ordinary grist


Welcoming in Spring with a Fresh Perspective on the Blog!



The secret of seeing is, then, the pearl of great price. If I thought he could teach me to find it and keep it forever I would stagger barefoot across a hundred deserts after any lunatic at all. But although the pearl may be found, it may not be sought. The literature of illumination reveals this above all: although it comes to those who wait for it, it is always, even to the most practiced and adept, a gift and a total surprise. I cannot cause light; the most I can do is try to put myself in the path of its beam. It is possible, in deep space, to sail on solar wind. Light, be it particle or wave, has force: you rig a giant sail and go. The secret of seeing is to sail on solar wind. Hone and spread your spirit till you yourself are a sail, whetted, translucent, broadside to the merest puff…..Annie Dillard

we do well to dismiss the worn out dogma of spirit……let us feed on wonder and the riches of deep, dark, mystery…..let us find our stories and rewrite them again and again…

Our existence is not an accident but a mystery. We can entrust ourselves to this mystery, for we are part of it. Indeed we are it. I don’t say there isn’t much work to do, for there is. And some tracks lead to excruciating darkness, where a person can tumble from the sky on a clear September morning. Yet is the world not whole? Is it not beautiful? For now, let’s consider well-being a choice, something you can try on and wear. When we put on the hat and coat of well-being we incline towards joy without special occasion. We organize our circumstances into stories, stories we pick up along the way and carry with us. Stories that declare, I’m lacking. Why me? stories. I’m alone, stories. What will I amount to? stories. Stories about who we should be. Or think we are. They are interior maps whose familiar roads we travel. Over and over. Yet when we apprehend these maps, these stories, these patterns- we awaken and rise, as it were, to a new perspective, to new possibilities…….Jean-Pierre Weill

sensing the light

Anne Lamott writes, “Here’s the true secret of life: We mostly do everything over and over. In the morning, we let the dogs out, make coffee, read the paper, help whoever is around get ready for the day. We do our work. In the afternoon, if we have left, we come home, put down our keys and satchels, let the dogs out, take off constrictive clothing, make a drink or put water on for tea, toast the leftover bit of scone. I love ritual and repetition. Without them, I would be a balloon with a slow leak.” And yet the most magical moments happen when life’s soft living body shakes free of the confining exoskeleton our routines impose. Lamott writes: “Beauty is a miracle of things going together imperfectly.” Still, structure and repetition are what keeps us whole: “You have to keep taking the next necessary stitch, and the next one, and the next. Without stitches, you just have rags. And we are not rags.” But the true purpose of discipline– for this is the practice at the heart of routine – is to make room for the magical in the mundane. Paradoxically enough, it is an act of liberation rather than submission – routine grants us the stable platform within, from which we can begin not only to tolerate but perhaps even to enjoy the shaky messiness without. Lamott articulates this beautifully: “The search is the meaning, the search for beauty, love, kindness and restoration in this difficult, wired and often alien modern world. The miracle is that we are here, that no matter how undone we’ve been the night before, we wake up every morning and are still here. It is phenomenal just to be. This idea overwhelms some people. I have found that the wonder of life is often most easily recognizable through habits and routines- Order and discipline are important to meaning for me. Discipline, I have learned, leads to freedom, and there is meaning in freedom. If you don’t do ritual things in order, the paper doesn’t read as well, and you’ll be thrown off the whole day. But when you can sit for a while at your table, reach for your coffee, look out the window at the sky or some branches, then back down at the paper or a book, everything feels right for the moment, which is maybe all we have.”…..brainpickings.org




4 thoughts on “ordinary grist

  1. Out of chaos comes order, or so we say, perhaps order, is just ritual, and walking a familiar path to give us orientation in a universe so vast we would be lost if it were not for the small tracks we make… Perhaps the electron in orbit around the atom lives in familiar darkness, an only knows light when it jumps to valence levels or is freed from its bonds completely, where light is always the result …

    • I was discussing exactly this truth about the groundedness that comes from ritual…..the fundamental okness that it invites in…..as the electron circles, so do we connect in circles……

  2. Hmmm. I think for me, productive routine somehow frees the chaos of creativity…..in spite of the fact that I don’t like to iron, frequently when I accept the need to do it, midway through the task new ideas and perceptions float up to consciousness.

    • this reminds me how valuable our daily tasks are…..driving and cooking bring a little insight….and then I’m ready for those bigger aha’s and magical expansiveness that Lamott speaks of ……..keep ironing Eileen:)

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