Friday, December 19, 2014

Of mud and mercy

This week has been shaky. I've walked, but not first thing in the morning. I've had to pretty much talk myself into it every day. Emotions wrecked, and suffering the post semester let down I should know by now will always come. Then there has been the rain and gray that is always here this time of year. About the only way I've been able to get myself moving is the fear that if I don't do it today, I might not do it tomorrow. I'm pretty good at believing my powers at keeping at bad habits.


So I go. Perhaps there is something of me thinking of John Irving's dictum to keep "passing the open windows." But he was talking about being inside and having windows to jump out of. I'm not good at seeing windows, only out of them. Often I find all I have to say or add to the conversation of the world is, "Have mercy!"

no dry place to sit
or kneel so i must seek
stillness on my feet

The honest answer to "how do you do it?" when one manages to accomplish something amidst chaos is "I had no choice." This year, I thought about the choices, and doing so has been scary. A choice to keep moving along, trying one's best, trying to seem meaningful despite the soil on one's clothes, despite the gunk weighing down the only shoes one can travel in--well there is a bit of grace in that, yes?

Finished reading Anne Lamott's wonderful Traveling Mercies a couple days ago, from which I found the following: "The truth is that your spirits don't rise until you get way down. Maybe it's because this -- this mud, the bottom -- is where it all rises from. Maybe without it, whatever rises would fly off or evaporate before you could even be with it for a moment."

Walking is supposed to be my time with God, and not just mental and physical exercise. I've taken to stopping during the longer trips and spending a few minutes meditating. But this week I've also realized that I've had too many conversations with people who aren't there, people who won't ever be there, instead of talking to God, or better yet, opening myself up to find what the Holy Spirit has to say to me.

So I'm hoping I can rejoice not only in the intermittent sunshine, but also the mud punctuating my days, caking my feet, slowing my racing heart.

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