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“Lightness of touch and living in the moment are intertwined…”  

 — Anne Morrow Lindberg

Monday I sat down at my writing desk, this time not to write, but to review my most recent month of journal entries.  It’s a practice I do each month, a sort of unwinding of the string of days in order to rewind and watch them all again, this time with a hope of gaining a different perspective on what, if anything, is going on in my life.

I look for consistent themes:  What keeps popping up in life to end up as keystroke symbols on a page?  It helps to take another look at the events of the recent past, to take note of what I found significant enough to write about.  It amazes me how quickly the passage of time lessens the power of events; how events once important enough to spend time with are so quickly buried and forgotten in the depths of memory.

This practice of recycling old news  before I set it out on the curb is how I prepare to sit with my spiritual director.  The label “spiritual director” is a misnomer and either word on its own has the power to make one wary.   The title does a poor job of describing Curt’s role in my life; Curt does very little directing;  instead he mostly listens.  Together we sift through whatever I bring to talk about — both the ordinary and extraodinary events of the moment — and our tall task is to discern what God (my real spiritual director) MIGHT  be up to in my everday run-of-the-mill life. 

This month I chose to talk of Sunday night’s close call, where we barely escaped being hurt in an auto collision.  And I also talked about the spiritual themes I’ve been wrestling with of late, that were brought together so beautifully in yesterday’s morning devotion, that now sits on top of this digital page.

Lindberg wrote these words the year I was born, during a month of solitude, at a simple beach house on Captiva Island off the west coast of Florida.   Times were different for women when she penned her Gift from the Sea  — the Civil Rights and Women’s Liberation movements had yet to be — but her words continue to breathe truth in spite of the paradigm shifts that time has marked.  Truth marches on and invades spirits across generations willy nilly, as if it has life of its own.   Maybe it does.

So I continue to circle around these related themes of sainthood… letting go of my best dreams in order to welcome whatever will come… along with the nagging desire of treasuring the beauty that is embedded in everyday life.

“Do any human beings ever realize life while they live it?  — every, every minute?”

“No.” ………….”The saints and poets, maybe  –  they do some.”

I circle around these themes, not like a record stuck in a groove, but one that brings me closer and closer to the center with each new rotation.  What sits in the middle of the dark deep middle?  I don’t yet know.   So, bear with me as I continue to draw circles.  The circles have to end eventually.  But until they do, perhaps you can play the part of Ingrid Bergman to my Humphrey Bogart, with these old familiar words:  

“Play it Sam.  Play ‘As Time Goes By’.”