To Seek the Unexpected

Perhaps it should be
my resolution
for the New Year
or even
my mantra
for the next twelve months.

To seek the unexpected.

Maybe, it will even become
a poem.

To seek the unexpected.

Like going alone
to an unknown museum
exhibiting
an unknown artist
and finding a new love

instead of running with the crowd
at the big museum
past well known paintings
at their blockbuster
exhibition

or taking the backroads to work,
less direct,
less traffic,
slower,
but worth it
for the different horizons.

This evening I went to church.

It wasn’t a high holy day
like Christmas or Easter.
It wasn’t even Sunday.

It was less than a week
after New Years,
when the usual resolutions
start wearing thin
and your thinking of taking down
the Christmas decorations.

Epiphany.
seeking the unexpected.

What was it like
for the Magi
traveling to a different country
and finding the new ruler
in an unexpected place?

What was it like
for Mary
having strangers visit
after her unexpected
and long expected
labor?

What would it be like
singing the familiar hymns
praying the familiar prayers
with a small group of faithful
on a weeknight?

The one thing
about seeking the unexpected
is that you usually find it
and it is wonderful.

Waiting for Epiphany

Again, I sit down to write after a long day. There are a lot of directions I’d like to go with this. I’d like to write my reflections on the daily mediations I read today, reflecting on God’s self-disclosure to us as a lover reveals himself to his beloved. The idea of scripture as God’s love letter to us.

I think about this, as I get in the car, listening to some poetry put to music. I would like to write about the poetry I’m listening to, that I’m reading, and how it fits into my daily life and disciplines. There are a couple blog posts that this could create. In between thoughts about God’s self-disclosure and the poetry I’m reading, I think about the tasks of the day. I’ll spare the details, but it leads back nicely to my thoughts about continuous partial discernment. How does the daily commute, the thoughts about work, the poetry, the daily meditations, and all that I see as I drive each day fit together.

Wednesday is Epiphany. I love that word. It reminds me of Denise Levertov’s poems. I try to find the poem, I think it was “Chekhov on West Heath”, and I stumble across a blog post from ten years ago. Happy Epiphany!

Now, ten years later, I’m waiting for Epiphany. According to the liturgical calendar, it is tomorrow, but I’m thinking about this as a year of epiphanies, a year of living prayerfully, or perhaps a year of praying dangerously, I’m not sure which.

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At the end of the day

“At the end of the day you’re another day older”

The lyrics from Les Mis come to mind at the end of this day. I’ve started using Workflowy to try and organize all the material that comes at me in a day. It is an interesting experiment. At the end of the say, I have over twenty tabs open in my browser. I sent about two dozen emails at work, have about fifty unread emails from today, but did manage to clear out about 250 work emails.

There are also 42 new unread personal emails. Since I was at work for most of the day, I only got a chance to write one outgoing personal email.

There are about 100 items in my RSS reader. I’m currently using the Digg reader.

There continues to be more coming at me than I have time to process. Can I use Workflowy to organize things so I get a higher percentage of the information coming at me processed? Can I use it so that I manage to read the most important stuff?

I’ll try to clean things up as much as I can this evening. Get some personal reading done, and get some sleep. Then, I’ll monitor to see if any tools or techniques can really help manage the flow of information.

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What are you Seeking?

Today’s Daily Meditation from Richard Rohr is What You Seek Is What You Are.

Only when we are eager to love can we see love and goodness in the world around us. We must ourselves remain in peace, and then we will find peace over there. Remain in beauty, and we will honor beauty everywhere.

I guess this is something similar to, you are what you eat. I’ve written about this in the past, Does Facebook Make You Sad? It does seem like these days people seek conflict online.

Google’s US Trends for 2015 says a lot. Paris Under Attack. Adele’s Year. The Oscars. Caitlin Jenner. The 2016 Elections. This is what we searched for in the United States. It is similar in other countries, with Cricket or the Tour de France showing up as top topics.

This evening on Twitter, #OregonUnderAttack has been a hot topic as everyone puts their political spin on the events there.

I’ve tried to keep my focus elsewhere. The Society of Saint John the Evangelist’s word for the day is Rejoice, and they link to a post, Remembering Joy. That post talks about Ecclesia Ministries seeking ‘to take the gifts of church out to people who, for whatever reason, cannot come inside to receive them”.

Part of my focus is poetry. The poem for the day is Carl Sandberg’s The Answer. This poem captures some of what we seek.

My daughter Miranda shared a link to Adrienne Rich on Creative Process, Love, Loss, and Public vs. Private Happiness. I listened to a couple poems by Adrienne Rich on YouTube: What Kind of Times Are These and North American Time.

What are you seeking?

Resolutions

Today was a quiet day with a bit of reading and writing. I still ended up with over a dozen tabs open in my browser at the end of the day, and I’m seeking better ways to organize my thoughts as well as my reading.

Several things I read today were about keeping New Year’s resolutions. Lifehacker had Top 10 Strategies for Making Your New Year's Resolution Stick. Underlying much of their suggestions is SMART criteria: Specific Measurable Achievable Relevant and Timebound.

I’ve always been a bit uncomfortable with ‘SMART’. Are the goals that matter measurable? How do you measure awareness of God's presence? How does time-bound and achievable relate to the coming of God's kingdom? I often talk of about the goal of living each day more fully and more lovingly than the previous.

On Facebook, people talked about maintaining focus which promoted a discussion about the The Pomodoro Technique®. I must admit, I’m always a bit skeptical of any technique that has a registered trademark. One link to help people with this was My Tomatoes.

Another tool that people mentioned was Workflowy. I’ve started using this for note taking, building to do lists and tracking links. It has an ability to share lists. I’ve set up a Sample Shared List. I can imagine using this for Rhizome like activities, book study groups, etc.

I used Workflowy to gather my thoughts for this blog post, and figure I’ll keep experimenting with it, at least for a little while.

In the Episcopalians on Facebook group, Daniel Pigg posted an interesting thought about Nine Ladies dancing and relating it to Perichoresis and the dance between the persons of the Trinity. It fit nicely with the chapter of People of the Way by Dwight J. Zschieile about sharing communion. As I thought about this, I wondered about our shared communities online. I am particularly struck by this in terms of various daily devotions online, few of which seem to have much community around them.

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