Dennis stuck his head in the door. “Put your shoes on and come out here.”
I slipped on a pair of Keens and rolled up my p.j. bottoms and followed him out to where the dogs were playing–in a clearing.
I gasped. There’d been a chainsaw massacre while we were gone yesterday.
Dennis had asked our son to trim a few branches from two pines in the back, and Jeremy had gone above and beyond. He’d trimmed all the dead wood 10-15 feet up and cleared away all the tall grass and nightshade and poison ivy underneath. Wide rings of dirt encircled the trunks.
It looks great, though the pups aren’t so happy about their inability to play hide-and-seek in the weeds.
We can see more clearly now. Not only that, but my husband says the pruning will make the trees more resistant to winds while allowing them and surrounding trees to receive more light. I care about trees, but I don’t know much about tree care. I looked it up. I think this is called crown/canopy thinning and lifting.
Maybe sometimes we need to thin things out of our spiritual trunk before it can grow thicker.
Meister Eckhart, a 14th century Dominican mystic, theologian, and convicted heretic, wrote, “God is not found in the soul by adding anything, but by a process of subtraction.”
I’ve been thinking about that.
And I’ve been feeling a little–I don’t know–lonesome? Maybe a little left out because other friends are gathering in places I can’t, getting book contracts that I don’t. I sense a hunger deep inside.
Madeleine L’Engle wrote in Friends for the Journey, “Solitude and loneliness–though outwardly they may look the same–come from different kinds of fasting. Solitude is the chosen fast, while loneliness is the unbidden hunger. Solitude brings a deeper kind of living. Loneliness brings a kind of death.”
Maybe I’m not so much missing out as missing Him.
And so I sit here with a pup on my lap, rubbing peanut butter into pine-tarred fur. Out the kitchen window, yellow leaves spiral to the ground in the breeze.
And I make my decision final.
I had a topic all picked out for this year. But instead of joining in with The Nester and others blogging for 31 days in October on one topic (like I did last year on Coming to Grips with My Age), I’m not going to blog at all.
I’m not only not going to add on this month, I’m going to subtract. I’m going to quiet my own noise.
I’m going to fast from this blog. I’m going to choose solitude.
This will be new for me since I’ve never taken more than a few days off at a time in over four years. I’ve blogged through vacations and through my mom’s illness.
I don’t know how it will all turn out.
What will I do instead?
I hope to:
Spend some time praying for all of you.
Rethink my writing goals and this blog’s purpose.
Concentrate on my writing class through Tweetspeak Poetry.
Reorganize my writing space.
Clean my house.
Finally strip the wallpaper.
Take a mini-trip to the Upper Peninsula.
Spend more time noticing and listening.
Drink more tea.
Read more books.
Watch the birds.
Take a few photos.
Visit your blogs and soak in your wisdom and words.
Or maybe I’ll just sleep.
So… head on over to The Nester’s place and choose from over 1000 topics and bloggers you’d like to follow along with this month. And just so you know, I’m not going to miss these by my dear friends and fellow prayer warriors.
Diana Trautwein on 31 Days of Giving Permission
Michelle DeRusha on 31 Days to an Authentic You
Shelly Miller on 31 Days of Letting Go in the Deep End
Cindee Snider Re who’s exploring 31 Days on Holy Ground
Kristin Schell on 31 Days of Outrageous Hospitality
Megan Willome on 31 Days of Dogs
Ann Voskamp on Missing Him: 31 Days of Calling on Jesus
Elizabeth Marshall on 31 Days of Noticing
Linda Chontos on 31 Days: Journey to Trust
Karin Fendick on 31 Days of Surrender
Laura Brown on 31 Days of Today (tweetables)
Laura Boggess on 31-ish Days of Prayer
Still Saturday will continue through the month hosted by our favorite psalmist with a camera, Patricia Hunter of Pollywog Creek. So you may link your posts over there (and I’ll be reading them.)
And I’ll continue to write on Tuesdays for BibleDude, though I will not be posting “teasers” here.
I’m not entering total cyber darkness. I’ll still post periodically on my Facebook page, so if you haven’t “liked” me yet, you’d honor me by doing so.
However, this blog will be silent… for the whole month. Pray for me? Love you all, and I’ll see you back here on November 1.
Stilled and going silent,