Pages of Friends

I have to admit that as my writing rhythm waned, so has my prayer life.  I have not been able to balance the time in between.  As more things need to be done at work, I need more time to learn about them.  The time I use to learn more about work becomes time away from deepening my spiritual life.  How can I find the wisdom to always have a good balance between the two?  

The load of work becomes an impenetrable wall that encloses me into a routine of thinking only about what needs to be done.  Compartmentalization does not do me any good at all.  It keeps me from being integrated and responding in a peaceful way to the circumstances that stretch me beyond my usual capabilities.  

So I find myself browsing through my subscriptions this morning.  Firstly, finding that the anxiety of pondering over these things is being washed away by the background music of Katherine's page.  I've been  trying to catch up on her posts and draw to one that hits me close to home.  She writes "Through the Looking Glass".



by Katherine Johnson

When I knock on her door, that's when the rain starts coming down. The last to arrive and I can see the other two through the glass, looking out from the kitchen. Two gathered together around the stump of an old farmhouse table. I dry off my feet as she places a mug in my hand, and I notice how its gold hue deepens green. I sit at the table and now we are three.  She’s got a plate stacked high with warmth from the oven and a pot of tea sitting fragrant in a cozy, and I can tell the conversation’s already deepened. The rain coming down in sheets and she floods questions. She asks how we pray and if we ever feel His presence. I sip quiet, watch each bead of water catch stream and race down the window, begin wishing I was back in the pouring rain. Just let her thoughts move the conversation along, because I know it’d be foolish to answer.

The past week has been filled with rain.  I loved it.  The weather echoed the quiet I longed to have amidst all the busy-ness.  Katherine's words lull me into a rhythm of introspection that makes me step out from the usual business minded thinking.  The imagery of rain pouring outside the kitchen and the 3 friends gathering around a farmhouse table sipping a mug of tea is as quiet moment perfect for releasing all the day's cares.

I've never had that routine of gathering by a kitchen table and sharing a cup of coffee with friends as of late.  I used to during my college days.  These friends now have families and live in other sides of the world.  In their absence, Julia Cameron captures this longing of mine for intimate and meaningful interior conversations in her book,

Writing has for thirty-plus years been my constant companion, my lover, my friend, my job, my passion, and what I do with myself and the world I live in.  Writing is how, and it sometimes seems why, I do my life.

The "whys" of life always brings me back to thinking about prayer.  Prayer is that part of my life when asking why does not bring me any anxiety and waiting for answers does not bring me restlessness.  I miss outlining words in the Book of Life and having them speak to me as God would if I walked with Him on the dusty roads of Jerusalem.  So I flip pages and I find myself on Rachel's blog.  Her walk with God is enchanting and I marvel at seeing the freedom in her spirit.  Today I find myself comforted by photographs from her visit to the Shrine of St. Rose Philippine Duchesne.

Saints are people I often wonder about.   I wonder about how they were able to live their lives with so much fortitude in their beliefs.  I wonder what they did apart from what has been written about them.  I wonder if they worried about gaining weight or being abandoned by friends or losing their purpose.  This photograph reminded me that there is grace in not knowing everything for the confidence we often need is not unearthed by our own prowess.  The surge of confidence that allows us to surpass the most difficult and fiery circumstances, is God's.


taken by Rachel Kondro

This coming week, I hope I remember where my confidence lies and not attempt to muster it all on my own.  I hope I will find breathing spaces where I can whisper a prayer or listen to the Spirit's voice.  I hope my mind doesn't become to paralyzed with work that it can no longer absorb the things of God and the things of the writer's life.

Comments

  1. Ah, thank you for the kind words, Kathy. You and your writings are an inspiration to me. :)

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