Why I Am NOT Writing My Book & I AM Eating Gummy Bears! (PART I)
Aug 13, 2018
There’s a reason for everything. They say.
Mind you, if there IS a reason for my freak accident four weeks ago – and its resulting fractured knee cap – that reason has not yet been revealed to me. I was just walking out of a CHURCH!!!… for Christ’s sake. Literally. Not swearing. ;-)
Nonetheless, THAT is the reason you haven’t heard from me all these weeks. But, in the words of Willie Nelson, you were always on my mind…
In fact, this business of lying in bed with my leg in a splint and strict orders to keep weight off it for six weeks (two more to go!) has afforded me a LOT of time to think about a LOT of things.
At least a dozen people had suggested that this period of convalescence might be the perfect time to gain headway with the writing of my book.
I thought so, too. At first.
Then I found something even better to do with my time. That “something” is – NOTHING!
It’s ironic, you know. I mean, here I was: smack in the middle of writing my chapter on (you’ll never believe this) – REST! And yet, I came so close to completely forfeiting this prime opportunity to putting into practice that which I was writing about.
John Lubbock had once said, “Rest is not idleness, and to lie sometimes on the grass under trees on a summer's day, listening to the murmur of the water, or watching the clouds float across the sky, is by no means a waste of time.”
But, let’s face it: We’re a “driven” people. So, for most folks (myself included), “rest” – again, ironically – is actually hardwork!
In his book on the Philokalia, Anthony M. Coniaris tells of a famous music master who often told students that the rests were just as important in music as the notes – without which the music lost half its beauty.
And even the heart that beats seventy years, he reminds us, rests for thirty-five of those years!
Taking these words to heart, I am starting to think that maybe I should take rest more seriously…
There is a Greek word, hesychia, which means “rest”. Like all words, it loses something in the translation. But it implies an inner stillness. Quietness. Tranquility. A genuine silence and solitude which allows us to enter into that space within ourselves where there are no words, no actions, no thoughts. A holy ground. A silence that unites us with an Inner Presence that leads us to peace… joy… creative expression… healing. That leads us to a greater fullness of LIFE!
If this sounds all too hokey to you, let me ask you this:
When was the last time YOU lay on the grass under a tree on a summer's day… listened to the murmur of the water… or watched the clouds float across the sky?
Or, for that matter, when was the last time you went longer than twelve minutes (the average time a person goes, according to a recent survey) between smart phone interactions?
You see what we’re up against?
Today I embarked on a teensy experiment. I wanted to see if I could go an entire day without turning on my cell phone or my laptop. At the time of this writing (on paper), it is 7:16 p.m. – and there is still no guarantee that, before the day is through, I will have fought off every last temptation to check my email inbox… see if I got any texts… sign in to Facebook… or Google “tiny houses”, my newest fascination.*
These electronic items have their place and purpose, of course. For the transmission of Blog Posts, for example. ;-)
However, “that place” is not on the path to hesychism, I’m starting to think. Especially when they are misused –
As devices of distraction or diversion…
Avoidance of our aloneness…
Breaks in boredom…
Or for feeding a false perception of self-importance where we believe the world would stop if we didn’t offer an immediate response to someone or something.
Not pointing fingers here – just speaking from experience…
On the other hand, if we want to, there are ways aplenty to block out the noise of the world, and to carve out a time and space to get in touch with the small, still voice within.
For example, even taking a few moments to pause at the beginning and end of each day, in silence and stillness, can bring us just that little bit closer to the sound and the beauty of the music in and of our lives.
Setting aside a phone-free time for a portion of each day can do wonders, too. Or an entire day, if you dare. (*Whew! It wasn’t easy, but I did it!)
As Lubbock suggests, connecting with nature, too, is a valuable use of our time and can be a good way to connect with our deepest selves, our true nature.
And then there are places of worship which can lend themselves well to prayer and meditation – which lead us inward. (Just please watch your step as you’re walking out…)
I’ll be writing about these and other ways “to rest”, in my book – once I get back to writing it.
“Breaking a bone” will not be listed as one of those recommended ways – even though that works, too. Apparently. Hmm… Looks like I may have just found my reason.
(Stay tuned for PART II, the scoop on the Gummy Bears!)