Thursday, November 05, 2015

Monastery Day, attempt the first

Jan, when she was a parish pastor, used to make a regular practice of "Monastery Days"--days when she was outside her usual workspaces, reading and praying and studying and people-watching. I think she often had her Monastery Days at a Starbucks in a neighboring town.

I have decided that I need something like this if I'm ever going to think a thought all the way through. I have lots of days when I work from home, or from the Starbucks at the train station, or in my office...and all of those are good. But there's something about going elsewhere to read and think and pray that somehow makes things more clear.

So a friend/colleague and I agreed to try these, on the first Monday of each month. We wouldn't do it together, exactly--but we'd do it at the same time on the same day, to hold each other accountable to actually doing it.

Naturally, this first month we were to try it, I had a complication. Namely, that I'm supposed to be facilitating an adult education class on Monday nights. oops. ( would think I would have learned to use a calendar by now!)
So I moved to Tuesday.

Tuesday was bright and sunny, with blue skies to offset the remaining brightly colored leaves as well as the stark empty oak branches. It was a gorgeous day to walk and sit and read and eat and ponder by a I went to Lake Geneva. The good ol' LG never lets me down (except that one time when Kilwin's was out of my favorite flavor of ice cream...omg).

In the long tradition of solvitur ambulando (it is solved by walking), I rambled along the lakefront path, looking at light playing on water, shadows of fish, enormous houses, changing leaves, and remnants of bygone days. I prayed and thought and spent some time clearing my mind while my body was moving. It was gorgeous.

The only not gorgeous part is that my right knee hurts like you would not believe.*

So my Monastery Day was interrupted, if you can call it that, by a trip to the doctor's office. I'd gotten a call in the morning that if I was willing to drive to Rockford, I could get in that day (filling a cancellation)...otherwise I would wait two weeks. I'm glad I went because I would really prefer to be walking and running without constantly thinking about how my knee hurts. I need that time to empty out and think about other stuff!

While I was walking, I decided to try to pay very close attention to details. This is usually not my strong suit, so I think it's a good practice for me to try for the next month. This is a time of year when things change rapidly, and it's easy to miss the little things.

I don't know that I solved anything while walking yesterday, except for some of the clutter in my mind and heart. I replaced that with beauty, at least for today.

the only piece left...

just a little lakefront cottage...with matching playhouse

the path

this may be one of my favorite photos ever. There's just something about it...

*really, you wouldn't believe it. My pain tolerance is *very* low, so it's entirely likely that if it was your knee, you wouldn't even feel it, while I am over here acting like I'm dying. I swear, it hurts a LOT. For me.

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