Categories
Humor the real self

Dried apricots

My New Year’s non-resolution was to get up early enough to have time to write before I start work. You know, like serious writers are supposed to do…if you read all the books…(which I don’t).

I’m doing quite well with Part A – getting up early. For me, this is almost a miracle.

No, it is a miracle.

Part B has been another matter. I thought Part B had to do with this blog and my other blog (piano music) or maybe even a new blog I have in mind. It hasn’t turned out that way.


I’m an introvert whose life is way too busy. One generation before me, one just even with me, and two behind me – that’s a lot of people right there. No way am I missing out on all that fun. No way am I turning into an old codger.

(Codger – haven’t thought of that word in a long time.)

Where does an old potential-codger introvert, surrounded by generations of people, find a little nook in the space-time continuum to put one’s feet up, stare off into the distance, and realize how many muscles are knotted up and pinpoint exactly where they are?


I eat a lot of dried apricots – helps me keep my potassium from going low. (I get mine from Trader Joe’s – by far the best place I know of for dried fruit.) Some are soft and sweet and some are hard and don’t taste like much.

I become the second kind. When I don’t have time to myself. To just be and just do whatever my dried apricot soul feels like being and doing.


That’s what Part B has turned into.

And the surprise I wasn’t expecting:

my soul has been feeling like writing emails to people in those generations around me, connecting with them in new ways about what is going on in their lives;

praying for them much more than I ever had before

(and, alas, for people like Mitch McConnell and Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin, who I don’t even like to include in the same paragraph);

and just thinking about them and letting joy happen.


That’s it. My New Year’s non-resolution, unbeknownst to me and not part of my plan:

Make a little nook of space and time to let joy happen.

Grace and peace to you…

dw

Categories
the real self

The real self

I consider that the spiritual life is the life of [one’s] real self, the life of that interior self whose flame is so often allowed to be smothered under the ashes of anxiety and futile concern.

— Thomas Merton, No Man Is an Island

In these few words Merton has spelled out the scope of this blog:

  • the ‘real self’ God made us to be
  • how to find that self
  • how to fan it aflame amid the ashes of our lives

It boils down to what I have come to believe is the good news of the Gospel:

Following Jesus leads us from our fake selves to our real selves,

from living in our heads to living from our hearts,

from advancing our own agendas to receiving the gift of His,

from thirsting for the next transient thrill to drinking deeply of eternal life.

dw

  • What do you think of the notion that each of us has a ‘real self’ that God loves and nurtures?
  • To what extent do you feel in touch with your real self?
  • What are the ashes in your life that hinder your real self from emerging and thriving?

I encourage you to consider writing out your answers, either in a journal or in the comments section.

Grace and peace to you…

dw

p.s. this, too, is a refresh of an earlier post

Categories
attention the real self

A million things

…to run anything in this world…is like being lost in a forest of a million trees…and each tree is a thing to be done… A million trees. A million things. Until finally we have eyes for nothing else, and whatever we see turns into a thing.

So how am I to say it, gentlemen? When he came, I missed him.

— The Inkeeper

Frederick Buechner, Secrets in the Dark: A Life in Sermons, “The Birth”

I can’t begin to convey the magic of Frederick Buechner’s sermon “The Birth”. Sermon isn’t really the right word. It’s more like three interviews with people who witnessed the event: the Innkeeper, the Wise Men, and the Shepherds. The quote above is from the Innkeeper’s account, his witness, his confession – that’s what it is in the end – his confession. And it’s my confession, too; maybe it’s yours.


  • Are we lost in the forest of our concerns, so lost we can’t see the Light of the World around and among us?
  • He came to his own people and his own people…”missed” him.  Do we, like the innkeeper, have no room, no mental or emotional space, for Jesus to be born? Are we missing him? Are we aware we are missing him?
  • What can we do to not miss him? (Attention is the beginning of devotion.)
  • List out some of the ‘million things’ in your life. Note down times in your life when those things caused you to miss something important. Write down what Jesus means to you and what you might do to give him more space in your life.

I highly recommend Buechner’s book and that you read this particular sermon. What I have shared here doesn’t begin to do it justice.

Grace and peace to you…

dw

p.s. This is a refresh of a past post from early 2018