Time to Contemplate

“Listen to your life. See it for the fathomless mystery it is. In the boredom and pain of it, no less than in the excitement and gladness: touch, taste, smell your way to the holy and hidden heart of it, because in the last analysis all moments are key moments, and life itself is grace.”

Fred Buechner

My brain hurts. It’s working too hard.

There’s more suggestion, fear, information, misinformation, weirdness, analysis, coincidence and change than any one can process. My son asked me today, “What should I be doing right now.” “I don’t know,” was the obvious answer. Then, “Be nimble,” came out. “Cook, nordic ski, hike, read” (aka eat rat poison to an 18 year old on ‘his spring break.’) And don’t ask me to commit to answering any of your four hundred questions that start with “Can I” and involve logistics beyond tomorrow. This is not easy for young people. They don’t know how to just be. It’s time to build that muscle again.

Today I noticed the same eerie silence that I felt on 9/11 when the planes stopped flying and the world ground to a similar kind of halt. It feels quiet, but truth is, it’s more a presence than a sound thing. I guess that’s the sunny side of not knowing what’s next and being totally unable to plan for the future: We become present, and aware. There’s a sacred feeling about it.

So many conversations, thoughts and ‘coincidences’ today made me pause, and consider. We all have so very much to reflect upon right now. And for once, we have the time to do so. These are key moments. Make them so. Honor them by writing them down. Get a journal at CVS (composition notebook my favorite,) or staple some paper together. I promise you won’t regret doing this kind of contemplative meditation.

Be present to the mysteries and joys and needs around you. Record your own stories and feelings. They matter. As Fred Buechner puts it,

My story is important not because it is mine, God knows, but because if I tell it anything like right, the chances are you will recognize that in many ways it is also yours… it is precisely through these stories in all their particularity, as I have long believed and often said, that God makes himself known to each of us more powerfully and personally. If this is true, it means that to lose track of our stories is to be profoundly impoverished not only humanly but also spiritually.

Some snapshots I received today that got me contemplating it all…:

My uncle texted yesterday a touching note of thankfs for having a piece of my deceased mother’s art to enjoy now. He wrote: “W, B, E: Many thanks for Connie’s painting — it reminds me of her romantic inner peacefulness – and mine also. “

Lifts close and a hundred stay atop beloved Bald Mountain savoring a beautiful sunny moment, grieving the unexpected and abrupt end of the season, and digesting the unknown consequences and all that awaits below, as Corona creeps its way into the Wood River Valley.

Top of mind-a household of 5 people and 6 rolls, and 2 twenty -ish year old boys. (I am in talks with someone with a large supply.)
Might start adding a few stronger lines for the 20 year old who have made it clear they would rather be in Cabo or Tahoe or anywhere, and that this whole thing is infringing on their fun time with friends. (Dear friends’ parents–Just say no to travel plans, please!)

and a quick look back to last Sunday, which feels like a million years ago…


Be open, AND buckle up for the week ahead. From the unknown to the unknown we go…

Write . Now. Please.

This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. Jen Pen

    When the virus is vanquished I will miss all this time to do what I want without having to do what I don’t.
    🙏s for the docs, scientists and sick.

  2. Zach

    You wrote another great one Elinor. Enjoy S.V. I could do with a bit of skate skiing about now.
    Maybe order a bidet.

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