Monday, April 30, 2012

The belly of our days

A cresting wave, Antigua, a million years ago

Good Lord, ya'll -- I'm hard up for words here at a moon, worn as if it had been a shell. The pink iceberg roses in the backyard are a riot and the oatmeal is crusty in a pot on the stove, interminable boys' laundry is spinning in the washer, and the dog's nails are clipping the floor to distraction, but I'm not really thinking about a damn thing. When I meditated this morning, I read the April 30th entry in Mark Nepo's The Book of Awakening, and I thought you might find it interesting, if not helpful as you go about your day. There's some cliche in there, but like they say, there's a reason for that.

There's a quote from Basho, first:

Whether drifting through life on a boat or climbing toward old age leading a horse, each day is a journey and the journey itself is home.

And then there's a brief story about the writer's immigrant grandmother, and then there's this:

I'm asking you to imagine the life of your spirit on earth as such an immigration, as one constant arrival in a new land. Given this, we must accept that no matter the shore before us, the swell and toss of the sea never ends. When brought to the crest of a swell, we can see as far as eternity and the soul has its perspective, but when in the belly of  those waves, we are, each of us, for the moment, lost. The life of the soul on Earth has us bobbing on a raft of flesh in and out of view of eternity, and the work of the inner pilgrim is to keep eternity in our heart and mind's eye when dropped in the belly of our days.

Then Nepo advises this:

Sit quietly and imagine yourself bobbing safely on the ocean of experience we never stop crossing.
Breathe deeply and imagine each day is a wave.
Enter your own rhythms and feel what kind of wave today is.
If today is cresting, look about you and take in all that you can see of life.
If today is a belly of a day, acknowledge the hardships you are facing.
Breathe slowly and remember that another crest is coming. Bring to mind the last rising, remembering what that enabled you to see. 


  1. Oh man this is good stuff for me today.

  2. I love this. So beautiful.

  3. As I look out my window at the waves and their whitecaps, I can feel the truth of these words. Thank you for sharing.

    You were on my mind as I attended my first Field's End Writers Conference on Saturday. xoxo

  4. soothing to our souls!

  5. I just love that book. It always seems to speak to me.

  6. That looks like a picture taken by an adoring husband. You are so lovely.

    Bellies abound here, mine and the waves.

  7. so this is why I've stopped by today...
    thanks and hope you are well. xo

  8. I'd say you have a lot to say.
    Thank you for all of it.

  9. Thank you so much for the inspiration today! Not only did I feel better but it all got better by thinking about what you wrote. Hope you don't mind that, once again, I've quoted you.

  10. Works for me. I am bobbing in the belly today but my eyes are on the stars.

  11. This was beautiful my friend. I am in between the cresting and the belly these days. But still staying with my head above the tide.

    I bought a new bathing suit the other day ... I sure would like to be wearing it in waters as amazing as those. Don't think I will ever see it but I will continue to dream.

    Catch up soon?

  12. That's an interesting idea -- thinking of days like waves. I haven't heard that one before. Sometimes I can't really tell whether I'm cresting or bellying!

  13. Thank You Elizabeth....couldn't be more perfect a set of quotes for today...
    for anyday.
    that's a beautiful picture of you.

  14. What a wonderful reminder. And true. The deeps are easier when we know there will be another high.

    I was glad to hear you've been too busy for Denny's book--the alternative being you didn't like it and were concerned about saying so. Your days are so full I always wonder how you manage time to read.

  15. Ah. You always have words (and pictures) that sustain my soul. Thank-you, Elizabeth.



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