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April 23, 2021: The Contemplative Life

I decided today that the contemplative life is much like the golden ring on the carousel – elusive, almost unobtainable. In order to grasp the ring, you have to be on one of the inside merry-go-round horses and be at a height conducive to reaching the ring. Me, I’m on an outside merry-go-round horse, knowing that there is no way that I will ever be even within arm’s reach of the ring, the ring in this instance being a more mindful existence.

I am fortunate in that we live in a place that is conducive to a contemplative life – in fact, Squalor Holler is as close as I will ever get to living in an Ashram. It’s generally pretty quiet around here, and fairly woodsy. Our place is also simple, we do not have a heated garage, nor do we have an electric garage door opener. And we don’t have a television. I, in fact, had a friend tell me this morning that she watched a 2 ½ hour show last night. I tried to imagine it, sitting down for that long in the evening – last night I rode horses until 10 p.m.

Yes, our place is conducive to a contemplative life. But I am far, far, far, from living a mindful life. I realized this today. It could have been that spring has

A book on nature in German

sprung, and with it has come a heightened sense of urgency about most things. Spring definitely makes me aware of the things that I neglected to do once winter rolled in.

Mid-morning, Pete and I drove across town and assisted three others in assisting a homeowner in divesting himself of his wife’s possessions. I mainly focused on dismantling a woman’s library. The other two women sorted through her art supplies. Now I would have liked to have been in on the art supply heist, but it seemed to me to be too chaotic. So, I instead went downstairs, and by myself I finished boxing up books. This was my contemplative time.

Pete and I took the truckload of books to the meeting house – they filled the library room. Once again, I grew anxious, wondering how in hell I’m going to find appreciative readers wanting to take them on. But it will come to be.

When we got home, Pete worked on the newsletter and getting our new color printer working. He managed to do both, and so tomorrow I’ll have enough on hand to pass out to those who come to check out the distribution site.

I grabbed four fold-up bookcases when I was dismantling the library. They fit well in my study. I filled them with books that have been lying around.

I did not ride the horses today. Instead, I did agility. Horse time is a big part of the contemplative life. Tomorrow, maybe I’ll ride the inside horse on the carousel.

Next: 113. 4/24/21: And the Question is. . .

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