I have been silent for a long time. Several months at least, and it has been hard. Hard to not write; hard to attempt to write. It’s hard not to write because the words are still in there, in my heart, my mind, and my soul and it’s like they are being stifled, suffocated. But at the same time, when I’m going through this non-writing phase, it’s also very difficult for me to try and “force” the writing. I also get very lethargic and don’t feel the energy moving in me to actually sit down and allow the creative juices to flow.
I’m not sure why this happens to me from time to time. Sometimes it follows a major disruption in my normal routine, or a major difficulty or issue that hits me. I find it very difficult to get back on track with anything once my usual schedule is out of whack for whatever reason. You know the kind of thing: I get going into a good exercise routine, something comes along to break that routine and six months later I’m wondering where my exercise routine went. Or perhaps I’ve managed to get started on a “cleaner” nutrition kick and, again, something comes up to interrupt that and six months later I’m feeling physically very sluggish and know that it has to do with the fact that I’m not eating right – again.
A possible reason may be tied to the fact that I am not a multi-tasker. What does that have to do with writing or not writing you may ask. Well it’s just that once I get out of routine it takes an enormous effort on my part to return to routine, and somewhere in there I get caught up in that devious game of “catch-up”. Because I was gone for a month, I had to catch up with a lot of stuff and a lot of people, and in the meantime new stuff was coming up and I just kept sliding backwards in my time management. So then I try to do more than one thing at once and I end up in a mental, emotional and spiritual mess and there’s no way I can write with all that frustration and confusion going on!
So here I am again, in the moment, a little scared. Are the words going to come? Are the words going to flow? Will I suddenly get stuck in the middle of a paragraph or a sentence and go back to being stifled? Just the fact that I am here writing this posting is a hopeful sign for me. I have so much I want to share. A lot has taken place in my life since I last wrote, since my wonderful month-long vacation in Italy. I believe I wrote one posting about Italy and I want to share some more of that experience. I am back at school after the summer break and trying to feel my way into that new routine again – studying and homework.
In September, right before returning to school, I experienced a three day guided silent retreat which was extraordinary. And in November Richard and I returned to our modest time share in Orlando for our traditional “week of respite” before the madness of “the Holidays” begins. During this period of silence I have also lost two very dear friends and need to share about that.
I have started to take Tai Chi and QiGong classes. Actually this is a return to both of those two activities for me and I want to share how that “God-incidence” came about. Suffice to say that I am feeling really good about it and my body is very grateful too. And along with the Tai Chi and QiGong I somehow finally tried acupuncture. There’s a whole story behind all this which is quite miraculous really. I have made it through the “Holiday period” without gaining any weight for the first time in I don’t know how many years – at least twenty!! And that’s a miracle I need to share with you all.
For those of you who have waited patiently for my return – thank you. For anyone new finding me as I share my journey and this adventure in writing – welcome. I hope I will not disappoint any of you.
I read pearls of wisdom that others have written because they serve me well and enhance and/or confirm any wisdom I may have acquired over the years. I also love to read how others express themselves through their different writing styles. So let me share some more words from other wonderful people.
“Edge your days with prayer; they are less likely to unravel.” (Unknown)
“There’s not a thing in the world I can do to make you love me, but I also realize there’s not a thing in the world I can do to stop you from loving me.” (Sheila Walsh)
“When we know that we are worthy of love, we no longer need to engage in a profusion of activities designed to prove our worthiness to ourselves or to others. Our inner sense of worth enables us to give love without demands or expectations, thereby creating the pathway through which love spontaneously returns to us. Grace unfolds in our lives and we are naturally drawn toward events and circumstances to which we can contribute our energy and attention.” (Paul Ferrini)
“A burden, even a small one, when carried alone and in isolation can destroy us, but a burden when carried as part of God’s burden can lead us to new life.” (Henri Nouwen)
“The person who says it cannot be done should not interrupt the person doing it.” (Chinese Proverb)
“Are you on the eve of change? Embrace it. Accept it. Don’t resist it. Change is not only a part of life, change is also a necessary part of God’s strategy. To use us to change the world, he alters our assignments.” (Max Lucado)
“I have many friends who do not believe in luck; they believe in blessings. Likewise, I do not believe in coincidences; I believe in miracles.” (Jane Seymour)
“Grace is what God gives us when we don’t deserve it, and mercy is when God doesn’t give us what we deserve.” (Anonymous)
“Remember always that you not only have the right to be an individual, you also have the obligation to be one.” (Eleanor Roosevelt)
And I can’t think of a better way or a better person’s quote to close up today’s posting on wisdom.
