If you read my previous posts or I’ve spoken with you recently, you know that my intention for 2017 is to spend the entire year in devotion to my practice through at-home and residential retreats and deep contemplation. I discovered right away that many of my contemplations come when gazing out at the bird feeders. I don’t know of any activity more mesmerizing, calming, and divine.
So I decided to title my weekly updates Bird Contemplations and by the end of the year, there should be 52 all together. I hope to get on a regular schedule – maybe publishing every Saturday or Sunday – we shall see. I hope my readers will engage with me. I’m curious what your thoughts are on the topics I share or recommendations I offer. Please comment on the blog and I promise to respond. Also, if you’d like to get notifications of newly published post, please click the FOLLOW button on the right and type your email. Thank you so much for supporting me on this journey, and through that support – no matter what it may look like – taking the journey with me!
People have asked, “How will you do what you are planning to do?” What will your days look like? I’ve tried to answer with some sense of knowing but the truth is, I did not and do not need to know.
My personality is such that I detest having to follow a daily schedule and at the same time, without a schedule I can easily give way to laziness, sloth and torpor, and even waste away an entire day in front of the television. I used to admire people who didn’t own a TV until I didn’t own one and discovered that everyone gives into some type of distraction and even TV is not all bad – reading books is not necessarily all good. Distraction is after all, in and of itself, sometimes bad, sometimes good, and sometimes neutral. Like everything else, it is only what we perceive and judge it to be.
I didn’t want to get out of bed this morning (Tuesday, Jan 3). I didn’t know why and I did some mental violence to myself for not wanting to get up. I’m on retreat after all – only 2 days into my sabbatical after all. How will I spend the next 363 days if I already don’t want to get out of bed?
Paz wanted me to get up and while it won’t hurt either of us to miss a meal, it feels cruel to not let him out right away when he has to pee. When I let him back in the house I told him I’m spending the day in bed whether he likes it or not. And then caught myself speaking when I was supposed to be silent. Buddha Baby wanted to play and he intentionally (as cats do) irritated me and Paz constantly, trying to engage us in his idea of morning fun. Paz gave him a look and I got up to get the squirt bottle along with books, journals, the Enchanted Map cards, the phone for the Insight Timer, and eventually the laptop to send an email. I was breaking silence to send an email but felt the timing was necessary. Eventually, we all settled in…
This is my day – in the bed sipping tea and journaling, with both boys sound asleep beside me. Mind is full of “shoulda” “woulda” “coulda” and I just take each moment to observe. Perhaps this is how I will do it – one moment at a time.
Song of the Week: Bedtime Story by Madonna
Food of the Week: Potato
Documentary of the Week: The Connection (Find it on Amazon)
Movie of the Week: The Dead Poet’s Society (Watch it again – it’s worth it!)
Word of the Week: Integrity (Maybe more on that another time)
Book of the Week: Journal of a Solitude by May Sarton (You can also find on Amazon)
I just finished Journal of a Solitude and the completion brought tears to my eyes. I could relate – completely understand – May’s desire for solitude and feelings of loneliness, “Loneliness is the poverty of self; solitude is richness of self.” Her feeling of something being taken away when an unexpected visitor showed up as an intrusion. Her desire to care lovingly for the creatures in her care – birds, cats, raccoons, and her beloved parrot – more than a desire – her responsibility and joy. This was the perfect book to begin my own year of solitude. I’m grateful to Trish for sharing it with me!