Friday, January 9, 2009

Eyes Wide Shut

So I've been up since about 3 a.m. It feels like it's dinner time and it's just a few minutes after 9 a.m. now. Since I couldn't sleep last night, I was showered and dressed and downstairs before 5:30 a.m. I wandered around the kitchen for a few minutes before it finally dawned on me. I had no excuses. This was my opportunity to sit in silence and just listen. The house was completely quiet, the sky was still dark, and I had about 90 minutes stretching out in front of me before the kids had to be up for school.

So I made a pot of coffee (Mystic Monk -- how appropriate -- thanks to the generosity of A.L. from our comment section, who sent me Christmas Blend a few weeks ago) and I lit the Peace Pot candle I bought when I was on retreat in the Adirondack Mountains in September. The little hand-thrown pot with the hand-dipped bees wax candle (see photo above), which I purchased directly from the potter, for me symbolizes the silence and serenity and solitude and simplicity that I experienced on my contemplative retreat. Just lighting it makes my shoulders relax. And then, after those things were done and I had poured a cup of coffee, I sat. And, as is the case when you don't allow yourself to sit in silence very often, I watched the acrobatics of monkey mind ensue. My particular monkey is my inability to stop writing, even in my head, whenever I try to be quiet. So I did what I was taught on retreat and brought myself back to a centered place, thinking the name "Jesus" in my head if not on my lips, and I allowed the thoughts to float on by without getting aggravated or caught up in them. And I sat and I listened and I waited.

I have to admit that despite the fact that I feel really tired right now, I loved, loved, LOVED my hour of silence. Mind you I did not just sit and wait for the Spirit for the whole hour, but I probably made it a good 20 or 30 minutes, which is a lot for me. I spent the rest of the time reading my favorite St. Francis book and just reflecting. It was one of the best mornings I've had in a long time and it made me wonder why I can't drag myself out of bed for this kind of thing more often. I felt a sense of peace come over me and a realization that somehow things are going to be OK with a particularly difficult business situation that has been weighing on my heart and soul like a giant stone. I found myself saying to God, "OK, let's try it your way." I can't promise the peace will last or that I won't revert to the state of fear and and anger and frustration I've been living in for weeks, but it's a start.

1 comment:

Roxane B. Salonen said...

Beautiful photo, for one thing, and beautiful pot. I used to light prayer candles on a routine basis -- sometimes in the bathtub. I'm not sure what happened, but at some point I quit doing that. This was such a refreshing post. I could feel your peace reading your words. I am going to try really hard to find time to get back to that old routine that was so beneficial to me. It is so important, sometimes, that we just sit in stillness. Thanks.