As mentioned in my posting Traveling- Las Vegas & Sedona on 22 August, Rich and I took a day trip to visit the south rim of the Grand Canyon. I was very excited to make this trip because when I was a young girl growing up in England, many of my friends wanted to go America. There were those who were enthralled at the thought of visiting New York City, others who wanted to see the White House and the nation’s capital, and yet others who were attracted to the bright lights of Las Vegas or Hollywood.
But my only desire re-the USA was to see the Grand Canyon. I had seen it in a couple of movies, read about it here and there, and I believe I saw it featured in a National Geographic article at least 40 years ago. (I know, I’m dating myself here!!). From those experiences I knew it was something hugely majestic, but I had not retained much descriptive detail about it from them. So this trip was almost like visiting it with no pre-information about it at all.
As we approached the area of the Grand Canyon, I remember being somewhat puzzled, or maybe perplexed would be a better word. I think I expected the landscape to begin to change dramatically to prepare me for what I was about to see. But everything was amazingly “normal”, fairly flat country with quite a few trees. We entered the visitors center, acquired our tickets, and watched a great informative documentary.
Even as I watched the movie I wasn’t particularly struck by anything special, and we headed out afterward on the road that led into the National Park in Arizona where the south rim is located. Again, I was puzzled/perplexed because the countryside did not change. I’m not quite sure what I was expecting and I was quite surprised when we eventually saw the sign for the first “viewing zone”. We parked and I got out of the car and looked around. Nothing, just the road we had been travelling and a line of trees. But the arrows pointed toward the trees, so off we went.
I don’t think it would have mattered if I had seen a thousand photographs or hundreds of movies, nothing would have prepared me for my first view of the Canyon. As I passed through the trees and stepped out the other side, my jaw dropped, my mouth gaped. I was absolutely speechless. My eyes tried to come to grips with what I was seeing and I was somewhat aware that my mind was scrambling for words to describe it. Some of the words that came to mind were: spectacular, majestic, awesome, awe-inspiring, amazing, stunning.
But even as I tried to put the words together in my head, I realized that none of them would do justice to the landscape unfolding in front of my eyes. I was aware of tears welling up inside me. I felt completely choked up with emotion, my heart was racing and my breathing had definitely quickened. It felt like my soul was seeing a touch of home, and in that moment I knew that one word, and only one word, could describe the view that lay before me – God. I could imagine Him during the days of creation, eyeing this particular piece of the earth and, feeling the inspiration, reaching His hand down and slicing a two hundred and eighty mile long wavy line through the State of Arizona.
Just as words do not do justice to the majesty, the size, the total “stunningness” of the Grand Canyon, so too pictures cannot capture it’s breathtaking awesomeness. But I am including a couple that my husband took as we went from viewing point to viewing point along the south rim. The picture of the raven is included for a couple of reasons. My adopted Native American name is Raven Woman. When we first got out of our car at the condo we stayed at in Sedona, a raven flew onto the roof, and every viewing spot in the Grand Canyon had several ravens hopping around. I felt especially welcomed in both places.
As I stared at this miracle of God and nature, once again I found myself thinking of the first pioneers, those courageous men and women who set out from the eastern settlements of America to explore what lay beyond their known territories. I tried to imagine a lonely cowboy riding across new and unexplored country, galloping along on his horse and coming through the tree line to approach the edge of the canyon. I’m sure he must have experienced feelings similar to those I described above.
For those of you who are interested, here are a few facts about the Grand Canyon. Even as I write them I find them hard to digest and fully take in. The Canyon is nearly two hundred and eighty miles long, reaching from Marble Canyon near the Utah-Arizona border to Grand Wash Cliffs in Mojave County near the Nevada-Arizona border. In some places it is eighteen miles wide – yes, eighteen miles!! And it reaches depths of up to one mile. At the south rim the width of the chasm is about ten miles.
All I can say is, if there is nothing else that you do, no specific location that you have a desire to see in the USA, plan to go to the Grand Canyon. I do not think you will be disappointed and I am sure you will be at least a little bit changed afterward. Happy trails!