Every Tuesday and Friday while Cody is at school for an hour, I go to my coffee shop where I get a Cheers patent greeting: an empty bottomless drinking device (mug) and a hello Norm! Many days, I go alone to grade papers or prepare for class or to read the National Geographic (the ultimate luxury). However, some friends are available enough to meet me. Yesterday, an old artistic/intellectual friend drove over, and we exchanged books with one another. He received “Socrates Café” by Christopher Phillips, one of my favorites because Socrates is one of those enmeshed heroes of mine for some odd reason (the love of the question); and, “Pilgrim on Tinker Creek” because Annie Dillard rocks with words and philosophical-spiritual musings and awareness of the natural world. Most friends I’ve loaned Pilgrim to, however, cannot finish it, but it’s one of my favorites.
And, I received typical-this-friend books: The Enlightened Heart: An anthology of Sacred Poetry, edited by Stephen Mitchell; The Enlightened Mind: An anthology of Sacred Prose, edited by Stephen Mitchell, and Mitchell's “The Gospel According to Jesus, A new translation and guide to His essential teachings for believers and unbelievers.” As you can tell, he thinks Stephen Mitchell rocks. Anyway, so I’m steeped in “The Enlightened Heart” this morning, and it’s lovely; the Tao-ist, the Buddhist, the Judaic, the Christian, despite their belief differences, resonate in similar longings expressed through metaphor or direct observation which tells of something higher. I’m not doing a theology study as I read this, just listening to the beautiful language that these authors/translators use. Enjoyable like a long bath. Hmmm….. om….. :)
I think my husband has been practicing his spiritual disciplines more lately. I’m feeling their influence even though mine has been lacking lately. It’s weird; we haven’t talked about it, but I’m feeling closer to him lately in a directed sort-of way. I’ll catch him praying over his Bible, or he’ll ask me to hold him accountable in an area which holds allure and temptation for any normal male. And, inside of me, I want to let go of my things that block or plug up my love for him. My distractions. I’m good at keeping at an arm’s length. And, then he’ll do things for me that make me unexplainably tear up. Sweet things. Like send me expressions via e-mail. Or, ask me to stop in the parking lot by the grocery store, by his employer, so he can walk over and kiss me. Or, offer me a gift of money and time for something luxurious for myself. And, he’s stepped up responsibility in the way of parenting my/our teen daughter. Anyway, something is different and good. He’s always been good, but now it seems like he’s tapping into that higher Good, which is influencing me! Oh my, I may have to give up even more so that I can make this good love more complete!