“Slowly, slowly they return/ To the small woodland let alone:/ Great trees, outspreading and upright,/ Apostles of the living light.// Patient as start, they build in air/ Tier after tier a timbered choir,/ Stout beams upholding weightless grace/ Of song, a blessing on this place….” (Wendell Berry, 1986-I)
Today we walked through the forest, taking in the incredibly rich colours of the BC landscape. Moss carpeted the ground so thickly in places you could see nothing but green. The whole place was breathing peace.
After spending some time on a gravel road, we re-entered the forest. Immediately the trail was cut off by a creek with no easy way to cross (at least not for a mother carrying a two-year-old or a preschooler). We eventually managed to cross with a series of awkward lunges, dunks, and hand-holding. When I looked up, and the whole hill seemed to extend endlessly before us, tree upon tree, waving ferns. There were no people there, just the rush of the waterfall. What is this place? I heard the choirs singing, at least the timbered choir. The psalm “I lift my eyes up” came to mind.
Later after a snack-spilling fiasco along the trail, we all lounged lazily on rocks in an icy rushing river, with clear little pools dazzling us and trees stretching and swaying all around us. We took our rest.
Again and again I find Wendell Berry so helpful in this journey to return to the basics and to benefit from the concept of Sabbath; to re-examine what it means to be a follower of Christ thousands of years later, to let go of rituals that don’t hold meaning. Posting these pages, my creative journal pages, has been a risk. I have struggled with the dichotomy between my thoughts and my life. To become a writer, I want to lessen that gap. I want to be honest about my life. I came across a very interesting page in Julia Cameron’s “The Writer’s Life”:
“Vulnerability, which is honesty’s shy younger sister, is the part of ourselves that renders us capable of great art, art that enters and explores the heart.” – Julia Cameron
In the context of writing, vulnerability is a show of health. She also describes how vulnerability makes us prone to contradiction. “It requires that we change our minds. It requires that our perspective shifts.” (Julia Cameron).
Contradiction is present in this blog, even in the title, Restless Sabbath. I like to imagine a future chapter where the struggle will diminish, and peace and good fruits will surface.
In terms of creativity, putting myself out here is meant to be a step in the direction of aligning my writing and art with my day life. I hope I can inspire a few people along the way in this journey.