Tuesday, January 3, 2012

joy that comes from being quiet

In lieu of resolutions, I've made a loose list of goals and hopes for 2012. They range from the very concrete "read Brothers Karamozov" to the more exploratory "love my work and play wardrobes" and "create and stick to a budget that really works for me" to the aspirational "see the Grand Canyon." Perhaps the one that is most like a resolution -- a discipline I intend to stick to throughout the year -- is to spend my Sunday's without internet, tv and movies, with the exception of enjoying them for social reasons (ie watching a movie with my housemates). This past Sunday was my first try, and it was more difficult than I expected. Checking email constantly is habit and whenever I have a random question, I look it up unquestioningly. My screenless-sabbath made me re-think my habits, and when after dinner the kitchen drain suffered a clog that draino couldn't fix (and on the first day of the year -- what an omen!) I couldn't retreat into streaming a stupid tv show episode on netflix or starting a new scrabble game on my phone.

Instead, I actually had to deal with my emotions, and after avoiding them briefly by cleaning my room -- perhaps I need physical space to allow for some mental and spiritual quiet -- I settled down, prayed, wrote, remembered and experienced peace, even in the midst of a very imperfect start to my year (and I'm not just talking about the kitchen drain).

Have any of you read this article called The Joy of Quiet from the New York Time? I have a hunch that it is, ironically, making it's way around the web.Joy, the author of the article quotes a monk as saying, is "that kind of happiness that doesn't depend on what happens." And it's not something that can be found by being endlessly and assuredly connected to people and ideas and things but, I believe, by being connected to our Maker and what He is making in and around us.

May you experience the joy that comes from being quiet, alone and connected in an unconnected way, throughout 2012.


  1. I like this, B. Thank you, I needed to hear it.

  2. Good stuff. And definitely see the Grand Canyon! We can tell you where we stayed if you're looking for a place in the park!