Our Extraordinary Work
"Without a protected time of daily silence we have no possibility of doing the extraordinary inward work that each of us needs to do. More, we will not make any substantial or sustained commitment to the solitary life unless we ask and seek for ourselves a structure of accountability."
I was always a big fan of Elizabeth O'Connor's spiritual writing and was fortunate enough to share a couple of actual snail mail letters with her a year or two before her passing. . .She spent much of her life exploring the inward work we all need to do in our contemplation, meditation, examining our lives and then how that relates to our outward journey. . .
We are not penned up in a zoo. . .scenery the same, day after day. .fenced in, moated in. . .
But, don't we do that to ourselves? Is performing the same old drudgery every day and falling into the same rut of coming home and firing up the idiot box any different than being caged up in a zoo? It's like the old knowing how to read and not reading--the same as really being illiterate if you don't take advantage of reading and learning new things. . .this is not to rail against TV. . .I have my guilty pleasures. . .
It's more about what we are doing with our lives. . .it goes by quickly folks. . .you get to a certain age. . .and I'm there. . .when you start calculating forward. . .you look at how old your dad or your mom was and when their journey ended. .and you start making bargains. .. well, I've got to have at least another twenty-five years left, eh? And I'm in better shape than my dad was, aren't I?
Hogwash to it all.
We all need to go back and be a little inventive. . .rediscover the magic and discovery of our youth. .
I like that phrase from above. . .a structure of accountability. . .none of us knows what happens after death. .. NONE OF US. . .it's all rumor, really. . .and faith. . .either faith in something or faith in nothing. . .faith, nonetheless. . .but, I'm always thinking, just in case. .in case you're right--that there IS something after we're done with the mortal coil. . .and we're asked "Just what is it you did with the time allotted to you?" . . .or, if you don't believe in an afterlife and your wrong--the same question will be asked. . .well. . .
There's no repairing the past really. . .oh, we can make amends. . .we can atone. .but, we're only given the next few footsteps in front of us really. . .as we plan out in folly our New Year's Resolutions coming up right around the corner (for those that do). . .
So. . .we need to take some time to reflect. . .
. . .because, regardless of where we end up or what happens after we're gone. . .you will only be someone's memory. . .and people will talk about you. . .some reverently, some not so much. . .
Worse. . .they may not talk about you at all. . .