Duration is an interesting concept. Because we really only experience things in the now. Even if it’s an old memory or sensation, we perceive it in the now. So how is it we perceive duration? By measuring, by comparison of things, and sometimes by anticipation or prediction. But either way, it takes some faith.
I am envisioning jumping over a canyon. Is time the space between two ledges? I could sit here and just look at that mental picture for a long time. Without writing. I could be content to just gaze at the picture of my mental thought. I have learned how to be still. And how to quiet my thoughts. I believe that is good and wonderful. But so much of the time (nearly all the time) lately, I just want to sleep. It is as though I just don’t want the world I wake to.
Yes, that is it. And acknowledging that I feel that way doesn’t really seem to resolve anything within me. It’s not just a feeling. It is also a condition of mind. I’ve lost the conviction to act. What does it matter to “make the world a better place”? Everything gets taken away, everyone dies. I’ve lost my grip on why we bother. Bother. What a word.
The above was written back in late August of 2016. It was part of “morning pages.” The writings of following days reveal emotional highs and lows, profound and mundane thoughts, commentary on all kinds of things — that’s the point of “morning pages”: stream of consciousness.
One recurring theme is how grateful I am to be away from an atmosphere and others’ attitudes that I found to be oppressive. (I was more and more experiencing a resurgence of “new” energy.) Along those lines, I was also attempting to sort out what I did and didn’t value about the community/ situation in which I experienced that “oppressive” (ultra-conservative), insular/ self-absorbed environment. Mostly I missed what I had been able to contribute. As for the rest, I was glad to be away, gone, done.
Even before I went on retreat in Cohasset, I was realizing that I was glad to be done with ministry. It just takes too much out of me to carry so many concerns for others. And while on retreat I was able to process many of my thoughts and feelings about moving into a time of transition. But I continued to send resumes for six months to fulfill unemployment insurance obligations, and doing so kept me in a kind of psychological suspension (i.e. I had to keep an open mind about the possibility of seriously seeking another ministry job), so it wasn’t really until March that I felt more completely “done” with the past era of my life.
Meanwhile, over the past seven or eight months, I’ve done a great deal of writing, mostly private thoughts, some for blogs, and in much of my private writing I process what is revealed to me through my dreams. The dreams I recorded are highly detailed and extremely interesting, and I am obviously portraying my real-life choices to myself in my dreams in graphic ways that make it clear I am embracing my choices and affirming the healthfulness of those decisions for myself. The dreams are so insightful that even now when I reread them, I have had several new “ah-ha!” moments.
Throughout many of the “morning pages” I also write about theology, philosophy, politics, and ideas about things I might like to explore. Already by the end of September 2016 I am beginning to feel real interest in new things. That to me is highly significant especially in light of what I wrote in late August (see above).
Today I thank God time does indeed pass.