God reveals himself to the humble in the humblest of things, while the great who never penetrate beneath the surface do not discover him even in great events. de Caussade, p.5
Why am I sitting at this screen rather than walking out into the morning? I often do this. I am casting about for something to pique my interest. My chest is tight – a felt-sense, not actual muscle tightness – and I am holding my breath. I am waiting, with bated breath, for the revelation that will make my whole life light up. I am looking for the distraction that is so exciting and revelatory that I can forget my life. Always looking over the hedge for more.
I could relax into this moment. There is nothing new. You are here. I am here. There is nowhere to go. There is nothing more I need to learn. I have arrived. I need simply to open myself, to open my heart, to relax into this body, to be here with You.
Still I sit here. What holds me back? An unbidden answer: manna. All I am offered is bread for today: this morning, this sunshine, these tweeting birds, these meagre thoughts. I want, but am not offered, certainty, fulfilment, enlightenment, solidity, immortality. Nothing permanent. Seemingly
Constant, yet nothing still but this steady seeming… Kathleen Raine, Fire
I want my life to have meaning. I want to make my mark. Secure a foothold in the world. Even as I write I want an audience. I am orating, playing to the gallery. I want a witness to my greatness.
This is not what You want. You want me to surrender to You. In complete trust. Every, single, moment.
You have to choose: to live or to recount. Sartre: La nausée (quoted Charles Larmore)
[Look out for part II tomorrow.]