on prayer | 1

[Starting a little collection of quotes & things on prayer.]

"Losing one's way and then finding it may mimic the cyclical nature of depression, but it is also part of the natural rhythm of day and night, of the waxing and waning moon, and of seeding and harvesting. However true and even beautiful this turning of times and seasons may be, I tend to resist it as a necessary aspect of spiritual life. Monastic writers have always emphasized that maintaining a life of prayer means being willing to start over, after one has acted in a sinful or destructive way. Both pride and acedia will assert themselves, and it may appear that we are so far gone we may as well give up and not embarrass ourselves further by pretending to be anything but failures. It seems foolish to believe that the door is still open, that there is always another chance. I may accept this intellectually, but I have come to appreciate its depths only through experience. Just when I seem to have my life in balance and imagine I can remain in this happy state forever, I lose sight of the value of contemplation and prayer, and try to live without it. Soon enough, once again, I am picking myself up out of the ashes."

(Kathleen Norris, Acedia and Me)


baked oatmeal recipes

Just look at all these scrumptious baked oatmeal recipes from A Beautiful Mess. I told my Mom over fall break that I wish I could just increase the size of my stomach for a few days, because the amount of cooking I wanted to do didn't equal the amount of food my stomach can hold for three days. So the pumpkin spice oatmeal will just have to wait until Thanksgiving break . . .

(Oh, but. I did try a pumpkin chai latte with almond milk at the airport on my trek back to school on Tuesday. And oh my goodness - it is a tasty little drink. I'm scheming my way to get another one soon.)

[picture from A Beautiful Mess]


ten good things


grateful for all this. and more.

01. homemade cinnamon almond biscotti
02. wind on my face at dusk on an autumn evening
03. conversations on swing sets in the moonlight
04. walking through the baggage terminal and seeing my mother's face
05. sleep sleep sleep mmmm
06. a (rare) positive comment from my photography professor
07. cooking alone in a quiet sun-bathed kitchen
08. snuggling down in between my own familiar gingham sheets (they always smell right)
09. a little sketchbook from a dear friend
10. face to face late night talks with amy

one more day at home [a run with derek, apple picking, reading, shopping, walking in the woods?] - and then back to school. not sure if I am ready for another round.

and these words:

"Don't just do something, sit there.
And so I have, so I have.
The seasons curling around me like smoke,
Gone to the end of the earth and back without sound."
(Adam Zagajewski, from My Aunts)

oh, and these images + text.

[picture from last fall on campus]



october afternoons





The weather has been unseasonably warm recently. And oh! how I adore it. Spent an afternoon on the quad with Torunn one afternoon last week. We laid on a quilt and let the leaves fall on us and stared at the sky and talked for awhile.

I have been tired and stressed the past week or two. But you know, sometimes I just stop and am overwhelmed by all the grace too. Sunday afternoon I wandered alone to this great big field a few blocks away from the college. I only had half an hour, but I laid in the grass and let my body breathe in the sunshine and let my hands dig down into the grass and let my thoughts become tangled prayers. The grace is always there - I just have to slow down long enough to find it. How do I always forget this?

I have been obsessing a bit over Mary Oliver, I know - but this poem is too good:

Wild Geese
by Mary Oliver

You do not have to be good.
You do not have to walk on your knees
For a hundred miles through the desert, repenting.
You only have to let the soft animal of your body
love what it loves.
Tell me about your despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.
Meanwhile the world goes on.
Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain
are moving across the landscapes,
over the prairies and the deep trees,
the mountains and the rivers.
Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air,
are heading home again.
Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,
the world offers itself to your imagination,
calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting -
over and over announcing your place
in the family of things.