Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Submit to a Daily Practice

How dog-eared and worn and be-scribbled my copy of The Essential Rumi becomes!  How often I return to it, finding just what I need to hear.

Work.  Keep digging your well.
Don't think about getting off from work.
Water is there somewhere.

Submit to a daily practice.
Your loyalty to that
is a ring on the door.

Keep knocking, and the joy inside
will eventually open a window
and look out to see who's there.

~ Rumi

And then there is this:

A little while alone in your room
will prove more valuable than anything else
that could ever be given you.

~ Rumi

This is the last day of my week long writing 'retreat.'  I feel like I'm breathing properly again, that I've regained my equilibrium.  And most importantly, I really have done a lot of work, a lot of writing.  It feels great, even though now I know I have so much more ahead of me.  Why is it that when you're writing a long piece you constantly feel as though you're about half way through?

This week also reminded me how selfish one needs to be to write.  I said no to half a dozen people these past 7 days.  I ignored the phone, let emails linger in my inbox, completely ignored Facebook requests, messages, etc.  In fact, I turned on my 'self control' program for most of the week, and just checked into the social networking sites minimally.  Was I whining in an earlier post about writers who get to go off on all expenses paid fancy writing retreats?  Well, I take that back, because you know, this was my perfect writing retreat.  I love my study, I love having the dog come in and see how I'm doing/see if there's any crumbs to be found.  I love having Rob downstairs in his studio.  I love being able to drink Jasmine tea endlessly and then walk outside on the deck and throw the stuff that's gone cold onto the lawn.

I love my morning ritual, getting Chloe off to school then going on a walk with the dog, beginning my writing day with wandering and daydreaming.

And I love going outside to see the buds on the trees and seeing them beginning to unfurl, the green mirages.

But the best thing about this week was just the reminder that it's so important to submit to a daily practice.  Even if there's only half an hour.  To write into that, to jot things down.  To empty the mind of all those outside voices, and listen to the interior ones.  I've been letting myself off the hook too often, lately, and now that I'm deep inside this book I'm writing again, I'm going to be more rigorous, get up earlier, work on eliminating the distractions....

And on that note....out I go outside with my stack of notebooks and books, and yes, possibly even the camera.

1 comment:

  1. I love the image of you throwing your cold tea on the lawn. How nice that you organized this retreat. How does one get in on the next one?
    Thanks for the inspirational Rumi quotes, too. Off to dig that well...


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