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Tuesday, 3 January 2012

Spiritual Thirst

It's strange sometimes, isn't it? It's hard to understand. To know. Beyond a doubt, without question, that life...this a blessing, a gift, an undefinable thing. And we're often hopeless at it.

When I sit on a sun warmed rock on a cool fall day staring at the sea, feeling the noise of it pounding in my ears. Chaos echoing chaos. Chaos calming chaos. I know. I want to see the waves break against the rocks, I want to witness more power, and at the core of me, I want to see some sort of glorious unimaginable destruction. It would please would answer some sort of obscure question in me to see it all fall to pieces. It would help me know that things can break outside myself too. And this great hope. This great great great hope is that somehow, I wouldn't be hopeless at living.

I turn calendar pages, scribble out "30" and replace it with "31", watch William's face change from a baby to that of a little boy. I look out my window and see a profusion of flowers and green and wonder how I could have ever lived without these shades of green. But I do manage. For months and months I manage. I look out of my window and see rain and darkness. Snow. New growth again. All too fast. All in the blink of an eye.

I wonder, what am I growing toward? Who am I becoming?

These questions are positive, strength infusing things. They keep me from running in circles, from stagnation, from feeling hopeless.

I want to strip away the useless, the negative, the fear and uncover a dazzling depth of honesty in myself. To confront myself. To grow. To set out upon the most spiritual and life changing of journeys without ever leaving my living room.

I think sometimes it would be so much easier to physically set out on a spiritual journey. To visit a place of solitude and reflection. To take up a backpack and make a difficult pilgrimage across narrow mountain roads. To be taught. To pray and meditate and focus. To go away and come back changed.

It's harder to change in a familiar place. It takes discipline to get out of your own bed each morning and think "Today I am going to learn and grow. Right here where I am. Because this is the option I have open to me right now." Examining the soul is always challenging and often unsettling. It can certainly be unpleasant at times. The alternative is to go though life blindly, always distracted, never achieving awareness or questioning yourself. Never growing. (And yes, I believe there are people who go through their lives never growing or stretching themselves.)

I like myself. I like a lot of things about myself but God forbid I ever get to a place where I feel I have no more growing or seeking left to do.

On that note, I wish you all a very happy new year. May it hold love, peace and joy for you all.


Karen Kyle Ericson said...

I love this post. I've always had an admiration for the monks who kept silent and prayed, who listened, who copied manuscripts in beautiful artistic text. I'm so bad at keeping quiet and listening. I want to help or speak.

sparklemezen said...

There is something to be said about those who sit patiently and observe the happenings...they are calm and have a wonderful smile...they seem to be able to be so present in their moment...

Brian Miller said...

i think in many ways that is why people do take spiritual journeys...a symbol and to shake our norm...I wonder, what am I growing toward? Who am I becoming?
these are great questions we should all be poncering...

OtienoHongo said...

I think I lost touch with my spirituality last year. I hope to regain it in 2012, hence a timely post from you Colleen. Also taking this opportunity to wish you all the best in 2012

This Little Life of Mine said...

Beautiful. :)
While I don't look forward to aging, lol, I do look forward to the future! I feel like I really do grow, learn and become more of who I want to be as time passes, and because of that my relationships and my self-worth continues to improve each year.

Alicia said...

I hear your words.
Maybe too clearly. As its evident by the sea is where the most clarity to my inner struggles have been revealed. That calm & serene feeling can come from, chaos joining a chorus with chaos, to reverberate the feelings of destruction. It is a calming time in our lives. For such a time as writing it all down, you are whispering to us all that we are not alone with quiet thoughtful truths.

Thank you.

Happy New Year, Colleen!

Susan Deborah said...


The words in this post echo my thoughts in the present. You have so very aptly described the state of the mind when one seemes to lose touch with oneself. I have been experiencing thoughts such as yours and have been wondering and pondering on many questions that you have raised. And you're so very right when you say that being in the same place sometimes hinders change. I hope to take a break of about a week from the present place and travel to a place that once calmed and soothed me. I find myself quite restless these days. I also wonder what I am growing into. Sometimes I find that all that I hoped to become is not happening. Where lies the problem is difficult for me to narrow down.

Thanks for this post, Colleen. I find myself in company when I read this.

I hope you do find the answers to the many questions that you have raised. May the New year open new avenues in every sphere of your life, dear Colleen.

Joy always,

Rachna said...

Happy New Year Colleen and Congrats on the award!

Terri said...

Isn't Serene a sweetheart?

Have you ever read the little book, The Way of a Pilgrim? In it, the seeker actually walks and asks everyone he meets to teach him how to pray without ceasing.

Serene said...

"I want to strip away the useless, the negative, the fear and uncover a dazzling depth of honesty in myself." I couldn't agree more! I want courage to mark my life, not fear! Soooo well said Colleen! Hugs! ~Serene

Felisol said...

Happy New Year,
I too love living by the sea. There's nothing so soul cleansing a refreshing as a walk along the shore mid winter.
It's a renewing brain spa.
I got a book this Christmas, where the author is saying,"God loves us just the way we are, but too much to let us stay the way we are."
I cannot lift myself up after my hair to change, but God knows what needs to be done and the best way to do it. I recommend myself into his skilled hands.
Another favourite of mine, Bob Dylan says, "He who isn't busy being born is busy dying."
I guess that goes for my throng to learn new things and always seeking new goals.
feeling alive, using ones abilities.
A God given gift it is.
Take good care of that also in the year to come.

SassyModernMom said...

Oh and a happy New Year to you too!! I'm sure as long as the beauty and mystery of the world surrounds us we will never stop growing:)

Zuzana said...

Dear Colleen, happy to see you back to blogging, sorry if you have been a while and I first noticed now.;)
Happy 2012 to you and yours and what a lovely post you started a new year with. I agree with you, there is so much growth in changes, but changes are hard and we must seek them out ourselves, or we will stagnate. Often they bring a lot of hardship along, but the fruit they give is so much sweeter and richer.
My last year was filled with changes and I think this year will demand a lot patience and courage from me, more than I think I have. Thus for me this year means growing stronger and infuse my whole being with unconditional love.

Peggy said...

What a great post. It is hard to change in a familiar place. But I'm praying for good changes in my life this year. I've been stuck for awhile.

Crown of Beauty said...

This is such an amazing post - with its raw honesty and a beautiful expression of what's on your heart.

I read it a few weeks ago, but I have not been around blogland much these days... but today, I thought I'd drop by your place again.

Thank you for the award, Colleen. I appreciate receiving it.

Blessings of peace and hope be yours this 2012.


Rebecca said...

It IS harder to change in a familiar place.

...and chaos calming chaos...

Once again you have artfully crafted your thoughts into words that both sting and sooth.

Spiritual thirst can only be satisfied by sacred waters. May we drink abundantly from the well that never dries up in 2012!