Frazzled, ragged, and stressed. The bells and whistles and ringtones of modern life, the opportunities, demands, and wide-ranging responsibilities. These days it's hard not to feel stretched thin, pulled taut, frayed and jagged. Yet our little creature-selves still need silence, stillness, solitude. Silence stillness solitude. A mountain, maybe. Peter Mayer sings of pulling over on the road near Mount Shavano and "staring at the rock and the sky/ my heart began beating more slowly." Until I read David Wolpe's blog this morning, I didn't know that the ancient rabbis actually attributed Mount Sinai, the mountain itself, with Moses' receiving the Torah. Of course they believed that God gave the Torah; but Moses got it "from Sinai." Wolpe writes, "Abarbanel comments that we give the mountain credit because Moses needed the solitude -- the forty days alone -- to be spiritually prepared to receive the Torah." Lacking a mountain, you can take a wide view nonetheless, and silence stillness solitude. As a dear friend wisely told me recently, "Life is a long journey. Be aware of your body as it is right now, and follow your breath..."
Recently in Peace Category
In this time of glad tidings, there's also no small amount hand-wringing on the one, er, hand, and disdain on the other. While some cry for a return of a Christ-centered to Christmas, others say "hey, it's not our holiday, so buzz off." Brit Robin Parry calls for a distinction between Advent and "Mad-spent," Christmas and "Wintermas" in his Christ-out-of-Christmas post, which finally is shares a lot in common with Russell King's put-Christ-back-IN-Christmas plea -- make space for those who celebrate differently. Peace, those greeting cards say. peace.
That bit about the lion lying down with the lamb isn't actually in the Bible, not exactly, but never mind. It's such an evocative image, and we all know what it means -- peace, radical peace, serene and idyllic, right up there with beating swords into plowshares (which is in the Bible, twice for good measure). Right now, it's peace on my old office futon.