Waking Anxious, Underwater

Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. Phil 4:6-7   I woke up feeling anxious. It happens like this sometimes. I go to bed feeling fine. I sleep well. I might even stumble around after waking for a few minutes,…

Always Standing

I am getting familiar with the words so I am sitting down. In fact, I am sitting on my bed in the middle of a sunny Sunday afternoon, avoiding doing anything I had on my long list of things to do after Liturgy. I tell myself it’s a “day of rest” and all that. It feels legit. I pick up a prayer book given to me by a friend and begin to…

Sentinel

The task of wisdom is to prompt the intelligence to strict watchfulness, constancy, and spiritual contemplation. -St. Hesychios My back hurts thinking of standing at the door and watching. The pain resides in my lower back and climbs up my spine to the upper back. My shoulders round forward, protective. I want to roll forward, stretch that spine, fall to the floor, take a nap. When we stand, though, and train ourselves…

Journal Entry: Thought Traffic

There’s an awful lot happening in the world, and that makes my thought traffic terrible. I had to lay down last night and just watch an episode or two of “Chopped” to clear things out. That’s my story, and I’m sticking to it. I think I mentioned not long ago that I’ve been working my way through this first volume of The Philokalia– slow but sure. And while reading, I’ve been putting…

Short Trip to the Edge: A Pilgrimage to Prayer

“And then I was standing at the edge. It would surprise you how near to home. And the abyss? Every shade of blue, all of them readily confused, and, oddly, none of this as terrifying as I had expected, just endless.” –Scott Cairns “Short Trip to the Edge”   Well, first off, I don’t generally “review” books. Let’s just be clear about that. Reviews can be so subjective, and what one person…

Blank Walls, Deep Wells, Resolutions

It’s not really blank, you know. There are variations in the paint, chips here and there, maybe a faded handprint, if I look real close. I might spend too much time looking at it real close, finding the variations, finding the handprint. I forget, in those times of looking close, that the wall isn’t the thing. I stare at that blank wall for a long time, thinking about how to fill it,…

Advent: Noetic Fire

This whole month so far is a blur. So, what else is new, right? I keep telling myself that at some point in my life I’m going to get my crap together and sit in some silence during this Nativity Fast. I keep thinking that tomorrow I’m going to get it all done and find that silent time and just breathe a little deeper. Tomorrow came and went. Now it’s already just…