Saturday, August 30, 2008

the sound of silence

I didn't think I was one of "those people."

The ones that can't sit still.

I mean, I can sit for a stretch of online/computer time. I can sit for a movie, generally, all the way through.

But unstructured time? Time without a BOOK? Alone?


Here's the story: Yesterday hubby worked from home, so I came home from work and the bank so we could both walk to go pick up the girls. Now that M1 is in middle school, there's 1/2 hour difference in beginning and ending times. M2 insisted that DADDY be the one to walk her home. That left me with no cell phone, no book, nothing to DO for twenty-five minutes.


Is that the saddest thing you've ever heard?

I'm one of those people who must have alone time to rejuvenate, but I also like to be around people (on the Myers-Briggs, I'm just a few points on the extrovert side from the middle cut-off point). But my alone time generally involves reading. Or writing. Or online time. Not alone with nothing to do!

So....I walk to the far side of the middle school (door 23 is the one closest to M1's locker), and find a few old plastic school chairs there. I sit down. It's a beautiful day, blue blue sky, some puffy clouds, breezy. I lean my head against the brick wall, close my eyes, and just sit.

And think.

And pray some.

And let my mind wander all over.

And feel a bit guilty for not accomplishing something during these minutes.

Boring? a little. Restful? sort of. Necessary? probably.

The rest of the day was rough (let's not recount the story of the dropped on the floor pizza, the careless remark that sent M1 into a vale of tears, and going to bed very early). This morning I woke early (thanks, cell phone alarm that I forgot to turn off!) and made coffee. When Sheba, my laptop, locked up, I set her into scan mode and went to the ever-large book stack to find something to read. Eat, Pray, Love remained unfinished, so I picked it up. Guess which section I began? Yep, Pray.

Elizabeth Gilbert outlines her struggles in the Indian Ashram with meditation. While the Eastern religion portion of this discussion grates a bit (as a Christian, I identify with the desire to get closer to God, but the whole idea of divinity already within me apart from God, a word, no), I strongly identified with her struggle with silence! Her friend says, "Ah, ten seconds have passed, Liz. Bored already, are we?" (p. 134).

I think I have a lot to learn about silence, meditation, and just being.


MichelleD said...

I love this post! I feel like I got a glimpse into your life and who you are. That being said...I hate waiting with nothing to do, also. I'm not good at just 'being.' In fact, I often have trouble if I'm doing only one thing at a time. Heh. Yes, I have a problem.

Anonymous said...

so funny. I've been thinking a lot a lot a lot a lot about meditation this week. the book Celebration of Discipline has a good chapter on it and Kyle Lake's Rediscovering Prayer talks a lot about easter ideas incorporated into prayer--both good books.
I am planning/ hoping to revisit the C of D chapter this week myself.

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