“The Benedictines, more than any other people I know, insist that there is time in each day for prayer, for work, for study, for play. Liturgical time is essentially poetic time, oriented toward process rather than productivity, willing to wait attentively in stillness rather than always pushing to ‘get the job done.’”
— The Cloister Walk, Kathleen Norris
Book 13/25 for my personal Clear Your Shelves (read what you own) challenge this year. (Clearly I need to step it up if I want to finish before the year’s out!). I’ve owned CLOISTER WALK I suspect for eighteen years but never opened it before this week. Picking it up right before my annual writing retreat (or as critique partner, Uma Krishnaswami calls it, our “writing advance”) feels right. When I have loads of time before me, I can get anxious about all I hope to accomplish. I can program and schedule and rush and end up easily feeling inadequate. I know creativity is inefficient (and a hilarious discipline for the impatient person I can be). I know it can’t be bent to my will.
By the time you read this, I’ll be two days in to my time away. Here’s to the prayer and the work and the study and play!
Here’s to waiting attentively.
Oh, I love Kathleen Norris.
A friend of mine made a commitment to not buy another book until she had read everything on her shelves. It took her two years, but she did it, and then promptly bought a new book. Happy retreat.