There's a kind of pressure to be "on" at this time of year. If you're like me, some down time is necessary to cope with the sensory overload and make yourself available to others, to the happiness of the season.
The painters and electricians have finally left our house -- looking great! -- after three weeks of work. The acceptances are done for the Maryland Writers Association Poetry Anthology.
Before I begin the task of editing the poems and doing final preparations for the holidays, I need to make time for stillness.
Little Patuxent Review (LPR #8, Summer 2010). She says that in order to experience "personal Sacred Times and Sacred Places":
"We begin by identifying and then consciously taking the time to experience our own sacred times and sacred places. These are not times and places associated with formal religions. Instead, they are the holder of our authenticity -- the times and places in which we feel most ourselves, closest to who we really are."
I hope you find time for those places during the holidays. Here is a poem about stillness by Chuang Tzu, translated by Thomas Merton.
Action and Non-Action
The non-action of the wise man is not inaction.
It is not studied. It is not shaken by anything.
The sage is quiet because he is not moved,
Not because he wills to be quiet.
Still water is like glass.
You can look in it and see the bristles on your chin.
It is a perfect level;
A carpenter could use it.
If water is so clear, so level,
How much more the spirit of man?
The heart of the wise man is tranquil.
It is the mirror of heaven and earth
The glass of everything.
The rest of the poem is at the Poetry Foundation.
Happy winter season, everyone. Today's Poetry Friday host is lovely Jama Rattigan at Alphabet Soup.