as I would banish myself.

I remember, before sleep the night before, going to the book of Hosea. The word reconciliation plants itself dead center in my heart as I fall into sleep.

Time to go to the water. Time to leave it all alone. With my camera swinging around my neck I go. There cautiously, slowly, I walk out upon a tree that has fallen over and reaches out into the river. I find a perch within the intersection of two branches, steadying myself, looking down at the water below.

The wind whips without and within, and I breathe. So deeply. Sunshine- bright, reflecting off the waters of a mighty river. Here I am trusting a tree, bent over, roots exposed, to hold me as I gaze at the world around me from a different perspective. Exhilirating.

But sitting isn't enough. I HAVE to stand there in the crook of the tree, over the moving waters.

On the way back the word reconciliation resurfaces and I receive it for myself, for those I love, for the world. Grace.

This all before my first morning meeting with Joan and our writers group. The remainder of the day held many more nuggets-our group is moving towards building intimate relationships with one another. Some of us took a hike together this afternoon, sharing bits and pieces of our life stories. A closeness is developing quickly, a sense that we are safe to share without fear. Insightful conversations over dinner. I am grateful.

Yet a reminder came during our evening gathering of the other purpose I came here for. Yes, I came to write. But there was something else I needed to allow the solitude here to help me do, something maybe more important.

I need to listen to my inner child, spend time with her, let her lead me. Tomorrow I will begin my day focusing on just that. She holds the key to an important insight I now need in my life, one that will also deepen my love for God.

1 comment:

Terence Grandfield said...

Great post Den. Love the words that took to the "tree" with you. Standing on the "edge' with the moving spirit (waters) below. Press on!