On stepping into the clearing and breathing

For this week’s Sleeping With Bread post (click on the badge at right for more information about the meme), this week’s host Mary-Lue used the following quote that the late Mike Yaconelli used in “The Back Door,” a back cover essay of the Christian magazine, The Door, as a jumping-off point:

The more that rushes through our minds, the more complicated and anxious life seems. Maybe TV will help settle us down–or the newspaper–or some work–or sex–or a big snack. Less seems to gnaw at us then. Life stays put for a moment. We feel in control again–we’re “doing” something–anything.

The after-effect of the doing leaves us more anxious, but more drugged. We’ve exchanged a gnawing anxiety for a dulled sensibility. Maybe, at least, we can sleep now. We do, on the surface. But not below. Our dreams are troubled. Fragments of life whir round and round without a center. We wake tired, and struggle out for another round.

You and I share such an “underlife.” It usually is bearable; it even seems “normal,” sometimes out of sheer habit. Sometimes it is even fun. But it is not fulfilling. We are grown for more than that. When this becomes most clear, when the whole daily round feels most wearisome, we hear ourselves crying out … How long will I, must I, tromp through this dense jungle half crazed and blind before the clearing appears?

Tilden Edwards
The answer to that last question is evidently a long, long, long time as I began this post on Tuesday morning and here it is now Thursday morning. That “more that rushes through our mind,” of which Edward speaks, is rushing through my mind even now, as I need to finish up an assignment for an online writing site later this morning and I go to work at the library this afternoon. Among the things that hasn’t helped me settle down and the “less” seeming “to gnaw” at me this week so far:
  • Computer games like Bejeweled Blitz and Solitaire
  • Going to the gym once without an iPod to cover the blaring stream of sensationalistic headline-grabbing “news” from the TV (it’s a small gym at a local high school and only has two TVs, most of the time with Fox News or CNN Headline News on them).
  • Worrying about whether or not a meeting, which I covered for the newspaper for which I am a correspondent, should have been open to the public (short version: a “seminar” on the impacts of natural gas well drilling on public water systems for municipal officials; it wasn’t) and seeming to hear deaf ears from not only the officials, an attorney for one of the municipal authorities, but also an editor at the paper.
  • My futile attempt at trying to catch up with reading blogs that I follow in Google Reader (I know, my life is a LIVING HELL!!!! <– joke).
So where have the clearings been? While I have found some solace in finding the comedy in life’s situations on one of my other blogs, Unfinished Rambler, I have found the clearings mainly, in one place, in my daily readings of the Liturgy of the Hours, to which I haven’t gotten this morning, but will be right after this post. The problem is that I haven’t allowed myself to step into the clearings long enough to breathe in the fresh air that are there. I have rushed through what are intended to be prayers, but are just what I called them: “readings.” This morning, Lord, let me step into the clearing you have prepared for me and breathe.

One response to “On stepping into the clearing and breathing

  1. Pingback: The State of The Blog, My Reading and My Life Address (TSS) « An unfinished person (in this unfinished universe)