Slowing Down for Sabbath: Everyday Magic, Day 840

The linguine boils happily beside the meatballs and vegetables in tomato sauce while just below them, the garlic bread warms up in the oven. On top of the water cooler, the salad waits beside the baggie of parmesan cheese, both out of the reach of the dog who will eat everything. In one bedroom, Natalie watches “House of Cards” while multi-tasking on music business stuff. In another, Daniel naps, and in the basement, Forest does things involving Reddit that I can’t quite comprehend. But the kitchen table is relatively clean, and soon they will pour around it along with Ken for our Sabbath dinner.

It’s been awhile. With everyone’s varied schedules, our young adult children living far away or moving back in for short stretches, and the general morphing of families dinners into catch-while-catch-can, we don’t get to do this much. Years ago, when the children were children, Sabbath dinners were the norm, complete with a healthy dose of sarcasm as the sweetheart babies and toddlers turns into Simpsons-quoting tweens and teens. Our regular ritual of having each person at the table say something they appreciate about everyone else turned into a chance to say things like, “I appreciate my brother for not being such a big jerk all the time this week.” Still, it was a ritual, and rituals have their power for marking off one time from another and bonding people, even in bad jokes and thinly-veiled insults.

Moreover, the Sabbath is about slowing down and savoring time, place, people, and obviously, food. This is something that continually challenges me to step gingerly over the fence of being a fierce do-er of many things to the land of being. The first few steps always feel a little shaky, but then I fall back in love with watching the sky, writing by hand in my journal, read a book with a cat asleep on me or walk with the dog. Of course, I do slip off into my computer and associated work here and there, but over time I’m tilting more toward this slowing down for a few hours or minutes or even part of a day.

Just as I’m about to close this post and drain the pasta, Ken calls: he’s running late and tells us to go ahead and eat. No, I tell him, we’ll wait.

Friday Afternoon: Everyday Magic, Day 582

The hackberry tree’s leaves waver slower than the walnut’s while the cedar sways as if under water. The dog sleeps on the worn planks of the porch, the cat sleeps on my bed inside, and the wind stays relatively quiet between splurges up and outward. Both my sons are inside, fixated on their computer screens. It’s the end of the week, and even the birds, quieter than usual seem to know it.

This has been one of those almost-lost days when whatever I planned to do was punctuated beyond recognition by what I did: the trip to the doctor’s office for Forest, who unfortunately picked up an evil little virus from his last trip to the doctor’s office. Or the long phone call to a Delta airline agent, when I had to repeat four times, “That’s A as in Apple, P as in Peanut Butter, then D as in Dead.” She replied, “D as in Delta?” I went with it, all in the name of clearing a tangle of on-line reservations for Ken and Daniel to fly to Nashville to move Daniel to Knoxville in August.

There was also the nap, necessary but short, the drive to the mailbox to find no mail had yet arrived, the need to make myself a cold caffeinated drink, the newspaper to look over, and a few odds and ends buy cialis toronto while I wondered what else I was supposed to do.

Working at home, and on my own schedule, can fade an afternoon to confusion, sudden stillness, or the occasional blend of both when I spend an inordinate amount of time wondering if a) I should work on the book proposal I’m tired of working on, b) Get a head start on Goddard work heading my way, c) Clean my house’s bedroom to see if he truly has enough shorts for the season, or d) Forget it all, and go see “Men in Black III.”

But the day was too lovely, the porch too comfortable, the dog’s eyes too earnest in begging me to stay with him, and the trees too green. Where would I rather be than right here, at home and in beauty although the interruptions keep coming (such as one two second ago when my son wanted to know my schedule for tomorrow, and I couldn’t think clearly enough to tell him)?

Besides, I remind myself, it’s Friday afternoon. Shabbat begins soon, and although I often don’t observe it, I know all too well the old adage: those who don’t make a time of rest for themselves will have it made for them. Seems my sabbath just arrived a few hours early.

My Ambition For The Day Is To Put Away The Laundry: Everyday Magic, Day 118

Some Saturdays turn vividly into true sabbaths for me, days of rest called to the forefront because I simply don’t have the energy to do anything else. After a week of waking up wickedly early for me (7:30, but hey, I was helped by the time change), doing a whole lot of yoga and working rather efficiently without a glitch, I’m all puckered out.

I thought of going to a movie, but too much effort! I have a vague sensation that I should clean the house, but that’s also out of my reach. I sit in my bedroom, having accomplished only the making the bed so far, and wait until I can summon up the energy to put away several baskets of folded laundry. At the same time, I know that just listening to the stillness and slowness called for is actually what I should be doing. So I’ll aim my sights toward the laundry but first, a nap where the sun sleeps on the bed right next to the cat.