Dec 28 2008

A Commitment to Loveliness

Woman at Window by Holsoe

Woman at Window by Holsoe

Many thanks to Emma at Charming the Birds from the Trees. I wandered onto her blog a few weeks ago and discovered the challenge, A Commitment to Loveliness:

“All you have to do is choose five things that you would like to work on or do during the week that will increase the loveliness in your life!”

My first attempt at completing five things has taken three weeks, but what fun I’ve had!

Roses for my table. Frame and hang art posters. Read one poem. Plan a party. Choose a new fountain pen.

The wonderful aspect of the list is the delightful process involved in completing each and the long-term enjoyment rendered by taking the time. Fresh flowers make me smile. Art on my walls inspires my own creativity. Planning a party and hosting a party for my friends was just plain fun. The fountain pen, a Christmas gift from my parents, will accompany my journaling each morning.

The most surprising was ‘reading one poem.’ I made a cup of tea and selected Sonnets from the Portuguese by Elizabeth Barrett Browning. Rather than just read them, I selected a few of my favorites and read aloud, letting the language, cadence, and images work their magic. “Reading one poem” turned into a much deeper sensory experience, a lectio divina.



Dec 28 2008

A Cottage Life

Isle of Skye by Shawna Sherbarth

Isle of Skye by Shawna Sherbarth


Living in the midst of the city, I often dream of a cottage at the foot of a mountain with herbs in the garden, a cat in the window, tea kettle on the hearth, and a much-loved friend coming for a visit. This vision includes handwritten cards on Crane stationary (fountain pen, of course), delicious home-cooked food, close community, and spacious time where relationships can deepen and love can find a restful, quiet intimacy I rarely experience in the age of iPods.

The dream of cottage life can either be put off to some distant day that may never arrive, or it can be lived out in a land of cell phones, emails, subways, and where trees rent space from concrete. The source of this vision eludes me, but its magic returns again and again to remind me of what is most important, to ask the question: How might I live the ‘cottage life’ now, today?

Technology is exciting and helpful, it connects me to people I can only physically see once a year, but it can also lead to relational disembodiment with those I see every day: virtual connection without touch or taste, textures or textural nuance. The stuff of intimacy is deeply physical—expression, tone, physical touch—the 80% of communication that goes beyond speech. A handwritten card speaks more intimately than an email or Facebook wall-post—it can be held, pondered, cherished.

I believe the cottage life is one of incarnation—cultivating embodied, sensory, three-dimensional relationships off the flat screen. Of course, a blog is hardly tangible and possibly at odds with my topic. Yet, I hope that I can capture something of this ‘life’ here in these reflections and hear from others.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...